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A visit to the "caves" at Uamh Mhor, between Strathyre and Dunblane, by two local lassies in February 2021
A place renowned as a hide out for thieves in centuries gone by, Uamh Mhor can be navigated from several different directions, none of which would be described as easy. The most straight forward is to head to the Wind Farm on the Braes of Doune and traverse around the hill, into a shallow bowl, and onwards around the corner to Uamh Mhor (at exactly where is marked on the Stirling and the Trossachs OS map). In doing so from the wind farm direction, you will have to cross at least one barbed wire fence. Beware, if you cross a third fence you have definitely gone too far! An alternative route would be to ascend the track from Brackland and then cut upwards towards Uamh Mhor.
Uamh Mhor would be best described as an escarpment, rather than “caves”. There are fallen boulders that provide ample hiding places where three rest, but the most spectacular hideout is beyond the initial boulder field. Look a little higher up for a sole conifer on the horizon. Tucked away in the contour of the hill is a deep “cut”. Completely out of view, and again with many nooks and crannies big enough to hide tens of men and a flock of sheep if you wished. It isn’t easy to escape the “cut” so please tread carefully. It would be quite easy to break an ankle. Although the “cut” is out of view of others, the view from Uamh Mhor is spectacular. You can see down to Waterside and Severie farms, but across to the east and the Ochil hills and Wallace Monument, to the Fintry Hills in the distance to the South, turn and see Loch Venachar to the west and then on Ben Ledi and wheel round northwards to Stuc a Chroin and Ben Vorlich. How can it be possible to see so much, but be so hidden? Rob Roy clearly knew the answer.
Photographs Copyright Shuna Mayes 2021