Sunday, March 21, 2010


Menstrie, the second of the 'Hillfoots' villages along the road from Stirling to Perth, is dominated today by a huge whisky plant, acres of bonded warehouses and regimented rows of barrack like housing. There is little at Menstrie to encourage a visitor to linger but the village is not entirely devoid of attractions, first among which is the stunning scenic walking to be had in the hills to the north of the town. I spent this afternoon strolling paths following the west side of Menstrie glen to the Lossburn Reservoir, 900' above the village. From there I descended on paths to the east of Menstrie Burn. On the slopes a number of ruined buildings and clearly visible remains of long forgotten fields and their boundaries are evidence of comparatively intensive mixed farming having been practised there in the past. By the mid 18th century there were about 22 farms being worked along the glen but thereafter the farms were enclosed and the land returned to sheep grazing.
The paths were good as were the footbridges over several tributary burns that cascade down the hillside into Menstrie burn. There were spectacular views to the south, over the Forth valley towards the Kincardine and, in the far distance, the Forth bridges.
Late 16th century Menstrie Castle, (A large house rather than a castle.) birthplace of Sir William Alexander, founder of Nova Scotia, is another of Menstrie's attractions.

No comments: