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Crianlarich is a village located in Glen Strathfillan, about 8 miles north of the head of Loch Lomond. It lies within the area of Breadalbane, ‘The High Country’. The surrounding landscape is characterised by long glens and in the upland areas, you’ll enjoy a real feeling a remoteness, being surrounded by peaks, rocky outcrops, gullies and glens that cut through the hills with fast flowing burns and waterfalls.
This small historic village has been an important staging post on various transport routes linking central and north-western Scotland since medieval times. In the 1750s, two military roads met in the village; in the 19th century, it became a railway junction on what is now the West Highland Line and in the 20th century it became the meeting point of the major A82 and A85 roads.
As such, it is designated as a primary destination in Scotland, has been voted the most scenic railway in the world and is signposted from as far as Glasgow in the south, Perth in the east, Oban in the west and Fort William in the north. Crianlarich is a stop along this famous route. Stop off for an afternoon tea, or get off the train and explore the hills and nearby footpaths of Strath Fillan and Glen Falloch.
The area is of high importance for biodiversity and includes a diverse range of habitats. The flat strath floors are of great value for their wetland habitats, areas of particular importance including the River Dochart Meadows for its reed, meadow and woodland habitats and Loch Tay Marshes for transition fen, Carr woodland and other plant communities. The River Tay is important for salmon, lamprey and otter.
A key landscape component of the area are the open upland hills, an important habitat for a range of upland plant communities, invertebrates and nationally rare and scarce plant communities such as remnants of montane willow scrub, alpine flush communities, calcareous grasslands found at Ben Lui and other locations. This area also includes the National Park’s two significant areas of remnant Caledonian pinewood, at Cononish near Tyndrum and in Glen Falloch. These areas of pinewood are highly significant to the National Park and the nation as the most southerly remnant ancient pinewoods in Britain. There are also important areas of ancient deciduous woodland.
Notable species in this area include golden eagle, raven, peregrine, ptarmigan, dotterel and other upland birds, red deer, mountain hare, lower plants and lichens. Upland areas of particular importance are designated SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest).
Ben More is the highest peak in the National Park and lies in this area. The twin peaks of Ben More and Stob Binnein are well renowned Munros and particularly visually distinctive seen from Strath Fillan, Glen Dochart and Balquhidder Glen. The upland slopes and summits offer panoramic views over the surrounding area, accessible only by foot.
Just south of Crianlarich on the A82 at the Falls of Falloch is one of Scotland’s Scenic Routes, the ‘Woven Sound’. Falls of Falloch is a beautiful waterfall and a popular beauty spot for picnics. Standing at 30 feet high, the falls are an abrupt drop for the River Falloch as it makes its way down Glen Falloch towards Loch Lomond at Ardlui. Scenic Routes are specially designed points of rest, providing visitors and drivers the opportunity to stop, take in and enjoy the surrounding scenery.
The name Crianlarich derives from the Gaelic for “low pass”, relating to its geographical location.