Sunday, 13 May 2012
Callander.Doune Castle.Deanston.An Easy But Interesting Outing
A week or so before the trip to Rum a lovely forecast was predicted for Sunday.Out came the maps and an hour went by the night before, looking for somewhere to go.One area that stood out on the Stirling and the Trossachs Map Sheet 57 was a bike ride I,d only done once as part of a longer epic day when I,d zoomed though the first few places at speed without stopping, intent on eating up the miles.They had struck me as interesting places to spend more time in though so I,d always planned to return.Scotland has so many wonderful areas to visit though and time passes and you soon forget.....................................So... Ten Years Later..... :o )
This time I wanted to take it easy and stop whenever I spotted a good photo or point of interest on route.
Ten years ago I,d raced through here on the bypass road without stopping.Now I had my explorers head on and cycled into the town centre.Most people know Callander well as its a tourist hot spot popular with coaches and cars.
Doune by comparison is less well known but it has much to offer the visitor.By bike, car or foot.The tourist information centre is halfway down the main street.( 9.00am til 4.00 pm opening )
Doune itself has several interesting old buildings and looked a nice wee place.I stepped into the information centre to get a map of the local trails and was out again shortly, having been told there was a red kite feeding session just about to start.At half past two.
Although I knew they had been reintroduced into Scotland since the 1990s from Mid Wales where they had clung on in pockets I,d never seen one.
Argaty was where it was taking place,only a few kilometers from Doune up a minor farm road. I jumped back in the saddle for a wheezing full pelt race uphill thinking to myself I,d never make it in time.
Sure enough, after a hopeful lunch break to stuff food into myself, there were half a dozen right above the hide.Beautiful birds of prey and a real treat for £4 pounds. A real privilege to watch them wheel and glide effortlessly on the thermals. I suppose they are the northern European version of a vulture. Great to see them back. May be a common sight again one day all over Scotland.
It was certainly worth the effort to get up here.
A water filled lade and cherry trees make it a nice place to cycle through and the heady smell of the "angels share" as you pass by the open windows of the distillery makes heavy breathing good fun. I had a spring in my step as I followed this quiet minor road though open countryside. It's one of my favourite B roads (B8032) as there is normally very little traffic on it. (only two cars in nine kilometers of cycling).
Anyone wishing a longer version of this tour can add in minor roads past Gargunnock, Kippen Thornhill or Port of Menteith but I was happy with my half day easy adventure.What,s not to like? A great way to pass 3 to 5 hours on a bike or car journey.