Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have joined forces to encourage visitors to explore the Park’s finest natural and cultural attractions.
The move comes as schools across the country wind down for the summer. Under the scheme, the SNH-led ‘Explore for a day’ leaflet highlights 25 of the most exhilarating, interesting, and unique ‘to-dos’ in the Park.
With summer now in full swing, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, which is within one hour’s drive of 50% of Scotland’s population, is preparing to welcome an influx of tourists and visitors from the UK and abroad.
Known for bringing together the best of Highland and Lowland Scotland, the Park covers 720 square miles across four local authorities and typically welcomes more than four million visitors a year.
Each activity in the ‘Explore for a day’ initiative has been carefully chosen by the Park and SNH to ensure there is something of interest for people from all walks of life. From budding outdoors adventurers, to those looking for a magical woodland walk, to learning about local history and folklore; there is something for everyone.
Examples of the activities include:
Culture at Rob Roy’s Grave and Loch Voil
Located at the foot of Loch Voil, Balquhidder Kirkyard is the final resting place of Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish clan leader who died in 1734 and became a folk hero. Built on the lower slopes of Balquhidder Glen, the burial ground is thought to date back 4,000 years. The Celts believed this to be a ’thin place’ where the spiritual world and the earthly world came close together. It’s the ideal day out for anyone interested in history and local legends.
Exploring Puck’s Glen, Dunoon
A magical, atmospheric walk named after one of Shakespeare’s central characters in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Puck’s Glen [left] is a relatively short walk like no other. It offers visitors a blend of shady undergrowth, an enchanting gorge, tumbling waterfalls, and some of the finest rhododendron displays in the country.
Walking in The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve
Home to iconic wildlife, such as red squirrels, black grouse and many species of deer, and offering great opportunities for peace and quiet, the Reserve is a ‘forest in the making’ where a variety of habitats are being restored. Visitors can take a stroll through ancient woodland to a viewpoint overlooking the Lendrick Hill, or follow the circular walk around the wood which offers a short extension down to a great spot to watch wildlife and birds.
Gordon Watson, chief executive of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “The Park caters for a wide and diverse range of interests and tastes, and the ‘Explore for a day’ initiative does an outstanding job of highlighting how much there is on offer in Scotland’s first National Park.
“Whether you’re a family with children, a group of friends looking to explore the outdoors, or have a specialised interest such as photography, history or birdwatching, there’s something for everyone.
“The ‘Explore for a day’ initiative will play a key role in ensuring visitors are aware of the diversity of things to do whilst here; encouraging them to come back to the Park time and time again; which in turn will support the local businesses and the people that live and work here.”
Ian Ross, the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority with the production of this brand new leaflet as part of the successful ‘Explore for a day’ series.
“The leaflet will help tourists and locals to discover the Park and its many assets, and also allow them to enjoy our stunning scenery while greatly improving their health and well-being.
“The Explore for a day initiative has been highly successful in many areas around Scotland by giving people the chance to learn more about our biodiversity and help them interact with our natural heritage in a meaningful way.”
To make sure that visitors get the very best out of their trip, ‘Explore for a day’ itineraries have been developed for different regions, and are available on the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park or Scottish Natural Heritage website.