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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.
Major campaign launched to ‘Adopt a Path’ in Scotland’s National Parks
Tuesday 7 June 2016
An exciting new campaign encouraging people to help look after Scotland’s most iconic and popular mountains has been launched today on Conic Hill in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The ‘Adopt a Path’ campaign is part of a major £6.1 million project - The Mountains & The People – and is launched on its one year anniversary.
‘Adopt a Path’ asks volunteers who go hillwalking to adopt a favourite hill route in Scotland’s National Parks – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and Cairngorms - that they will inspect when they go walking and then report back on the condition of their adopted path. The aim is to create a whole army of volunteer path inspectors who will help spot damage on paths in the National Parks early, so that maintenance money and effort can be targeted and effective.
‘The Mountains & The People’ project represents the coming together of Scotland’s two National Parks to work on a scale never previously attempted. It is a partnership led by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) in conjunction with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which contributed £3.26m towards the project. The project brings together a mix of training, volunteering, education and contract work that helps truly connect people with the mountains in Scotland’s National Parks, whilst tackling the impacts of recreational access on our most iconic mountain paths. The work will improve over 125 km of paths whilst offering over 1000 days of volunteering opportunities and 36 paid traineeships, providing the opportunity to gain valuable skills and qualifications for work in the conservation sector.
Photos: Martin Shields
Today’s launch saw the first cohort of trainees demonstrating their new path-work skills on Conic Hill, to representatives from each of the partner organisations behind the project. The trainees are taking part in a 6-month paid course to achieve their SVQ Level 2 in Environmental Conservation, spending time getting to know the different aspects of the course, meeting people working across the sector and most importantly getting to grips with the practical skills required to work in some of the country’s most challenging yet inspiring locations. The project will run a series of 6-month traineeships based in each National Park, training 36 people across this five year project.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham said:
“The ‘Adopt a Path’ campaign is an exciting opportunity for people to play a role as volunteer path inspectors on their favourite hillwalking routes in Scotland’s National Parks. We all care deeply about conserving our landscape, none more so than those who walk our hills and countryside regularly. The best way to conserve our mountains is to address these issues early. This is why we are enlisting the help of volunteers to spot any problems and concerns early so that we can all work together to help keep our paths open and safe. I would encourage all hillwalkers to adopt a path and help protect some of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes.”
Dougie Baird, Director of COAT said:
“As part of the West Highland Way, Conic Hill is one of Scotland’s most popular walks and the ideal place to launch ‘Adopt a Path.’ The path up Conic Hill will be repaired and improved as part of The Mountains & the People Project. Once repairs are complete on, each of the mountain paths involved, we need people who walk those paths to help us keep an eye on them so we can make sure they are well maintained. The volunteers can also be trained to undertake minor maintenance on these adopted paths, helping to ensure that small problems are tackled quickly. Hiring people to inspect paths is expensive and cannot be done often, so it makes a huge difference if we can inspire volunteers who love the hills and walk regularly, to become custodians, adopting routes and keep us informed about the state of the paths.”
Gordon Watson, CEO of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park said:
“We are thrilled that so many people come to Scotland’s National Parks to enjoy the spectacular mountains and scenery. But all those walking boots, combined with Scottish weather, can have a significant impact on our most popular hills. As paths get worn and degrade walkers tend to go around damaged areas causing paths to widen over time and the surrounding environment is damaged. By restoring the paths, training a new generation of path conservation workers, and encouraging people to get involved in this project we want to make sure these mountains are here to enjoy for this generation and the next.”
Grant Moir, CEO of Cairngorms National Park said:
'High quality mountain paths are incredibly important for the tourism economy and conservation of both Parks. The investment in iconic routes across both Parks will only strengthen that role. The partnership between the public agencies and third sector in delivering this multi-year programme will give a legacy that people across Scotland, and international visitors to these amazing National Parks, will enjoy for years to come.'
Jo O’Hara, Head of Forestry Commission Scotland said:
“One of the best ways to protect our National Parks is to get more people directly involved in them - this is exactly what this initiative aims to do. For many years the Commission has been at the forefront of this type of conservation and preservation work and it is brilliant to be able to widen out this opportunity to more people.”
Ian Jardine, SNH’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to support this important and valuable project. Our two national parks contain some the nation’s most beautiful scenery and important mountain environments. This funding to manage upland paths will help people enjoy these special landscapes for years to come, as well as help to protect the wildlife that lives there.”
Stretching for 1,800 square kilometres with a stunning combination of lochs, mountains, forests and glens, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is among Scotland’s busiest countryside attracting four million visitors annually. Iconic Ben Lomond and The Cobbler are just two of the 23 mountains in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs that will benefit from the ambitious project.
Cairngorms National Park meanwhile boasts Britain’s highest and largest mountain range and at 4,528 sq km is the largest of all the UK’s 15 National Parks. Beinn A Ghlo, just off the A9 is one of the mountaineer must-dos that will see prolonged, sustained damage repaired using techniques pioneered by COAT during the now complete, four-year £2.1m Cairngorms Mountain Heritage Project.
COAT led the successful application for HLF funding and committed a further £612,177 to the project, which was matched by contributions from; Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority (£525,000); Cairngorms National Park Authority (£275,000); Scottish Natural Heritage (£200,000) and Forestry Commission Scotland (£525,000) with the remainder coming from corporate sponsorship and charitable trusts, to give an overall total of £6.1m.
