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Ben Cleuch (721m), Ochil Hills, Scotland


This is a relatively easy half-day hillwalk, to the highest of the Ochil Hills. These are the grassy rounded hills that rise up steeply from the Forth Valley, providing a striking backdrop to the west of Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument for those travelling by rail or road from Glasgow to Perth.  They provide a rewarding hiking trip, especially from the Hillfoots towns of Clackmannanshire. There are no significant difficulties on the walk, and this is one of the driest parts of Scotland so there’s a good chance of a clear view – sometimes made more spectacular by morning mist in the valley below.


  • The most memorable aspect of this walk, was seeing Frances climbing a big hill for the first time
  • The best moments were the dramatic views over the Forth valley
  • The worst part of the walk, was the strong gusty wind on top
  • The funniest moment was when Frances started doing some cartwheels after she’d conquered the summit
  • A word of warning – take care on the grassy descent – these hills have steep faces down to the south.

Read the full story with lots of photos

Contributed by: Andrew Llanwarne

more Ben Cleuch summit photos by Bill Cook

new Ben Cleuch photo submitted by new member Overture

Heading down to Alva

Heading down towards Alva

Key Facts

Location Ochil Hills, from Tillicoultry or Alva, near Stirling
When it was walked 3 July 2005
Walk type Easy hill and country walk (with some strenuous climbing and steep descent)
Difficulty Suitable for anyone of moderate fitness with sturdy footwear. 
Distance approx 8 miles (13 km) approx
Time taken approx 4 hours with plenty of breaks
Map used if any Ordnance Survey 1.50,000 Landranger map, sheet 58  
Source of info on walk Already known  
Getting there Car from Dundee. 
Places to stay A number of hotels and guest houses in Stirling and the local towns
Places to eat/ buy food

Shops, cafes and pubs in Tillicoultry and Alva, and the Woolpack Inn at Tillicoultry for a pint afterwards.