Top 10 Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Walks

Cruach Tairbeirt

Loch Long from Cruach Tairbeirt

To see a selection of my Loch Lomond and the Trossachs images please click here

For much of the past 18 months I have been walking and photographing in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

The work (if you want to call it that) was for 2 guidebooks that have just been published by Northern Eye Books.  They form part of their superb Top 10 series of guidebooks and are the first in the series to focus on walking in Scotland.

The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is almost my local patch, being only an hour or so from where I live. It is a place of great beauty, grandeur and drama and one I love exploring.

But what makes it so special?

Well for starters the landscape straddles the highland Boundary Fault Line and consequently has a magnificent array of rugged peaks.

It boasts 40 mountains over 2,500 feet in height including some of Scotland’s most iconic Munros and Corbetts: Ben Lomond, Ben Ledi, Stob Binnien and the incomparable Ben Arthur (better known as The Cobbler), to name but a few.

Yet away from the big mountains and the park is also home to numerous lower hills, such as Conic Hill, Ben A’an and Duncryne, each of which offer a challenge but are within reach of the general walker.

Gartocharn

Loch Lomond from Gartocharn

What’s more the views are just as astounding as those from their bigger cousins and Top 10 Hill Walks and Easy Summits details an array of superb and accessible routes.

Also within the National Park’s confines are around 50 rivers and burns, 3 National Nature reserves, 2 Forest Parks and 22 large lochs, including Loch Lomond — at 28 miles long and 5 miles wide, the largest body of freshwater in the UK.

Conic Hill

Conic Hill

Add to this Loch Arklet, Loch Ard, Loch Katrine and Loch Venachar and you have an array of beautiful water with breathtaking scenery and wonderful wildlife.

Walks in and around these marvellous lochs can be found in Top 10 Lochside Walks.

I am currently working on two more Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Top 10 books so much of 2017 will be spent wandering the hills and glens of this exceptional corner of Scotland.

 

 

#Duncryne: #TomWeir’s Favourite Dumpling

The late, great hillwalker and broadcaster Tom Weir lived much of his life in Gartocharn, which sits near the southern edge of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

The little hill of Duncryne rises above Gartocharn and Tom climbed onto its summit almost every day (and sometimes at night). He described the view as the best from any small hill in Scotland.

Loch Lomond from Duncryne

Loch Lomond from Duncryne

Known locally (and perhaps a little disparagingly) as ‘The Dumpling’, due to its profile, Duncryne means ‘the rounded hill-fort’, and when on the summit it is not difficult to understand why it was once used as a defensive site. However Duncryne’s history dates back some 350-million years when it was formed through volcanic activity.

From its 146-metre summit Gartocharn nestles comfortably below amongst its rural confines, where fields spread northwest to reach Loch Lomond, its full width and many of its islands on display.

Surrounding the loch is the great beacon of Ben Lomond, the distinctive ridge of Conic Hill and the rounded Luss Hills, scored with deep glens. Beyond, the Cobbler’s iconic profile and the brawny Arrochar Alps draw the eye to a great procession of Southern Highland mountains. To the east the lowland landscape is broken by the long line of the Campsie Fells.

Therefore it is hard to disagree with Tom Weir’s view.

The Campsie Fells from Duncryne

The Campsie Fells from Duncryne