The Woods Caravan Park

& what’s nearby

Information
Diverswell Farm
by Alva
Clackmannanshire
FK10 3AN

Website

Email: enquiries@thewoodscaravanpark.co.uk

Tel: 01259 762 802

The Woods Caravan Park offers superb facilities. Set in a tranquil location with breath-taking views of the Ochil Hills. Ideally situated for exploring Stirling, The Trossachs & Loch Lomond, with Perth, Edinburgh & Glasgow within easy reach.

 

 

Facilities2
Facilities

Tents, Tourers, Caravans & lodges

  • On-site Restaurant/Grill/Bar
  • 105 pitches of which 95 are large hard standings accommodating caravans, awning and cars
  • 16 amp electric hook-ups on every pitch
  • 15 fully serviced pitches
  • 4 disabled pitches (accessible/mobility)
  • Wi-Fi internet access (charge applicable)
  • TV hook-up on every pitch suitable for free view
  • 2 heated toilet blocks with disabled facilities
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Dish washing areas
  • Laundry and drying area
  • Motor home facilities
  • Children’s playground
  • Dog walk area on park and surrounding areas
  • Gas available to buy on site
Getting there

The A91 is the main arterial road that will get you to the campsite from both the West and East.

From the West: Leave M9 at junction 9 and follow and continue following A91 until you reach Alva. Then take a right and follow the B908. At the roundabout, turn left onto the B9140. Then in 1 mile turn left signposted Alva & Equestrian Centre. Site on left in 200 yards.

From the East: Coming through Dollar and Tillicoultry on the A91, when you reach Alva take a right and follow the B908. At the roundabout, turn left onto the B9140. Then in 1 mile turn left signposted Alva & Equestrian Centre. Site on left in 200 yards.

signpost3
What's nearby

This is a great site as a base if you enjoy cycling, which we will expand on but there’s so much more to see. Here are some of our choices: –

The Clackmannanshire Tower Trail is a brilliant idea. There are 5 historic towers all within a few miles of the campsite and can be reached by a combination of cycling, walking or driving. One of the towers, Sauchie Tower, is only 200 metres from the campsite! You can download a PDF document with lots of information and a map.

The 164th Famous Alva Games – re-arranged Saturday 10th July 2021 at 12 noon. Tom competed in the 2008 games and managed to win 2 bronze medals for the 90m and 200m sprints.  We would recommend a visit, if you are able to go. 1.8 miles from the campsite.

Affinity Sterling Mills Outlet Shopping. A relaxed shopping destination with free parking and WiFi and of course, discount shopping. 2.3 – 3 miles from the campsite, depending on mode of transport.

Castle Campbell. Part of the Tower Trail but worth a visit in its own right. With connections with historical figures such as John Knox and Mary Queen of Scots, this 15th century fortress of Castle Campbell is dramatically situated above Dollar Glen. The oldest part is a well-preserved 15th century tower around which other buildings were constructed. 6 miles from the campsite.

Gartmorn Dam Country Park & Nature Reserve. This 370 acre Country Park and Nature Reserve is located less than two miles from Alloa and Clackmannan in Clackmannanshire. The centrepiece of the park is the 170-acre Gartmorn Dam reservoir which has a lovely waterside path and is surrounded by peaceful woodlands. The park is very good for wildlife watching – look out for woodpeckers, roe deer, hare and red squirrels in the woodland areas and various wildfowl on the reservoir. 2 miles from the campsite.

The Japanese Garden. Originally commissioned by Edwardian explorer Ella Christie, the garden was uniquely designed by a female Japanese garden designer. Restoration began in 2014 led by Professor Fukuhara.  9 – 11 miles from the campsite, depending on mode of transport.

Menstrie Castle. Part of the Tower trail or if you are in Menstrie anyway, then go and look at this castle. If, for no other reason, other than to find a castle in the middle of a housing estate! 3.9 miles from the campsite.

Stirling Castle. One of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. The castle sits on a crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. 8.8 miles from the campsite.

National Cycle Network. Routes 764, 76, 767 and 768. You will be spoiled for choice when it come to finding traffic free cycling routes. All accessible from the campsite and taking you in many different directions. In fact most of the visitor attractions mentioned above can be accessed via a cycle path and that includes the city of Stirling.

Read about our trip

Our goals for this trip were very simple.

Our first goal was to head east and avoid the Scottish Midge. For some reason, this vicious wee beasty prefers the west of Scotland. 

Our next goal was to find a campsite with nice views and close by cycle paths.

That was it! Two simple goals and just be happy to be away in Dora, our Autosleeper Duetto.

We managed to find a campsite that ticked all our boxes but would we get a pitch. The country was still in the early phases of relaxing the COVID lockdown and everyone was having a staycation. Campsites were full to capacity and choices were limited but we were in luck! The Woods Caravan Park, situated in the East of Scotland with lovely views of the Ochil hills, had pitches available for our dates and there are cycle paths nearby. Perfect!

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Our journey to the campsite was straight forward and it’s only one hour from our home. We were soon on the last stretch of road leading to the campsite. Turning left off the B9140 onto a road called Burnside Farm Road, we slowed down and noticed a sign for the campsite on the opposite side of the road beside an entrance. Considering the road has a name and looks minor on Google maps, it is actually a busy road with several corners, so caution is recommended.  It was this caution and not wanting to be going so slow that we caused an accident, that we instinctively signalled right and drove into the side road that had the sign for the campsite next to it.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the sign had an arrow at the bottom of it pointing to another junction 30 metres away on the opposite side of the road. We hadn’t seen this arrow because the ancient sign had curled up at the bottom and the arrow was no longer easily visible. As a result, we eventually reached a dead end but this ‘dead end’ would turn out to be an interesting point during a later walk, which is mentioned below.

