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Scenic Routes in the National Park
It's not just the destination, it's the journey too...
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is proud to nurture bright, young design talent to bring you a fresh viewpoint on some of the Park's most breathtaking locations.
Scotland’s trunk roads are not only designed to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. Some of the roads through the National Park are now beautiful drives with that little bit extra. The National Park has made it even easier for you to enjoy your journey through the Park by installing uniquely designed viewpoints within the Park’s stunning landscape.
Hidden gems you'll never forget
If you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary these hidden gems are within easy reach. These stunning artworks offer you an opportunity for some breathing space when traveling through the National Park. Funded by the Scottish Government, these brand new vistas launch a national Scenic Routes initiative to create picturesque stopping points to break up a road trip, allowing travellers to enjoy the best vantage points near our road network.
New viewpoint at Inveruglas - An Ceann Mòr - translated from Gaelic as ‘large headland'
‘An Ceann Mòr’ at Inveruglas on the banks of Loch Lomond is the final installation of the first phase of the Scottish Scenic Routes pilot project. It was officially unveiled by Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment on 13 May 2015.
Designed by young architectural practice, BTE, An Ceann Mòr has been designed to the highest standards of accessibility and sustainability with people who have limited mobility able to venture through the “tunnel” to be presented with spectacular views of the Arrochar Alps in the west across Loch Lomond to Ben Lomond in the middle distance.
The journey to the view point starts in the visitor centre car park, following a new accessible path through the trees and then through the new structure where the panoramic view is then revealed. Visitors can then climb up to the top of the viewpoint, sit and take in the stunning elevated views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding mountains.
31 steps provide the same vista from an elevated position. At eight metres high, pyramid-shaped An Ceann Mòr is set to be the focus of many selfies!
Sloc nan Sìtheanach Faerie Hollow
designed and built by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler
LookOut is opposite Monachyle Mhor, on the land where the shores of Loch Voil meet Loch Doine, past Balquhidder up the glen of the A84. Find out more
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Scenic Route
Download the map here
Each of these bespoke designs complements the surrounding landscape, offering magical viewpoints created by the very best of Scotland’s architecture talent, all of whom competed to design these pilot projects for Scotland’s Scenic Routes initiative.
Situated off the A82 and A84, together these unique locations also offers a variety of culinary and activity based experiences along some of the most beautiful stretches of roads in the National Park.
Slow down and enjoy life. It is not only the scenery you miss by going too fast. You also miss the sense of where you are going and why...
John Kennedy designed “Woven Sound” to provide a sheltered space that allows visitors to experience the Falls of Falloch at closer range – providing a brand new viewpoint to take in the thundering Falls. Cantilevering over the edge of the water, the shelter takes the form of a long trellis of intricately woven-together steel rods that weaves its way between existing trees to avoid damaging the natural beauty of the site creating a sculptural, subtle form. This robust, inexpensive material allows the shelter to have a very discrete presence, which doesn't detract from the Falls themselves. A diary entry from Dorothy Wordsworth recalling the numerous Romantic writers and painters who visited the Falls in the early 19th century is etched into the dappled steel at the viewpoint.
Did you know?
Falls of Falloch is a beautiful waterfall and a popular beauty spot for picnics. Standing at 30 feet high, the falls are an abrupt step in the passage of the River Falloch as it makes its way down Glen Falloch towards Loch Lomond at Ardlui. Falls of Falloch is a truly entrancing site set in a peaceful glen.
See & Do
Photo opportunities are abundant - further up Glen Falloch, the oldest southerly remnants of ancient Caledonian pinewood forest are in view look out for golden eagles and red deer.
Food and drink are available at Tarbet, Inveruglas, Ardlui, Inverarnan and Crianlarich and picnic areas can be found in Tarbet, Inveruglas and Crianlarich.
Why not walk a section of West Highland Way from Inverarnan to Crianlarich – 6 1/2 miles (10.5 km) to see stunning views of Falls of Falloch.
This mirrored cabin, wood-framed ‘lookout’ pavilion has benches built into it framing three mesmerizing views of the landscape whilst reflecting the surrounding vistas on its mirrored surfaces. Mirrored stainless steel was applied to birch ply sheets then fixed to the lookout's exterior surfaces, creating shifting reflections that help the structure blend in with its surroundings.
Did you know?
