Loch Tay, Falls of Dochart, Callander and Oban Railway

“I’m going to the highlands at the weekend.”

“Lovely. You’ll be looking for a nice loch shore walk then.”

I went to see a physiotherapist last week. He tells me that I’ve done some damage to my Achilles. No hill-climbing until the summer. In the meantime, I have to stand on one foot with my eyes closed. Not all of the time, fortunately.

So – whilst most members of our annual Highland get-together were braving what looked to be fairly tempestuous conditions on the Tarmachan ridge, I was heading for a ‘nice loch shore’ path. I had good company in my infirmity: S was struggling with a dodgy knee and appreciated an opportunity to share a gentle stroll (and also, perhaps, the chance to hit the bar a little earlier than the others).


Having been dropped off in Killin, we followed an abandoned railway line down to the loch. In the trees beside it we saw tree-creepers, and in the leaf-litter a solitary toad.

Loch Tay 

The morning had begun very wet, and it still looked very black over the hills to the North, but directly overhead there were gaps in the cloud and blue sky beyond. We were even blessed with a little sunshine. We sat for almost an hour over a brew, sharing our passion for accumulating books, putting the world to rights and watching a cormorant, curlews and golden-eye.


The path back towards Killin, boggy in places, followed the river. Downstream of the confluence of the Dochart and the Lochay I’m not sure whether it retains one of those names or if it has already become the Tay, which it will be when it flows from the far end of the Loch at Kenmore.


With the sun shining and dark skies behind, the bare trees were looking very fine, and we paused awhile to take lots of photos.


Situated in Killin village, the falls of Dochart are well worth a look. From the road bridge I found that I couldn’t really do justice to the falls, even with my camera’s widest zoom, and wondered how a pancake lens would have coped.

Falls of Dochart

From Killin we walked back to our accommodation at Suie Lodge in Luib, via the old Oban to Callander railway line. The first section has been converted into a footpath, part of the Rob Roy way, but even after that had turned to head into Glen Ogle, the disused railway bed made for easy walking with fine views and gentle slopes and just the odd fence to be straddled.

Last of the blue sky. 

Sadly this was the last of the blue sky for quite some time. Rainbows and heavy showers were now the order of the day. We kept hoping that a long enough gap between showers would allow us to get another brew on the boil, but the chance never materialised.

Killin Junction

Platform at Killin Junction.

Eventually, thwarted by a missing bridge over Luib Burn, we diverted down to the road for the last kilometre or so. As we arrived back the weather began to brighten again, but we opted to sit by the log fire in the hotel bar and steam gently whilst sampling some of the hotel’s selection of bottled real ales. It’s hard work this convalescence malarkey!

Loch Tay, Falls of Dochart, Callander and Oban Railway

11 thoughts on “Loch Tay, Falls of Dochart, Callander and Oban Railway

  1. We wandered around Killin and the Loch one evening a couple of summers ago – it was very pleasant. I’m afraid I don’t know what the original problem with your ankle was, but I hope all goes well so you’re right for the summer months!

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Fell-over on a hillside, sprained it, but did more damage than first thought. 6-8 months recovery. Ho-hum. But…it could have been worse, obviously.

  2. I’m glad you’ve managed to spin this day into something more than the fact you spent large tracts of it in the bar while some us were experiencing the splendour of a white-out on the Tarmachans

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      We weren’t in the bar that long before you – well only two pints long anyway. Mind – I haven’t drunk that much in one session since I carelessly found myself in a round with Mr Sloman. I wasn’t brave enough to hit the 7.5% stout like some people I could mention.

          1. Timmy Taylors Porter (with the pink head) = Good
            Hydes XXXX – 10% = BAD!
            Still no idea how I got home that night or how I survived running the red light on my bike on Princess Parkway
            Row 17, Column 7

  3. Just catching up with reading some blogs. Sorry to hear you’ve temporarily knackered your ankle and will be out of hill-action for some time. Never mind, more time to get up close and personal with the minutiae of nature like warty toads and other small critters.

    I really like your photos in this post – they portray a very atmospheric day. The 5th picture in the post of the two trees with the light in the middle ground is lovely.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      The ankle is finally beginning to show signs of recovery, thankfully. It was an atmospheric day, and very relaxing, although I could have managed without the lengthy ‘shower’ in the middle of the afternoon.

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