Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Loch Katrine Lady of the Lake Winter sailings

Sparkling Winter Weekends at Loch Katrine
(November 2010 to March 2011)
‘Lady of the Lake’ will depart Trossachs Pier on the following dates

Saturday and Sunday

•6th and 7th November
•13th and 14th November
•20th and 21st November
•27th and 28th November
•4th and 5th December
•11th and 12th December
•18th and 19th December
SAILINGS EVERY DAY – 27th December 2010 until 2nd January 2011

Saturday and Sunday

•12th and 13th February
•19th and 20th February
•26th and 27th February
•5th and 6th March
•12th and 13th March
•19th and 20th March
•26th and 27th March
•ADULT FARE - £10.00
•CHILD (u.16) FARE - £7.00

Tel(01877) 332000

•Panoramic Cruises on ‘Lady of the Lake’
•Fully heated saloon with exhilarating views of Loch Katrine
•20% OFF on all Family Tickets(*)
•10% Winter Savings on Family Cycle Hire with Katrinewheelz
•Katrine Café for lunch and refreshments – Enjoy a FREE Piacetto Coffee or Sir Henry tea with your lunch. (Subject to Minimum Spend: £5.00 per person)
Katrine Café, Katrinewheelz and Katrine Gifts Open on all Sailing Days - 11.00am until 3.00pm. ‘Lady of the Lake’ departing on all Sailing Days at 1.30pm (1-hour cruise)

(*) Discount available on all bookings for 2 adults travelling with one or more child (aged under 16). Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Sailings are subject to revision due to weather conditions, operational reasons, or passenger numbers.

Group Reservations Available Call (01877) 332000. Hire ‘Lady of the Lake’ for your own exclusive cruise – Full on-board catering services available.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Loch Lomond and Trossachs Cottages, Loch Katrine

Autumn brings out the best in the Trossachs !
By Nick Mitchell Scotsman Newspaper 21st October 2010

The Trossachs has a sleepy charm of its own that is best discovered in the autumn months.

• Sailing out on Loch Katrine

A visit to the secluded forests and calm lochs at this time of year will be rewarded with an endless array of reds and oranges as the trees stage their annual, fleeting burst of colour.

A good place to start is by taking a boat trip on Loch Katrine. Until the end of October they have daily sailings for tourists and day-trippers departing from the the eastern edge of the waters.

The small jetty and visitor centre is just a short drive from Callendar, which is itself easily accessible from Glasgow and the central belt, making it an ideal destination if you want to spend an afternoon away from the urban hubbub.

• On board the evocative Sir Walter Scott steamship

We made it just in time for the 1.30pm cruise on the Steamship Sir Walter Scott, which took us about halfway out and back in just under an hour.

The steamship itself is an item of historical note. It has been sailing these waters since 1898, when it was transported piece by piece from Dumbarton, and is now believed to be the UK's first green passenger vessel after it was recently refurbished to run on biofuel.

• Looking west towards Stronachlachar

The famous 19th century writer from which the vessel takes its name centred his 1810 narrative poem The Lady of the Lake around Loch Katrine, which he describes in a memorable line as "one burnished sheet of living gold".

It's not hard to see why this peaceful stretch of water inspired Scott as you sail past deserted, rocky little islets and ancient forests mirrored at the water's edge.

• White farm houses nestle on the northern shores of the loch

Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor is said to have been born in a 17th century stone cottage at Glengyle at the head of Katrine, and we were told by one of the guides during our cruise that the idyllic farm houses on the banks of the loch were once used as hide-outs during the Jacobite uprising.

But beneath the romantic allure of Loch Katrine is a vital function. The loch supplies the bulk of Glasgow's drinking water and several islands were submerged when the water level was artificially raised six feet for the purpose.

• The late afternoon sun shimmers on the loch

Having left Loch Katrine by three o'clock, there's still plenty of time to take in the surrounding area with a drive around the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. This area of protected woodland and moorland runs from the east shore of Loch Lomond to the rugged terrain of Strathyre and is a worthwhile detour from the main road.

The roadside views of golden forests reflected in glassy lochs is a sight to behold, and more than a little reminiscent of similar picture postcard scenes in the Canadian Rockies.

• A view of the amusingly named Loch Drunkie in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

From here on we continued up and over the Duke's Pass, past the David Marshall Lodge and down into Aberfoyle, where you can grab a bite to eat and set off for a much less scenic drive home.
.....End of article.....

Why not come and stay at Lochside House 10 yards from Loch Katrine in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Park.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Stirling Castle, Loch lomond and trossachs Cottages at Loch Katrine

DATE: 05/10/10


Stirling Castle on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October

The year is 1651 and Stirling Castle is under siege. Scotland has been defeated by the Auld Enemy at the Battle of Dunbar, the English army has invaded the south of the country and is desperate to lay claim to the majestic stronghold of Stirling which guards the route north.

Come along to Stirling Castle on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October and step back in time to the days of the Covenanters and this crucial period in the history of both the castle and Scotland.

The two-day Holding Scotland For The King 1651 family event revisits this important siege -which heralded the rapid collapse of Scottish control in the face of the English invasion – and brings to life the characters and weapons of both the Scots and English troops of the period.

A large cast of historical interpreters and costumed performers will be staging a spectacular series of colourful parades, with artillery and firepower displays, musketry exchanges and pike drill, and static tableaux providing an insight into battle camp and garrison life.

Events Manager Nick Finnigan says: “The 1651 siege of Stirling Castle, although brief, was incredibly important and marked a turning point in the history of our country. Our costumed performers will be highlighting the background – why Scotland was at war with England and the eventual outcome - illustrating what military life would have been like for the troops involved, and demonstrating a variety of interesting aspects such as the weaponry and costume of the period.”

The programme for both days is as follows:

 12:00 Opening parade into the castle from the Esplanade and welcome in the Inner Close.
 12:30 Story of the siege in the Great Hall
 13:00 The Siege begins - musket skirmish from the walls
 13:30 The clothes of the mid-17th century – Great
 14:00 Artillery display
 14:30 Pike drill
 15:00 Parade of musketeers and display of
 15:30 The soldiers of the 17th century
 16:00 Display of firepower featuring cannons and muskets and culminating in the closing parade of the army out of the castle

Holding Scotland For The King 1651 is on from 12.00 noon to 4pm on both days, with all the entertainment and activities included in Stirling Castle’s normal admission price: adults, £9.00, concessions £7.20, children £5.40, and free for Historic Scotland Members.

 Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. From the castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views over two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000. For details of opening times and further information on the castle, visit
 Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. An ambitious £12 million scheme, the Stirling Castle Palace Project, is currently underway (due for completion in Spring 2011) to restore and refurbish the Royal Palace at Stirling and present the Royal Lodgings as they might have appeared in the heyday of Scotland’s Stewart court in the mid 16th century. An interpretive display on the court of James V will be created in the palace vaults and a Renaissance Gallery on the upper floors of the palace will house the original Stirling Heads, a rare group of intricately carved oak ceiling medallions depicting kings,queens, courtiers and mythological creatures. Costumed interpreters will bring to life the history of the 16th century to enrich visitors’ enjoyment.

 Stirling Castle is one of the most popular of 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland. Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country.For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit:

 Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.