Alva, Scotland

Part of the Rural Scotland series.

Location: In the heart of Central Scotland within Clackmannanshire, a few minutes east of Stirling.


Local water supply stream – Alva Burn


Multiple falls powered textile mills in the past


Relaxing view of the glen (burn in the lower middle)

Getting There: Frequent buses M-F and sporadic on weekends (62. 62A operated by First) from Stirling to Alva for £5.50 return. ScotRail gets you to Stiring from most parts of Scotland.

Recommended Walks: I wanted an escape for a day and the short walk over Alva Glen (Alva Valley) provided me with much needed respite. There are benches perched on different parts of the climb and I sat in peace on one of them getting a view of the small valley (pictured above). The walk itself is quite ‘gorge’ous (coz it’s through a gorge with a small stream passing through it) with a spectacular finish. The final few rocks (making up the Smuggler’s Cave) were enormous.

Other Things To Do : My other reason for visiting Alva was a quick visit to the Harviestoun Brewery which produces some of the most unique and delicious beer in Scotland. They do tours by appointment only Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11 am & 3 PM (I missed out on getting one as I had not called ahead). Their signature beers are the Highland Park whisky cask finished Ola Dubh (Black Oil). They also have another quirky beer called Old Engine Oil which is a lot of fun to drink. Plus their normal stuff (IPA, bitter, etc) is award winning too, I just have not had time to try them.


One of Scotland’s best breweries


One of our favourite Scottish beer, finished in whisky casks

Food & Drink : I ate something even though my visit was short, this time a quick toasted sandwich lunch at Cafe No. 71. I was surprised by the love put into a simple toastie and it was quite affordable at £3. The cafe also does brunch items, coffee & tea.

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