Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Trossachs and Loch Katrine

Because Loch Katrine is in Scotland, it is not always lovely blue skies. In fact, more often than not, the cloud is down on the hills. I still enjoy cycling round the loch in those types of days as the sense of silence and solitude is greatly magnified in the mist.

The road is quite hilly around the Portnellan area but you do get some nice views of the loch from here, assuming the mist is not too thick.

Jutting out into the Loch is the old grave yard of the McGregors. Of course Rob Roy McGregor is not buried here. His bones were put to rest at Balquhidder which is not far over the hills as the crow flies but a fair journey by road.

The water level in the loch has been raised by the water board on three occasions, and on each occasion the engineers had to protect the graveyard by walls and raising the level of the island.

Just before reaching Glengyle,there is another old boathouse on the loch side. The days of numerous boats are long gone as water sports are discouraged on the loch due to it being the main Glasgow City reservoir.

Glengyle house stands on the site of the croft where Rob Roy McGregor was born. Without doubt, he would have known every inch of the area but the present day loch may not have been familiar to him as the water levels have been raised by dams.

Rounding the north end of the loch offers some fine views along its length.

Finally the road reaches Stronachlachar where there is a pier and a cafe. From here, after a coffee, you can either return by boat if you have timed it right, or do as I do and cycle back the way you came.

There is something magical and almost Victorian about cycling round the loch in the off season when the many tourists have long departed and you are left alone with your imagination.

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