Lawers dam and Lochan-na-Lairige reservoir, February 2022
This fab little route through Glen Lyon and the Ben Lawers nature reserve has a fairly remote starting point, about 15km/9.5 miles west of Aberfeldy, just outside the historic hamlet of Fortingall. That’s where the road forks and you can head left to Fearnan on the banks of Loch Tay, or right towards Bridge of Balgie and into Glen Lyon. Right is the one you want!
Just a kilometer down the road, you get your first rather striking view of the River Lyon. As long as it’s quiet on the road, you can pull over, hump the car in a rough, unofficial passing point on the bend and scamper back to get a photo.
About 4km further on, keep an eye out for the old Roman Bridge (as it’s known locally) on the other side of the river, which was used as a packhorse crossing – although ‘Roman’ is a bit of a stretch, as it probably only dates back to the 1600s!
As you travel through the glen, the scenery is really very lovely, but with the snow clouds coming and going on this latest trip, it was tricky to get any shots that really captured it properly. So here are a just a few little features:
When you get to Innerwick, it’s worth parking up and hopping out to take a look at Glenlyon Church, and the First World War Memorial. There’s also a parking area just around the corner by the sign for the Meggernie Estate, if you fancy a longer walk.
When you come to Bridge of Balgie, you can carry on down the glen to the Lubreoch Dam at the end or hang a left and head up to the Ben Lawers national nature reserve, with the Lawers dam and Lochan-na-Lairige reservoir. On our next visit, which I'll aim to make on a sunnier day, we'll finish the whole length of the glen, but not this time.
The single-track road up to the dam is a lovely drive, with moorland banked by mountains and the Allt Bail a Mhuilinn burn running in a series of mini-waterfalls to the right-hand side of the road.
Looking back across to the other side of Glen Lyon, February 2022
The burn in May 2015
The reservoir and dam are impressive from any angle, and look fabulous in the snow 😊
February 2022 & November 2015
Delighted with the weather in 2016.....not so much in 2022!
Icicles in 2016
I’m kind of disgusted with myself that we haven’t climbed Ben Lawers yet, as the views from the top look fab. Maybe this summer…
Loch Tay from the road leaving Ben Lawers, May 2015
As you head back towards Callander, it’s worth stopping in Killin to have a gawp at the Falls of Dochart, which are truly impressive at any time of the year, but probably best seen when it's drier, so the gushing doesn’t obscure all the rocks and you can clamber down among the rivulets without fear of slipping or being washed away!
Getting there: From Aberfeldy, take the B846 towards Kinloch Rannoch. After around 9km, take the turning left signed Fortingall and Fearnan, then just through Fortingall, branch right signed Glen Lyon.
From Stirling, follow the A84 to Callander. From there, stay on the A84, which becomes the A85 at Lochearnhead. After around 5 miles, turn right to Killin, A827. Carry on out of the village, heading towards Kenmore and after around 4 miles, take the steep turn left, signed Bridge of Balgie & Ben Lawers. The car park is a couple of miles up the hill, on the left.
Sat Nav: Fortingall: PH15 2NQ / Lawers dam: FK21 8TY
OS Landranger map: 51 LOCH TAY & GLEN DOCHART
OS Explorer map: OL48 BEN LAWERS & GLEN LYON
Terrain: If you stick to the road, sturdy shoes will do, but I recommend walking boots, in case you have to scamper after the pooch or fancy a clamber uphill for some better views.
Nearest facilities: Killin. Lots of places to grab a bite. The Killin Hotel is dog friendly and has a dining conservatory overlooking the river.