Paragliding from the Ochils

The Ochil Paragliding Club has been established for over 20 years, and takes advantage of the configuration of the Ochil Hills above the village of Menstrie.

Myreton Hill at 387 m (1,270 ft.) is ideal for paragliders, as it is accessible and its scarp face is adequately steep for a successful launch.

For further information visit: http://www.ochilspgc.org.uk/index.html

 ‘Air Spirit’

Muirside Roundabout, B9140 – Tullibody
Installed – February 2008 | Artist:  Andy Scott

Striding purposely towards the Ochil Hills, is ‘Air Spirit’, also known locally as the ‘Muirside Man’ or ‘Striding Man’ this sculpture is four meters high and designed as a partner piece to ‘River Spirit’, located on Collyland roundabout, Alva  This sculpture reflects the natural landscape of Clackmannanshire and the rich biodiversity within the area.

Tullibody Old Bridge

Tullibody Old Bridge dates from the early 16th century, providing access across the River Devon.   It was disused after 1915, but was restored for use by walkers and cyclists in 2003.

best wee trips

menstrie castle

7 Castle Rd, Menstrie FK11 7AF

Built in c1560

Menstrie Castle was built c1560 as a manor house by the Alexander family. It was the birthplace of Sir William Alexander, who had an illustrious career during the reign of James VI and I, becoming Principle Secretary of State for Scotland in 1626.

Image Credit www.nts.org.uk/Visit/Menstrie-Castle

In 1621 he began to establish a new colony called Nova Scotia, but the scheme failed and Sir William lost money. Nonetheless, he improved Menstrie Castle and his town house in Stirling in 1633, when he was invested 1st Earl of Stirling and Viscount Canada. Neglected for a number of years, Menstrie Castle was saved during the late 1950’s and converted into apartments, but two ground floor rooms were restored as a display area, with dedicated exhibitions about Nova Scotia. These are now managed by the National Trust for Scotland. Visits outside scheduled dates / times can be organised with prior arrangement.

Visit www.nts.org.uk  for full details of opening times and events.

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Iron Bridge, Cambus

The Cambus Bridge was constructed in the early 19th century to span the River Devon and link to the Cambus Grain Whisky Distillery founded in 1806 by John Moubrey.  The bridge is 68 feet in length, and was originally used by horse drawn wagons and pedestrians.

‘Pontils ‘ by sculptor Michael Visocchi

A907 Dumyat Roundabout, Tullibody
Installed: 2007 | Artist: Michael Visocchi RSA

This public art installation celebrates Clackmannanshire’s glass making heritage, and replicate iron pontil rods used to work and shape hot glass.

The green hues were inspired by the exact colour of propeller wings made in Alloa during World War II.

Barrel making at Blackgrange

Clackmannanshire’s four great grain distilleries have now all gone, but the Diageo Blackrange bonded warehouse complex is a significant reminder of how much Whisky remains part of Clackmannanshire’s industrial heritage.

The Diageo coopers, continue to draw on generations of their skill, craft and experience in barrel making at this site.

best wee trips

fox boy sculpture

Nova Scotia Gardens, A91, Menstrie

Installed December 2008 | Artist Andy Scott

In the centre of Nova Scotia Gardens, sits one of the areas most intriguing sculptures. This was the first of six works by artist Andy Scott, and was designed in collaboration with the local community. This commission features a boy with a fox’s head sitting upon a water wheel.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 16.53.10

Photographer: Clacksnapper

The figure, dressed in trainers and hoodie top, reflects the local youth, and the fox’s head and tail reminds us of those local children who in years gone-by to have kept foxes as pets.

