Callander is a bustling tourist town situated on the River Teith and A84, west of Stirling, and gives visitors travelling north their first taste of the Highlands. It is set dramatically beneath high, wooded crags, and gained fame as the location for the original Doctor Findlay’s Casebook television series.
Being a busy town, there’s plenty of shops to delve into and tasty options for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or an evening meal. Cycle hire is available if you fancy exploring the area by pedal power with good quality cycle paths nearby. If you need any help, the VisitScotland iCentre is on hand on the high street.
Callander’s Pass, formed during the last ice age, is a prominent and distinctive landscape feature that has dominated Callander’s history. The Pass is a gateway between lowland and highland Scotland and through the ages has provided a physical backdrop to arguably some of Scotland’s most colourful stories in history.
Callander and its surrounding area are steeped in history, interesting geological features – clan burial grounds, Iron Age hill forts, glacial erratics, Neolithic burial cairns and more, and all can be discovered on foot or bike.
The Roman Army was based in Callander, strategically positioned beneath Callander’s Pass – a glen blocker to defend the Roman Empire. The Roman and prehistoric sites at Callander are scheduled as being of national importance. The fort is unique in the Park as still having upstanding visible remains, which makes it important for both locals and visitors, including international interest.
Callander still retains its original street plan dated to 1739 and much of its historical character, being designated as a Conservation Area. The town is characterised by tightly packed, gable to gable rows of houses and hotels set hard onto the heel of the pavement on each side of the street, generally one to two storeys high – this is echoed in streets behind.
In Victorian Times Callander boomed as a tourist destination off the back of the Romantic Movement, with poets and writers promoting the landscape surrounding Callander. Today, Callander has a pro-active community with a wide range of groups, societies and businesses who are working together to offer more to those who visit and live in the town.
To find out about the fascinating geology of its area, read the ‘Stories in the Landscape Geodiversity Trail’ leaflet.
There are a number of popular walks in the area for visitors to explore. The beautiful Bracklinn Falls and the River Keltie have mesmerised people for generations, to the west footpaths and cycle tracks follow the old Callander to Oban railway, and from the summit of the Callander Crags there are spectacular sweeping views over the town of Callander and beyond, to Stirling and the Forth Estuary.
Find out more about the routes here.
Europe’s largest burial cairn lies largely unknown on the edge of the town, surrounded by countless smaller versions which we believe may hold the secrets of prehistory’s first religious rituals.