Doune is one of those Scottish towns that we have driven through numerous times, but never visited!
The walk starts close to the site of the former Doune Railway Station and heads past the nearby Doune Ponds then meanders through some lovely woodland. In due course you pick up a section of the former ‘Callander & Oban Railway’ for a couple of miles. After walking through the eastern side of the town, you pass through the grounds of Doune Castle before picking up a path along the River Teith. The final couple of miles include some more woodland and open countryside.
Starting Point for the Walk:
Doune Ponds Car Park, Doune – OS Reference NN 725 019 [Sat Nav: FK16 6EH].
Getting there: 36 miles/45 minutes
Take your favourite route to the M80 (Stirling). Exit M80 at Junction 10 (Doune [A84]). In Doune (on the A84) take a right turn [Town Centre/Doune Castle] onto the A820 (Balkerach Street). Almost immediately after joining the A820, take a left turn onto Station Wynd and continue past Pistolmakers Row for about 100m before turning left into Doune Ponds Car Park.
Toilets are available at Stirling Services (M80, Junction 9, FK7 8EU), approximately 40 minutes drive from Glasgow.
The Walk: Doune Loop – 7.5 miles (12 km)
The walk starts at the Doune Ponds, a 40-acre Nature Reserve (which was previously a gravel and sand quarry), by following a network of paths through the woodland that surrounds Doune Ponds. The route eventually leaves the woodland via a steep hillside climb that takes about 5 minutes. Soon after reaching the highest point in this locality, there are good views across the town of Doune. Then follow a network of paths and quiet country lanes through the countryside to the NE of Doune.
In due course, pick up a faint path through a small area of dense woodland – this leads onto a former railway line. Follow the old railway line in a westerly direction for about 1.25 miles then head in a southerly direction, through a park, past the kirk then through a housing estate. A few minutes after passing the housing estate, reach the grounds of Doune Castle. Skirt around the east side of the Castle and pick up a path that runs along the side of Ardoch Burn. After about 0.25 mile, the Ardoch Burn joins the River Teith. At this point, turn right and follow a path that heads in a WNW direction alongside the River Teith. After about 0.5 mile turn left onto the A84, then cross the road to join a footpath to rejoin the river. Take care when crossing the busy A84.
Continue through an area of woodland that runs alongside the River Teith, which soon leads to a path on the right and a gentle climb away from the River Teith. The final 1.5 miles is along a path and farm access track which leads to the west end of Doune. After about 1 mile, cross the A84 again and then head into an area of woodland at the southern edge of Doune Ponds. Rejoin the outgoing route to end up back at the Doune Ponds Car Park.