Under the right hand of the boy, is a maple leaf, a tribute to Menstrie’s connection to the colony of Nova Scotia, Canada, the buzzard, a reminder of those that are occasionally seen in the nearby woods.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 17.00.04

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Braehead Golf Club

18 holes / Par 70 / length 6053 yards

This attractive parkland course founded in 1891, has views towards the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.  The course offers a variety of holes which can challenge both the low and high handicapped golfer.

www.braeheadgolfclub.co.uk

Alloa Tower

Alloa Tower is one of the largest and finest 14th century towers of its type in Scotland, and the ancestral home of the Erskine family, the Earls of Mar and Kellie. The tower has a magnificent medieval oak-beamed roof, a dungeon and 11ft thick walls, on view are an important collection of pictures, silver and furniture which are on loan from the family’s private collection and which include work by Kneller, Raeburn and Allan.

Managed by the National Trust for Scotland, Alloa Tower is open to visitors between 1st April and 31st October. Visits outside these dates / times and costume tours can be organised by prior arrangement.

For visitor information:  www.nts.org.uk 

Alloa High Street

Formerly known as High Coalgate, the High Street is one of Alloa’s principle commercial streets. There is a mix of national retail chains, independent stores and café’s.  If you look closely, you will see some of the original architectural features and shop fronts have survives as well as the High Street Clock which has recently been restored.

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Delph Pond, Tullibody

Tullibody, Alloa, FK10 2RH

The Delph Pond is an area of natural beauty and is listed as one of 8,146 locations within the British Isles as a “Breathing Place which will inspire and motivate you to create and care for nature-friendly green spaces where you live.”

Features of the area include

  • Local pond with adjacent wildlife habitat
  • Children’s park
  • Picnic area

The pond is surrounded on three sides by residential housing. On the west side, it is bordered by a substantial woodland area, which is used for education purposes, nature walks and various events.

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The Dovecot, Sauchie

The Dovecot, also known as the Auchinbaird Windmill, was built in the 18th / early century, and was originally a mining wind-pump; it was converted to doocot when the pit closed.

Beam Engine House

Built in 1865, the Beam Engine House is the last remaining structure of what was the Devon Colliery site.   It is a tall, rectangular building of high quality, with a hipped slate roof. A Cornish Pumping Engine built by Neilson & Co was used to drain the mine shaft but only the massive cast-iron beam and pump have survived.  There are only four of these structures remaining in Scotland.

In 1993 the building was restored and converted carefully to office space by the creation of two mezzanine floors, without destroying the appearance of a tall, single space interior.

Alloa Golf Club

18 holes / Par 71 / length 6200 yards

Designed by famous course architect James Braid in 1935 on the estate of Shawpark House, this is a beautiful course set amongst 150 acres of rolling parkland with views towards the Ochil hills.

www.alloagolfclub.co.uk

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gartmorn dam

Gartmorn Rd, Sauchie, Alloa FK10 3NZ

Industry created it 

When Sir John Erskine, the sixth Earl of mar inherited the Alloa estate in 1689, many debts came with it, however the demand for coal was fast increasing and lord Mar took advantage of this by improving his mines in Sauchie to produce more coal.

Water wheels operated pumps which kept the mines free from flooding. However   Insufficient levels of water in the local burns to constantly work the pumps prompted the construction of a Dam in the then marshy hollow of Gartmorn.  The Dam was completed   in 1713.

Nature Reclaimed it 

The designation of the site of  special scientific interest and the Local Nature reserve   at Gartmorn  protect the plant life in their  nutrient rich waters and  provide a haven for the over wintering birdlife that provide a splash of colour to Gartmorn.

The woodland surrounding the water area offers a rich habitat for many species of bird’s plants and animals.

People enjoy it 

The extensive range of paths gives access to excellent views of the area and is popular with walkers and cyclists.

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Braehead Golf Club

18 holes / Par 70 / length 6053 yards

This attractive parkland course founded in 1891, has views towards the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. The course offers a variety of holes which can challenge both the low and high handicapped golfer.

www.braeheadgolfclub.co.uk

Clock Mill

Clock Mill was built in 1824 by James and George Walker from Galashields to manufacture blankets, plaids and tartan shawls. The mill was powered by both the lade and an engine house, The Mill’s gable, with clock and ball finial faces downhill towards Tillicoultry.

In 1993 the building was restored and converted carefully to office space by the creation of two mezzanine floors, without destroying the appearance of a tall, single space interior.

