Start location: Castle Campbell, Dollar (NS 963 994)
End location: Coulshill near Auchterarder (NN 979 092)
Geographical area: Stirling, Clackmannan and Falkirk, Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 12km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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From the clock in the centre of Dollar go up the Burnside, the Mill Green and Dollar Glen to Castle Campbell. From the carpark continue north along a path on the east side of the Burn of Care between forest plantations to Maiden’s Well. Continue past Glenquey Reservoir down to Burnfoot and cross the River Devon via a footbridge. Go up Borland Glen by a path on its west side and cross the pass (the Cadgers’ Yett) west of Green Law to descend to the Coul Burn. Go down the burn by a path which becomes a minor public road at Coulshill. This road goes down Cloan Glen to a bridge across the A9 at the east end of Auchterarder.
OS Landranger 58 (Perth & Alloa, Auchterarder)
This old drove road deserves a special mention for it played no small part in the genesis of ARB Haldane's classic text The Drove Roads of Scotland. In the introduction Dr Haldane describes this old road which crosses the Ochils behind his home in Auchterarder, and tells us how he thought it would be of interest to trace its history. Local tradition indicated that the route had been used for the droving of both cattle and sheep during the latter part of the eighteenth century and for much of the nineteenth. However, beyond that he knew very little and so his interest thus sparked he determined to find out more - eight years of gathering information later his book was published.
This long established route across the Ochils is also known as Cadgersgait or Tinkers Gate. Cadgergate Head is a named feature in the first edition of Ordnance Survey's 6" to the mile maps as a part of the road where it crosses from one parish to another just north of the Borland Gap between Ben Thrush and White Creich Hill. The road continues on, so perhaps it was known by another name on the other side of the parish boundary.
A Cadger was an itinerant trader who would visit householders selling wares or services. A tinker was also an itinerant trader, but would have been from the Gypsy/Traveller community. The name Tinker was at one time a respectful name as they were often tinsmiths and would tinkle as they walked - tinkler gradually became Tinker which is now regarded as a derogatory name. However, both cadgers and Gypsy/Travellers were very highly regarded members of society and were relied upon for many things.
It would make sense that this path was frequented by traders as the main road that ran through Muckhart and Burnfoot had two tolls along it, so this path was a very good way to travel between Dollar and Auchterarder without paying these tolls. Close to where the formerly tolled road (now the A823) intersects with the Cadgers' Yett lies Glendevon's Tormaukin Hotel, which is said to have originated as an eighteenth century drovers' inn.
There is some discussion over the derivation of Glen Quey; one suggestion is that it relates to kye or cows which would fit with its droving history. Another suggestion is that its name comes from the gaelic Gleann Coimich - the glen of the stranger or foreigner. The woodland in Glen Quey is now in the care of The Woodland Trust Scotland; their Glen Devon map leaflet shows a number of promoted walks and also marks this route. The leaflet is available locally, but the ScotWays office has some too - if you send an SAE to the address top right, they'll be pleased to post you one out.