Wood Hill, as its name suggests, is the tree clad hill between Alva and Tillicoultry. It makes a good ascent/descent route to Ben Cleuch the highest point of the Ochils, but is also worthy as a shorter walk in its own right. This circular route ascends the hill from the Tillicoultry side, then descends towards Alva, returning to Tillicoultry via the lovely Ochil Hills Woodland Park.
Distance: 7.5 km / 4.8 miles
Ascent: 630 m / 2000 feet
Start / finish: Upper Mill Street, Tillicoultry. The car park in the woodland park provides an alternative start point.
Facilities: on street parking at the start, refreshments at the Woolpack Inn.
Other walks in the area:
Start the walk from Upper Mill Street in Tillicoultry beside the burn, where there is adequate on street parking.
Follow the Tillicoultry Glen (Mill Glen) path starting at the bridge on the east side of the burn. The Glen is a steep sided gorge with tumbling waterfalls and cascades, and makes a excellent start to the walk. The path will criss cross the burn on bridges a number of times. After the 5th crossing you reach an obvious path junction on the west side of the burn, take the left hand option up the slope and through a gate.
An alternative route to reach this point uses the Mill Glen east path on the hillside above the glen. From the top of Upper Mill Street, follow the track to the right (signed as a public path) turning left up stone steps. Follow the path steeply up the hill keeping left at junctions (so that you are on The Law path not the Blackford path). The path descends towards the confluence of the Daiglen and Gannel Burns where you need to keep left, turn back on yourself and go down into the glen to reach a bridge. Cross the burn and follow the path south to reach the point described above (don’t recross to the east side of the burn).
Beyond the gate a grassy path takes you out on to the open hillside southwards towards the quarry. You can either follow this path to the edge of the quarry (fenced off) or use one of the short cut paths that have formed on the hillside. Whichever way you go you will join a wider grass track where you need to turn right at a cairn. This track now takes you up on to the slopes of Wood Hill where it turns in a north westerly direction still gaining height. As you ascend, the deep gash that splits the hill between Alva and Tillicoultry is very prominent ahead of you. After passing the highest point of 558m the path will meet a fence which is soon crossed using a broken stile.
After crossing the fence turn south and go through a wooden gate. Once through the gate don’t follow the obvious path alongside the fence but bear south west away from the fence. A grassy “ravine” soon bars your way. You can either go down and back up the steep sides or follow the path around it to the right. Once across the ravine the path then goes south towards Wood Hill. The main path detours around the western side of Wood Hill so you need to leave it to head for the 525m summit.
From the summit either retrace your steps back to the path or descend directly down the slope south west to rejoin the path at an old wall. The descent path from Wood Hill now follows the old grassy wall down the hill. The descent is quite steep on a grass path but is straight forward enough and soon you will be passing the old pine trees of Wood Hill.
Lower down the hill you pass through a gate into an area of mature woodland which is part of the Ochils Woodland Park. The path continues downhill through the trees and bracken to join another wider path where you turn left. This pleasant path (the upper walk) now takes you through the woodland park (previously the grounds of Alva House) back to Tillicoultry.
After about a mile the path will zig-zag down the hill to join a lower path where you go left. As the path reaches the end of the woods keep to your right to go downhill slightly, to join the main track through the woods. Exit the woods on this path with a golf course on your right hand side. After about 600m the path joins a tarmac road where you turn right down hill. Turn left at the first junction following an arrow marker post, then turn right past a few houses to reach a bridge over the burn back to your start point.
View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.
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