Alva Glen

Alva Glen is situated above the village of Alva, a carpark gives access to the formal gardens. To the north of the gardens, the path runs into a more rugged area offering views down into a steep gorge, it then passes the remnants of an old dam that supplied the textile mills. By 1830 nine mills used the fast flowing waters to drive their machines.

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wallace monument

Abbey Craig, Hillfoots Rd, Stirling FK9 5LF

Completed in 1869 | Architect J.T Rochead

The National Wallace Monument is one of Scotland’s most celebrated landmarks, and commemorates Scotland’s national hero, Sir William Wallace.

Completed in 1869, the monument was the winning design of an architectural competition to build a monument to a celebrated Scottish hero.

The_Wallace_Monument_Aerial,_Stirling-1

photographer: BusterBrownBB

The architect J.T Rochead, designed a tower 67 metres high. Set over four levels, visitors can explore the life of William Wallace, and take in the spectacular panoramic views from the ‘Crown’.

For visiting information: http://www.nationalwallacemonument.com/

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Alva Golf Club

9 holes / Par 66/Length 4,846 yards

Founded in 1901, this hillside course, set at the foot of the Ochil Hills, has fast greens and sloping fairways.

Tel: 01259 722745

Alva Glen Wood Carving

The wood carving is part of a series of installations throughout Alva Glen. The works were commissioned by the Alva Glen Heritage Trust, and includes a sensory garden, including handmade outdoor musical instruments.

Strude Mill

The most prominent building in Alva is Strude Mill, a former woollen mill, constructed in 1820, that has since been restored and converted to private flats.

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Johnstone Mausoleum

Old Kirkyard, Loan Side, Ochil Road, Alva

Completed in c1789 | Architect Robert and James Adam

The Johnstone Mausoleum was designed by Robert and James Adam for John Johnstone (1734-1795). He bought the Alva estate from James Erskine, Lord Alva, in 1775 and the mausoleum was built c1789 for the remains of his wife Caroline (d.1778) and himself. Columns of the Greek Doric order flank the entrance, supporting a triangular pediment.

It is one of only four Adam mausolea in Scotland.

Several other members of the family are buried in the original mausoleum: an unroofed eastern extension was added in the 19th century to accommodate additional burials. The mausoleum is similar to the one which John Johnstone had erected around the same time in Dumfriesshire in memory of his father, Sir James Johnstone of Westerhall.

The mausoleum has now been restored: the structure has been pointed and strengthened; the pitched roof built in the late 19th century to protect the monuments in the extension was removed and replaced by a lower pitched glass roof, allowing the memorials in both parts of the building to be viewed properly for the first time in many years; damaged railings on the eastern approach to the mausoleum have also been replaced.

The church of St Serf was rebuilt in 1632 but was abandoned in the 1980s when the congregation merged with that of the Eadie Church. It was demolished after a fire in 1985. Its ‘footprint’ and some inscribed stones from the church remain, along with some interesting early gravestones in the kirkyard. Since the demolition of St Serf’s Church, the mausoleum is the only surviving building in the kirkyard.

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Tillicoultry Golf Club

18 holes / Par 67 / Length 5,475 yards

Magnificent views, some taxing golf and fiercely proud reputation as a friendly welcoming club, a must for keen amateur and (not so amateur) golfers.

www.tillygc.co.uk

Firpark Ski Centre

Firpark Ski Centre offers a whole range of snow sport activities throughout the year on its 120m dry ski slope.

Firpark offers skiing, snowboarding and blading for people of all levels of experience, with expert tuition given by experienced instructors.

For something different they have tubing lets, which allow up to 15 people to descend the slope in tubes (similar to a large inner tube) just for fun. This activity is great fun and suitable for all age groups.

Murray Square Clock

Murry Square was one of the first bus stations in Scotland to be opened in the 1930’s, at its peak as many as 334 buses passed through the terminus each day.

The prefabricated clock was gifted to the square by Provost Thomas Murray in 1931.

