Ben Vorlich & Loch Earn

Written by Chris Thornton | 30th of August 2023
Ben Vorlich & Loch Earn

Ben Vorlich is located northwest of Stirling and south of Loch Earn and is a very popular Munro for beginners due to its well-formed path to the summit. Although it's considered "easy" in the world of Munro climbing, the more difficult Stuc a'Chroin can be added to your day to increase the challenge - and tick another Munro off your list!

Let's find out more about Ben Vorlich and Loch Earn.

Ben Vorlich

Located on the fringe of the southern Highlands, Ben Vorlich or Beinn Mhùrlaig in Scottish Gaelic dominates the horizon from the flatter areas in central Scotland. Situated within the stunning Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, this rocky prominence is 3232 ft (985 m) high, qualifying it as an official Munro in Scotland and a big draw for "Munro Baggers".

Loch Earn

This fresh water Loch is a picturesque body of water at the foot of Ben Vorlich. It's a reasonably narrow loch around 7 miles long by 3/4 of a mile wide and feeds the River Earn, which flows eastwards and eventually reaches the Firth of Tay.

Loch Earn is popular for watersports, including canoeing, kayaking and diving. Fishing is allowed with a permit to catch brown and rainbow trout via the shore or a boat.

An interesting feature of this Loch is its own tidal system created by wind blowing along the length of the Loch. Water will build up at one end of Loch Earn over a period of 16 hours.

Do you need a permit to fish Loch Earn?

Yes, you can get one from Drummond Trout Farm, £13 per day per adult or £40 for the week. £6/20 per child. 01764 681257.

How to climb Ben Vorlich

Please be aware that hill walking can be dangerous and undertaken at your own risk; sheer drops, loose rocks and changeable weather is common. These directions are purely recounted from my own experiences and open to human error - you should bring a proper route map (OL46 The Trossachs) and compass to ensure you don't get lost. Don't rely on any routes marked on Google Maps. Check weather forescasts before you attempt the Munro.

Remember to pack your midge repellent too; the wee beasties are savage in the spring and summer months. Smidge 75ml Insect Repellent (affiliate link, but it's the best one!).

  1. Start your climb from Ardvorlich on the south shore of Loch Earn. It's worth getting there early as there is limited parking available at the lochside and no dedicated parking area. Start the main route by passing through this stone gate.

  2. The Ardvorlich Burn runs down into Loch Earn; you want to follow the path on the east side of the burn.

  3. You will pass between stone gateposts, continue and keep right at the fork near the farm cottages.

  4. Cross the bridge to the west side of the burn, and you can see Ardvorlich House, but turn left once over the bridge.

  5. Continue on this path for around 1 km and take the right path of the fork to continue up Ben Vorlich.

  6. Follow the track for another 1.5 km to the next fork, take the right route and then cross the footbridge over the burn. The main route becomes a much rougher path at this stage.

  7. Ascend the north side of Ben Vorlich, taking in great views of the heather. The path will become less defined as you climb but still easily followable. Staying on this clear track will lead to the Sgiath nam Tarmachan ridge.

  8. This next section is steeper and more care should be taken before arriving at the summit ridge.

  9. The trig point can be found further to the east along the ridge and a stone cairn.

  10. Return route: Return the way you came back down to Loch Earn.

Glen Vorlich

How long does it take to climb Ben Vorlich?

It should take 4 to 5 hours depending on your fitness level; add another 2 hours if you wish to include Stùc a' Chròin (experts only).

When is the best time of year to climb Ben Vorlich?

May through September is considered the best time to do most things in Scotland, and hill climbing is no different. You will have the most sunlight and the best weather to make the most of your day on the hills.

Stùc a' Chròin is a much more challenging climb with scrambles and loose rocks and should only be attempted by experienced climbers.

Is Ben Vorlich a difficult climb?

It's one of the more accessible Munro's but still not to be sniffed at, expect a challenging climb but not a technically difficult one. Weather can be changeable, so plan for rain, fog/mist and wind. Wear strong walking boots with ankle support, don't wear flip flops!

Where to park at Ben Vorlich?

There is no dedicated car park, but there is limited parking roadside on the south side of Loch Earn, near the start of the walk, for around ten cars. It is a minor road named "S Loch Earn Rd". Arrive early to be in with a chance at grabbing one of these coveted spaces. Please do not park in passing places as this will disrupt the traffic flow of this single track road.

Is there public transport to Loch Earn?

There is no public transport that goes directly to the start of the Ben Vorlich route; however, you can catch a bus to Lochearnhead or nearby St Fillans. You can walk around Loch Earn to get to the start of the walk but it will add some distance to your walk before starting the main route to the summit of Ben Vorlich.

Where are the nearest toilets at Ben Vorlich?

Lochearnhead public toilets have you covered at the north west side of the Loch, within Lochearnhead itself.

What can be seen from the summit of Ben Vorlich?

The summit of Ben Vorlich gives incredible views of central Scotland; often, you can climb above the clouds with resulting cloud inversions giving fantastic photo opportunities.

Stuc a'Chroin (another Munro) is the most common sight and sometimes the goal of hardcore climbers to do two Munros in one day. The impressive Ben Lawers range can be seen to the north near Loch Tay, and Ben Lomond to the south west.

Stirling City can be seen to the far south east, the castle here is often photographed with Ben Vorlich in the background.

Where can I stay near Ben Vorlich?

Here are a few of the best places you can stay near Ben Vorlich.

What can be visited near Ben Vorlich?

Other attractions near this Munro include:

  • Edinample Castle - 16th-century tower house on the south shores of Loch Earn.

  • Deil's Cauldron Waterfall - a pretty little waterfall to the east of Loch Earn, great walk and dedicated car park.

  • Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre - A brilliant place including an indoor play barn, play park, cafe, and many animal varieties.

  • Blairdrummond Safari Park - An excellent zoo with many animals and facilities. Lions and elephants are a big draw to this park.

What other Munros are near to Ben Vorlich?

Looking to do a few more on your trip around Scotland? Here are some feasible options near Ben Vorlich that you might like:

  • Ben Chonzie

  • Ben More

  • Stob Binnein

  • Cruach Ardrain

  • Beinn Tulaichean

  • Beinn a'Chroin

  • An Caisteal

  • Beinn Chabhair


I hope this article has been helpful to you for your ascent up Ben Vorlich. If you have been planning this for your first Munro, just get out and do it; you won't regret it!

Ben Vorlich location

All information was correct at the time of writing, please check things like entry costs and opening times before you arrive.

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