The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Elegant mountain forms Stirling’s magnificen­t backdrop Picturesqu­e Ben Vorlich dominates Central Belt

- By Robert Wight

Sitting apart from any other Munro, Ben Vorlich and its neighbour, Stuc a’ Chroin, dominate this part of the Southern Highlands.

Ben Vorlich looks quite different depending on one’s viewpoint. But in every case it’s a distinctiv­e and easily recognised mountain. The hill can be seen for many miles, and its situation on the northern edge of the heavily populated Central Belt means it’s very popular.

From the south, Ben Vorlich appears like a giant Viking hogback tomb. It can be seen for a considerab­le distance on approach to Stirling, providing a magnificen­t backdrop to the picturesqu­e city’s fairytale castle and monument to Sir William Wallace. From other directions, it is an elegant, symmetrica­l pyramid of a peak. There are several routes up the hill. The most direct – which can easily be extended to take in Stuc a’ Chroin – is from Ardvorlich, on the southern shores of beautiful Loch Earn. Climbing the peak as a there-and-back from Ardvorlich is a relatively quick day out.

The road to the start, however, is a single track that twists along the lochside, and passing places are few and far between. Care must be taken driving it in wintry weather. Ben Vorlich sits just north of the Highland Boundary Fault Line, a fact that’s abundantly clear from the summit.

To the south, views of rolling hills and flat lands extend to the Border hills, while to the north, the great rumpled mountains of the rugged Highlands fill the horizon. There are a couple of Corbetts in the area – Beinn Each, to the south-west of Stuc a’ Chroin, and Meall na Fearna, to the east of Ben Vorlich. A traverse of all four hills is a marvellous day out – although up to about 30km (18.5 miles), with almost 2,000m (6,562ft) of ascent. Start in Glen Ample to take in Beinn Each first. The route takes you to Ardvorlich so either leave a car here or arrange transport.

 ??  ?? Stirling Castle with Ben Vorlich, right, and Stuc a’Chroin in the distance
Stirling Castle with Ben Vorlich, right, and Stuc a’Chroin in the distance Picture: Shuttersto­ck
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