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Speirs Centre

Speirs Centre, Primrose Place, Alloa, FK10 1AD

Built in 1898 | Architects John Burnet & Son

The building, designed by Glasgow Architects John Burnet & Son, opened to the public in 1898 as a gymnasium and public baths (including Turkish and Russian baths). The development was underwritten as a gift to the town by local businessman John Thomson Paton.

The building retains construction materials and styles typical to their era in Scotland, for example, the hexagonal chimney, which is the only one of its kind surviving in Scotland.

The Speirs Centre in Alloa – Image courtesy of Clackmannanshire Council

The building is named after boxer Tommy Speirs, who was born and brought up in Alloa, and was crowned Lightweight Champion of Scotland in 1933, after a successful amateur and professional boxing career.

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‘River Spirit’

Collylands Roundabout, B9140, Collylands to Fishcross | Installed – June 2011 | Artist Andy Scott

River Spirit was the first of Andy Scott’s installations within the area. At nearly 6 metres high, the statue depicts a female figure, emerging from a tree base created using a mosaic of steel flat bar segments. Her foliage hands hold high, woven steel bars in the shape of the nearby River Forth.

‘I can See For Miles’

Station Square, Alloa | Installed – May 2008 | Artist: Andy Scott

At the entrance of Alloa train Station stands the figure of a man holding a young boy aloft. This statue symbolises the regeneration of Alloa and represents the industrial past, as a town once synonymous with the textile, glass and brewing Industries.

Alloa has recently benefited from the £2 million regeneration programme ‘Imagine Alloa’ a project which has led to enhanced streetscapes, enhanced shop fronts and public art installations, making this a pleasant town to explore.

Tillicoultry Glen

Known as Mill Glen, he path borders a large quarry that supplied surfacing for paths and roads.

The fast flowing water of Tillicoultry burn once powered eight textile mills and the remains of burn side sluices and the old wooden dam can still be seen.

At the top of Tillicoultry Glen to the West of the burn there once stood a Pictish Fort. It is said that the stones of the Fortress were taken 9 miles to be added to Stirling Castle.

best wee trips

Sauchie Tower

Alloa FK10 3AN

Built around 1400’s | Architect Shaw Family

Sauchie Tower was built by the influential Shaw family around the early 1400’s. This was a vibrant home until the 1700’s which included a tower complex, an outer wall on at least two sides, a cobbled courtyard and large hall.

On the completion of a large new mansion in the 1700’s Sauchie Tower became neglected and fell into disrepair.

Now owned by the Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust, excavation work and repairs to prevent further deterioration have taken place, but funds are needed to complete this work to continue restoration and conserve the house and surrounding landscape.

At the moment Sauchie Tower is only open to visitors by special arrangement. For further information please contact Clackmannanshire Council Museum and Heritage Service – Tel: 01259 216913 or email museum@clacks.org.uk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Clackmannan Parish Church

Built in 1815, and designed by James Gillespie Graham, Clackmannan Parish Church replaced the first stone church built on the site in 1249. There have been a number of alterations over the years, but the interior retains many of its original features, including the pews and gallery.

In the kirkyard there are many good examples of late 17th to 19th century grave stones and unusual horizontal lying stones.

Dollar Museum

Dollar Museum, opened in 1988, and occupies two floors of an early 19th century woollen mill and has become a storehouse of local treasures and a marvellous resource of information. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund the museum has doubled in size and its facilities are much improved.

In the permanent displays you can learn about the history of Dollar, the Academy and the coming and going of the railway. Reference material is available in the light and airy reading room on the first floor, for family and local history research and for children doing school projects.

Three or more temporary exhibitions are mounted each year on specific subjects of local interest.

Tolbooth, Mercat Cross & Stone of Mannan

Known as Mill Glen, he path borders a large quarry that supplied surfacing for paths and roads.

The fast flowing water of Tillicoultry burn once powered eight textile mills and the remains of burn side sluices and the old wooden dam can still be seen.

