What to see in Scotland
Tourist attractions Trossachs
Often nicknamed the ‘miniature Highlands’, the Trossachs is a national park covering more than 720 square miles. Officially known as Loch Lomand and the Trossachs National Park, this area of immense natural beauty was Scotland’s very first national park and is located in the council area of Stirling, within easy reach of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Home to Loch Lomand, the largest lake in Britain, the Trossachs is bursting with wooded glens, hills and lochs and is an ever-popular destination for walkers, cyclists and tourists. A trip to the Trossachs offers all the incredible natural beauty of the Highlands, plus plenty of amenities and accommodation within easy reach. There are a number of charming villages and small towns to discover, dotted throughout the national park, such as Callander, the charming village of Balloch, Aberfoyle, ancient Luss and Brig o’-Turk.
The Trossachs is situated on the Highland Boundary Fault Line and is home to 21 Munros (mountains higher than 3000 feet), 19 Corbetts (mountains between 2500 and 3000 feet), 22 lochs and various forests and meandering rivers. If you visit the Trossachs you’ll find an abundance of wildlife that inhabit this untouched natural environment. From red and sika deer to ospreys, black grouse and the rare red squirrels, be sure to keep an eye out for the local wildlife if you travel to the Trossachs. Furthermore, the waterways of this national park are inhabited by a large population of otters.
A vacation to the Trossachs is a great choice for both families, couples and solo travelers as there is plenty of different activities, landscapes and sights to explore. From soaring snow-capped mountains to the glistening waters of huge Loch Lomond, this national park is both easily accessible and utterly beautiful. The best time to visit the Trossachs is during the spring, summer or early autumn, as you’ll likely enjoy drier weather and longer days. If you do visit in the winter, you’ll be treated to even more dramatic scenery, shrouded in clouds, mist and snow, but you’ll also have to contend with chilly temperatures.
Things to do in the Trossachs
There is an unlimited number of things to do in the Trossachs, and this natural paradise offers outdoor pursuits and stunning natural spectacles for all travelers to enjoy.
Hiking trips to the Trossachs are always a popular choice, and by exploring the scenery on foot you can really take in the landscapes and wander off the beaten track to discover all kinds of hidden gems. Feeling the breeze on your skin and immersing yourself in the glens, mountains and endless skies of the ‘mini Highlands’ is sure to be a highlight of any trip to the Trossachs. From short walks to nature trails and more adventurous mountain hikes, there are routes for all capabilities. The best-known mountain hike is the route up to the top of Ben Lomond, which sits on the eastern shore of the Loch of the same name. Although its peak is almost 1000 meters above sea level, there is a relatively easy route with gentle inclines, known as the ‘tourist trail’. This should be achievable for most walkers. More seasoned ‘Munro baggers’ might prefer to take on Ben More, the highest of the Crianlarich Hills.
Other adventurous pursuits to enjoy on a Trossachs vacation include cycling and watersports. Thanks to the numerous lochs and rivers, watersports are increasingly popular, especially during the summer months and if you visit the Trossachs you can partake in any number of activities such as kayaking, swimming, paddle-boarding and waterskiing. Loch Lomond is one of the best places for watersports in the Trossachs.
If you’d prefer to spend your time in a more relaxing manner, the Trossachs is home to a number of whisky distilleries, where you can sample the flavours of so-called ‘Scottish water’ and learn about the process of creating Scotland’s most famous export. There are four distilleries within the Trossachs National Park, including Deanson, Glengoyne and Loch Lomb Distillery, where you can expect to encounter smoother, unpeated varieties as opposed to the full-bodied whiskeys produced in the Highlands.
Of course, at the heart of the national park is Loch Lomond, covering an area of 71 square kilometers and home to 30 islands. This glistening body of water is one of the main attractions of a trip to the Trossachs and its long shoreline is perfect for a romantic stroll. It is also popular with open-water swimmers! Another beautiful loch to be found within the national park is Loch Katrine, famed for its Steamship, named after novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, who was inspired to write his poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’ after visiting the Trossachs. Taking a ride on Steamship Sir Walter Scott is an unforgettable way to take in the majestic landscapes, in the shadow of towering Ben A’an and Ben Venue.
If you have the chance, another beautiful sight to see in the Trossachs is the Dochart Falls, situated in the sleepy village of Killin in the northeast corner of the national park. This idyllic cascade waterfall can be viewed from the old stone village bridge and visitors can admire the misty spray of the water as it flows down towards the Islands of Inchbuie.