Kirsty Thomson: Social Media and Digital Marketing Assistant
Central Scotland has many beautiful walking routes. Clackmannanshire is Scotland’s smallest county with the Ochil Hills as its backdrop. With its extensive mining history, much of the area’s heritage is visible to see when exploring on foot. One of Central Scotland’s hidden gems is Gartmorn Dam in Clackmannanshire. Built in the early 18th Century the reservoir is surrounded by a beautiful 370 acre Nature Reserve and Country Park which is home to a diverse range of wildlife. You may be lucky enough to spot woodpeckers, roe deer, red squirrels and in winter, migratory wildfowl.
Gartmorn Dam has incredible views and is the ideal spot to get away from everyday stresses with a relaxing walk in the fresh air to take in the scenery or spot wildlife. The dam and country park have a lot to offer those who are looking for a pleasant and tranquil visit. The loop trail around the dam is 4.8 kilometres and is a suitable walk for all skill levels. It is also the ideal place to enjoy cycling or a morning run.
Particularly in the summer months, you are likely to see horse riders and the occasional paddle boarder making use of such a beautiful park right on their doorstep. Why not take your camera and try some nature photography? Many birds stay at the dam all year round so it’s ideal for photography and bird spotting. For experienced horse riders who may want to enjoy the scenery of the dam at a faster pace, why not book a hack round the dam with one of our local riding schools! For those of us who enjoy group walks with like minded people, there are local walking clubs such as the Clackmannanshire Ramblers. Countryside rangers are at these organised walks to chat about the natural and historical heritage of the site.
If you fancy a bite to eat, Dam Good Coffee is a spot worth visiting. A cosy little cafe on site at the dam with views over the water. With inside and outside seating plus a takeaway kiosk, it’s the ideal place for lunch. Perfect for homemade soup or a toasty with in-house baking for afters! Delicious, and with daily specials it's well worth popping in. Alternatively, benches by the side of the dam make for an ideal picnic spot for a relaxed lunch.
What are some of your favourite walks in Scotland?