Bracklinn Falls Visitor Guide

By Craig Neil
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Table of Contents


Summary

The Bracklinn Falls are a series of waterfalls situated within thick woodland near Callander in Central Scotland. Visitors to the site can follow a popular walking trail that follows the Keltie Water which offers close-up views of the falls.

Bracklinn Falls

The highlights

1: The Bracklinn Falls are seriously impressive, especially after a downpour.

2: The woodland is lovely and it’s a great place for wildlife spotting. Visitors will likely hear woodpeckers and there’s a possibility of seeing red squirrels too.

3: The Bracklinn Falls are close enough to Callander to combine a visit to the scenic village and this walk in a single day.

Visiting tips

1: The forests around this part of the country are exceptional. Discover the best ones to visit in this article: A Guide to the Best Forest Walks in Scotland.

2: Parts of the Bracklinn Falls gorge are very steep. Take extra care, especially with children and dogs.

3: While the walk around Bracklinn Falls is great you might fancy something a bit different afterwards – in which case I recommend a short drive down the A81 to Inchmahome Priory which is situated in the middle of the Lake of Menteith.


Summary

The Bracklinn Falls are a series of waterfalls that thunder down sections of the Keltie Water near the town of Callander in Perthshire.

While many visitors come to Callander each year to use it as a base to explore Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (Ben Ledi mountain is a favourite hiking destination in the area), other visitors come for the walks that run throughout this incredibly scenic part of Scotland.

There are dozens of walking trails in the area but the Callander Crags, Rob Roy Way and Bracklinn Falls routes are amongst the most popular.

Bracklinn Falls

The reason why the area around Callander is regarded as one of the top hiking destinations in Scotland is that it lies slap-bang on top of the Highland Boundary Fault – a geological fault line that runs all the way across Scotland from Helensburgh on the west coast to Stonehaven on the east.

This fault line separates the two very different terrains of the Highlands and Lowlands and where the rivers cross the fault line they fall from one terrain to the other, hence the waterfalls that you can see on the Keltie Water.

You’ve got a few options for exploring this part of Scotland but my personal recommendation is to follow the route around the Bracklinn Falls circuit – which you can read about below.

Bracklinn Falls

Tourist information

The route around the Falls is really quite beautiful and I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this walk even if the weather closes in.

As you make your way from Callander towards the river you’ll pass through pretty country roads, dense woodlands, steep rocks, thick moorland and the fast-flowing river, with the Trossachs mountain range providing a drop-dead gorgeous backdrop in the distance.

It’s easy enough to get to the Bracklinn Falls and it’ll only take an hour to reach from Stirling (via the M80 and A84) and an hour and a half from Edinburgh (via the M9 and A84).

If you prefer to cycle you can follow the National Cycle Network route number 7 which passes right through Callander and offers a superb ride through the Trossachs, or if you’d rather take the bus you can catch the number 59 from Stirling.

Bracklinn Falls

I have to say I really enjoyed my walk around the Bracklinn Falls circuit, helped no end by the fact the path is nicely compacted and relatively mud-free – even in winter.

It won’t take long to complete, maybe 2 and a half hours, but it’s a good three and a half miles in length so bear that in mind if you’ve got young children in tow.

Aside from the different landscapes you’ll encounter on the walk there will also more than likely be a whole load of different wildlife species to watch as you follow the trail.

The area around Callander and the Trossachs is home to some of Scotland’s favourite animals, with Highland cows, red squirrels, roe and red deer, osprey, buzzards and even Scottish wild cats frequently reported by keen-eyed nature-lovers.

The woodland, in particular, is well-known for woodpeckers that are often heard but rarely seen between the thick trunks of the firs and conifers.

Bracklinn Falls

The main section of the waterfalls is immediately obvious as soon as you get near them as they’re actually incredibly loud, especially after heavy rainfall.

It’s here where you’ll cross the Keltie Water on the 20-metre wood and copper footbridge that spans an extremely deep gorge, and if you’re like me you might be wondering how on earth anyone managed to build such an impressive bridge in the middle of such dense woodland.

The remarkable answer to this question is that it was actually hauled into place by hand, all 20 tonnes of it! It’s just one of the many memorable parts of this fantastic walk deep in the heart of the Perthshire countryside.


Tourist map of Scotland

Callander car park,
Callander,
Stirling,
FK17 8BA

Filter by

Explore this area with a detailed paper map from Ordnance Survey:

Stirling & Ochil Hills West – 366 Explorer.

