From nomadic hunter-gatherers, Iron Age hut circles, standing stones, chambered cairns and crannogs, and stone dwellings and sheilings, to the magnificent mansions of wealthy merchants and the brooding castles of the Clan Chiefs, our National Park has it all.
Rough cattle droving tracks, military and toll roads, steam ships and railways were all vital to our ancestors as they travelled over the hills, glens, fresh water and sea lochs that make up the Park.
Equally important are the stories and language of the people themselves, inhabitants of this very special part of Scotland since those early explorers.
For hundreds of years, up until the 19th Century, Gaelic was the language of most of the inhabitants of the Park area. Because of this, Gaelic names for villages, mountains and lochs can still be seen across today’s maps and many other names have Gaelic roots. Our Gaelic pages give a fascinating insight into the Gaelic history of the Park and include a map highlighting all the Gaelic place names.Numerous exceptional people have left their mark through time from Christian missionaries like Saints Fillan, Kessog and Kentigerna who converted pagans to Christianity, to the young Mary Queen of Scots, sent to live in safety at Inchmahome Priory on an island in the Lake of Menteith.
The portage of Viking boats from Loch Long to Loch Lomond before the Battle of Largs in 1263, the Viking hogbacked gravestone in Luss Churchyard and a Viking cemetery discovered at Carrick on west Loch Lomond, are signs of invaders from across the North Sea.
The great Earls and their grants of land to those who founded the clan system played a huge part in the social roots of the Park’s cultural heritage, with MacGregor, Campbell, MacFarlane, MacNab, Colquhoun and Buchanan all clan names of the area.
The Park has inspired generations of writers and artists, in 1810 Walter Scott published his epic poem Lady of the Lake set in the Trossachs, even earlier William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy toured the area, Wordsworth was moved to write To a Highland Girl (at Inversnaid). Ruskin was famously painted by Millais near Brig O Turk and John Knox and Horatio McCulloch created some of Scotland’s best known romantic landscapes in the Trossachs.
Today you can find out more about the history of the Park by following heritage trails or the art and literary trail. You can experience the cultural heritage through one of the many events in the Park including Highland Games and Ceilidh Trails.
For more information about cultural heritage in the Park visit: