Sometimes you plan a day off for some point in the future with obviously no idea what the weather will be, and when it turns out to be glorious sunshine (even if really cold) – it’s just brilliant. Such an unexpected bonus. Or perhaps it’s the unexpectantly good weather and the combination of taking photos, hiking, eating cake, drinking tea and spending some much needed time with my other half who loves to take a dip in remote places. Think it’s a good combo of all the above. Either way this little day out with various activities will surely suit those that like the outdoors.
Below I’m going to outline what is a great wee walk and other items that will work well with a group of people (or just one). Something for those that are after a quick outing, and some fresh air without the need to travels miles into the highlands of Scotland which can take a whole day – if you’re normally located in the central belt of Scotland.
The whole day included a short walk, then a swim (not for me though 😁📷 – cameramen don’t swim!), a bit more of a walk/hike, beautiful views, more walking and finally a short drive to an awesome tea room.
Firstly if you do plan on heading to Lossburn Reservoir, then Google maps may well advise you to use the below highlighted road depending where you are coming from. If you have an aversion to reversing or using exceedingly tight single track roads – DO NOT USE THIS ROAD.
There are warning signs on the entrance to both parts, and to give you an idea, I learned to drive in the highlands on single track roads and driven many miles on them. Yet this track will give you the fear of meeting some other vehicle. What are you going to do? Unless are in a 4X4 then you’re in trouble as there as almost no passing places on the whole section, and those that are there, well they look like the kind of passing place that will trap your basic car and suck you into the verge. Not mention there was ice on the road when I was on it, at those bits where the road was particularly steep. So I definitely didn’t want to reverse down a hairpin bend with ice going over the road, just to reach a place where two vehicles could pass!
So do take the longer route round the back of Stirling Uni. Sure this is also single track, but it’s 100 times better than having to reverse half a mile down this rather narrow track just because you met another car.
Where is Lossburn Reservoir
Lossburn reservoir is just north of Bridge of Allan, not to far from the university of Stirling. It’s not a massive reservoir, but more than big enough for a good swim, it’s around 1 Km from the road, where you can easily park 3 to 5 cars. We did find that we were first there at around 9:45am, and when we left shortly after 2pm there were 3 other vehicles and a good few walkers on the road. So the area seemed busy, but almost no one was venturing down this track.
Think most people parked south of the below route, in an area where you park to then walk up Dumyat directly. Passing that on the way back, and it was packed with around 20-30 cars. Very busy! So most people don’t venture up to this area.
Click on the map to open up a full map to give you much better idea on it’s location. After you park and gather your gear, a very short walk down a forest track (no forest yet), you’ll come to a new dear fence and gate. It’s here where you wish stop and head down to the water. There isn’t a stile, but if you walk between the new deer fence and the old fence then there is a bit with no barbed wire and the posts are very sturdy. Very easy to climb over.
Head down to the water, cross a very small stream and as you’ll see there is a nice area to set your gear out and go for a swim.
The reservoir is sheltered from the wind due to it’s position with the hills (it was on the day we went) which for those swimming is incredibly good. Wind chill on a frosty morning could make it hard, but today once out of the water, you could just lie back, relax, listen to the water while gathering some rays and warmth from the sun.
It was late March, but I still managed to get sunburnt! Bonkers. Expected really cold weather (which it was, sort of, but I needed a sun hat rather than a woolly hat!).
The reservoir itself was a little stony underfoot, but the water was very clean and clear – even though it was obviously peaty in colour. The area we set our gear down on was smooth, not muddy or too wet and quite grassy. So walking around in bare feet was comfortable – just watch out for small thorny plants.
Dumyat, is normally climbed via the path to its west side, but seeing as we were so close it made sense to hike from its north side, even if there isn’t a path as such. Hiking boots were on, and once you get back onto the path from leaving the reservoir it’s roughly a walk of 750m until you need to leave the forest track. You can then follow a slightly boggy path up the hill. If the weather is kind to you, you will see a new deer fence/gate which I’m guessing is around 300m up the hill. Aim to head through that. It’s not a bad path – but it is boggy/wet in places. So trainers will not cut it.
Shown below is the view coming down. You can see the parking spot on the left area circled, and I’ve circled the approx. area where you climb a small fence to access the reservoir (blue circle). When coming down the hill you follow the red arrow to the main forest track and back to your car.
Dumyat is 418m high, and as you start at around 225m, it will take you a very small amount of time to get to the top. Once your there (weather permitting), you will be able to see for miles around. Campsie fells to the south west and Falkirk/Grangemouth to the south east, with the Forth shimmering away as it meanders through the landscape that it has carved for itself.
Tea and Cake!!!
So you’ve expended a fairly large amount of calories doing your swim and hike, what better way to end the day but with some homemade food!
Well, not too far away we found a tea room called Another Tilly Tea Room. It’s a small, well run little tea room. We arrived after 2:30pm, and it was still very busy – so if you do know when you’ll be there, phone and book in advance. Get yourself a choice of fresh soup, toasties, sandwiches and more importantly CAKE! Homemade cake and puddings with a fresh cup of tea really hits the spot after a day out in the countryside.
Really couldn’t ask for anything more for a day trip.
For those that like wild swimming – here is another great location to try out.
Wide range of scenic photos can be downloaded/purchased from my gallery.