Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Trossachs to Stirling

Trossachs Hotel

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 )

Scottish Lake  GJC_IMG_8980

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.

Castle  GJC_IMG_8982 (1)

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.

Wallace Monument  GJC_IMG_8985

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!!

Harvest Forth Valley  GJC_IMG_8987


  1. Interesting juxtaposition of the John Deere threshing machine and the WW Monument!

    Loved the Queen Victoria (pictured in my mind as Judi Dench) and Sir Walter Scott history. Beautiful photo!

  2. Petrol is always expensive in Scotland. Another tour de force or tour de Scotland. A good read as always.

  3. i dream to see in person a view like ur pic no3. dreammmmmm....

  4. I think that today is Friday...
    Lake of Menteith ....wonderful!
    I wish you a great weekend!
    Best regards from Romania!

  5. Cranberry morning... I was looking for a distant view of the monument and then I came across farmland where there were bales of hay. Parking was difficult as I was on a busy minor A road, so the best I could do was to wait for the harvester to enter the scene. I think the text worked ok with the picture. I now have a picture in my head of Judy Dench arriving at the Trossachs hotel on a coach tour !! She is looking forward to her trip by steam boat on Loch Katrine tomorrow !

    Adrian... It was a 4 hour car journey for me and I made an interim (£20) fill at Tyndrum. Stirling was a lot cheaper by 3 or 4 pence a litre depending on how much they choose to rob you by !! It would be worth checking out suburban Glasgow on the the way up to top up with what you have used.

    Lily Riani... I have relatives in this area and I remember being taken in to Stirling castle as a child, I thought it amazing, it's a long time since I was last inside but the streets going up to it have there own charm like a mini Edinburgh. One day next year I may do a post from here when I call in to see some of my distant family.

    Cimpoaco Laurentiu... I agree, great views from the top and not as busy as Edinburgh Castle.

    Wind... another place that I never give myself enough time. I would love to come back here again and do the boat trip, monastery tour .... so many things to see and so little time ! Have a good week.


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