Rising to a height of 986 metres, the muscular flanks of Ben Vorlich, above beautiful Loch Earn, grants one of the finest views of Strathtay. The path leading to Ben Vorlich’s marvellous vantage point is predominantly excellent (although it is steep in parts) and from the summit much of Perthshire and Stirlingshire are on show as are a number of the Southern Highlands big mountains. Stuc a Chroin is usually tagged on to a walk over Ben Vorlich, with the descent chiefly over the same route, but a far more interesting way off Ben Vorlich is to descend via Ben Our. This long ridge is a little off the beaten track, and consequently much quieter and again grants fabulous views.
The walk begins from the banks of lovely Loch Earn. It is the perception of many that Loch Earn is tidal but it is actually something called ‘seiching’, and not the sun or moon, which causes water to move back and forth across the loch, giving the effect of a tidal system. Put simply seiching is the result of a persistent prevailing wind blowing across the water surface, which then creates a slight slope along the loch. Other freshwater lochs experiencing seiching include Lake Geneva and Lake Garda.
The derivation of Ben Vorlich from its Gaelic roots is unclear, but translations include Mountain of the Big Loch (from Beinn Mhor Loch), Mountain of the Big Hollow (Beinn Mhor Luig), or from Beinn Mhor-Leacach (Big Stony Mountain), all of which make sense. However it is thought that Ben Vorlich simply means Mountain of the Bay, from the Gaelic Beinn Mhuir’lag. Whatever it means, what can’t be denied is the sumptuous view from her summit. The craggy profile of Stuc a Chroin, the long line of the Crianlarich Hills, the cluster of the Arrochar Alps and the sharp cone of Ben Lomond are just a selection of wonderful mountains that can be seen from the top.