Banishing the gloom at Castle Campbell

I spent today doing vital ankle rehabilitation work, in the form of walking to and from Castle Campbell in the hills above Dollar. It was a much-needed outing and a great way to rid myself of some of the gloom I’ve been feeling from missing out on all of my 2016 running goals. (Broken ankle = no races. How gloomy, indeed!)

Of course, the gloom was banished from Castle Campbell long before I arrived. In fact, it was banished (or rather, renamed) when the Campbell Clan renamed Castle Gloom after they took over the place in the late-1400s*. It was finally abandoned in the 1660s for better-suited lodgings in Stirling.

The castle is now a ruin in the care of Historic Scotland. However, it is a rather impressive ruin with lots of great elements to explore. One of my favourite bits from Castle Campbell was the top floor of the tower. There is a cross-ribbed stone vaulted ceiling from 1590 that has two green men carved into the stonework. It’s a bit fun and whimsical, which always makes me happy! Of course, to get the best pictures (and I know they’re still not that great!) I had to lay down on my back. Good thing I had the space to myself!

But back to me now! (This is, after all, Just Frances!)

I was a bit worried about how I would manage today’s adventures, especially after yesterday’s mini-adventure, but I also know that I have to put my ankle through the hard work if it’s going to heal. I didn’t want to risk slipping on the path through the Dollar Glen on my journey to the castle, so I walked along the road to the car park and then around the back on the service road. It was a bit further that way, but I was on the pavement which was easier for my ankle.

On my return journey, I decided that I had enough energy and that my ankle was feeling strong enough to risk the walk through the glen. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was actually rather pleased with the relative ease of it. Had I known the path was in such good shape, I’d have taken it up, but then I may have been a bit too sore to really enjoy the castle. So that’s OK. (And clearly, my “good path” is different from others, as everyone I spoke to said it was a bit rough and might be too much for me altogether.)

I am sure I will pay for my adventures tomorrow, but I am quite pleased with myself for managing the walk today. All five miles of it!

Enjoy the photos!

* I had to work the gloom in somehow to make the story work with the castle’s former name. But I have been a bit gloomy over not being able to run so it’s kind of relevant.

2 Replies to “Banishing the gloom at Castle Campbell”

  1. Winced when you mentioned coming back through the glen. Last time I went that way I needed to clamber over a felled tree that had come down over the gap where the path had been before the storm. Obviously repaired, or diverted.

    1. Well, there might have been a tree or two to climb over. But I was happy to proceed. I think that I could have managed a more challenging route, too, but I want to stay cautious for a bit longer!

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