Monday, 20 September 2010

Ben Lawers and Killin

The village of Killin with The Falls of Dochart stands at the western end of Loch Tay while the Ben Lawers mountain range is a little further on to the east of it.
( This is effectively a double post as I have thought about how to write this over the last few days. My visit to Killin was in two halves with a mountain walk sandwiched in between...... however more of sandwiches later !! )
I began my day from the Crianlarich Bed and Breakfast car park with an amazing view of the cloud covered top of Ben More and had difficulty in finding somewhere to stop in order to take a photograph. In fact, I was so overcome with the view that I forgot to search the side streets of Crianlarich in search of a shop for sandwich purposes. I was sure that there would be plenty of facilities in Killin on the way.

It took me about 30 minutes drive in the car to Killin  but that was possibly due to the fact that I was tempted to stop in a lay-by and photograph Loch Lubair.....

 I arrived at the outskirts of Killin where there was a free short term lay-by car park to view the Falls of Dochart....

 ...It was an opportunity to scenically photograph the mountain range that I would be climbing later and buy a lunchtime sandwich.

I crossed the bridge passing the Falls of Dochart on one side and the supposedly haunted MacNab burial ground on the other.... they'll be telling us that there is a monster in Loch Ness shortly !!
Having never been here before, I had no idea that there were shops at the far end of the village, so I had to negotiate a price with a "we accept coach tours" cafe !! You can imagine my disgust when seeing a local grocery store further along the road.

Finally I arrive at the car park.........

 .... to wonderful views of heather and a nature reserve plantation....

Scottish mountains tend to be the property of landowners, however Ben Lawers is an exception to the rule as it was purchased for the National Trust for Scotland in 1950 by a mountaineer called Percy Unna.

The view looking from my ascent towards Loch Tay and Killin at the far end of the Loch. Incidentally, the cloud covered mountain of Ben More I showed you earlier can be seen on the horizon to the far right of the picture.
The first summit that I had to conquer was Beinn Ghlas with it's cairn shown below and the first decent view of Ben Lawers in the background for the day.....

The middle section of Loch Tay was prominent from time to time on the right....

I soon reached the top with the remaining short climb from this point with the view looking eastwards (above) and south west (below). I'm not quite sure what happened to the ground surrounding the triangulation point !! .......

This cairn was an ideal place for a lunch break while I contemplated doing a third summit to the right of the cairn below ( but then I would have to return to this point making it four... too much to do I think on day 1 ) .......

I decided to give it a miss to pace myself for the week in favour of a second dose of tourism in Killin and apart from that, the weather forecast wasn't great for later.

Beinn Ghlas from Ben Lawers
On my descent, I took the route that circumnavigated Beinn Ghlas to the right (above) and the route back to the car park was quite clear......

Killin (part 2)......

One of the more unusual and less well known sights is this tin hut church built in 1876 by The Earl of Breadalbane as a chapel for his shooting parties.

 I always seem attracted to water and boats particularly when reflections are involved ......

However, I sense that the peace of the reflections are about to be disturbed by passing traffic, how old is she ? ! ............

I moved to the west end of the village again and although there doesn't seem like a lot of tourist shops here (err, that will be just the one !), the impression that the visitor gets is that this may be the only set of attractions within 1 hour drive in all directions. The coach parties had returned to the comfort of their armchairs and evening meal in the hotels !!

 .... while the adjacent shop was still catering for passing trade unlike the sardine moment I had earlier in the day when I could hardly move. The only food I could stalk successfully here were boxes of shortbread.....

 .... drawing comparisons -  the modern day hunter has just as much trouble finding the correct nutritional feast as his ancestors did in this part of the country !!
Lastly, the nearby former mill building of Breadalbane Folklore centre with it's description of Scottish clans and exterior waterwheel was closed at this late hour. With the piercing eyes of the wolf at the door, I compared it with the peaceful waters of the nearby afore mentioned river and the passing traffic of coach tours ... child unfriendly !


  1. Unas fotografías maravillosas de estos paisajes estupendos. Mis felicitaciones. Saludos. Victoria.

  2. Wonderful views. These scenes exist in my imagination only. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos again.

  3. What amazing photographs! I have a habit of inserting myself into the photo, imagining myself there, and looking around. I realize that may be a little strange, but it somehow turns a 2D photo into a 3D experience. :-) Until a couple years ago, I didn't know what a 'cairn' was. I discovered it because I was curious as to why a 'Cairn Terrier' was named thus.
    So now I'll probably go on and figure out how much it would cost to fly to Edinburgh, (most likely at least $1000 r.t.)how much petrol costs these days, and work up another virtual holiday. Until our economy gets better or airfare comes down, my holidays will be from your blog or my imagination. :-)

  4. Fantastic views - makes it worth the climb - and thankyou for saving me the bother! At least until my bad back is better.

  5. Breathless open spaces...Is like I feel that I need wings...or to be a hawk...
    But I am "Wind" and I can fly forever everywhere....
    Thank you for this post!

  6. wow...... beautiful and love nature walks. will include it in my travel list next. definitely!

  7. What a tour you took on us - it's great! The countryside is beautiful!

  8. An excursion, with a pleasant reward for the mind with the local culture,for the body with food and for the view with the amazing landscapes!
    Magnificent shots!

  9. Wonderful pictures! So THAT is how heather looks... after all my years of reading English Literature (and shamefully never bothering to look up heather online) I finally get to put a picture to a name. Your blog is fabulous. Cheers!

  10. these places are beautiful !
    thank you sharing!
    I like the landscapes presented to us, the last photo is original ! Bye !!

  11. You make me love Scotland even more than I do already, with such stunning photography. Another breath taking trip. Well Done. Thank you for your kind words. Hope to see you soon.


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