Callander is a small town in Stirlingshire in the Central Belt of Scotland. Tourist publicity calls it "The Gateway to the Highlands" and for once that over-used term is correct: the town sits right on the lowland-highland fault line, with crags looming just north of town, and streams racing out of the mountains to form the River Teith. Gaelic was spoken here until about 1900. The main reason to come is to see The Trossachs, the eastern part of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Callander had a population of 3080 in 2020. To older visitors, it will always be "Tannochbrae": it was the location for the 1962-71 BBC series Dr Finlay's Casebook, with the theme music dancing over the view of the River Teith bridge.

Visit Callander is the tourist office, mid-town at 55 Main St, open daily 9:30AM-4PM.

Get in

Inchmahome Priory

By car: the usual approach is M9 past Stirling, exit at Jcn 10 for A84 west through Doune.

By bus: First Scotland East Bus 59 runs from Stirling hourly M-Sa (every 2 hours Su) via Blair Drummond and Doune to Callander, taking 45 min.

Bus 978 runs daily from Edinburgh, taking just under two hours via the airport, Grangemouth, Stirling and Doune. It continues to Crianlarich, Tyndrum, Dalmally, Taynuilt and Oban.

On the first and third Saturday of the month, two buses 160 & S60 run between Stirling, Callander, Crianlarich and Tyndrum.

By train: the railway closed in 1965, so get off at Stirling and take Bus 59. Dunblane station is closer if you have a bike, but there's no onward public transport. Some of the torn-up track was recycled into the transit system for Mexico City's 1968 Summer Olympics.

By bike: Callander is on National Cycle Network Route 7 Glasgow-Inverness. The cycle track northbound follows the disused railway towards Kilmahog and Strathyre.

Get around


You need a car or bike to reach the Trossachs or Lake of Menteith.

As of Dec 2022, no taxi firm operates here. You probably have to hire from Dunblane or Stirling.

  • 1 Bracklinn Falls   are where the Keltie Water tumbles over the Highland Boundary Fault: Breac Linn is Gaelic for "speckled pool". A circular walk from the village is 3 miles, but in 2022 the bridge has again been damaged so you have to come back the same way.
  • 2 Hamilton Toy Museum, 111 Main St FK17 8BQ, +44 1877 330004. Apr-Oct: M-Sa 10:30AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. 5-room museum of traditional children's toys (cars, model soldiers, dolls, etc.) and shop. Adult £3, child £1.
  • 3 Lake of Menteith, Port of Menteith FK8 3RA (five miles south of Callander), +44 1877 385294. Priory closed. This is one of the few bodies of water in Scotland called a "lake" rather than a "loch." (By no means the only one, in spite of the tourist office blurb.) The name is probably a 16th century map-maker's misreading of laich meaning "low place". A little ferry boat takes you to the island with the ruins of Inchmahome Priory. Built in the 13th century, its royal visitors included the 4-year old Mary Queen of Scots, hidden away here after the Scots' defeat in battle in 1547. In 2022 the island is closed for masonry repairs.  
  • The Trossachs are the main reason to come here: follow A84 then A821 west. It's a longer drive to reach the shores of Loch Lomond, either via Drymen to Balmaha, or via Aberfoyle east on B829 to Inversnaid.
  • Climb Ben Ledi 4 miles west above Kilmahog. It's 879 m (2884 ft) high, so it's a Corbett. Just south of Loch Lubnaig, turn off A84 onto the track signed "Strathyre Forest Cabins" to reach the car park (which fills up on fine summer weekends). The path is obvious enough. Near the top are two grassy false summits; the rocky true summit is marked by a cross for Sgt Harry Lawrie of the Mountain Rescue Team, killed nearby in a helicopter crash in 1987.
  • Callander Golf Club, Aveland Rd FK17 8EN (two blocks north of Main St), +44 1877 330090. Wooded parkland course with good views, white tees 5208 yards, par 66. Visitor round £30-40.
  • Callander Highland Games were usually held in late July at Lagrannoch Field. But they haven't happened since 2018 and it's not known if they'll return in 2023.
  • Jazz & Blues Festival is held in late Sep or early Oct.
Bridge over Bracklinn Falls
  • Tesco Express west end of Main St is open M-Sa 6AM-11PM, Su 10AM-6PM.
  • Co-op Food is east by the Toy Museum.
  • Dreadnought Filling Station is on A84 east side of town by the caravan park. It's open daily 7AM-10PM.
  • Main street going west has Puddingstone Place, Back Bar, Bruno's fish & chips, Frying Dutchman, Luti's Pizza, Fat Jack's Diner, Old Bank Restaurant (below) and Poppies Hotel (see Sleep).
  • Old Bank Restaurant, 5 Main St FK17 8DU, +44 1877 330651. Daily 10AM-4PM. Pleasant coffee shop for lunch, does gluten-free.


