Before I left Scotland for the summer, my mum treated me and my flatmate, Carolyn, to a trip into the Trossachs and a trip to the Trossachs is something I can never refuse.
The day before I left, we took a leisurely drive east from Stirling just before lunch, skirting under the national park and then following Loch Lomond up along its west side to Luss. I had visited Loch Lomond once before not long after I visited Loch Katrine
, where we stopped at the hamlet of Rowardennan on the east bank and investigated a rickety pier. That was back in February when there was snow still on the mountains – quite different from this very sunny day in May.
Luss is a beautiful village of well-kept plants and charming cottages. I was very impressed with how tidy it was but as with any smart village, I got a Hot Fuzz “for the greater good” vibe from it. Everything was a little too perfect but it makes sense when you find out it’s a conservation village, protecting Scottish cultural heritage.
We reached Luss’s pier before any of the boats were due and stopped for lunch at the Coachhouse Coffee Shop, which not only does fine cakes but sells incredible novelty teapots. After that, we boarded a boat for a tour. Despite it being a sunny day, we and a honeymooning couple were the only passengers. The boat took us north up Loch Lomond while our captain told us interesting snippets of information about the lake.
Loch Lomond is the second largest loch in Scotland by water volume (with Loch Ness taking the lead), is over 24 miles long and has 60 islands – one of which, the captain cheerfully informed us, is a nudist colony. How exactly they deal with Scotland’s usual climate he didn’t explain, however…
As we went further north, the hills grew into mountains. We passed stunning geology and weaved through secluded islands. Looking up at the peaks, I got a real urge to hike. Hopefully I’ll be able to tackle a few come September!
|If you look very carefully, you can see people on the top!
When our tour came to an end, we got a stunning view of Luss from across the water. A great spread of bluebells covered the hill behind the village. We thanked the captain and his son, clambered ashore and then wandered down the loch’s adjacent path to discover the parish church. The graveyard surrounded the church and we took a walk around the small grounds. Highlight of that was probably finding a grave that had bars and a stone ‘lid’, presumably to keep whoever was buried, buried.
It’s only been 10 days since I left Scotland, but I’m missing it an awful lot. London’s polluted skies don’t quite compare to the scenery in the Trossachs.