The Bracklinn Falls are a series of waterfalls in thick woodland near Callander in Central Scotland. There is a popular walking trail that follows the Keltie Water which allows visitors to view the falls up close.
Review of the Bracklinn Falls
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 from which 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, with the Callander Crags, Rob Roy Way and Bracklinn Falls walks amongst the most popular hiking trails in the region.
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.
Things to do at the Bracklinn Falls
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.
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.
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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, and the woodland, in particular, is well-known for the woodpeckers that are often heard but rarely seen between the thick trunks of the firs and conifers.
The main section of the waterfalls are immediately obvious as soon as you get near them as they’re actually incredibly loud, especially after a 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.
- The Falls are seriously impressive, especially after a downpour.
- The woodland is lovely and it’s a great place for wildlife spotting.
- The Bracklinn Falls are close enough to Callander to combine a visit to the town and this walk in a single day.
- The forests around this part of the country are exceptional. Discover the best ones to visit in my Guide to the Best Forest Walks in Scotland.
- Parts of the Bracklinn Falls gorge are very steep. Keep the kids on a lead!
- 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.
Callander car park,
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.
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 diverges.
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.
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.
Photo gallery and video
Things to do near the Bracklinn Falls
- 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 north-west 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.
More places to visit in Central Scotland
- The Scottish Deer Centre – Fife: Complete Visitor GuideSet in 55 acres of lovely Fife countryside, The Scottish Deer Centre is an animal conservation park that looks after 14 species of deer from around the world as well as wolves, otters, wildcats, and birds of prey.
- Scone Palace – Perthshire: Complete Visitor GuideScone Palace is widely recognised as one of the top tourist attractions in central Scotland, not only because It’s a genuinely interesting place to visit but also because it’s absolutely steeped in history.
- The Crieff Hydro – Perthshire: Complete Visitor GuideThe Crieff Hydro is a popular resort in the Perthshire countryside that offers a range of health-based activities as well as large grounds for walking and relaxation. The hotel boasts over 200 bedrooms and over 50 self-catering properties, as well as restaurants, cafes and bars.
- The Kelpies – Stirlingshire: Complete Visitor GuideThese equine marvels are Scotland’s celebration of a bygone era of horse-drawn barges that kept the nation’s industry going for well over a hundred years, and although Clydesdale’s (the breed of horse) are no longer a sight on the canals you can at least enjoy the spectacle of the world’s biggest horse sculptures when you go to visit them at Helix Park.