Clackmannan Tower
Clackmannan Main Street, showing the Tolbooth, Mercat Cross and the Stone of Mannan
Approaching Clackmannan on the footpath from Alloa
Clackmannan
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From an historical point of view, the village of Clackmannan has a lot going for it. It has an old tower, a tolbooth, and a mercat cross in a wide market street. It also has the Stone of Mannan. Now, before I tell you what the Stone of Mannan is, I feel a reality check is in order. For although Clackmannan has all these old things, what it unfortunately doesn't have is a great deal in the way of eating and drinking facilities. At the time of my visit there was no cafe or coffee house, and the two pubs on the main street didn't do food. But that doesn't matter. For the historical importance of Clackmannan means the visitor could eat grass and drink puddle-water and STILL the visit would be worthwhile.
So, what is the Stone of Mannan? Well, it's a big boulder stuck on top of another big boulder. It is an ancient stone that goes way back to when this part of Scotland was in the hands of the Iron-Age 'Votadini' tribe. The village's name is in fact derived from the stone, as 'Clack' means 'stone' and 'Mannan'  comes from a Celtic sea-god named Manau. It is also known as 'King Robert's Stone', after Robert the Bruce apparently either left his glove or 'mannan' on the stone, or sat on it, although it wasn't the same Robert Bruce who lived in Clackmannan Tower as our King was dead when the tower was built and what was he doing sitting on a stone here anyway? Myths and legends can be complicated, and I'm inclined to think it might be a far more interesting story if a glove called Bruce met a sea-god on a boulder.
CLACKMANNAN TOWER
MAIN STREET, CLACKMANNAN
FOOTPATH TO CLACKMANNAN
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How to
GET THERE

You can get a bus to Clackmannan from Alloa, which has a direct train service from Stirling and Glasgow.
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