Twixt Uni and cathedral,
yet cities not in view,
Our sylvan paths wend flatly;
some walked before, most new.
Avoiding white, round missiles,
and marsh we won’t go through,
With hills around to view,
although they are no cause to “phew”.
A railway option halves the trip,
Mud not enough to cause to slip,
Good value nosh, with drink to sip,
A grand day out, though air has nip.
The meeting point is at OS Reference NN 781 014 which is the car park on the north side of Dunblane Cathedral .
Getting there: 34 miles/40 minutes
Take your usual route (M8 from Glasgow) to M80 towards Stirling etc. Stay on this road to the large Doune, Perth, Bridge of Allan roundabout where you take the third edit (B8033) to Dunblane. This shortish approach to Dunblane is a dual carriageway. Ignore the first road left to the town centre and continue to the roundabout and turn left on to B8064. Follow this road down to the Cross, turn right to the Cathedral, then right, left and left to the car park to the north of the Cathedral. The nearest toilets are at the Library in the High Street.
The Walk: Dunblane – Bridge of Allan – 7.5 miles (12 km)
From the car park walk east away from the river. Turn left into Braeport and at a Y junction turn left into Tannahill Terrace. Take the steps to the left near the Balmyle Grove sign which descend into Laighhills Public Park. Go over the Scouring Burn and turn left onto a tarmac path. Continue over the railway bridge and turn left. After 200m turn left again to re-cross the Scouring Burn before turning right to cross the Faery Bridge over the Allan Water. Turn left and follow the path adjacent to the river; the cathedral will be on the left on the other side of Allan Water. Turn left again when the path joins a road (Bridgend) and follow this to the Stirling Road and go left again before turning right into Beech Road. Continue until the B8033 and turn left. Pass the Police Station and then, at a crossing point, cross the busy road. Take the flight of 48 steps which rise to the right and into Dunblane New Golf Club. Continue between buildings to an obvious track to the left of the golf course. Follow the golf course perimeter for about 1km and after a short ascent and rounding a corner look for a rusty field gate on the left. There is a short muddy section before the path levels out for views across farmland. At this point turn right and then right again at a signpost along a surfaced path through trees. At the junction of two paths ignore the left one and take the path that goes downhill (with a short steep section), with the golf course on the right and the Wharry Burn eventually on the left. Turn left to cross the burn and then right to rejoin the Allan Water and pass Ben Gunn’s Cave. After crossing Cock’s Burn continue on the path until it emerges onto Blairforkie Drive. Continue down the road until it meets the A9.
Turn right and follow the signs to Bridge of Allan railway station and then ascend stairs to rejoin the A9. Turn left and after 50m cross the busy road towards a track to the left of a children’s nursery. Follow this track to a cottage and then turn left (no signpost) to follow a small track, with the garden wall of a cottage on the right. Fields will now be on the left and after 400m cross a double stile and a broken-down wall until a T junction. At this point go down and to the left (the path is almost non-existent) and keep the fields to the right. The path comes out of the wood at a junction. Go straight ahead, downhill, until the path takes a sharp right turn. Go through the field gate on the left and follow the field edge to reach the dual carriageway. Go through the gate and turn right and follow the pavement for 400m. At the gatehouse turn right up a driveway and after crossing the Allan Water once again turn sharp left and enter a field. After 400m, ascend an easy grassy slope towards the entrance of a railway tunnel. Cross the tunnel not the railway line! Then climb, with woodland on the left, until meeting a driveway. Turn left and follow this drive to reach the main road (B8033). Continue into Beech Road and High Street to return to the cathedral parking.