TUCKED away in the far north east corner of Clackmannanshire lies the Cauldron Linn, a magnificent two-tiered 40ft waterfall.

A description which the Scottish Tourist and Itinerary published in the 19th Century described it as "…the greatest natural curiosity, and certainly one of the most sublime objects in Scotland".

Such a description still holds true to this day, and if the Linn was accessible by car, it would almost certainly be a leading Scottish tourist attraction.

It has a dark and imposing aura, heavily wooded all around with steep slopes and rocky outcrops on either side.

There is no easy route to the falls, for every way is rough-going, but I recently ventured up from Vicar's Bridge, a walk of about 2.5km upstream, which because of the heavy ground took around an hour.

Known as the Devon Gorge the wonderful woodland in this area comprises an eclectic mix of beech, birch, oak, sycamore and several other species.

Rotten tree stumps abounded, perfect places for great-spotted woodpeckers to forage, while birch polypores, a strange-looking bracket fungus adorned veteran birch trees.

There was also a proliferation of ash, which delivered a special ambience here due to their striking pale trunks, which radiated an enveloping soft luminescence under the weak autumnal sun.

After pausing for a bit, I struck upriver once more, disturbing a red squirrel on my way, which scuttled up a tree with a nut in its mouth.

Soon, the falls came into view. The area around the Cauldron Linn is strewn with moss-covered boulders, slippery and treacherous, and real ankle breakers should a foot inadvertently slide between a gap.

But after a bit of cautious clambering, I soon found a suitable vantage point on a large rocky slab and focused my attention on the falls.

It was a most spectacular sight, spilling down over two large vertical stages, with the lower section forming a frothy white torrent that spilled into a large pool below.

After lingering for a while, I realised it was time to go, as dusk would soon settle across the gorge, after which time the wood would become a hazardous place to walk.

Later, as I neared Vicar's Bridge, a tawny owl hooted, a quavering 'hu…hu-hoooo'.

The sun might still have been just above the horizon, but the dark embrace of the forest had stirred this bird of the night into calling early.