Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities
Angling & Fishing

The River Teith is well stocked in sea trout, salmon and brown trout.

Doune Angling Club is a club open to residents living within the vicinity of Doune.

The river was famous for River Lamprey and pearls. Loch Mahaick has perch and pike, but is privately owned. Lanrick Estate, Loch Rusky and Lake of Menteith also have licensed angling.

Bird Watching

Doune and the surrounding area is littered with bird watching huts. Birds you may be lucky enough to see include Red Kites, Peregrine, Kestrel, Buzzards, Sparrow Hawks and Hen Harriers as well as a wide variety of smaller birds.

Argaty Red Kites
Just a couple of miles north of Doune the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage have reintroduced the Red Kite and the Argaty Red Kite Centre at Lerrocks Farm is central Scotland’s only Red Kite feeding station.

Visitors can watch these exciting birds in flight, enjoy the countryside and learn how farming and wildlife conservation can work hand-in-hand.

The population of Red Kites is still small and extremely vulnerable but it is expanding steadily. The birds can be seen all year around. In the October to March period the young ones are particularly gregarious.

From the Argaty Red Kite Centre there is a walk of about 500m on a gently sloping, winding path up to an hide which has 360 degree views. The hide will hold about 30 people. Both path and hide are suitable for people of all abilities to access.

Doune Ponds Nature Reserve
Doune Ponds Nature Reserve is a well regarded and regularly used reclaimed sand and gravel quarry of about 40 acres in size. (Grid reference NN724022). There is a broad diversity of habitat types and it has varied soil types, a water table close to the surface and a large variety of Flora and Fauna. It has been managed for wildlife conservation, birds, fungi and for the recreational needs of local people. The site has been split up into different sections. It has three large ponds surrounded mainly by native regenerating Birch trees, Sallow, Osier and Willow. The large central pond has resident ducks, swans and many other varieties of migrating breeding birds.

The reserve is important for Fungi with over 300 species recorded including some rare ones. The regeneration of scrub and wetland plants has encouraged a wide range of invertebrates to colonise the site. Small mammals are present and attract Stoats, Foxes and Kestrels. There is also a small population of Red Squirrels.

There are footpaths through and round the area, most of which are surfaced, some are wheelchair accessible. A circular self guided nature trail exists around the central and west ponds and woodland. Visitor facilities such as hides, interpretation boards, picnic tables and benches are in place. Doune Ponds has its own car park beside the site.

Classic Road Tours

Doune and Deanston provide an excellent base for touring. There are numerous routes from Doune for cycling enthusiasts or those looking for a nice day out in the car. They run on some of the quietest roads and take in some of the finest scenery in the region as the plains of central Scotland start to meet the mountains of the north.

If you discover your own route and want to share it with others, why not email the details to info@doune.co and we can feature it on the website.

North West Circular
70 miles
(Callander – Strathyre – Lochearnhead – Loch Earn – Comrie – Braco)

North East Straight
60 miles
(Dunblane – Kinbuck – Strathallan – Braco – Crieff – Gleneagles – Perth)
(Not suitable for cyclists)

East Circular
60 miles
(Bridge of Allan – Sheriffmuir – Blackford – Glendevon – Dollar – Airth – Stirling)

West Circular
40 miles
(Callander – Aberfoyle – Brig O’turk – Gartmore – Buchlyvie – Port of Menteith)

Cycling

The National Cycle Route 765 (with proposed links to NCN 7), quiet back-roads and extensive tracks in and around Doune and Deanston make the area excellent for cycling. Numerous family-friendly off-road loops are complimented by longer routes for those more dedicated.

Many visitors on road tours, as well as racing and mountain bike enthusiasts, use the Teith Bridge as a pivotal starting point for accessing the whole of the Forth Valley as well as a gateway to the Trossachs national park.

Doune and Deanston provide a perfect start-point for a series of Cycle road tours and the best may be the East Circular Three Glens Mountain Bike Ride which takes in Argaty, Kilbryde, the Darn Walk and the Carse of Lecropt. It will take experienced riders a few hours and offers families with a range options and activities along the way.

For more information look at the local Cycling Circles Community Club.

Finally, for all you locals, why not try active commuting to Dunblane railway station on your bike via the Old Railway Line and newly surfaced path via Dunblane High School?

It’s only three miles and helps you avoid the sometimes busy main road.  It could benefit your health and, perhaps, your pocket!

Sailing & Powered

Several lochs nearby have sailing: Loch Ard, Loch Earn, Loch Lomond and Loch Tay are just some – Loch Ard and Loch Venachar sailing clubs are the nearest.

Waterski, jetski and motorboat facilities are available on Loch Tay and Loch Lomond.

Walking

There’s a wide variety of beautiful walking routes from Doune with everything from a one hours stroll after dinner to extended walks that can take you a whole day.

The Doune Ponds nature reserve offers a quiet locale within a few minutes walk of the village centre. The old railway line path can take you to Dunblane or you can follow the sign-posted Doune Trail. From Deanston the mill lade is of historical interest and takes in a fine view of old Kilmadock cemetery accessed from the north side of the Teith Bridge.

A colourful leaflet with six easy-to-follow routes opens up the area to visitors or new explorers alike. You can download a copy here or pop into the Doune Information and Heritage Centre on Main Street to pick up a free copy.

A local walking group organises monthly interesting walks. Check out the what’s on diary to see when the next one is on (usually Saturdays)

Mary Queen of Scots Way (new East West long distance walk)
This 104 mile walk takes between 6 to 10 days and comes through Doune. The first 31 miles will take you from Arrochar to Callander, which is where we pick some details of the route.

Summary

The 12 miles to Dunblane, via Doune is an easy gradient with varied and pleaseant scenary using mainly cycle paths, forest tracks, country lanes and riverside paths.
Travel south from Callander to Burn of Cambus for 6 miles, then walk 2.5 miles into Doune finishing with another 3 miles to Dunblane.

Details
Follow the old railway line in Callander, coming off and rejoining it at the end of Livingstone avenue. Passing Drumdhu wood will bring you to Kelti bridge. Passing Drumavich wood you will descend beside Broken tree wood down to the Annet bridge into Burn of Cambus. Here you need to cross the A84 to go to old Kilmadock cemetry where you will walk allong the banks of the river Teith, crossing the Teith bridge to Doune Castle. From the castle you can walk back into Doune for local services, the information centre and refreshments. At the far end of Moray park the old railway line begins again taking you to Argaty junction where you will cross the A820 onto the old Doune road. Passing Greenyards farm you will cross a footbridge across the M9 towards Dunblane high school. You can then decide to turn right via Baxters loan to go towards Bridge of Allan or go straight down the hill into Dunblane.
The Mary Queen of Scots way continues via Bridge of Allan to Tillicoultry and onwards to St Andrews for another 59 miles. Good luck!

Doune Ponds Nature Reserve
Doune Ponds Nature Reserve is a well regarded and regularly used reclaimed sand and gravel quarry of about 40 acres in size. (Grid reference NN724022). There is a broad diversity of habitat types and it has varied soil types, a water table close to the surface and a large variety of Flora and Fauna. It has been managed for wildlife conservation, birds, fungi and for the recreational needs of local people. The site has been split up into different sections. It has three large ponds surrounded mainly by native regenerating Birch trees, Sallow, Osier and Willow. The large central pond has resident ducks, swans and many other varieties of migrating breeding birds.

“Kate’s Corner” is a section, named after a local Stirling Conservation Volunteer, Kate Jessup who died in 1993. Kate with other volunteers did practical conservation work within the reserve for many years. This section was being managed as a coppice, with a variety of trees such as Hazel, Alder, Rowan and Willow.

The reserve is important for Fungi with over 300 species recorded including some rare ones. The regeneration of scrub and wetland plants has encouraged a wide range of invertebrates to colonise the site. Small mammals are present and attract Stoats, Foxes and Kestrels. There is also a small population of Red Squirrels.

There are footpaths through and round the area, most of which are surfaced, some are wheelchair accessible. A circular self guided nature trail exists around the central and west ponds and woodland. Visitor facilities such as hides, interpretation boards, picnic tables and benches are in place. Doune Ponds has its own car park beside the site.

The Doune fairs were held near here from the 17th century where trading was concluded at the Gold stone, a Bronze age standing stone (made of Schist, left by a melting ice sheet) now sited near the Doune ponds entrance. A Bronze Age stone burial cist dated to 1800 B.C. was found in 1954 during a nearby excavation.

Water Sports

There is plenty of water around Doune and Deanston for recreational use.

The River Teith runs for some 8 miles from Callander and is about 30 yards wide at Doune. A number of burns exist including Ardoch, Annat, Keltie, Argaty and Dragon to mention just a few.

There is also an array of beautiful lochs a short drive away including Loch Venachar and Loch Ard which have sailing clubs and Loch Katrine which runs seasonal boat tours.

You can canoe and kayak down the Teith from Torrie to the Teith Bridge. This can be accessed from the old Doune to Callander road (on the south side of the river). You can also canoe and kayak further north in Loch Venacher or Loch Earn.
In bygone days there was a unique water sport called ‘Doune Dooking’ which involved a person who had committed a misdemeanour or crime being tied and dipped in the water until they repented, whilst singing the Doune Dooker’s song. This ‘sport’ no longer continues and is not recommended!