For further information on how to ‘Adopt a Path’ becoming or to get involved in conservation with ‘The Mountains & The People’ then get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, check out the website at www.themountainsandthepeople.org.uk.
Student Planning Assistant
Monday-Friday (37 Hours per week)
National Park Headquarters, Balloch
Reference Number: LLTNPA/2016/06/01
Salary £16,150 per annum pro rata
In support of the Scottish Governments strategy to improve and enhance youth employment in Scotland we have an exciting opportunity for someone who is just about to graduate with a Degree or due to progress into final year of an Honours Degree in Planning and looking to gain some work experience in their first Planning placement.
The Internship is for a minimum of 10 weeks starting in July and will provide experience on a range of tasks as we undertake our annual policy monitoring and build momentum on the delivery programmes to support our emerging Local Development Plan.
As one of Scotland’s 34 local planning authorities, we deliver all statutory planning functions along with being one of Scotland’s two National Parks. Our Planning function plays a big role in delivering our Partnership Plan across Conservation, Visitor Experience and Rural Development. As you can see, we are quite unique and have a high performing and proactive team delivering innovative planning solutions. This includes our new Local Development Plan, recently published through our www.ourlivepark.com which was the Overall Award winner at the 2015 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.
Applicants must be actively engaged in a course of study; you will be able to demonstrate personal commitment and empathy to the principles of sustainable development and protected area management. You will possess excellent written and oral skills coupled with excellent interpersonal skills and a good knowledge of Microsoft packages. A driving licence is also essential (or access to a driver if disability prevents driving).
For more information please visit our website www.lochlomond-trossachs.org the closing date for applications Friday 24th June 2016 @ 12pm. Informal enquiries to Susan Brooks, Development Planning & Communities Manager, Susan.Brooks@lochlomond-trossachs.org
(Fixed Term – minimum 10 weeks)
Grant to restore traditional buildings in National Park
6th May 2016
Local people and communities are being offered funding to help repair and restore traditional buildings across Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The Built Heritage Repair Grant Scheme is open again for applications and offers support for buildings in the National Park that pre-date 1919.
Now in its fourth year, the Built Heritage Repair Grant includes all listed buildings and traditional buildings in the National Park. Projects that will restore the built heritage in public places in the heart of communities will be particularly welcome.
Susan McGowan, Built Environment Adviser at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park oversees the grant scheme and said:
“Our historic built heritage is an important part of the National Park’s special character and contributes significantly to its special qualities. Last year’s successful scheme saw 11 projects completed with grants awarded to help repair traditional buildings in Stronachlachar, Gartmore, Strathyre, Milton of Buchanan, Luss, Callander, Aberfoyle and Drymen. Over the past 3 years these grants have helped with the cost of maintaining a variety of important historical buildings in the National Park. We look forward to supporting more this year and encourage people and organisations to send in their applications.”
Grants are available for up to 50% of the eligible works, to a maximum of £5,000.
Projects supported by last year’s grant scheme included the repair and repointing of walls to the Old School Room in Gartmore. The walls of this small, attractive listed building, dating from the early 1700s, were crumbling and in need of extensive re-pointing and rebuilding in places. This work was carried out by skilled masons using a traditional lime mix which matched the original mortar. The work also revealed that the building was originally longer than it is now extending out into an area now occupied by the lane.
To see if you are eligible for a grant, go to www.lochlomond-trossachs.org for more details or contact Susan McGowan, Carolyn O’Connor or Trudy Hughes on 01389 722620 or email email@example.com.
‘John Muir’ visits National Park
29th April 2016
On the 27th April Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority welcomed the Hollywood actor Lee Stetson to their headquarters in Balloch as part of special celebrations to mark 100 years of National Parks in the US.
Lee Stetson has been portraying John Muir – the founding father of the National Park movement – to hundreds of thousands of visitors at Yosemite National Park since 1983 and is a 'Centennial Ambassador' for US National Parks.
The visit to Scotland’s first National Park is in celebration of the significant anniversary of the inception of National Parks and in recognition of John Muir being born in Scotland. As part of the celebrations Lee will walk the John Muir Way portraying the iconic naturalist and environmentalist.
The 134 mile route runs from Helensburgh to Dunbar, and Lee started his walk at 10.30am on Wednesday the 27th April at the pier in Helensburgh, where as an 11 year old, John Muir set out in 1849 with his family for a new life in America. Local walking and conservation enthusiasts accompanied Lee as he followed the John Muir Way to Balloch where he was welcomed with a reception at the National Park headquarters.
At the reception Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “We are delighted to welcome Lee to the National Park. The centennial kicks off a second century of stewardship of America's National Parks and like us here at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, US National Parks are focusing on engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and a historic preservation programme.”
A group of youngsters from Haldane Youth Services joined the celebrations, representing three local primary schools working towards achieving their John Muir Award.
Gordon added: “National Parks in Scotland and America put a strong focus on engaging the next generation with the aims of the National Park movement and instilling a love of the outdoors. I hope that having the chance to hear Lee talk about John Muir and his love of nature, will inspire the young people who came along today in their efforts to achieve their John Muir Awards and become future stewards of our precious landscape.”
Lee is also be opening the John Muir Wildlife and Ecology Film Festival at The Tower Digital Arts Centre in Helensburgh at 7pm on Friday 29th April. On Saturday 30th April he will be planting Californian sequoia trees at Hermitage Park, Helensburgh at 10.30am before going on to Balmaha on Loch Lomondside where he will open the Tom and Rhona Weir Mountain Garden at 2pm.
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