At the top of Tillicoultry Glen to the West of the burn there once stood a Pictish Fort. It is said that the stones of the Fortress were taken 9 miles to be added to Stirling Castle.

best wee trips

Alloa Town Hall

Mars Hill, Alloa FK10 1AB

Completed in 1888 | Architect Alfred Waterhouse

The Town Hall is a very significant building in the history of Alloa representing the civic pride which grew with the rapid expansion following the growth of the textile industry across the area in the later 19th century. It was designed by famous Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse who is best know for his design for the Natural History Museum in London and Manchester Town Hall.

It was built in 1888 at a cost of £18,008 – £1.825million in today’s money.

P1030676 copy

The hall was donated to the town by John Thomson Paton of Norwood, director of Paton’s Alloa mills. A bust of John Thomson Paton sits in the entrance hall and this has been enhanced during the refurbishment with a new marble table top.

The hall became listed in 1972 in recognition of its national historic and architectural importance.

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Sterling Mills

In 1974, George Knowles Sr. converted a disused paper mill into a large and diverse out of town furniture store, which became at the time, the largest furniture showroom in Scotland.

This development was followed by the opening of the Sterling Mills Retail Outlet Village on land opposite, which offers quality brands at discount prices, including M & S Outlet, The Gap and Nike.

The entrance gates to the Retail Outlet Village depict the textile heritage of Tillicoultry. A number of woollen mills existed across the Hillfoot villages until the late 20th century.

www.sterlingmills.com

Castle Campbell, Dollar

Castle Campbell was built in the early 15th century, the castle is situated in the spectacular location above Dollar Glen, considered one of the most beautiful locations in Scotland. This impressive fortress was built to demonstrate the wealth and power of the Campbell family of Argyll, who had a huge influenced on politics and religion in Scotland during the medieval.

Having fallen into disrepair in the 17th century, Castle Campbell is now partially restored and under the guardianship of Historic Scotland.

Open: Year round. For opening times and ticket price visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

Woodcarving at Burnside

West Burnside, Dollar | Artist: Kerr Wishart & Rodney Holland 2006

In 2005 it was found that the old chestnut tree on the West Burnside to the south of Bridge Street was suffering from decay. It posted a threat to buildings and the community, and it was decided to cut it down. Clackmannanshire Council, and the Dollar Community Council planned to leave a large stump standing and had a competition to see if an interesting design could be found for a carving. The winner was Kerr Wishart and Rodney Holland, chainsaw carver from Moniaive in Dumfriesshire was engaged to carry out the works. Several designs can be seen around the stump.

Clackmannan Tower

Clackmannan Tower stands on King’s Seat Hill, a dramatic site overlooking the Forth valley. There may have been a royal residence here in the reign of Malcolm IV (1053-65), but what we see today was built by David II in 1359. The earliest part of the tower was probably built c1360, but was modified a number of times over the centuries.

Clackmannan Tower has been in the guardianship of what is now Historic Scotland since the 1950s. Subsidence had caused major structural collapse in 1948. Historic Scotland has undertaken extensive repairs and is committed to increasing public access in the next few years.

At the moment the tower is only open to visitors by special arrangement. For further information please contact Historic Scotland – Tel: 01786 450000 or visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

‘Lifeline’

Shillinghill Roundabout, Alloa | Installed – April 2011 | Artist: Andy Scott

‘Lifeline’ is the most recent of artist Andy Scott’s work to be installed. Located in the centre of Alloa, it pays tribute to the emergency services. At just under eight metres high, this is the largest of the works in the area, and takes the shape of a giant hand, taken from the gauntlet on Clackmannanshire’s coat of arms, and supports the figures of a woman and child.

The work also features the words of renowned Scottish poet Jim Carruth’ Life-line Reach Out Hold Close Cradle Cushion Shelter Protect Support Lift Up’

“I asked Jim to be involved once I had been asked to create the artwork and had developed the basic theme and narrative I was trying to capture. Jim and I discussed the concept therein and created a simple but very effective piece of text. This was then laser cut from steel plates and the actual words are