The 18th century Scottish patriot, folk hero and outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor lived and died in Balquhidder and is buried in local church graveyard. The tranquil glen is overlooked by the dramatic mountain terrain of the Braes of Balquhidder, at the head of Loch Voil. At its western end the mountainous country north of Loch Katrine, the inspiration of Sir Walter Scott’s legendary 'Lady of the Lake' poem.
See & Do
Approaching Balquhidder the north / south glen of Strathyre suddenly changes direction to the west / east glen that holds Loch Voil. During winter Loch Lubnaig and Loch Voil sometimes flood to become one large loch, 'Loch Occasional'. Balquhidder Glen is also popular for fishing, nature watching and walking on the surrounding mountains.
Food and drink stops and picnic sites can be found in Kilmahog, Lubnaig, Strathyre, Kingshouse, Balquhidder and Lochearnhead.
The viewpoint nestles between the shrubs in a natural hollow in the landscape with stunning views across Loch Lubnaig to Ben Ledi.
This site, overlooking Loch Lubnaig, called for a place to stop, sit and linger to take in the surroundings. A natural hollow in the ground provided the solution. 'Sloc' is Scots Gaelic for 'grassy hollow', and 'Sìtheanach' represents 'faerie people', who according to our mythology reside at places of peace and tranquility. The specialist metalwork at your feet in the hollow, features a verse by local bard Alexander Campbell. "Now Winter's wind sweeps" depicts mans place in natural cycles, and encourages one to appreciate what is around them." This is the perfect place to do just that.
Did you know?
The 3 mile (5km) long Loch Lubnaig (Gaelic for the ‘Crooked Loch’), lies between the pretty bustling town of Callander and Strathyre.
See & Do
Once you have crossed the Highland Boundary Fault from Callander to Strathyre you will experience a truly highland landscape. Beyond Kimahog the road twists and undulates through the Pass of Leny, waterfalls and rapids in the gorge below. You can see an abundance of woodland plants in the dappled shade beneath the surrounding trees. The steep, craggy mountainsides of Ben Ledi and Ardnandave Hill dominate the view from Lubnaig Beag.
Two new National Park visitor sites on the shores of the Loch Lubnaig are now open. At the larger of the two sites nearer Strathyre, you can make use of new barbecue stands, picnic benches and toilets.
Closure of Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway 16 November 2015
23 November Update
Water levels at Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway in Balloch have reduced and the slipway is now open for launching.
16 November 2015
Please note that as a result of high water levels the slipways at Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway in Balloch have been closed and the launching of vessels will not be possible until the water level drops.
The building remains open as usual between 10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 16:00 weekdays and 09:00 – 16:00 weekends. An update will be posted when the water has dropped to a safe level for the slipways to reopen. For further information you can contact the Slipway on 01389 722030.
Historic Hogback Stone unveiled in Luss graveyard
27 November 2015
An historic monument from the 11th century, which has been conserved thanks to an Ancient Monument Grant from Historic Environment Scotland and a Built Heritage Repair Grant from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, has been unveiled this week in Luss Graveyard.
The Hogback stone is an important 11th century scheduled monument, which was viewed by the many people who visited the category B listed St Mackessog Church and graveyard in one of the National Park’s most popular visitor destinations – Luss. It is thought that it could have been used to mark more than one grave in its time and may have been of Viking origin.
However, in recent years the condition of the stone had deteriorated with extensive biological growth obscuring the sculpted stone work. It was also in danger of being damaged by adjacent leaning gravestones.
Hogback stone before restoration
Ian MacEachern of the Luss Heritage Society in conjunction with the Luss and Arden Development Trust secured funding from Historic Environment Scotland and the National Park to appoint a stone conservator, Nic Boyes, to carry out restoration work.
Mosses were removed from the stone exposing its fine carving and neighbouring, leaning gravestones carefully straightened. The stone was then raised onto a small plinth and surrounded with gravel.
Hogback stone after restoration
The project also involved training local volunteers in how to record the many ancient gravestones in the church graveyard.
The final phase of the project, to be undertaken over the next few months, will be to display three early Christian cross slabs which have been in storage. They date from the 7th-9th century and will be displayed in the church. Volunteers are also being advised on the future management of Luss’s important historic stones.
National Park Partnership Plan - Annual Review 2014
National Park Partnership Plan - Annual Review 2014
This review sets out how much progress has been made towards delivering actions and achieving outcomes in the second year of the National Park Partnership Plan.
Click here for pdf (3.3Mb)
National Park Wins Prestigious Awards for Innovative Approach to Planning
11th November 2015
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has won two prestigious awards for innovation in planning at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (SAQP) ceremony held at The George Hotel in Edinburgh last night (Tuesday 10 November 2015).
