The Devon Way

A scenic link between Alloa and Dollar

 
   
GRADE Easy Recreational
   
UPDATED March 2002

 

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This 11 km / 6 mile route uses the remains of the Devon Valley Railway, completed in 1871, connecting Alloa to the railways in Kinross and Ladybank.

The Devon Valley Railway, joined the North British Railway then following nationalisation became a victim of the infamous 1960's “Beeching Cuts”.

The Devon Way rose out of the cinders of the railway forming a scenic route between Alloa and Dollar.

The Devon Way starts from the National Cycle Route Number (NCN) 76, in the centre of Alloa. Turn right from the NCN 76, signposted with a Clackmannan County Path Network (CCPN) signpost. The first thing that you meet is a tunnel built to carry the horse-drawn wagon railway under the streets of Alloa. There is another tunnel shortly after, this time with lower head room, a cyclist dismount sign has been erected at both ends of this tunnel, though there is sufficient clearance to cycle through this tunnel.

The end of the wagon way comes out at a dual carriageway but the way forward is not obvious. Turn right to pass in front of the Station Hotel, (it may be prudent to get off the bike and walk this section as the footpaths are narrow,) cross Primrose Street, then cross the dual carriageway using the pelican crossing.

There are no signs on the far side, turn right and go between the railway and dual carriageway, then cross railway using the foot bridge, continuing on the pavement on the far side. As you head towards the houses take the left hand path, following the path behind the houses.

Continue straight on going between a cemetery and a builders’ yard. The path then climbs slightly onto the railway embankment for a short time before descending, to an access barrier and the first indication since the sorting office that you are on the Devon Way, turn left and then immediate right to come to a barrier beside the road. Cross the road and continue on the shared use footpath to the right then left, going parallel with the main road.

The shared use footpath ends abruptly at a side road off the Main Street in Sauchie. Ahead and to the right is the road for Gartmorn Dam and Country Park, this road connects with the Gartmorn Circular or Clackmannan Way routes described elsewhere in this web site.

Turn left at the side road then cross the side road, the path continues beside a chip shop and book makers with a CIP nearby. Continue up the slight incline, at the top turn right to go under the bridge and through the dilapidated access gates.

You will then approach two lines of wooden bollards across the path, go through the bollards and continue on the path. After going under two bridges you will come to a junction with the paths, the left hand path leads to the Equestrian Centre and the Beam Engine House while the Devon Way continues straight ahead with the southern face of the Ochil range now dominating the skyline.

This engine house was built to house a Cornish-type steam beam pumping-engine built to drain the Devon Colliery, only the cast-iron beam and the straps for the pump-rod survive. The colliery was cleared in the 1970's the engine house was retained and converted into offices.

A lot of pony trekkers use this path, watch out for horses and possibly inexperienced riders.

The railway path ends, the path continues for a short while among the trees, before climbing a slight incline to a farm road, cross straight over (no sign post) and continue along the path on the far side.

The path ends at a (defunct) gate at a road, cross straight over, taking care to watch carefully for traffic from the right. Continue through the gate on the far side of the road, going down the embankment, passing a CIP to rejoin the course of the old railway.

The railway bridge which crossed the river ahead was dismantled, so the path now goes off to the right to follow the line of the A908, until both enter the village of Devonside. As you enter the village, the path goes away to the left to an access point, descending steeply to cross the Devon by a new footbridge.

The bridge is decorated by bird sculptures made from old bicycle parts and what looks line a dog, again made from recycled metal.

On the far side of the bridge is a CIP (not shown on the map) and a signpost, go straight on for Dollar, to the right is the Sterling Mills shops and furniture warehouse. After passing the water treatment works go through the gate and straight on before turning right onto the Devon Railway.

The path forks, take the right hand fork, which climbs slightly, if you look to the ground you will see the kerbstones which marked the edge of the Tillicoultry station platform. At the end of the platform the path meets the A908, ahead and to the left is the Devonvale Hall, a wonderful example of 1930's architecture and to the right is the Sterling furniture warehouse. Cross straight over – crossing the road can be difficult at times.

Another gate and you are onto the Devon Way once more, this part of the route is the oldest and is showing its age with the railway ballast coming through the top surface in places. To the right is a metal bridge, which carried the railway over the Devon to the Tillcoultry mine.

The Devon Way now runs between the A91 and the River Devon. A little farther on is a CIP, a picnic spot and information boards. A short distance past the CIP, is a cross roads just before you enter a small wood, go straight on. The Way from here into Dollar is not well drained, though in recent years has seen a marked improvement.

Farther on, a railway bridge has been removed which means going down the embankment to cross a farm road, then continue on the short length of road towards the Dollar waste water treatment plant. At the end of this road the Way goes up a short rise to continue on the railway for the final section into Dollar.The old station platform still exists in Dollar though the station itself has long since been demolished, you can travel along its length or continue on the railway bed. After the station, the Way diverts off the line of the main railway onto a siding for the Dollar Mine, the main line continued over the Devon on a bridge now destroyed, to Kinross and Ladybank.

At the end of the side line you come to a T-junction with a rough road, turn left and continue beside the school playing fields to come to a T-junction, a CIP which faces the wrong way, is in the car park to the left, marking the end of the Devon way.

Continue straight on up Lovers Loan, a curious name for a road though it does end at a church! At the A91, turn right for Muckhart and Kinross, or left for Dollar, Tillicoultry and Stirling.

Wallace Shackleton

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