Just across the Firth of Forth is Scotland’s smallest County. Clackmannanshire, known as ‘The Wee County’. The floral ‘Hillfoots’ villages, Alva, Tillicoultry and Dollar, await you with their tower houses, castles, woollen mills and beautiful parks, with the majestic Ochil Hills as a backdrop to the north.
Cut through with deep glens, the Ochils offer many beautiful walks. One of the most popular is the climb to the summit of Dumyat, near Menstrie. At the other end of the range Dollar Glen is a romantic wooded valley through a narrow gorge. Perched about it is Castle Campbell, a 15th Century stronghold of the powerful Clan Campbell.
The Hillfoots are famous for changing weaving from a cottage industry to an industrial process, and at one time the area was home to the second most important weaving centre in Scotland. Dollar Museum picks up the thread of the story as it spins the tale of the village, while Menstrie Castle dates back to the 16th century. Even older, take a look at the recently restored Alloa Tower, a 14th century tower house with its tremendous 11ft thick walls.
Clackmannan boasts an even older tower, while Gartmorn Dam is the oldest man-made reservoir in Scotland. Today it’s now a haven for wildlife, including thousands of wintering birds. It’s also one of the many good fishing and walking spots in the area.