History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Historic Castle Campbell stands on one side of the glen
A narrow wooded glen stretches up from the village of Dollar to the Ochil Hills. Walking trails lead through the glen, along a pair of streams known as the Burn of Sorrow and the Burn of Care, which join below Castle Campbell, the seat of the Earls of Argyll, to create Dollar Burn.
The burns create a constant backdrop sound of running water throughout the glen, especially when they drop through a series of picturesque waterfalls.
There are several viewpoints with benches, giving excellent views down the glen and across the nearby countryside. At the top of the Burn of Sorrow is a viewpoint overlooking Sochie Falls, though the falls can be difficult to see clearly if the vegetation is high.
Past the falls is King's Seat Hill, where another viewpoint looks almost straight down the glen towards Dollar. Below the castle is John Knox's Pulpit, a viewpoint projecting out over a steep-sided section of the Burn of Sorrow.
Dollar Glen has been named a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its geology and variety of plant and animal life. The gorge was cut by flowing water from the underlying hard volcanic rock.
The damp, sheltered conditions have created a perfect environment for over 100 varieties of moss and almost 200 species of lichen. Dense growths of oak create a canopy under which ferns flourish. Among the animals and birds you might see are barn owls, hedgehogs, long-eared bats, great spotted woodpeckers, and pied flycatchers.
The trail up the glen begins next to the Dollar Museum, where an information panel describes the main walking trails. Or you can start at Castle Campbell (well worth a visit!). The path is steep in places, and can definitely be slippery after rain, so please do wear good waterproof footwear! As an alternative, park at the Quarry car park on Castle road (partway up the lane leading to Castle Campbell). A signed path joins the main trails from the car park.
'Castle Gloom', as it is sometimes evocatively called, rises on the east side of the glen. The 15th-century fortress, now in the care of Historic Scotland, is set in superb terraced gardens with magnificent views out over the glen and down to Dollar itself on the valley floor. The Campbells supported the English in the Covenanting wars, and in retaliation, the Marquis of Montrose destroyed the castle and the village as well.
The village recovered, to become a centre for mining and iron manufacture, but the castle languished into a romantic ruin. The burns were used to provide power to grain and textile mills. The hills above the castle are dotted with ancient sites, including a Bronze Age burial mound and Neolithic standing stones.
If you are feeling energetic, the circular walk through the glen joins a trail to Glendevon just past Castle Campbell.
A complete circuit of the circular path through the glen is 1.75 miles and takes roughly 1 hour 30 minutes (more if you visit the castle, which I highly recommend).
About Dollar Glen
Address: Dollar, Tayside, Scotland, FK14 7PP
Attraction Type: Countryside
Location: From Castle Campbell parking area on Castle Road, from the Dollar Museum, or the Quarry car park part way up Castle Road. Open at any time.
Website: Dollar Glen
National Trust for Scotland
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Castle Campbell - 0.2 miles (Castle)
Clackmannan Tower - 5.6 miles (Historic Building)
Alloa Tower - 6.1 miles (Historic House)
The Dunmore Pineapple - 8 miles (Garden)
Culross Abbey - 8.1 miles (Abbey)
Culross Palace and Royal Burgh - 8.3 miles (Museum)
Auchterarder Old Church Tower - 8.7 miles (Historic Church)
Tullibardine Chapel - 9.5 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Dollar Glen: