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Guest blog by John Stevenson of Scotland’s Wild: My top 5 Places to Visit in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
In this guest blog, owner and guide John Stevenson of tour company Scotland's Wild shares his personal Top 5 Places to Visit in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.
I’ve been lucky enough to spend my entire life living just a stone’s throw away from Loch Lomond.
Most of the jobs I’ve had growing up have been on “The Loch” or around its spectacular shoreline. I spend my spare time fishing and camping on many of the lovely wildlife filled islands and even walk my dog along its shores.
So when I first came up with the idea of starting a tour business, Experience Scotland’s Wild, I might have been forgiven for wanting to start somewhere new, somewhere more “touristy”, possibly Edinburgh? As this is where most of the visitors go after all, and as a tourism business, would likely have been more profitable. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs though, it’s just so…So captivating.
The area itself has so much diverse landscape, heather clad moorlands, deciduous woodlands and Munro Mountaintops. Whether it’s raining or the sun is out, the scenery is truly outstanding, the differing conditions help shine a new light on the land, distorting the features and colours so you’re always getting a brand new scene to appreciate.
It’s obvious to see, I do love the place and tearing myself away to start somewhere new, busier or more profitable was never really an option.
This is the area I know best, this is the place, which after thirty years of living here, I still find enchanting, I still want to get out and explore, so really, it’s the perfect place for me to share with people who are keen to get out and experience a unique part of Scotland.
Top 5 Places to Visit: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
The Duke’s Pass Scenic Drive
The first time I drove The Duke’s Pass, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it earlier. I had spent my entire life living only nineteen miles away and it had taken me over twenty years to discover this sightseeing pleasure. The road meanders through a delightful 7 mile stretch of the Trossachs. I’m sure this road was created with so many corners and bends, so that every thirty seconds you’d have a new scenic surprise, concealing itself, waiting until the right time, just to jump out and amaze your eyes.
It’s the remoteness, peacefulness and the drive out to Loch Chon that makes this one of my favourite places to visit around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Like the Duke’s Pass, you also have to go through Aberfoyle to get here. A fair section of the road is single track, which is fantastic to drive. It gives me that feeling of getting “off the beaten track”. When you reach Loch Chon, you’re rewarded with an idyllic, picturesque setting. Well worth a visit.
Falls of Dochart
I find the Falls of Dochart a curious location, they’re not the biggest waterfalls by volume of water and certainly not the tallest in height, still, what they lack in both these features, they more than make up for in fascinating character. Something I relish, and feel separates these falls, from many others, is that feeling of actually experiencing the falls as to simply viewing them. You can get out there and get close to them. When the conditions are right, you can hop across the massive “stepping stones” and immerse yourself in this stunning geological delight.
The views from atop of Conic Hill are to me, the most spectacular views you will ever see of Loch Lomond and the surrounding area. What makes this even more awesome, is the fact, that it can be walked from start to finish at a leisurely pace, in under three hours. You get to look down the hill and along the chain of Islands, Inchcailloch, Torrinch, Creinch and Inchmurrin, which all help form part of Scotland’s Highland boundary fault line which runs the width of the country from Stonehaven in the East to the Isle of Arran in the West.
I would like to finish with the area I love more than anywhere else in this world, Loch Lomond. I first journeyed out on to this mesmerising Loch when I was a 4 year old boy, joyful at the thought of my first fishing and camping adventure. I’m not sure we caught any fish over these few days, even so, from that moment on, I was “hooked”. It was just a massive, watery playground waiting to be explored, and today, twenty-eight years later I still feel the same, every time I’m out, it’s like a new adventure, always different, always throwing up a new spectacular sight.
Loch Lomond, for this reason, will always hold a special place in my heart.
I do hope I’ve inspired at least one extra person to explore Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, as I truly do believe the area to be one of the most awe- inspiring places in the whole of Scotland.
This is just my top five, although there are many more amazing locations throughout the area which all have something special about them and possess a uniqueness of their own: so go on, get yourself out there and create some fantastic memories.
Thank you John Stevenson of Scotland's Wild for the guest blog.
Find more Things to Do in and around Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs or visit the area for longer and book your accommodation by visiting our Places to Stay.