Visit loch lomond Newsletter - Spring 2013

Scotland is the Best Place, Says CNN Travel
Spring Breaks at Loch Lomond
Scotland 2013 - The Year of Natural Scotland
What's On This Spring
Celebrate John Muir
The Hampden Kiltwalk 2013
Win a stay at Boards Farm, Blanefield
Viking Dig at Loch Lomond

Scotland is the Best Place, Says CNN Travel

A NEW campaign to promote Scotland’s natural beauty has got off to a flying start after the country was named the world’s top travel destination in 2013. CNN Travel’s feature cites the newly-unveiled Scottish National Trail, Scotland’s “pristine lochs and haunting glens”, and the dramatic countryside featured in Bond film Skyfall as key reasons to visit.

The newly unveiled Scottish National Trail, the first of its kind to stretch the whole length of Scotland, runs from the English border to Cape Wrath, travelling past pristine lochs and haunting glens as it follows mainly existing routes, such as the West Highland Way and Rob Roy Way.

Major events including the Dumfries & Galloway Wildlife Festival, the HebCelt music festival and the Open Golf championship are also cited in the travel website’s annual guide to latest “hot” destinations, which says there is no better time to visit than the Year of Natural Scotland.

In the run-up to the Second Year of Homecoming which is being held next year to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn at Stirling, CNN Travel said it had taken into account international buzz, major events, savvy marketing and economics when compiling its top destinations.

Loch Lomond in particular has been the subject of much verse and song, hailing the beauty of the place. But it's so much more than just scenery - beautiful Loch Lomond presents you with the perfect holiday location, set right in the middle of one of Scotland’s most idyllic and unspoilt areas, it has become a vibrant centre for water sports, fishing and boat trips. A 2005 poll of Radio Times readers voted Loch Lomond as the sixth greatest natural wonder in Britain.

Spring Breaks at Loch Lomond

Escape the city and find the fresh outdoors! For hill walking, cycling, fishing and falconry or just a relaxing break in an idyllic setting why not escape the drudgery of winter and take a short break by the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond this spring. Set in the heart of Scotland's first National Park, you can stay in a five-star luxury hotel, a self catering lodge or a remote hideaway. Whatever the reason, be it a romantic break, an activity break or just to get away from it all, a relaxing break you will find it all at Spring Breaks on Loch Lomond.

Take a Walk with the Wildlife
Visit Loch Lomond this spring when new growth begins and say goodbye to the winter blues. The Loch Lomond and Trossachs area of Scotland are rich in wildlife and nature. The forests, woods, bens and glens of the area offer a wide and diverse range of birds, animals and plantlife.  Springtime sees new life and early April is a busy time of the year for all the bird species that inhabit the lochside and its vicinity. The majestic scenery of Loch Lomond bursts with new bloom leaving the cold drama of winter behind us. Enjoy the daffodils, bluebells, primula, crocus and the new life that spring brings. So why not check out Walking Loch Lomond, take a walk with the wildlife and see all that Loch Lomond has to offer this springtime.

Scotland 2013 - The Year of Natural Scotland

High on a crag overlooking the Luss Water, the female raven sat on her nest of sticks and heather-stalks. It was late March and the four eggs she had been sitting on for two weeks would soon be hatching. Her mate flew high over the ridges of the Luss Hills scouring the ground on the lookout for a meal that he could take back to the nest site to share with his partner. These often quiet hills and glens form a barrier between Loch Lomond and Loch Long. They offer delightful hill walks to the person who prefers the solitude of hill days as the mountains reach to 2000ft and are therefore shunned by the munro-baggers of today.

Early April is a busy time of the year for all bird species that inhabit the lochside and its environs. None more so than the male osprey who on returning from wintering in west Africa will spend much time on the wing in display flight hoping to attract a mate. A sight worth looking out for when walking on the southern shores of the loch.

This time of year brings a splash of colour to the oak woodlands around the loch as the early flowering woodland plants push their heads up into the sunshine lesser celandine, wood anemone, wood sorrel and the bluebells make up a carpet of colour that the walker can enjoy.

by Angus Maciver

What's On This Spring

From Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist and philanthropist to Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, Scots have made an enormous contribution to American life. In recognition of the their involvement in the development of America, the United States Senate passed a resolution in March 1998 proclaiming April 6th as National Tartan Day. (The Declaration of Arbroath which gave Scotland its independence was signed on this date in 1320.)

