Cochrane Hall, Alva, and the Ochil Hills
Entrance to Alva Glen and Ochil Hills
Strude Mill building, Alva
Alva
RETURN TO THE GOOD SOUP GUIDE
A - Z
Many years ago, as a small boy, I closed the front door of our new house behind me and set about exploring unfamiliar territory. On reaching the top of a gentle slope on a wide forest track I was suddenly faced by giant pink blancmanges under a deep blue sky. It was my first sight of the Ochil Hills, and I was gobsmacked. Their appearance came courtesy of a low Winter sun on a coat of snow and, coming from a grey land of tenements, it was the most mesmerising thing I had ever seen. I walked and walked and walked. I wanted to be there. But no matter how far I walked they remained this untouchable distance, and in the end I had to turn back. But I knew I'd get there. Some day.
It is the Ochil Hills that make Alva special, and without them the town would be just another nondescript little Scottish town buckling under the weight of unemployment. In the past Alva was famed for its mills, where all manner of woollen items were manufactured for home and abroad. All that industry has gone, and the one remaining mill building - Strude Mill - sits majestically yet forlornly above the town, a constant reminder of once great times. Today, it is hard to imagine that in the nineteenth century over 1,000 people were employed in Alva's woollen industry. These days we get most of our clothes from abroad, and places like Alva have almost no reason to exist. I say 'almost' because you need something solid to support those big pink blancmanges and prevent them from wobbling over.
COCHRANE HALL, ALVA
ENTRANCE TO ALVA GLEN
STRUDE MILL, ALVA
Advertisements
How to
GET THERE


You can get a bus to Alva from Stirling or Alloa.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo