Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
The romantic beauty of the Highland landscape, epitomised by this accessible and scenic area, was first ‘discovered’ in the late 18th century. Novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott did much to bring it to the popular eye, with his poem The Lady of the Lake (1810) set in identifiable locations across the Trossachs, ending at Loch Katrine. Today, the 720-sq-mile national park, Scotland’s first, stretches from the Argyll Forest Park in the west across to Callander, and from Killin in the north to Balloch in the south, just 18 miles from Glasgow.
This is popular hiking country, with plenty of waymarked trails and a lovely stretch of the West Highland Way long-distance path, which runs down the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. Some 24 miles long, the loch is a water-sports playground littered with 38 islands. It narrows to the north, where the mountains become bigger and bleaker. Ben Lomond, on the eastern shore, is a popular ‘Munro’ hill climb at 3,192 feet (973m). On the western side, Luss, off the A82, is the prettiest village to explore and was the setting for the popular TV series Take the High Road.