The steep southern scarp face of the Ochils in central Scotland stands in sharp relief to the surrounding flat lands, giving these grassy, rounded hills a deserved reputation for drama. Although popular with local hillwalkers, this range is largely neglected by visitors from elsewhere. Come walking here, though, and you’ll find a number of satisfying routes with extensive views and plenty of peace and quiet.
This walk – a lovely and gentle introduction to a prominent Ochil peak – leads via the deeply gouged Dollar Glen up to the 648m (2,125ft) King’s Seat Hill.
View of King’s Seat Hill near Dollar/Credit: Geograph
Dollar Glen walk
6.5 miles/10.4km | 3.5 hours | moderate
1. To the glen
Where the high street crosses the Dollar, signposted Dollar Glen and Castle Campbell, head up the Dollar Burn. At an information board, turn left to cross Dollar Burn. A series of steps bring you quickly above the river.
The Ochils’ scarp face lies directly ahead. Forming a 20-mile long line, it is the legacy of a massive fault that took place 300 million years ago. Land to the south of the fault dropped at least a mile, leaving the largely volcanic Ochils standing proud.
The track descends and crosses a bridge. Branch left on a narrow path. Recross the fast flowing river, though be sure to take extreme care when doing so. The path ascends to emerge from the trees. Follow the main path by the river, past a substantial bridge (you will cross this on the return journey).
2. Up the gullies
Soon the hill path leads left towards Bank Hill, which it bypasses to the north. Continue, by a series of transverse gullies, along the Banks of Dollar, before reaching the open hillside. A false summit on King’s Seat Hill is marked by a shelter cairn; the true top of this plateau lies 180m to the northwest.
3. Serene summit
If you’re lucky with the weather, laze awhile at the summit proper and enjoy views west to the highest Ochils’ top, the 721m (2,365ft) Ben Cleuch. Cross the bridge above Sochie Falls and follow the path to reach Castle Campbell. The 15th-century tower house was the Clan Campbell’s principal lowland stronghold. It was built primarily as a statement of the clan’s power as it had limited defences. Now in the care of Historic Scotland, it is well worth a visit.
4. Back down
Leave the castle gates to find a path on your right that leads down steps. This path returns down the east side of the gorge. Keep right at all junctions to rejoin the outward path by the information board.