Holmehill is a 13 acre greenspace in the centre of Dunblane. Situated to the east of the River Allan, and overlooking the cathedral, Holmehill is a prominent, attractive, and important landscape feature. Although now well wooded with mature trees, the origin of the name Holmehill – How Maol 'The Hollow of the Bare Hill’ - suggesting a time in history when it may have looked very different.
The site currently supports mature woodlands, as well as open areas of grass and scrub. The huge trees include oak, sycamore, yew, sweet chestnut, beech, ash and lime; they border the paths and provide breeding places for many birds. Rooks are the noisiest and most obvious inhabitants and the rookery overlooking Ramoyle and the Braeport is full of constant noise and movement. In early spring, chiff chaffs and blackcap call insistently from amongst the trees, whilst in winter the tawny owls can be heard in the evenings. Roe deer also frequent Holmehill, and can often be seen amongst the trees on the top of the hill, or in the meadow area behind the Braeport.
A public path runs through the site and links the community on the east of Dunblane with the town centre. The path is part of the the Council's system of 'core paths'.
Holmehill has been the centre of a community campaign to preserve and hopefully purchase the land to keep in its beautiful natural condition as a public open space for all to enjoy. The Holmehill Blog is a great way to keep up to date with what wildlife there is on the hill through the seasons. The Holmehill Community Buyout website can be accessed here.
How to get there
From the High Street, go to the right around Dunblane Cathedral to Kirk Street. Walk up the Braeport, past the old school, now converted, and half way up the hill, on the right, between two white painted houses, is a public path leading into the wood. The path runs through to Smithy Loan on the east side of the hill. Alternatively there is an entrance opposite at the top of Smithy Loan, easily accessible from the Doubletree Hotel.