Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland
When searching for perfect holiday, many of us go straight-on-search for a place, a country which is far from our home. Or, at least a couple of hours flight away. It’s so common because we like to explore different culture, different scenery and good hot weather esp. during summer time and, nothing wrong with that. So we search and search and we book ‘good deal’ in Europe and we forget ‘close-by’ home surroundings.
Over the years, my brother and I, have had many conversation about Scotland and Scottish highland trip. Only timing was not right. This time, at the beginning of Spring, it felt it was going to happen. A family trip with my brother, sister-in-law, Thomas, my 13 year old nephew, my partner Chris and myself. All have been well communicated about two months prior. Our trip was planned a week before kids break up in UK for summer holidays so we decided that timing is perfect. We booked a little log cabin in The Trosssachs National Park and got excited.
Few days before they arrival in UK, my brother announced that he has to go to a hospital asap for back operation. Don’t remember last time I felt so sad but I knew that it was the best decision that he had to make. You know, my brother is a sort of guy that he never shows any problem nor sickness. When he said he could not come, I knew it was serious. Initially, there were thoughts to cancel our highland trip but, I am glad we didn’t. I believe, there is always another opportunity to go back – again if, of course there is something to go for be seeing. We have missed him terribly on the Scotland-trip’ but I know there will be another opportunity to experience the Scottish beauty together.
As our log cabin was pre-booked and paid for, we decided to go… and, so we went. We did pop in briefly to Edinburg especially in The Scotch Whisky Experience House but that was only a quick glance. We wanted to have a ‘full whisky experience’ together – with my brother. After few hours and quick lunch, we headed to our log cabin which was just under two hours drive. Here are few highlights on our 5-day day trip ( only 3 full days we had to explore ) in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Once we checked in and settled in one of the Strathyre Log Cabin in Loch Lubnaig near Callander in the Stirling council area, we started planning our days ahead.
Strathyre Log Cabin, Callander
Strathyre log cabin was exactly what we were hoping for. Woodland cabins with double bedrooms with wood fire in a beautiful forrest with no one to be seen. The Strathyre village and closest corner shop was only 5 minutes away if anything we needed. Next closest town it was Callander which is about 9.6miles. It is pretty small historical town which is situated on the river Teith, near Stirling. There are other Strathyre log cabins available and, if you book in advance, you might even manage to reserve one with hot tub and log burner.
Rain or no rain, on our 1st day when woke up in our cosy log cabin, we went for a hike. We thought short, nothing steep would be ideal. It turned up differently but hey, so definitely worth it!
On the first day, on our first morning, we were very enthusiastic – we had to go for some close by’ hike despite rainy day. Quite steep hike with the elevation of 454m which does not sound much but we have still struggled. Well, misty day with rain during did not help. A lots of woofing, gasping throughout our hike but the views were spectacular and, it was all worth once we got on the top of the Ben A’an – which is positioned in the heart of The Trossachs with the stunning viewp of Loch Katrine and Loch Achray.
Seafood Chowder in the Brig O’Turk Tea Room
After our hike, we were driving through Brig O’Turk – of small rural place – community in the Trossachs. On our left side as we were driving, we saw a place called Tea Room so we decided to stop for a bite to eat. We have not think of much when we parked and looked at the place from outside. But, once we walked in, sit down in cosy, very friendly place, we knew there will be more than one course of meal. The friendly waitress presented us with specials for the day and, the rest of the menu with some suggestions. We could not resist to order at least two courses but believe me, we did want another one but we decided for another time.
The Tea Room is a restaurant which offers a plenty of choice of fresh food combining with a lots of flavours and home baking. Seafood chowder which was our 1st course was definitely winner. Hot soup with a lots of delicious flavours – it was just perfect after wet rainy hike. So with any effort finding it or expecting much, the The Tea Room in Brig O’Turk became a place to remember as one of the best ‘most tasty’ small cafe/restaurant we have ever had lunch in. A little Tea Room which will not be forgotten.
Following day, we craved for history day instead of hike and Stirling castle was on our list. By the time we arrived in Stirling, sun was out and, we were not short of amazing views from the top of the castle. Stirling castle is a complex monument of diverse buildings and space added over the centuries and it is the largest and most important castle in Scotland historically and architecturally. Few names which made history are – William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots. There are so many places to visit when planning a trip to Scotland but Stirling castle should be one of them ‘must see’.
Loch Katrine and Steamship experience
The Loch Katrine experience on Steamship we have left for the last day. Sir Walter Scott Steamship has over 100 years of sailing on her name and it starts from The Trossachs Loch Katrine Pier Terminal. You can enjoy 1 or 2 hours of picturesque landscapes of the Trossachs. If love cycling, you can either do 1 hour on the Steamship to Stronachlachar and back to Loch Katrine Pier on bikes which is approximately 13km. Highly recommend the trip and when a weather is good, scenery are magnificent.
Scottish do make an impression on you and hoping for more of Scottish adventure in near future. Hopefully, my brother will joining us for the next one too!
If going to Scotland in near future, don’t forget a famous, the most effective midget spray from Avon. 🙂
All my travel love, till next time.