The Villages in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are steeped in history, legend and some myth. They attract many visitors every year because of the beautiful scenery of hills, lochs and glens, plus offering a great number of outdoor pursuits and leisure pastimes.
The Trossachs area became popular after the poem “The Lady of the Lake” was written by Sir Walter Scott in 1810. Other famous figures in the history of The Trossachs were Rob Roy and Mary Queen of Scots. Rob Roy spent much time around the village of Aberfoyle and Glen Gyle near Loch Katrine where he was a cattle breeder and herder, not always with cattle he owned!
There are many historical places to visit in the National Park including beautiful churches, castles and stately homes that have kept their traditional charm. There are many castles for example, including Carrick Castle at Lochgoilhead and Inveraray Castle which once were home to the Clan Campbell. And of course there is Stirling Castle which is one of the finest castles built in Scotland and well worth a day visit.
Most villages in the Trossachs and around Loch Lomond are situated in very tranquil surroundings perfect to relax and explore the beautiful outdoors. A large number of films were made and showed scenes of The Trossachs Villages such as the classic film about Rob Roy MacGregor shot in 1953. Doune Castle was part of the film location of ‘Monty Python & the Holy Grail’ in 1974.
Balloch at the south end of Loch Lomond, is the HQ of The National Park Authority. Balloch offers many activities such as water sports, loch cruises, golf, shopping, and sightseeing. This small town is the main gateway to the National Park as it has good public transport access from Glasgow and a regular bus service along the west shores of Loch Lomond up to the village of Tyndrum and even further to Fort William.
Other gateway villages are Aberfoyle and Callander both attracting many thousands of visitors every year due to the range of services available, the spectacular scenery and the miles of walking and cycling routes in the Loch Ard and Loch Achray Forests. You will find some fine pubs and restaurants and a good selection of shops as well as plenty of accommodation and campsites.
The West Highland Way long distance walk is 96 miles (151km) long and runs from Milngavie in the North of Glasgow to Fort William. Much of the route passes through The Trossachs along the east shore of Loch Lomond. Each year more than 70,000 walkers walk this route.
The Rob Roy Way is another popular long distance walk and passes the Southern Highlands along beautiful countryside and historical villages. It starts from the village of Drymen and passes Aberfoyle, Callander, Strathyre, Killin and some other villages until it reaches Pitlochry after 92 miles (148 km).
The National Cycle Route 7 is a long distance cycle route from Calistle to Inverness and passes through the forests of Loch Ard and Loch Achray as well as through many of the Villages such as Gartmore, Drymen, Aberfoyle and Callander. This route is partly on forest tracks and quiet country roads and is a challenging route in places but has spectacular scenery for most of the route.