The beauty of the Trossachs inspired writers such as Sir Walter Scott to pen poems and stories that put this part of Scotland on the map. Scott's 1810 poem 'The Lady of the Lake' is celebrated today by Loch Katrine's passenger steamship 'Sir Walters Scott' which along with 'Lady of the Lake' provide daily cruises. Todays visitors to the Trossachs are walking in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots, Robert The Bruce and Queen Victoria.
Watch the video (below the map) for a short introduction to the highlights of The Trossachs.
Video: EXPLORE The Trossachs
Video: Destination Loch Katrine
From Trossachs Pier you can sail on the Steamship Sir Walter Scott, cruising on Loch Katrine. Sail to Stroachlachar at the northern end of the loch where you can enjoy some lunch at the Pier Café and then return either by boat or bike.
Cycling around Loch Katrine is enjoyable, due to the lack of car traffic. Bike rental is available at Trossachs Pier. New eco pods and camping facilities have recently been introduced allowing you to wake up alongside the loch. This destination is growing in popularity and the number of sailings each year has recently been increased, there is also high demand to take bikes on the boats. Check the Loch Katrine website for news of special events and sailing times.
Enjoy some excellent views of Loch Katrine from nearby Ben A'nn. A walk up and down this hill will take you just over two hours. Despite the hill being a modest elevation, it is a steady climb up to the rocky peak.
Aberfoyle is an ideal base to explore the Trossachs. Nearby the The Lodge Visitor Centre has hides for viewing wildlife in the forest. Within the main building you can learn about the wildlife that can be seen in the area and view their live CCTV footage of nearby Osprey nests. A walk through the forest to the waterfall also features a series of interactive points of interest, including the chance to relax in a hammock! Go Ape! has an aerial obstacle course, that can be reached by Scotland's longest zip wire, a thrilling start to the adventure.
The Lake of Menteith
Something unique for Scotland, a lake not a loch. Inchmahome is its largest island and home to the ruins of Inchmahome Priory, an ancient monastery. This is where four year old Mary, Queen of Scots was hidden in 1547. The island and priory also hosted Robert The Bruce on a number of occasions.
Inchmahome Priory is now managed by Historic Scotland and can be reached by their ferry service which runs from March to September.
Lochend Chalets at the Lake of Menteith is owned by Victoria Carroll and her family. Victoria tells her story below as part of the film series Celebrating Park People & their Stories. Also featured in the series and shown below is Aberfoyle resident Jenny Allen.
Video - Victoria Carrol (Park People)
Video - Jenny Allen (Park People)
Callander is a pretty town, on the banks of the River Teith. The nearby Bracklinn Falls are well worth a visit. Allow just over two hours to complete a full circular walk around the waterfall.
The old railway is long gone, but there is now a cycle path in its place that is part of the number 7 National Cycle path, with bike hire available in the town. If you're visiting in July Callander's Summerfest features two weeks of music, art and theatre in a series of events.
Recently Trossachs Distillery has opened, just outside of Callander, distilling some interesting flavours of gin, including mint, chilli and mocha. Look out for their distinctive blue McQueen Gin bottles.
Inversnaid is on the route of the West Highland Way, along the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. An alternative approach to the long and winding drive from Aberfoyle is the water bus service from Tarbet, on the other side of Loch Lomond. Inversnaid hotel was built for the Duke of Montrose in 1790 next to a beautiful waterfall.
One of the two RSPB reserves in Loch Lomond is in Inversnaid. Just north of Inversnaid is the cave that outlaw Rob Roy was meant to have hidden in. Now it's not so hidden, with big white letters outside saying 'cave'. Cruise Loch Lomond will get you up close to view it from the loch.
If you're planning to get married in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, then Altskeith House on Loch Ard is an excellent venue. Newly married couples there can enjoy a romantic rowing boat experience on the loch and watch the sun set over Ben Lomond.
Glen Finglas is part of the Great Trossachs Parks, with many walks, including a children's Play Trail. The Three Lochs Forest drive is well worth exploring by bike, foot or car. There are bookable camping options both here and at many other locations in the Trossachs.