Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

The Great Outdoors: Even when I’m gasping for breath, I remember to mind my mountain manners

Beautiful Bracklinn falls callander
Beautiful Bracklinn falls callander

As a teenager I took a friend to the Lake District in an attempt to convert him to the joys of hillwalking.

Striding Edge seemed like a good place to start, with plenty of wow factor, and as we sat on the rocky ridge, the view was astounding.

What sticks in the memory, however, is what happened after I had greeted some fellow scramblers with a cheery “hello”. When they had made their way on to the summit of Helvellyn, my friend asked if I knew everyone on the mountain as I had said “hi” to all of them and received equally polite replies.

Fast forward a decade or two – or maybe three – and my children have asked the same question, and again been told that it’s just what you do in the outdoors, away from the hustle and bustle of streets and pavements.

But what is the etiquette when it comes to talking to other folk walking by a burn, on a hill, mountain or even a ridge? On a walk to Bracklinn Falls the other week a quick “hello” or nod of the head was all that was needed for a coach party from Germany – if I had tried to start a conversation I would have been linguistically challenged.

As I followed the Keltie Burn upstream and stopped to admire more falls near Scout Pool, I could’ve chatted to a couple by a little bridge. But they decided to head off with a “lovely day, isn’t it”, I think to leave the viewing spot to me – a nice gesture and high on the scale of politeness.

As the steeper slopes of the Callander Crags were reached, I faced an etiquette conundrum as I met a chap coming down. Do I gasp an out a breathless “hi” or pretend I was in no way out of puff? I shamefully went for the latter.

I stopped at the wonderful summit cairn. As I set off, a guy appeared and despite my best, most jovial “hello” I only received a weak smile and a little grunt on reply.

Worrying that I had been overly jolly, I scuttled off down the ridge but quickly realised the reason for the gentleman’s taciturn nature. In front of me was a lady, presumably his wife, telling a child to “stop complaining”.

I thought better of speaking and just gave a consoling smile. Thankfully, for the rest of the way down I didn’t see a soul – sometimes a walk on your own is the best thing.


Location: Bracklinn Falls

Length: Four miles

Height gained: 1,050ft

Time: Two-three hours

OS Landranger: 57

Parking: From Stirling head into Callander on the A84 and turn left just after a sign for the Roman Camp Country House Hotel. Follow Bracklin Road out of the town and up to Bracklinn Falls car park.

Top tip: Don’t put too many clothes on before you start. You want to be a little chilly as the body will heat up on a walk. You can always put more layers on as you go along.