Looking towards Loch Venachar, June 2019, 7:30am!
Ben Gullipen is a great little viewpoint at the edge of the Trossachs that tends to go unnoticed. If you’re anywhere between Kippen and Callander, look towards Ben Ledi and there’s a lower hill with phone masts on it. Bingo, that’s Ben Gullipen.
We’ve been up a few times, including on Ledi’s birthday in 2018. We also did it early one morning last summer so that we were up top by half seven before it got too hot – that’s when this main shot was taken.
On his 8th birthday
At the summit, you need to walk past the phone masts and hop over a very unstable-looking stile, which tends to be surrounded by very boggy mud. Not to worry, you can wipe your boots and paws on the heather over the other side.
You get a great view of wee Lochan Balloch, Loch Venachar and Ben Ledi, then if you peer to the north, you can glimpse Loch Lubnaig. Peer to the west and just past the end of Loch Venachar you can see the edge of Loch Achray, with Ben Venue above it. Gorgeous!
Loch Venachar with Loch Achray beyond and Ben Venue behind, to the left
Top: April 2018 / Bottom: June 2019
You can access the walk via Cock Hill from Callander, by the Invertrossachs roundabout, but I always park in a lay-by on the A81 and head up via the gated forest track – we always take the quickest route where walking uphill is concerned! I’m considering the hound, of course: whippets are built for speed, not distance 😉
Getting there: From Stirling, take the A84 towards Doune and Callander. At Blairlogie, fork left onto the A873, signed Aberfoyle, Port of Menteith and Thornhill. At the end of Thornhill village, turn right on the B822 towards Callander and continue for around 6km, until you come to a junction. Turn left on the A81, signed Glasgow and Aberfoyle. The lay-by is around 2km on the left.
Sat Nav: FK17 8JJ
OS Landranger map: 57 STIRLING & THE TROSSACHS
Terrain: Forest track, heather at summit. Good pair of walking boots.
Nearest facilities: In Callander - I like the Mhor Bread tearoom. (And the Mhor Fish restaurant & takeaway down the other end of the main street does great fish & chips with fab mushy peas and home-made tartare sauce!)
All maps in the blog are from Google Maps