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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 Mor - translated from Gaelic as ‘large headland'
‘An Ceann Mor’ 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 Mor 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 Mor is set to be the focus of many selfies!
Sloc nan Sitheanach 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.
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)
Notification of closure: Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway 27 - 29 August 2015
Notification of closure: Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway, Thursday 27 August – Saturday 29 August 2015
The Great Swim series is returning to Loch Lomond on 29 August this year. Last year the event attracted 2,500 swimmers and their families to the area along with significant UK wide media coverage. With over 60% of competitors and their families coming from outside Scotland and staying in local accommodation the event brings with it a great economic boost to Balloch and the surrounding area.
There will be a number of races throughout the day, from early morning to early evening. Participants will be entering the water from the slipway, swimming a course out on the loch and exiting the water at Drumkinnon beach. In order to ensure everyone’s safety we have taken the decision to close Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway from 8:00am on Thursday 27 August to 10:00pm on Saturday 29 August. This is to allow time for the event organisers to construct the required health and safety infrastructure in and around the slipway building, and on the water. During this period it will not be possible to launch or retrieve craft at the slipway. Please note that anyone with launch cards will still be able to access the loch using the facilities at Milarrochy.
On rare occasions the event may be postponed to the following day should the weather prevent swimming taking place on the Saturday. In this scenario we would extend the closure to 10pm on Sunday 30th August. Please call the Slipway team on the number below to check before setting off.
If you would like more information about how to get involved with the Great Scottish Swim, visit www.greatswim.org.
Record numbers rake the plunge at the Great Scottish Swim
29 August 2015
A record number of swimmers took the plunge at Loch Lomond today (29 August) to take part in Scotland’s biggest open water swimming event, the Great Scottish Swim.
Around 2,600 participants - from first time open water swimmers to World Champion elites – dived into the challenge, in what has firmly become one of the most iconic and scenic swims in the UK open water events calendar.
For the very first time, the event played host to the national one-mile open water championship race in partnership with Scottish Swimming. The extremely competitive men’s race which included 2014 Commonwealth Champion and local Balloch boy Ross Murdoch and fellow Scot, Commonwealth silver medallist and World Champion Robbie Renwick, saw Christian Riechert win in a time of 18:05:06 closely followed by Tom Allen in a time of 18:08:53 with Chad Ho placing third in a time of 18:17:96.
The women’s race also featured an impressive line-up, including two time National USA 10KM Champion, Christine Jennings alongside two time World Champion, and Olympic Silver medallist, Team GB’s Keri-anne Payne. Christine Jennings took first place in a time of 20:45:58 with Keri-anne Payne coming in a very close second in a time of 20:45:98 and Anna Olasz placing third in 20:47:16.
Now in its third year at Loch Lomond shores, the event brought together swimmers of all ages and abilities to take part in the half mile, one mile and two mile challenges in the open water. For the first time a gruelling 5k ‘half-marathon’ swim was also added to the timetable.
Alex Jackson, Great Swim Series event director said, “It has been an incredible day from start to finish, from the masses of people taking part to the exciting elite race and true talent to grace the shores today. There’s nothing quite like seeing thousands of people take to the water in such a striking location as Loch Lomond, and I’m sure it’s an experience that everyone participating in will never forget.
“The Great Scottish Swim continues to shine as one of the key swimming events in the UK, and we are extremely grateful for all support from everyone involved to make this event such a huge success.”Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Chief Executive, Gordon Watson said, “What a fantastic day with a record number of swimmers taking part. It’s great to see the continued growth in open water swimming in the National Park as we head towards hosting the open water competition at the European Swimming Championships in 2018. The Great Swim continues to attract new visitors to the area, benefitting the local economy and raising the profile of this magnificent destination.”
The event is part of Great Swim, Europe’s biggest open water swimming series, which gives over 20,000 participants the opportunity to swim in lakes, lochs and urban docks across the UK including; the Great North Swim at Windermere, Cumbria, the Great East Swim at Alton Water, near Ipswich, the Great Manchester Swim at Salford Quays and the Great London Swim at the Royal Victoria Dock.
National Park scores for Alzheimer Scotland
18 August 2015
National Park scores for Alzheimer Scotland
Sporty staff at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park will don their football boots on Sunday 23 August for a charity match at Argyle Park, Alexandria from 2 to 4pm.
Two mixed teams will be pitted against each other to raise funds for the National Park’s nominated charity Alzheimer Scotland. Members of the public are welcome to watch the match with all donations welcome on the day.
Each year, staff at the National Park choose a charity for which to raise funds and the Staff Involvement Group – known as the STIG – coordinate a wide range of fundraising activities.
This year, staff are working with Alzheimer Scotland in a variety of ways. Not only are they raising funds, staff have also volunteered at coffee mornings held in the National Park HQ in Balloch; helped with the charity’s allotment at Dumbarton East and the ‘National Park sharks’ will be back in action at the Great Scottish Swim on 29 August to help boost funds.
Recently voted a top 100 company to work for in the Best Companies not-for-profit category, the National Park Authority encourages and supports staff participation in fundraising, health and wellbeing activities.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Chief Executive, Gordon Watson, said:
“We’re delighted to be working closely with Alzheimer Scotland, a fantastic charity who offer a wide range of specialist services for people with dementia and their carers. Last year, staff made a tremendous effort and helped raise more than £4,000 for Yorkhill Hospital and this year we hope to do even better.
“We have a really enthusiastic and committed National Park team who enjoy coming together for a good cause, so you can be sure of a fun and hugely enjoyable spectacle.
“I’ll be playing myself and will be going all out for victory!”
For more information on Alzheimer Scotland visit http://www.alzscot.org/
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