The Trossachs is an area in central to west Scotland which has several lochs (two of which were noted from Ben Vorlich in a previous post) & the Queen Elizabeth forest park which began life in 1953 to mark the coronation of the Queen.
( I am treating this post as text rather than photographic as there are only five photos here that basically record the journey as a link from the previous post to the next one... images 1,3 & 5 were photographed hurriedly from outside the car door with the engine still running, image 2 was the only one that I could relax with but it was the only view that was available thanks to Lakeside trees and image 4 was taken from the forecourt of a petrol station !! )
After leaving Loch Lubnaig, I headed south towards Callender (not one of my favourite places ), so I turned westwards on to the Trossachs road towards Loch Achray. Thankfully, the coach tour just in front of me decided to stop allowing me to pass and the drive was amazing. On reaching Loch Achray, the former hotel at Tigh Mor (above) provides an excellent backdrop to the scenery. This was used by Queen Victoria who visited the area when nearby Loch Katrine was made famous by the writings of Sir Walter Scott in 1810. His poem, " The Lady of the Lake", attracted the first generation of tourists and explorers from not just Scotland, but from various parts of Europe. A new hotel has recently been built nearby and even though the clientele is a little different these days, the place is just as magical. The current use of the building ( shown above) is a luxury self catering facility with the funds contributing to its own upkeep by way of a "holiday property bond".
After a brief photographic stop, I continued up the winding forest and heather lined road with freedom until I reached the outskirts of Aberfoyle where I caught up with a .....Bin man !! ( refuse disposal )
The next stage of my journey was on to the Lake of Menteith (the only named Lake in Scotland). I was hoping to see Inchmahome Priory or Abbey on an island built in 1238. Unfortunately, the viewpoints from the gaps in the trees didn't allow that (another time perhaps), so I had to make do with the above photograph.
The next stop was Stirling where I was starting to get a bit desperate for petrol ( I had been recommended to get petrol near Killin by the guest house host but as it was expensive, I decided to wait until Stirling) where the first sight from the west is the imposing castle structure. The castle is a fortress with cliffs and crags on three sides and often confused on paper with the more famous Edinburgh castle. The building was once the centre of Scottish royalty with many Kings and Queens getting crowned here in the middle ages. The structure has a mix of architecture and mainly dates from between the 15th and 18th centuries.
At last I found a petrol station and this was the view ( above ) while I was putting fuel into the car. As a tourist attraction, Wallace's monument has become a great tourist magnet thanks to the Mel Gibson film Braveheart. William Wallace was one of Scotlands great warriors and defender of the realm in the 13th century. This Scottish Knight and landowner tried to free the Scottish people of their woes and yet I wonder what he would think of Scotland today as life may have gone full circle proving that not a lot has changed in 800 years. The industry is still farming but the tourists come in peace!!