We managed to find our way to the campsite and checked in. Pitches aren’t allocated but we were given directions to an area and asked to pitch up there. As we suspected, the campsite was almost full and we wondered if we would find a pitch with a view. We were in luck, a cul-de-sac of 4 pitches, with great views of the Ochil hills, had one space and it wasn’t long before we were pitched up and chilling.

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The campsite is cleverly designed and doesn’t feel overcrowded. The pitches are huge and flat. The facilities are clean and never felt too busy. There is a relaxing and friendly atmosphere which is helped by its layout and friendly staff. We would definitely recommend a stay at The Woods Caravan Park.

That said, we did have a minor issue! As previously mentioned, we headed east to avoid midges but no sooner had we sat down to take in the views than we were being covered in little black insects. They were the size of a midge; they were as numerous as a midge but thankfully they weren’t as vicious as a midge. A midge will happily eat you alive if it gets the chance but these little pests just wanted to crawl all over you. This quickly became very annoying as the term ‘feeling your skin crawl’, became very real. We later discovered that they were known as thunder flies, which made sense as Scotland had been hit by severe thunder storms a few days earlier. Thankfully they didn’t last long and didn’t bother us for the remainder of our stay.

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Apart from relaxing, we were keen to explore the nearby cycle paths. Here are some highlights of what we discovered: –

How to access the cycle paths from the campsite. From the campsite entrance / exit, turn left. Then turn after 30 metres turn left. This will take you passed the Sauchie Tower on your left, which is part of the Clackmannanshire Tower Trail. As the road goes round to the left, you should see narrow path to your right. Follow this path up a slight climb until you reach a crossroads. Follow the path to your left and this will take you down a short but steep corner. At the bottom, you will now be at the cycle path, route 767 and have two options; left or right. We did both over the following couple of days.

  • Turn left and you can have an easy 1-mile cycle to Tillicoultry. Stop off and have a coffee at Costa or look around the shops, this is a discount shopping outlet. If you were to carry on along route 767, you will eventually reach Dollar, about 3 miles from Tillycoultry. Dallar is a small village with a lot of history and was once a place of residence of Mary, Queen of Scots. We found this route to be a pleasant and easy to follow & cycle. The only slight issues we had was that the aftermath of the thunder storms had flooded a small section but we didn’t mind getting wet.
  • The next day, we turned left again but this time, once we reached Tillicoultry, we joined another cycle route. Route 768 is a longer cycle and will involve some hills but nothing major. Follow the cycle path until you cross the A91. Then carry on up the hill onto a very quiet be road that actually has signs stating that it is a cycle friendly road. Look out for the highland cow that enjoys a bath in the local river. There is a very pleasant cycle through Alva, passing a park that brought back memories for Tom as this is where he competed in a highland games event, then onto Menstrie. We stopped here for our mandatory Costa and sat in a picturesque central park before heading back to the campsite. To get back, cross the main road and follow the sign for Menstrie Castle, which can be found in the middle of a housing estate. Route 768 can be found just passed the castle on you right. To get back to the campsite, join the cycle path and turn right towards Stirling. You will eventually reach a junction for route 76. Follow the sign for Alloa. Then follow the sign for route 767. You will eventually return to your starting point. This loop is approximately 16 miles.
  • Turn right and follow the signs for Stirling. This was our favourite cycle. There is a large section of the route, as you get closer to Stirling, that is now traffic free and must have been a main road as some point in the past but is now overgrown by vegetation. I felt surreal as we cycle passed old junctions that now go nowhere and white road markings disappearing into bushes. There is a small section that is on the A907 but you soon turn to the left off this road and onto a much quieter and peaceful section, taking you through the village of Cambuskenneth, with Wallace’s Monument sitting prominently on a hill behind us. At the other end of the village there is a footbridge over the River Forth and into Stirling. We made our way to King Street and sat under a statue of Wm Wallace, with our coffees from The Ground House Coffee Company, which were delicious. Our return trip was approximately 18 miles.

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 On our final night, we decided to go for a local walk and headed towards Sauchie Tower for a better look at it. This is when we noticed the curled-up arrow on the old sign for the campsite and that reminded us of our initial wrong turning. So, we decided to explore this road a bit more as it had intrigued us the first time. There are old caravan’s, old vans and cars randomly abandoned. Then there’s the Animal Sanctuary all adding to the confusion as we tried to work out what was what.

We had appeared to reach a dead end and were just about to turn back when an older gentleman, who had a hillbilly look about him, asked us if we were from the campsite and we were able to continue our walk through his property.

As we walked with him, he explained that he also had an animal sanctuary. Different from the one next door, more of a farm that looks after cows, horses, chickens, goats and sheep. All with a story to tell. Such as the young cow whose mother died at birth and wasn’t expected to live herself but pulled through. They felt sorry for it and ‘removed it from the food chain’ to live a quiet and happy life on this farm.

This section of our evening walk was brief and we were soon on our way but it reminded us of the importance of random trips with no particular plan. We have always found them to be the most interesting.

We will definitely return to this area as we really on scratched the surface, plus it will be nice to see how the cow is enjoying life.

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