A Marvelous Vacation in Kippen
The village of Kippen is located in the hills of Fintry and Gargunnock. It overlooks the River Forth Valley and is a destination in Scotland that is as fascinating as it is beautiful. Kippen put itself on the map during the 1700s when a military road was constructed to link Dumbarton with Stirling. Most of the area surrounding the River Forth Valley still consists of marshland, making many hikes and nature walks available to visitors.
There are quite a few established walking and hiking routes in and around Kippen, of which one takes you on the Burnside Wood Nature Trail. This trail gives you spectacular views of the village and the Trossachs. Shorter walks that take you in a circle, will allow you to view the Trossachs, grazing horses and the Kippen Vine. Some walks take you through the picturesque village, up rolling hills and past some of the most breathtaking landscapes and sights. It is definitely a destination in Scotland that can be explored, safely, on foot.
Most of the buildings in Kippen are architectural masterpieces that were erected from as far back as the 1300s. The church in Kippen was constructed during this time and was known to be the place of burial for many generations of Earls of Menteith. Buildings from the 1600s and 1700s line the streets, of which the Old Kirk of Kippen, built in 1691 and the 1729 Black Bull Inn are perfect examples. The Old Kippen Smiddy was opened to the public in 1981 to showcase the tools, artifacts and skills that were necessary to be a successful blacksmith. The Kippen Smiddy was constructed in the 18th century and was home to the generations of the same family from the year 1721 until 1986. Another interesting building to visit is the Griloch. It was constructed between 1938 and 1939 for steel magnate, John Colville. This Modernist style home was designed by architect Sir Bazil Spence and incorporated an early version of the American fitted kitchen for Colville’s American wife.
Visitors are also advised to pay a visit to the Blair Drummond Safari Park, located approximately six miles outside Kippen, to enjoy a day of animal drives, adventure park fun, exhibitions and a pet farm. The historical Stirling Castle and the Smith Art Gallery and Museum are eight miles from the village.
Local legend states that the famous Rob Roy passed through Kippen in 1691, while on his way to Stirling. The men of Kippen tried their best to protect their cattle from being stolen by Rob Roy and his bandits, but failed miserably. To teach Kippen and other villages a lesson, Roy returned to Kippen and took the remaining cattle that were held in the village. Robin Oig, Rob Roy’s son, came back to marry Jean Keag in 1750, which later cost him his life.