5 Special Viewpoints
Does a beautiful natural view need any kind of structure, or man made object to enhance it? Well the answer is both yes and no. No because there are so many incredible views that are just fine as they are. Yes when you see the positive effect that these five structures have had on their views.
These five examples are all very different, each carefully designed to blend seamlessly into the landscape and environment.
I’ve really enjoyed visiting and photographing each of these 5 viewpoints in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. I hope you find this guide useful, please use the comment box at the bottom to share your views about them.
1. Ben Lomond Viewing Shelter - Gartocharn
The Loch Lomond RSPB Reserve at Gartocharn is well worth a visit. I’ve linked below to two of our reviews to help you plan some time on the reserve, firstly Aber Shore on the southern banks of Loch Lomond and secondly the new look Visitor Centre with trails and pond dipping experience for children.
It is the RSPB Visitor Centre near Gartocharn where we find our first special viewpoint. Simply follow the clearly signed Viewpoint Trail, which is just 200m long and wheelchair friendly, to find a superb and beautiful framed view towards Ben Lomond courtesy of this shelter.
2. Look Out (Mirror Box) - Loch Voil
The next example is deep in Rob Roy Country. To get to this viewpoint take the A84, heading north out of Callander, leaving it at Kingshouse. From there follow signs to Balquhidder, go through the village along on the narrow road. This single track road soon starts to follow the banks of Loch Voil, unless you’re tempted to stop and take photographs, keep going until you see the distinctive pink building that is the stylish Monachyle Mhor hotel.
You should now be able to see Loch Voil and its close neighbour Loch Doine. Take the footpath towards the strip of land that is between the two lochs and then look out for a mirror box. It very successfully blends into the environment so you may not see it straight away. When you reach it you may disturb some grazing sheep admiring themselves in the mirrors that make up the exterior of the box.
This innovative design is the work of architecture students, Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler who won funding for it from The Scottish Government as part of their thesis at Strathclyde University.
Carefully positioned mirrors allow you to sit just inside the box and look out across one loch, whilst seeing a reflection of the other. This and the next three examples are part of the series of the Scottish Scenic Route Viewpoints. The Lookout (Mirror Box) is also part of the BLiSS Trail. Read more about that in the link below, do download their informative app where you can listen to an audio tour feature about The Lookout.
3. An Ceann Mòr - Inveruglas Pyramid
The next viewpoint is the easiest of the five to find. If you’re on a boat cruise close to the northern end of Loch Lomond, or travelling on the A82 by Inveruglas you can’t miss it. (By the way read our guide to an A82 road trip at the link below!).
Just checking the viewpoints Google reviews and An Ceann Mòr gets a 4.5 rating, along with many positive comments, so its been well received by its many visitors.
This is an 8m high pyramid viewpoint at Inveruglas providing excellent views across Loch Lomond, along with the nearby Arrochar Alps. Binoculars are installed at the pyramid if you wish to use them.
An Ceann Mòr means large headland in Gaelic and is built of sustainable timber which has turned to a sliver/grey colour since it opened in 2015. You can see the difference in our photographs above, just after it opened to more recently below.
4. Loch Lubnaig, ‘Sloc nan Sitheanach’ (faeries hollow)
Tucked away by the side of a picnic area of the first visitor car park at Loch Lubnaig is ‘Sloc nan Sitheanach’ or faeries hollow. Even if the car park is busy this can be a quiet spot, take in the excellent views across Loch Lubnaig to Ben Ledi.
This is the start of the BLiSS Trail, more about that in the link earlier in this article.
5. Woven Sound - Falls of Falloch
The final example of our 5 specula viewpoint is the Falls of Falloch which can be found off of the A82, about 5 miles south of Crianlarich. Again you can read more about our Balloch to Tyndrum A82 Road Trip at the link provided previously.
All of these special and enhanced viewpoints are unique and thoughtfully designed to work with their individual landscapes. Woven Sound is no different and is the work of John Kennedy who has added to it extracts from English poet Dorothy Wordsworth’s diary about the painters and writers who visited the falls in the early 19th century.
There are the 5 excellent enhanced viewpoints within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Park. All of them are well worth visiting. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about them, please let me know in the comments below what you think of them.
This article and accompanying photographs are by Paul Saunders for See Loch Lomond. Visit Paul’s other websites, Paul Saunders Marketing & Paul Saunders Photography, for his marketing, photography & video services in Loch Lomond and beyond.
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