If you’re planning to use public transport during your stay with us, we recommend visiting Traveline Scotland to help plan your journey.
Although there is a regular bus service between Callander and Stirling, public transport is more limited in rural areas of Scotland. To help combat this, in rural Stirlingshire there is a service called DRT (Demand Responsive Transport). This is essentially a shared taxi service, which costs roughly the same as a bus fare. Please note that all journeys must be booked at least 24 hours in advance. You can find out more DRT information here.
Walks & Cycling
Often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, Callander’s location within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park makes it ideal for outdoor pursuits. The town is an intersect point for several well-loved tourist routes, including the Rob Roy Way, the new Heart200 touring route and National Cycle Route 7 (connecting Glasgow to Inverness).
If you’re looking for walking routes during your stay, we recommend using Walkhighlands. Their site is easy to navigate and contains useful information about the distance, duration and difficulty of many great hiking routes.
A couple of our favourite walks can be started from the front door of the hostel – the relatively easy visit to Bracklinn Falls or the longer ascent of Ben Gullipen. Ben Ledi is visible from our hostel garden and is also – if you don’t mind the extra miles – reachable from the hostel, using the National Cycle Route to arrive at the recognised start point. Slightly further afield, Ben A’an is widely recognised as one of the finest amongst Scotland’s smaller hills, with unparalleled views along the length of Loch Katrine. For a greater challenge, consider the short drive to neighbouring Munros, Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin. For something a little bit different, you can have a look at the holistic and cultural walking tours on offer from Eternal Mountain.
The hostel is only a 2-minute walk from National Cycleway 7, which winds for miles alongside lochs and hills. The route follows the old railway line, so has no significant climbs. For the more adventurous cyclists, there are popular mountain bike trails at Stank Glen and the Callander Crags. Less than an hour’s drive from the hostel is Comrie Croft, with their own network of trails and bike hire options.
Callander’s local bike shop is Wheels Cycle Centre. Current restrictions have led to their bike hire service being suspended at the moment, but you can find their latest updates on their website. The hostel can offer a secure storage for a limited number of bikes – please get in touch with us if you wish to enquire further.
Things to Do
In addition to exploring the beautiful countryside, Callander has its own leisure centre, with a small pool, gym and climbing wall as well as a children’s play area. There is also a popular Golf Club in town. For something a bit different, you can pay a visit to the local Toy Museum. Between October and March, a local community cinema group run fortnightly showings of a variety of different films, with the screenings being hosted in the hostel’s function hall. Guest tickets can be bought on the door.
Throughout the year, Callander hosts numerous events and festivals. Two of the most popular are the Jazz Fest (October) and the Callander Highland Games (July).
Within a short car journey from Callander, there are many more local attractions to visit. Families may enjoy a visit to Blair Drummond Safari Park or an adventurous trip to Go Ape in Aberfoyle. One of the most popular trips is to nearby Loch Katrine, where visitors can take a tour of the loch on one of their steamboats, visit the café or make use of the many walking and cycling routes in the vicinity. Doune Castle lies in a nearby village, and as a popular filming location it will be instantly recognisable to fans of Outlander, Game of Thrones or Monty Python. The road north of Callander travels the length of the scenic Loch Lubnaig, leading to popular tourist spots such as Rob Roy’s Grave (Balquhidder) and the Falls of Dochart (Killin). Nature lovers and photographers often make use of the hides at Argaty Red Kites, whilst those looking for something a bit more active might consider a visit to Castle Rednock Trekking centre.
InCallander have compiled information on the main local fisheries, including further information about seasons and permits. You can find this here.
Places to Eat
Within Callander, a quick trip along the High Street will introduce you to all of the local cafés, restaurants and pubs. There are options to suit all tastes, from takeaways to sit-in dining. We’ve included a few of our favourites below, but there are many other options to choose from.
- Breakfast: Deli Ecosse or Mhor Tearoom.
- Lunch: Puddingstone Place or The Atrium Café.
- Dinner: The Old Bank or Riverside Inn (Pub Grub).
- Takeaway: Main Street Bakery, Chinese Village or Luti’s Pizza & Pasta Parlour.
Please check online first, as some places are only open on certain days of the week. The Covid-19 restrictions still in place also mean that many places are operating a reduced service and that making a reservation in advance is often advised.
If you looking for somewhere outside of Callander, we’d suggest that you consider The Lade Inn (Kilmahog) or Scott’s Bistro (Tigh Mor).