History, Heritage & Events in Loch Lomond

Here are profiles of four characters from different times, all of whom have lives that are still celebrated around each of the four corners of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. There is also a compilation of some of the many local events that take place each year.

Tom Weir - Loch Lomond

The Tom Weir statue was unveiled on what would have been celebrated mountaineer and TV presenters 100th birthday. Thousands of people have had their photograph taken with the statue in Balmaha, since its arrival in December 2014. 

Tom brought his authentic and genuine love for the Scottish countryside into the home of millions with his Weir's Way TV series. He loved Loch Lomond and lived in nearby Gartocharn. Weir's Rest is more than a statue, there is a mountain garden and it is a place to enjoy the beautiful setting and to learn about the wildlife and nature that can be found at Balmaha Bay. 

Rob Roy - Bredalbane

Rob Roy MacGregor was born at the head of Loch Katrine in 1671. The outlaw became well known as a cattle rustler and for selling protection against theft. 

Raging a feud against the Duke of Montrose who had seized his land, after defaulting on a loan he eventually surrendered. He was imprisoned and then pardoned in 1727. He died in Balquhidder in 1734 at the age of 63, you can visit his grave in the church yard. His epitaph reads 'MacGregor despite them'. 

At Inversnaid there is the cave where he was said to have hidden during his time on the run.

Walter Scott - The Trossachs

On Loch Katrine the SS Sir Walter Scott steamship pays tribute to history in a couple of ways. Firstly it is the oldest surviving scheduled steam ship service, having gone into service in 1899, when steam ships were common place. Secondly its name pays tribute to celebrated Scots writer Walter Scott (1771-1832) and his poem of 1810 Lady of the Lake. This book was a blockbuster of the day. Scott's vivid description of the Loch Katrine scenery attracted many visitors. 

Walter Scott also published a novel in 1817 about Rob Roy, who had been born at the head of Loch Katrine. 

Harry Lauder - Argyll Forest 

Sir Harry Lauder was the first British artist to sell a million records, indeed he was described by Sir Winston Churchill as Scotland's greatest ever ambassador. 

Harry built a memorial to John, a Captain in the British Army who died during the First World War, on the family estate at Glenbranter in Argyll. The Forestry Commission leased the Lauder estate in 1921, currently conservation charity The Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs are upgrading the car parking and pathway to the memorial. 

The Maid Of The Loch  

A celebration not of a person this time, but an iconic form of transport for Loch Lomond. The Maid of the Loch was Loch Lomond's last paddle steamer. Thankfully she was rescued and has been lovingly preserved. 

Having been static for many years at a berth at Balloch, a dedicated team of volunteers are currently making great progress in their efforts to secure the necessary funding to get her back into service and sailing once again on Loch Lomond. 

Events In Loch Lomond 

A number of Highland Games take place across the region in summer. Starting with Helensburgh Highland Games and the Cowal Gathering both in June.  In July you there are Highland Games in Luss, Balloch and the Highland Gathering at Kinlochard. In July there are Highland Games in Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead. Finally in August both Killin and Ardlui host Highland Game events. 

The Great Scottish Swim takes place in August at Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch. This is a series of distance open water swimming competitions.  

Callander Summerfest is held during a fortnight in July that is packed with entertainment and events to celebrate art, culture and the outdoors. Also in Callander anglers flock to the town each February for the official launch of the salmon fishing season on the River Teith. 

Cowalfest is an eight day walking and outdoor festival on the Cowal Peninsula, held in October.

At Balquhidder the annual Mhor Fest brings together food, music, theatre, raft racing and more each May. The Strathyre Music Festival, during May bills itself wonderfully as the largest small based community festival Scotland.  The Killin Music Festival in June, has been running for a few years and is growing in popularity. The Callander Jazz & Blues Festival is staged at the end of September. 

Drymen Show, Scotland's oldest agriculture show takes place in May. Also in Drymen the village trust organises Piping in the Square, with the Strathendrick Pipe Band performing for an hour each Thursday night during the summer holidays on the village green. Drymen's neighbouring village Balfron Station is the location for the annual Woodland Light Experience in November.

There are of course many other events throughout the year. Check our Facebook page for details. If you run a local event in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs please get in touch and we will be happy to feature it. 

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