Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

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Some of the most stunning scenery in the UK can be found in the area around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in western Scotland.

Some of the most stunning scenery in the UK can be found in the area around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in western Scotland.

From breathtaking mountains and glens to tranquil lochs, the area has a plentiful history and inspired the famous poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’ by novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, which was published in 1810.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park was Scotland’s first national park, comprising 720 square miles of mountains, glens, and lochs. Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater lake in mainland Britain.

Dog-friendly places to visit in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
  • Inchmahome Priory, Port of Menteith — set on an island in the Lake of Menteith, Inchmahome is an Augustinian monastery which dates back to 1238. The priory is reached by passenger ferry from the Port of Menteith. Dogs are welcome to explore the priory provided they are on a lead, but are not allowed into any roofed buildings. For further information visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
  • Inveraray Jail, Argyll — travel further afield to visit this unique living museum. The 19th century prison allows visitors to experience what real life was like for the people who were tried and locked up in the jail. Costumed characters bring the past to life. The attraction is also dog friendly; dogs are welcome in all areas of the museum at no extra cost. For further information visit www. inverarayjail.co.uk or call 01499 302381.
  • Balloch Castle Country Park, Dunbartonshire — Loch Lomond’s only country park spans 200 acres including walled gardens, nature trails, and guided walks. The castle now lies derelict but it was once the main visitor centre for the park. For further information visit www.visitscotland.com
  • Argyll Forest Park — a land of craggy peaks and hidden glens, Argyll Forest Park is Britain’s oldest forest park. It stretches from the Holy Loch, an inlet of the Firth of Clyde, to the Arrochar Alps. There are many magical places to explore with your dog including Puck’s Glen, a deep woodland gorge with cascading waterfalls, and Ardyne, which has exceptional views to the Western Isles. For further information visit http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/forest-parks/argyllforest-park
  • The Loch Katrine Experience, by Callander — dogs are welcome to explore the inspiring loch with their owners on board SS Sir Walter Scott and Lady of the Lake. Cruises depart from Trossachs Pier; dogs are restricted to the outside deck. It costs £1 per dog per trip. For further information visit www.lochkatrine.com or call 01877 376315.
  • Oban — if you fancy going further afield, head to the seafood capital of Scotland on the west coast. The busy and bustling town is known as the gateway to the Isles, with regular crossings to the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

Dog-friendly Loch Lomond

Dog-friendly places to stay
  • The Drovers Inn, Inverarnan — located at the top end of Loch Lomond, the Drovers is an historic inn once used by the Highland drovers who herded their cattle down the side of the loch to the markets. It has an authentic and ancient feel, and is rumoured to be haunted by several ghosts. Dogs are welcome in the bar. The inn has 30 rooms, and some of these are dog friendly. Dogs can stay at the inn for a charge of £5 per dog per night. For further information visit www.thedroversinn.co.uk or call 01301 704234.
  • Puck’s Lodge, north of Dunoon — situated on the edge of the Argyll forest, this charming traditional log cabin has direct access to Puck’s Glen in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. It sleeps up to six people. Puck’s Lodge is dog friendly; a maximum of two dogs are welcome to stay at a cost of £15 per dog per holiday. A week’s stay costs from £284 to £525, depending on the time of year and the number of people. Short breaks are also available. For further information visit www.puckslodge.co.uk or call 07970 002405 or 07977 079139.
Dog-friendly places to eat
  • The Dug Cafe, Balloch — share a cuppa and piece of cake with other dog lovers at this dog-friendly cafe. There is a menu for dogs including a ‘dug’s dinner’, gluten-free biscuits, and pup cakes. Dogs are welcome in all areas of the cafe except in the kitchen. Food on the cafe’s specials menu for humans is even named after different dog breeds. For further information visit ww.dugcafe.com
  • Falls of Dochart Inn, Killin — overlooking the spectacular Falls of Dochart, this pub has an enviable location. It was an old blacksmith’s in the late 1800s and retains many original features. Dogs are welcome inside the pub in the bar area, where owners can eat from the menu. For further information visit www.fallsofdochartinn.co.uk or call 01567 820270.
West Highland Way

This popular long-distance route, which covers 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William, follows the shores of Loch Lomond, passing Ben Lomond and Glen Falloch. It opened in 1980 and became the first officially designated long-distance route in Scotland.

Doon hill

Doon Hill walk route

This easy circular walk starts and finishes in Aberfoyle, climbing mystical Doon Hill, and offering good views. It passes through open countryside and alongside the river. Legend has it that Doon Hill is home to the fairies; according to myth, fairies were fed up with local reverend Robert Kirk’s stories about them, so they kidnapped him and encased his soul in the pine tree on top of the hill.

At a glance

Distance: Just under 3 miles.

Time: Around two hours.

Terrain: Waymarked tracks and paths; one uphill section.

How to get there: Aberfoyle is on the A821. The car park is in the centre of Aberfoyle, off the main street behind the tourist information centre.

The Route
  1. Start from the far end of the car park (the furthest point from the Wool Centre) and turn left to cross the old bridge over the River Forth. Follow the road passing some houses on the right and Aberfoyle cemetery on your left.
  2. Keep following the road as it bends round to the right and crosses pleasant countryside. Keep left at a fork in the road and continue past a house; keep left again, following green and red waymarker posts. Follow the road as it becomes a rougher track. The track narrows and heads slightly downhill. Ignore two tracks to the left and go past a green metal gate to follow the track gently uphill.
  3. Ignore another turning to the left and soon afterwards turn left on to a path signed ‘Doon Hill Fairy Trail’. This is a half mile detour climbing to the top of Doon Hill with a short loop at the top, and then returning the same way to the track.
  4. The path up the hill meanders through the trees, many of them oak. At the summit people have placed rags on trees in the hope that as they rot, the illness or misfortune affecting the person on whose behalf it was placed, will also vanish. To descend, take the path just to the right of the path coming up, which returns to the outward route. Once you have come down Doon Hill, turn left on to the main track to continue the circuit.
  5. After a while the track crosses a bridge and turns left at a junction. The other routes are mainly used by cyclists and Husky sled teams. Follow the track across open ground with good views of Doon Hill. Eventually you will reach a junction; turn left here, signposted for Aberfoyle. This route takes you over a wooden bridge and then along a path between fenced sections of fields.
  6. At a T-junction, turn left to cross a small bridge and follow the old railway line back to Aberfoyle. Continue straight on, crossing a bridge and entering the car park near the Wool Centre.