Doon Hill the Fairy Knowe.

Start. Aberfoyle.

Route. Aberfoyle - Old Bridge - Kirkton - Old Kirk - Doon Hill - River Forth - Aberfoyle.

Notes. This is a walk for all the little people in your life. I was assured by an over excited five year old whom we met on the hill, “this was where the fairies live”, no doubt about it, he even insisted we make a wish, personally I found the hill a bit creepy, but I did read the legend beforehand.

Doon Hill and the Old Kirk will forever be associated with the Reverend Robert Kirk, he wrote the Secret Commonwealth in 1691. The book on the nature and social structure of supernatural beings, elf's and fairies. Robert was a seventh son, said to have been gifted with second sight, a legend grew up around his death. To cut a long story short in tradition he did not die but entered into the fairy realm through the local fairy hill.

After parking in the large village car park we wandered to the northern end joining a tarmac lane that crossed the River Forth at Old Bridge, this lane ushered us into Kirkton, to our left the wooded slopes of Doon Hill dominated the horizon, next to the lane the remains of the Old Kirk, last resting place of Robert Kirk, after a brief look round we continued along the lane. We soon left tarmac behind, the hard packed surface of a forest track now guided us to a metal gate, beyond which a sign could be seen inviting us up Doon Hill.

After a short ascent through mixed woodland we crested the summit. On the small summit people have placed many clouties (rags) in the hope that as the cloutie rots the illness or misfortune affecting the person on whose behalf the cloutie was placed would also vanish. After a quick look around we descended a narrow path to the north, this muddy trod soon swung around the contours of the hill to reach our ascent route, we descended to reach the track left earlier. We then turned south (left), with the forest track to guide us we wandered along the edge of a vast pine plantation with Doon Hill rising above marsh land and scrub to our left, after a short distance a large green sign was reached directing us to Aberfoyle. With a raised path under foot we strolled on, a fine foot-bridge guided us over the River Forth then along the edge of a field to join an old railway line, now a tarmac cycle way, this level path ushered us back to the safety of Aberfoyle. No supernatural encounters, no fairy people just one or two interesting features on this creepy walk up Doon Hill.

view route map.


Meall Ear above Aberfoyle seen from Kirkton.

Seen from the Old Kirk, mystical Doon Hill.

Dating back to the 13th century the Old Kirk, last resting place of the Reverend Robert Kirk, or is it?

Two of these strange looking objects guard the entrance to the Old Kirk, they are actually mortuary weights placed on fresh graves to prevent the corpses being stolen, usually for medical experiments.

Craigmore above Aberfoyle.

Is this proof fairies do live on Doon Hill.

On the summit of Doon Hill we have a cloutie tree, people have placed many clouties in the hope that as the cloutie rots the illness or misfortune affecting the person whose behalf the cloutie was placed would also vanish.

Our descent route with views over the Loch Ard Forest.

I knocked on the door (quietly) so did an over excited five year old (noisily), when nobody answered he insisted we make a wish.

Ever had that feeling you're being watched.

Sue strides out over the hard surface of a forest track, keep your eyes and ears pealed, signs warned of the dangers of mountain bikes and dog sleds.

Sylvan Doon Hill seen from the south.

The River Forth.

A fine foot-bridge over the River Forth, as a matter of interest it wasn't marked on my map, which is quite new.

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