Aberfoyle is an attractive village situated at the Gateway to The Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park. It has a thriving Main Street offering many facilities to tourists and visitors such as Pubs, Restaurants, Post Office, Bank, Supermarket and Garden Centre.
There are many good bed and breakfast places in Aberfoyle, a good selection of self catering holiday cottages and some hotels nearby. There is also a Forestry Commission campsite at Cobleland within walking distance along a cycle path and a few miles further there is a private campsite at Trossachs Holiday Park which caters for tourers and has holiday caravans for hire.
Situated in the midst of the magnificent scenery of the Highland Boundary Fault offering many outdoor attractions for the visitor, Aberfoyle is a good base for walking and cycling and is the starting point for many miles of waymarked walks and cycle routes. The Forestry Commission has produced a great map showing all of the walking and cycling routes in the Loch Ard and Loch Achray Forests and the location of the many visitor attractions. A copy of the map and many other maps can be downloaded from the Maps and Trails page.
Aberfoyle was the third most important quarry in Scotland in the early 1900s and the location of some of the highest quality Scottish slate. Slate was only used for very big important buildings such as castles roofs and public building as ordinary people thatched their roof with different natural materials, including straw, grass and bracken. However, by the late 1800s it became normal for everyone to use slate and thats when the quarry was at its busiest.
Aberfoyle Slate Quarry became a real industry and as the quarry was located in a remote location, the men who worked at the quarry also had to live there. In the early days, they lived in a wooden bunkhouse; by the 1890s the Aberfoyle Slate Company had built several rows of houses for them and their families to live in. The houses were known as The Aberfoyle Cottaries and they soon became a small village, which even had its own school. Nowadays, only the Hill Cottage still stands at the entrance, the rest of the village is gone but some remains of the village can be found on the left of the cottage. The Forestry Commission in Aberfoyle sometimes run guided tours of the quarry with the Forest Rangers and this is the best way to find out all about the history.
Just a short walk from the Village is the old graveyard and Kirk at Kirkton, once the hub of the village and now a ruin. The fascinating history surrounding the Old Kirk is well worth a visit to learn more on the story of the Reverend Robert Kirk who, as legend would have it, was spirited away by the fairies in 1692 after he betrayed their secrets by writing about them in his book “The Secret Commonwealth of Elfs, Fauns and Fairies”. This, and the nearby Doon Hill make a fascinating walk as the lone Scots Pine on the top of the hill is said to contain the spirit of Robert Kirk. Details of this walk and other short walks around Aberfoyle are listed in a dedicated leaflet available from the Information Centre or download a copy of the walking leaflet here.
The Trossachs Discovery Centre (Tourist Information) is situated in the Main Street with maps and publications to get the most of a visit to this wonderful little Village. This office is open all year round and has some interactive and audio visual displays. Accommodation can also be booked at the Visitor Centre.
Go Ape and Scotland’s longest zip wire are located at the Lodge Visitor Centre in Aberfoyle. Go Ape is a high wire adventure course in the forest and is great fun for all the family. Starting from outside the Centre you are zipped across the forest to the course 460 metres away!! Not to be missed. Search for Go Ape below and getting 15% off Go Ape.
There are many miles of waymarked walking and cycling routes in and around Aberfoyle in The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park which forms part of the National Park. The National Cycle Route 7 passes through Aberfoyle before going over The Dukes Pass towards Callander. This route is a long distance cycle route from Carlisle to Inverness and is partly on forest tracks and minor roads. A leaflet on the part of NCR 7 that passes though Aberfoyle and the Trossachs can be viewed here and downloaded.
The Rob Roy Way long distance walk also passes the Village and more details of all of the walks and cycle routes can be found in the walking and cycling pages. A summary of the Maps and Brochures available for download can be found on the Maps and Trails page. Aberfoyle is a great base for discovering The Trossachs and Loch Lomond.
Aberfoyle has the following facilities
Aberfoyle: Uncovering Its Hidden Gems and History
Aberfoyle is a charming holiday village situated in the council area of Stirling, Scotland. Nestled 27 miles northwest of Glasgow, this picturesque settlement is renowned for both its natural beauty and rich history. As a popular destination in the heart of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Aberfoyle offers a variety of attractions and activities to suit the interests of its visitors.
The village boasts an attractive main street with an array of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. Tourists can delve deeper into Aberfoyle’s history and the surrounding national park at the Trossachs Discovery Centre. Another fascinating attraction is the Scottish Wool Centre, where visitors can learn about the journey of wool, from sheep to shops, through live sheep shows and interactive displays. With lochs such as Loch Ard, Loch Chon, and Loch Lomond to the west, and Loch Katrine, Loch Achray, and Loch Venacher to the north, Aberfoyle provides the perfect gateway to explore the enchanting landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.
One of the most intriguing historic sites in Aberfoyle is Doon Hill, which has strong connections to the Reverend Robert Kirk. In 1691, he published his famous book “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves and Fairies”, an essay about the nature and actions of the supernatural beings believed to inhabit the area. This book and its author’s mysterious connection to the otherworldly beings have contributed greatly to Aberfoyle’s unique charm.
