Falls of Dochart and Killin

The Falls of Dochart near Killin flow over many small and large rock steps. Sometimes they promise welcome cooling with a gentle splash, but sometimes the river threatens to tear down bridges as a raging torrent.

Falls of Dochart
Falls of Dochart

When I drove past the Falls of Dochart for the first time, the evening sun was shining. On the rocks in the river, walkers and visitors enjoyed the last rays on the still-warmed stones, gazing dreamily at the water as it wound its way around the green island to the stone bridge, where it disappeared through the arches.

Brücke über den Dochart
Bridge over the Dochart

An idyllic and relaxing place. A place that I couldn’t get out of my head and therefore wanted to experience in peace.

Just three months later, the weather wasn’t as nice, but the Falls of Dochart are still worth a visit even when it’s cloudy. Even then, you can still wander around between the rocks and look at the various large and small paths that the water carves through the labyrinth of rocks.

Tangle of rocks

Birds can also be found among the rocks and stones:

Pied wagtail

But the Dochart also has another face. This is when the water collects from the mountains at Ben Lui near Rannoch Moor and rushes rapidly through the narrow riverbed to Loch Tay.

The power of the Dochart Falls was utilised by the mill on the opposite bank for almost a hundred years. It was not used for painting corn, however, but for weaving tweed cloth.

Mühle von Killin
Killin Mill

Today, the mill belongs to the municipality of Killin, it can be visited and has a gift shop.

Although it is called the “old mill”, there were several mills here before it. The oldest is even said to have been founded by St Fillan, who brought Christianity to the area, in the eighth century.

And new in 2023: There is now a small museum on the first floor of the mill. It mainly shows photos and writes about the former inhabitants. But it helps to better understand the area and its people. Admission is free.

Ein Blick in einen Raum, von dessen Decke Plakatte herabhängen, mit Bildern und Text. Das ist das Innere des Museums von Killin in der alten Mühle des Orts.

Knowledge: About Killin, the mill and the MacNabs

The name of the village of Killin comes from the Gaelic Cill Fhinn – the “Fh” is not pronounced. It means “white chapel”, but some say that it means “burial place of Fingal”. This Fingal was a famous Gaelic giant who is also immortalised in the name“Fingal’s Cave“, for example. A mythical figure, however.

Hauptstraße in Killin
Main street in Killin

It is documented that St Fillan spread Christianity in the area in the 8th century. He is said to have been a disciple of St Columba, who worked from Iona. From there he sent various disciples to the Scottish mainland and St Fillan worked in the area, for example he is said to have founded the first mill at the Falls of Dochart.

He left behind stones that are said to have healing powers.

The MacNabs have left other legacies in Killin. The clan that ruled here for several centuries. They buried their dead on the island of Inchbuie or in Gaelic “Innis buidhe”, “Yellow Island”. Today, the entrance gate and a memorial commemorate the cemetery here.

MacNab Friedhof
MacNab Cemetery

The chieftain of the clan used to reside in a house near Loch Tay at the mouth of the Dochart. From there they fought with the Clan Neish, who lived on Neish Island in Loch Earn – the remains of a fort can still be found there today. One Christmas in the 17th century, the Neishes robbed a servant of the MacNabs of all the provisions he had bought for his chieftain in Crieff. In revenge, the MacNabs grabbed one of their fishing boats in Loch Tay, carried it some ten kilometres to Loch Earn and set sail for the Neishes’ island. And as is so common in Scottish clan feuds, the MacNabs killed all the Neishes there …

Loch Tay
Loch Tay

Today, Killin has around 700 inhabitants, who are much more peaceful than the warlike MacNabs back then. They earn most of their money from tourism, which is boosted by the Falls of Dochart.

Falls of Dochart Inn


With satnav:” is all you need to enter to get to Killin.

Without satnav: Coming from Stirling, take the A85 to Crianlarich. A little way after Lochearnhead, the A827 road to Killin goes off to the right and leads directly to the bridge over the Falls of Dochart. You can park either in front of the bridge or further into the village on the right in a large car park.

Falls of Dochart in Killin Infos

What it isSmall village in the Highlands on the River Dochart, whose waters flow over many rocks.

Mapcode for TomTomHCQM.S5K
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Postcode for SatnavFK21 8SL

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