  • The Waverley, 88 Main St FK17 8BD, +44 1877 330245. A Belhaven pub with decent bar food and rooms. B&B double £80.
  • Lade Inn is at Kilmahog, junction of A84 and A821, open daily noon-9PM.
  • Trossachs Distillery[dead link] two miles east of town produces McQueen Gin. There's a distillery shop but no tours.


Callander graveyard
  • 1 Callander Woods Holiday Park (formerly Gart Caravan Park), Stirling Road, Callander FK17 8LE, +44 1250 878123, . Mar-Oct. Large touring, caravan holiday home and glamping site, good scores for facilities and cleanliness. Touring pitches £31.
  • 2 Poppies Hotel, Leny Road FK17 8AL, +44 1877 330329. Welcoming small hotel on main street with popular restaurant. B&B double £130.
  • B&Bs line Main St and the slopes behind, some seasonal. Westbound as you enter town they include Abbotsford Lodge[dead link], Glengarry, Ben A'an, Auld Forge, Dalgair House, Heather House[dead link], Crags Hotel[dead link], The Waverley (see Drink), Annfield House, Arden House, The Knowe (below), Crown Hotel, Southfork Villa, Old Rectory and Lubnaig.
  • 3 The Knowe, Ancaster Road FK17 8EL, +44 1877 330526. B&B a block north of main street, friendly and clean. B&B double £100.
  • 4 Roman Camp Hotel, 182 Main St FK17 8BG, +44 1877 330003. Charming 15-room hotel; parts of the building date from 1625. B&B double £140.
  • Karma Lake of Menteith, Port of Menteith FK8 3RA (by ferry pier), +44 7871 179950. This lakeside hotel was acquired in 2022 by Karma who have taken it upmarket, though they haven't added a spa. Dog friendly. B&B double £150.
  • 5 Briar Cottages, Lochearnhead, FK19 8PU (M9 Stirling J10, A84 to Lochearnhead, A85), +44 1567 830443, . Briar cottages offer 2 holiday cottages for self catering on the banks of Loch Earn including 1 luxury cottage for 4 plus 1 pet-friendly cottage for 3 guests and 2 pets in the village of Lochearnhead Perthshire.



Callander has 4G from all UK carriers. As of Dec 2022, the signal extends into the lowlands east towards Stirling, but soon cuts out as you go north or west into the Highlands. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next

  • Doune nearby to the east has an imposing castle, and Dunblane has a fine cathedral.
  • Stirling is a miniature Edinburgh, with its castle perched on a crag. Bridge of Allan is its university quarter.
  • A84 north from Callander leads into the Highlands, via Crianlarich either west to Oban for ferries to the Hebrides, or north to Glencoe, Ben Nevis and Skye.

Routes through Callander
GlasgowDrymen  SW   NE  END
Crianlarich ← Lochearnhead ←  NW   SE  DouneStirling

This city travel guide to Callander is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.