Places to Visit in Scotland
- The Trossachs, Stirlingshire
The Trossachs is nowadays used to describe the beautiful countryside between Callander and Loch Lomond (although strictly speaking the Trossachs are only the area between Loch Achray and Loch Katrine). Although the area is strongly associated with Rob Roy MacGregor> (his grave, and that of his wife and two of his sons, is in the churchyard at Balquhidder) the area was originally the home of the MacLaren> clan.
Rob Roy lived at a time when the McGregor name had been "proscribed" or outlawed by the Government of the day. He was born at the head of Loch Katrine and was well known for his skill with a broadsword. Like many of the Highlanders of his day he was involved in stealing cattle from the more prosperous Lowlands - or protecting them in return for protection termed "black mail" (a term that has since entered the English language). There is a "Rob Roy Centre" and exhibition in a converted church in Callandar (illustrated here).
The roofless ruin of a previous church built in 1631 is still at Balquhidder. It would have been used by Rob Roy (who lived from 1671-1734). The foundations of an even earlier 13th century church still survive there. The present church was built in 1885 and houses a gravestone which is said to be of the 9th century St Angus. The font in the church is a hollowed-out boulder. MacGregors from all over the world gathered at Balquhidder in 1975 to mark the bicentenary of the end of the proscription (banning) of the name MacGregor. Rob Roy's grave is marked by two gravestones - the original weather-worn one and a more modern addition with the defiant words "Macgregor, Despite Them".
During the tourist season the steamer "Sir Walter Scott" operates on Loch Katrine. It was originally built on a shipyard on the river Clyde, dismantled into sections, taken overland and rebuilt on the loch.
Callandar is a favourite place for visitors to the area and there is a nice walk beside the river Teith as well as the hills around. Aberfoyle is also worth a visit though it is smaller than Callandar with fewer shops and restuarants.
Return to the Main Index of Places to Visit>
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>