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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Planning Assistant
Fixed Term – Minimum 10 weeks
Monday-Friday (37 Hours per week)
National Park Headquarters, Balloch
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 June or 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
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 a application form please click here the closing date for applications Friday 27 May 2016 @ 12pm. Informal enquiries to Susan Brooks, Development Planning & Communities Manager, Susan.Brooks@lochlomond-trossachs.org
‘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.
Launch of Tom and Rhona Weir’s Mountain Garden on Loch Lomondside
April 20 2016
Calling all red toorie hat wearers to the launch of Tom and Rhona Weir’s Mountain Garden on Loch Lomondside
An invite is extended to everybody to don their red toorie hats and attend the formal opening of Tom and Rhona’s Mountain Garden, the latest addition to the iconic Tom Weir’s Rest and Statue site overlooking Balmaha Bay, on Saturday, April 30.
The stunning mountain garden, located beside the Tom Weir Statue, will be formally opened at 2pm by actor, US National Park ambassador and John Muir impersonator Lee Stetson, and Scots Magazine editor Robert Wight. All are welcome to come to this free event and view the garden, named in honour of the late Tom Weir, Scotland’s most loved mountain man, and his 96 year old widow Rhona.
Tom’s popular red toorie hats are expected to be a common sight on the day, and will be on sale to those who do not have their own ones to bring along and wear with proceeds going to help with the ongoing maintenance of the site.
Lee Stetson will also be sharing some fascinating short stories on the life and times of John Muir who was an inspirational figure for Tom who was awarded the first ever John Muir Award in Scotland for his lifetime achievement in inspiring so many people to enjoy Scotland’s great outdoors as a result of his talks, writings and broadcasts over 50 years.
The garden marks the completion of the £130,000 transformation of the former picnic site which has been leased to the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs by Stirling Council. The garden has been designed by landscape specialist and Scottish Campaign for National Parks Chairman, Ross Anderson and developed by locally based Sandy Fraser’s outdoor landscaping team.
The garden features a range of typical mountain plants, as well as a selection of stones and rocks collected near the Highland Boundary Fault which runs through Loch Lomond in close proximity to Balmaha. Feature stones include white quartz from Ben Lomond, and state slabs especially engraved by one of Historic Environment Scotland’s apprentice stonemason Lara Townsend with quotes about the wonders of Loch Lomond that were written by Tom 50 years ago, appearing in articles in the Scots Magazine. The event will also see the unveiling of the fifth and final storyboard at the statue site, with the other four having been launched earlier this month.
James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “This event is an integral part of a visit by Lee Stetson as part of the centenary celebrations of the US National Parks Service, and also another opportunity to remind everybody of how Tom Weir became Scotland’s most loved mountain man. It is also a fitting way to mark the completion of work at the Tom Weir’s Rest site which has become firmly established in a relatively short period of time as one of Loch Lomond’s top visitor attractions with over 100,000 visitors so far.”
Susan Taylor, Administrator of the Tom Weir Memorial Group, said: “This is an event that is the culmination of many years of hard work fundraising by lots of volunteers and ordinary Scots and folk from further afield who are passionate about Tom Weir’s contribution to popularising Scotland’s great outdoors for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.
“We will keep everything crossed for good spring weather and remain optimistic that this will be another great Tom Weir celebration event with a large turnout on the day – in terms of people and Tom’s signature red toorie hats.”
There will be limited catering on site on the day and a bucket collection with the proceeds being used to help maintain the popular Loch Lomondside site.
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