Founding and Development
Aberfoyle’s name originates from the Brittonic Celtic phrase “aber poll” or “aber phuill” (Scottish Gaelic, Obar Phuill), signifying a place at the mouth of the Phuill Burn. The Pow Burn merges with the River Forth in Aberfoyle, giving the area its distinct geographical characteristics.
The transformation of Aberfoyle into a popular tourist destination began in the 1800s, primarily due to Sir Walter Scott’s publication of “The Lady of the Lake” in 1810. This increased tourism in the Trossachs area by an impressive 500%, positioning Aberfoyle as a gateway to the region and turning it into a desirable Victorian watering hole.
Today, Aberfoyle is most frequently associated with its location near the southern entrance of the Trossachs National Park, drawing numerous visitors eager to experience the natural beauty and the rich history that the area has to offer.
Aberfoyle is a picturesque village situated on the banks of the River Forth in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. The village is in the council area of Stirling, Scotland, and lies approximately 27 miles (43 kilometres) northwest of Glasgow. The surrounding area is characterised by the stunning landscapes of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond, offering numerous walking routes and outdoor recreational activities.
One of the main geographical features in Aberfoyle is the Highland Boundary Fault Zone, which separates the Scottish Highlands from the lowlands of the Scottish Midland Valley. Furthermore, the expansive Queen Elizabeth Forest Park covers an area of 211 square kilometres and is managed by Forestry and Land Scotland.
The regional climate in Aberfoyle can be primarily described as temperate oceanic. The area experiences mild temperature changes throughout the year, with cool summers and relatively mild winters. The village gets a considerable amount of rainfall—typical for the Highland region—making it frequently wet, but, providing the lush green landscapes visitors appreciate. The following table summarises annual average temperatures and rainfall in Aberfoyle:
|Average High (°C)
|Average Low (°C)
|Average Rainfall (mm)
Aberfoyle’s unique geographical features and natural attractions, combined with the temperate climate, make it an attractive destination for visitors looking to experience the beauty and tranquillity of the Scottish Highlands.
Aberfoyle is a small village located in the Stirling Council area of Scotland. The local economy of Aberfoyle primarily consists of small businesses and industries. These businesses cater to the needs of the residents as well as to the tourists who visit the area. Some of the common industries in Aberfoyle include:
Agriculture: Farming and agricultural activities are essential to the local economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the area’s overall economic development.
Retail: A number of shops and businesses cater to the daily needs of both locals and tourists, such as grocery stores, boutiques, and gift shops.
Service sector: This sector plays a crucial role in Aberfoyle’s economy, offering services like hospitality, transportation, and financial services.
Aberfoyle is a popular tourist destination, known for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor activities. The village’s location in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park attracts a large number of tourists each year, especially during the summer months. Tourism is a significant contributor to the local economy, with several businesses catering to the needs of visitors. Some notable aspects of Aberfoyle’s tourism industry include:
Accommodation: A variety of accommodation options are available for visitors, including hotels, guest houses, and self-catering cottages.
Outdoor activities: Due to its proximity to the national park, Aberfoyle is an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. Popular activities include hiking, cycling, and fishing.
Historic attractions: The area is rich in history, with several historic sites in and around the village, such as the ruins of Inchmahome Priory and the Duke’s Pass, a scenic road that offers stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside.
Local events: Throughout the year, Aberfoyle hosts a range of events aimed at promoting the area and celebrating its local culture, such as farmers’ markets and community gatherings.
Culture and Events
Aberfoyle, a charming village situated on the banks of the River Forth, is not only known for its stunning natural landscapes but also has a rich cultural scene. In this section, we will discuss the various festivals and community life that contribute to Aberfoyle’s vibrant atmosphere.
Aberfoyle hosts a range of festivals throughout the year. With a focus on arts and local traditions, these events attract both locals and visitors alike. Some popular festivals in Aberfoyle include:
- Aberfoyle Arts Festival: This annual event showcases the work of local artists, musicians, and performers. Taking place over a weekend, the festival features live music, art exhibits, and workshops on various art forms.
- Trossachs Highland Games: A traditional Scottish event held in August, the Trossachs Highland Games are a highlight of Aberfoyle’s cultural calendar. The games consist of athletic and traditional Scottish sports competitions, such as caber toss, stone put, and tug-of-war, accompanied by Scottish music and dance performances.
The strong sense of community in Aberfoyle is the backbone of its thriving cultural scene. Locals take pride in their village and participate in numerous activities to preserve and promote their cultural heritage. Some key aspects of Aberfoyle community life include:
- The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre: Serving as a hub for information and activities related to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre offers a variety of educational programmes, wildlife walks, and workshops for both residents and visitors.
- Aberfoyle VisitScotland iCentre: As a central point of contact for information about local attractions and events, the iCentre serves the community by helping people explore Aberfoyle and the surrounding area.
- Go Country, Forest Hills Water Sport Centre: Providing a range of outdoor recreational activities for all ages, the Go Country centre enables locals and visitors to connect with the natural environment and participate in water sports, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and rafting.
- Local clubs and groups: Aberfoyle has a variety of clubs and interest groups catering to diverse hobbies and interests, from sports clubs and gardening groups to art and craft societies. These organisations further strengthen the sense of community and contribute to the cultural life of the village.
Use the search feature below to explore accommodations, activities, attractions, and places to eat and drink, in and around Aberfoyle.