The Trossachs – Callander, Aberfoyle & Lochearnhead – OL46 Explorer.

Stirling & The Trossachs – 57 Landranger.

OS Explorer Maps: Best for walking, mountain biking, and finding footpaths. 1:25,000 scale (4cm = 1km in real world). Buy OS Explorer maps direct from Ordnance Survey.

OS Landranger Maps: Best for road cycling, touring by car, and finding attractions. 1:50 000 scale (2 cm = 1 km in real world). Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.


Walking route

Click the map for details

Bracklinn Falls Map

There are a number of places where you can start and end a walk around the Bracklinn Falls, with car parks at both the Callander Crags and the Falls, but for a good walk that will take you most of the day I suggest starting at one of the car parks in Callander town centre.

There are two distinct benefits to doing this. First, you’ll get to see a bit of the high street as you make your way to the falls for a little bit of souvenir shopping, and second, you’ll be able to pop into one of the pubs and cafés that line the high street for a well-earned drink after completing the walk.

Bracklinn Falls

With the Eas Gobhain river behind you, make your way to Callander Main Street and head west where you’ll eventually come to a junction with Bracklin Road heading north.

Cross the junctions with Craigard Road and Ancaster Road and follow the signs for Callander Golf Club, at which point you should also see signs directing you towards Callander Crags and Bracklinn Falls.

Both of these sites have their own car parks so if you want to miss out the previous section of the trail on a future walk you can park there instead and save a fair amount of time.

Pressing onwards north past the turning to Callander Crags you’ll find yourself on the single-track road that leads to the Falls car park, and it’s at this point where the road and path diverge.

The trail runs around either side of the Keltie Water in a big loop, so you’re free to take whichever direction you choose, but the path into the woodland away from the road will take you to the Bracklin Falls bridge first.

You can’t really get lost on the remainder of the journey as there are occasional signs pointing you in the right direction.

Bracklinn Falls

Once you reach the footbridge bear left and follow the path that leads into the woodland while curving around a hill.

As you crest the hill you’ll have the amazing sight of Ben Ledi and Ben Lomond in front of you, and before long the path will start to drop down again at which point you’ll cross a much-less-impressive footbridge that again crosses the Keltie Water.

This point signals the start of the return journey back to the Falls car park which will be marked by the footpath suddenly turning into a single-track road.

Continue along this road until you reach the car park and then follow the same route you came in on back into Callander.


Things to do nearby

Callander. 4-minute drive. A popular tourist destination on the edge of The Trossachs National Park. Callander is often used as the starting point for walks into the surrounding forests.

A recommended trail follows the Garbh Uisge river which starts at the car park in the town centre. There are a variety of traditional pubs, restaurants and gift shops in the high street.

Falls of Leny. 9-minute drive. The walk to the Falls of Leny from Callander is one of the highlights of this part of The Trossachs. The falls are a series of natural low-lying waterfalls on the Garbh Uisge river. A shorter route starts at the Ben Ledi car park.

Doune Castle. Castle Hill, Doune FK16 6EA. 17-minute drive. A medieval castle with one of the largest curtain walls in Scotland.

Doune Castle is located near the River Teith in the historic village of Doune. It is famous for being the filming site of Monty Python, Outlander and Game of Thrones.

Deanston Distillery. Teith Rd, Deanston, Doune FK16 6AG. 16-minute drive. Located in a former cotton mill, this distillery on the banks of the River Teith offers guided whisky tours, tasting experiences, a shop and a café.

Ben Ledi. 20-minute drive. Ben Ledi is an 879-metre Corbett located around 4 miles northwest of Callander. The route to the summit is relatively easy-going but if the weather is unsuitable visitors will find an equally-enjoyable walk to Strathyre along the western edge of Loch Lubnaig.


Frequently asked questions

How do I get to the Bracklinn Falls?

For the Bracklinn Falls car park head to Bracklinn Road, north of Callander town centre.
Address: Bracklin Rd, FK17 Callander FK17 8EP

Directions map: Google Maps

How long is the Bracklinn Falls walk?

The Bracklinn Falls walk is a loop around a waterfall and a glen near Callander, Stirling, that is 3.7 miles (6 km) in length.

How far is Bracklinn Falls from the car park?

The distance from the high level car park (postcode FK17 8EP) to the Bracklinn Falls is 3/4 mile (1.5 miles return walk).

Can you swim at Bracklinn Falls?

It is possible to swim in some of the deeper pools at the Bracklinn Falls, however, the rocks are very slippery and it should be noted that there have been fatalities in the past.