Day out: Bracklinn Falls, Stirlingshire

Children delight in running through the woodland on this much-loved walk to tumultuous falls, where a beautiful timber and copper bridge crosses the racing water

Waterfalls in woods

Popular since the onset of tourism in Victorian times, this day out starts from the Bracklinn Falls car park in the holiday-feel town of Callendar – a gateway to the Highlands under the shapely peak of Ben Ledi.

Advertisement

Leading through mixed woodland, below notched crags, it’s an ideal length for all the family at 1.5 miles return. 

Bracklinn Falls
The Keltie Water rushes over a series of rocky drops at Bracklinn Falls. Encased by dense woodland, the spectacular gorge lies on the east of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park/Credit: Getty

Bracklinn Falls wildlife

In the woods, you stand a good chance of spotting red squirrels, especially if you are quiet. The tufty-eared creatures are a delight to watch and, if you’re lucky, you’ll see them scarpering through trees at lightning speed and on to impossibly thin branches in search of pinecones. These stripped cones often litter the forest floor. You will also hear the thrum of woodpeckers and perhaps spy a roe deer.

Red squirrel
Britain’s native red squirrel is now one of the UK’s most endangered species/Credit: Getty

Getting to Bracklinn Falls

Walk on to emerge from the woods into open countryside with views down to the River Teith; the old Dunblane to Oban rail line can also be seen. Further on, descend a steep section by a flight of steps and soon you will hear the roar of the falls. Over millennia, the power of the river has cut its way through the near-vertical bedding planes of a hard band of sandstone and conglomerate rock to form this feature. Don’t get close to the treacherous gorge edge.

What’s at Bracklinn Falls?

After a heavy rainfall, it’s an impressive sight as the Keltie Water churns white through a series of drops within the short, but dramatic, gorge to spill into a pool. The name Bracklinn is derived from the Gaelic breac, meaning trout, and linn, a pool of water. 

Queen Victoria visited the falls in the 1870s when an iron bridge over the water was built. A flash flood swept that bridge away earlier this century and now a beautiful wooden and copper one – utilising the best in Scottish timber and engineering skill – gracefully spans the gorge. Enjoy the spectacle and sound of Mother Nature’s raw power before returning. 

Advertisement

To round off an idyllic day and stave off hunger, Callendar has cafés, fish-and-chips and ice-cream shops and foodie bars with beer gardens.