Walk: Ballagan Glen - 192 layers of history

Stirling | Campsie Fells | Short walk | ★★
⚠ Route reported as impassable - see red text below

[Ballagan Beds]

Ballagan Glen is home to a series of tremendous waterfalls, including where the Spout of Ballagan plunges 21 metres off the Campsie Fells escarpment. The gorge below displays 192 alternating shale and limestone rock strata known as the Ballagan Beds. Unfortunately this nature reserve seems reluctant to give up its secrets, so this is a walk for keen geologists or determined waterfall lovers only. Reaching a viewpoint for the Beds is straightforward enough, but paths seem to fade to nothing (although some internet sources suggest otherwise) if you attempt to reach the base of the waterfall - best seen after heavy rain. Tall ferns and leafy woodland obstruct the view, but to a lesser extent during winter or spring. The Blane Valley Inn in nearby Blanefield served superb recovery fodder for weary souls but shut its doors in 2020 - we hope it'll reopen.

[Good views over Strathblane from the reserve]

📌 Walk: Ballagan Glen - 192 layers of history ★★
Start / finish on Dunglass View (street parking), 10-min walk east of Strathblane village centre, G.R.: NS 567795 ///maddening.garden.unlimited

▶ 2 km / 1 mi | ▲ 140 m | ⌚ Short | Tough
Features: Ballagen Glen; Ballagan Beds; Spout of Ballagan
Terrain: Busy road with no pavement, then tarmac drive up to Ballagan House. Reasonable path becomes faint after emerging from woodland. Pathless, steep and vegetated ground if you continue to waterfall - care and patience required (omitting this lowers the walk difficulty to Moderate).

Route & map

Start - Ballagan House via A891 - reserve boundary - Ballagan Beds viewpoint - Spout of Ballagan - return by outward route. Map of route from A891 to reserve boundary here. The path into the reserve was reported in July 2020 as closed due to a landslide, which would make the route described here impassable.

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
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On our visit

Wildlife: Buzzard over reserve; sheep and cows next to road.
Weather: Sunny spells after overnight rain, but showers threatening. Temperature in single figures.

Also on this walk

📌 Spout of Ballagan ★★
Off the A891 half a mile east of Strathblane, G.R.: NS 572802 ///bead.overlooks.shed
Always open | Free

💬 There is no quicker access to the waterfall than by the route described above - about a 30-min walk (each way). Views are limited.

[Frustratingly the views of the Spout of Ballagan don't get much better than this, even close up]


  1. The path into the reserve is now closed due to a landslide. Not sure if there are other ways to get in.


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