The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning are one of the Scottish Government's most prestigious events and celebrate achievements in planning, from strategic visions to development on the ground.
The National Park Authority won the Overall Award of the night for an innovative approach to consultation on the LIVE Park (Local Development Plan) Main Issues Report and won the Award in the Development Management category for its work in supporting the delivery of run-of-river hydro-electric schemes.
The awards were presented by Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil, who has overall responsibility for planning.
Mr Neil said: “The calibre of this year’s entries to these prestigious awards has been excellent, and as ever they have set the bar high in terms of quality in planning. The LIVE Park project shows what can be done when it comes to producing local development plans – by engaging with the community so successfully planners at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Planning Authority are now able to action a plan knowing locals have helped shape it.”
The approach to LIVE Park was developed by a team that included planners, social marketing specialists service designers, and architects. The campaign, led by the Planning and Communications teams at the National Park Authority, was designed to be interactive and engaging, using digital media to reach a broader range of audiences than traditionally engages in planning consultations. In addition to the tried and tested consultation methods, the campaign focused on ways to make it easier, and more appealing for working age families and young people to get involved. Innovative ways of getting people involved included using a Lego competition to help primary school children to (literally) build the future they wanted to see for their community and producing a series of YouTube videos to ‘demystify’ planning buzzwords like ‘charrette’ or ‘sustainable development’.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said:
“We are just thrilled to win these two prestigious awards tonight! It is a fantastic night for the National Park, and recognises the incredible efforts being made to be innovative and accessible in our approach to planning. LIVE Park has been the result of a fantastic collaboration between our planning and communications teams that has transformed the way we engage people in the planning process. The imaginative use of different communication and social media tools has not only helped promote the relevance of planning to a wider audience, but also ensured that we have achieved strong consensus on the direction of planning policy. I’m delighted that these efforts have achieved national recognition. The Award for run-of-river planning recognises our efforts to adapt quickly to a changing regulatory environment, to support important renewable schemes in the National Park.”
After accepting the Overall Award, Stuart Mearns, Head of Planning and Rural Development at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said:
“The team are over the moon that the hard work and creative thinking that went into taking a different approach to getting people involved in planning has been recognised at these national awards tonight. We set out to break down the traditional barriers to getting people involved in planning: removing unnecessary jargon, using clear and simple design on our documents and providing easy ways to keep in touch with what was going on. We were inspired by the energy and ideas that came from our communities so our first step in developing our approach was to see the world through their eyes, not ours.
“I have no doubt we have a better Plan, enriched by the ways in which our communities got involved in shaping it. Through LIVE Park we have delivered a new benchmark for ourselves, and hopefully for others. This award is a fantastic affirmation of our combined efforts and I would like to thank 7N Architects, Snook and PAS as key partners in the project.”
The National Park Authority also won the Award in the Development Management category for its work in supporting the delivery of run-of-river hydro-electric schemes.
The main aim of that project was to streamline the handling of applications for run-of-river proposals in 2013, after the Park Authority saw a large increase in the number of run-of-river proposals, aiming to get approval before the December 2013 deadline for changes to the Feed-in-Tariff for OFGEM pre-accreditation of schemes. The changes would affect the financial viability of the projects, so it was deemed important to streamline such applications whilst ensuring rigorous assessment of environmental impacts. This was achieved by the Development Management team who improved procedures for screening and scoping, developed processing agreements, prioritised applications with agents, re-allocated casework and changed the scheme of delegation in order to achieve the desired outcome.
Bob Cook, Development & Implementation Manager for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said:
“Since the Scottish Government set a target for 100% of electricity demand to be from renewable sources by 2020, Park Authority has encouraged run-of-river schemes, as a form of technology most suited to the sensitive National Park context and making use of natural resources, in accordance with the second National Park aim:“to promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area”. The number of planning enquiries and applications for hydro schemes was increasing by 2013 when agents raised awareness of the issue of forthcoming degression in the Feed-in-Tariff rates. So we acted to process such applications quickly whilst ensuring rigorous assessment of environmental impacts. It is rewarding to have this considerable effort recognised by the Scottish Government.”
This year’s Award built upon last year’s Commendation at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning for the Park Authority’s Renewable Energy Supplementary Planning Guidance.
There are currently 13 complete run-of-river systems in the National Park with 14 under construction and a further 16 approved.
For regular progress on LIVE Park follow the blog www.ourlivepark.com/blog
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