Callander & The Trossachs
Probably the first and most important thing about The Trossachs in Scotland is the fact that there is a wonderful variety of things to do, places to visit, scenery, mountains and lochs which is often preferred by those interested in scenery, walking, cycling, hill walking and other outdoor interests.
For the photographer an almost limitless source of inspiration can be had from the placid reflections and hillsides around the quiet lochs and from the unique character of the many villages, hamlets, farmscapes, drystone walls and ruins.
The area is steeped in history and tradition and was the haunt of Rob Roy MacGregor. In the heart of The Trossachs, Loch Katrine is home to the famous 100 year old steam driven pleasure Steamer Sir Walter Scott
The Trossachs are often painted as a "Scotland in miniature", an area of lower mountains and lakes extending west and south from Callander to Aberfoyle, and interestingly reminiscent of the English Lake District, which was also seeing a tourist boom at around the same time. Whether the Trossachs would have achieved their fame without the influence of Sir Walter Scott is debatable. For some they are just the foothills of the real Highlands: for others they remain the most attractive part of Scotland.
Balquidder is a small village in the Stirling council area of Scotland.
It is overlooked by the dramatic mountain terrain of the Braes of Balquhidder, at the head of Loch Voil. Balquhidder Glen is also popular for fishing, nature watching and walking.
The MacLarens acquired the district as early as the 9th century and occupied it for several hundred years until forced to share the area by the MacGregors, a neighbouring clan, who had repeatedly raided their lands, and, in 1558 slew the chief and many of his followers.
Balquhidder was the scene of some of the exploits of Rob Roy, who died there in 1734. The local kirkyard is his final resting place, his grave marked with the appropriately defiant motto 'MacGregor Despite Them'. He lies with the remains of his wife and two sons, the graves marked by three flat stones. One of these is contemporary, but the remaining two are re-used medieval grave monuments.
Today's Callander is a bustling, sometimes crowded town.
At its centre is the Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre, which housed the Tourist Information Centre, in a converted church just off Main Street.
The Rob Roy connection is celebrated by the 79 mile Rob Roy Way which passes through Callander on its route from Drymen to Pitlochry
Even when it's busy, however, it is possible to get away from Callander's main street to see a quieter aspect of the town.
Parallel to the main street and a little to the south is the lovely River Teith: while to the north lie Callander Crags. Callander really does repay a little exploration.