A number of events are planned to celebrate this special day across America. To find out more, check out

For more events happening this spring around Loch Lomond, visit our What's On pages

Celebrate John Muir

Join the celebrations of the first ever John Muir Day in Scotland on the 21st of April, the 175th anniversary of his birth. Known in America as the "Father of National Parks", the Scots-born American conservationist was involved in starting the National Park system in the USA and has inspired people all over the world.

Throughout the year, we will celebrate his life and work and encourage locals and visitors to connect with Scotland's outdoors, its nature and landscapes, by experiencing it, exploring it and helping look after it.

Look out for special events, activities and walks in National Nature Reserves, National Parks, country parks and other places across Scotland this April - these will provide fantastic opportunities to experience and explore Scotland's outdoors.

And the celebrations don't stop there, as we will be celebrating the opening of the long awaited John Muir Coast to Coast Trail in April 2014, tying in with the 100th anniversary of John Muir's death.

The Hampden Kilt Walk 2013 - Walking for Scotland's Children with the Sunday Post

Get involved on Sunday 21st April when the original Kilt Walk event returns to the home of Scottish football, with Real Radio's Cat Harvey and a host of celebrities and pipers. Supported by the Scottish Football Association, Hampden Park, Loch Lomond Shores, Real Radio and Barr's Irn-Bru, the Hampden Kilt Walk is looking for 1500 people to join the walk and raise £500,000 for their amazing charity partners. For the first time, the Yorkhill Children's Foundation has been added as a partner. And as always teams of five or more can nominate any registered children’s charity or cause to get 50% of the money they raise.

We've got three options to choose from, so hopefully there's a walk to suit everyone:

1. The Kilt Walk - 26 miles from Hampden Park to Loch Lomond
Set off from behind the goal in the famous old stadium, piped out towards the Clyde and following the Sustrans pathways through Clydeside, Bowling and Dumbarton to Balloch and Loch Lomond Shores.

2. The Half Kilt - 13 miles from Bowling Marina to Loch Lomond
Join up with the main walk at Bowling and proceed to Loch Lomond Shores.

3. The Wee Walk - 10 km around Balloch Castle Country Park
Especially suited for families, the Wee Walk will take a loop around Balloch Castle Country Park before joining the main walk to finish at Loch Lomond Shores.

As always we’ll have pipers, pit stops provided by our charity partners and live music throughout the afternoon and evening. Real Radio will be our hosts at the finish to welcome everyone across the finish line. So join us for a great day and do your bit for Scotland’s children!

More information can be found at

Win a stay at Boards Farm in Blanefield

Enjoy a tranquil idyllic 16th-century retreat that is Boards Farm in rural Stirlingshire. Set in a quarter acre of gardens and surrounded by four acres of breathtaking mature woodland this traditional stone built cottage provides the ideal rural location enjoying masses of wildlife on its doorstep.

To enter our competition, click here.

Viking Dig at Loch Lomond

The year 2013 marks the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs, an event sometimes referred to as the beginning of the end of Viking influence in Scotland.

Volunteers are invited to join an ambitious archaeology project which is aiming to dig up the secrets of Loch Lomond’s Viking heritage. Arrochar & Tarbet Community Development Trust is asking for help to uncover the past on the small strip of land between Arrochar and Tarbet, a route that provided a vital link between Loch Long and Loch Lomond since the 13th century, when followers of King Haco of Norway dragged their boats overland just before the Battle of Largs in order to pillage the rich Lomond settlements. The project ‘The Hidden Heritage of a Landscape: Vengeful Vikings and Reckless Rustlers’ invites volunteers to get involved in a range of ways, including working with Glasgow University’s Dr Simon Taylor to research local place names, surveying the landscape using geophysics equipment and excavating specific historic features on the ‘isthmus’. The project aims to uncover evidence of how this significant strip of land has been used in the past, both before and since the Vikings. Its aim is to train people in archaeological techniques and to promote the landscape’s rich cultural heritage as and asset to be cared for the understood.

The project will give volunteers and school children the chance to get hands-on training and experience in surveying and excavation techniques. Fiona Jackson, co-ordinator of the project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Argyll and the Islands Leader, said: “Anyone who lives or works locally is invited to volunteer with the Hidden Heritage project. Local knowledge combined with professional expertise is what will make this project uncover every last detail and give it any energy to celebrate and promote this rich landscape and its heritage”.

For more information, email

If you have any comments or contributions for our newsletter, please e-mail us at


Current weather

Loch Lomond

No significant clouds
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  • Temperature: 2 °C
  • Wind: Southwest, 6.9 mph
  • Pressure: 1015 hPa
  • Rel. Humidity: 87 %
  • Visibility: 6.2 mi
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Sat, 2020-09-26 03:20

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