Callander's main street was very quiet when we visited, most of the shops were still closed and there were not many people around, apart from some workers who worked on one of the construction sites on the road. The street runs from the northwest to the southeast and is lined by traditional houses made of rough stones, and many shops. Some of the shops looked quite quaint and interesting and I would have liked to visit them, but as said, they were closed. Among the few establishments that were open was a bakery where several of our group bought something for breakfast.
It is indeed a pretty street, and looming over its northwestern end are the Callander Crags which are a part of the Highland Boundary Fault, the line of mountains separating the highlands from the lowlands. The Crags give the town a special atmosphere and the main street is much more spectacular because walking up, you constantly have a fantastic view of the mountains!
Callander's mercat cross is located in Ancaster Square, opposite of St Kessog's Church, and serves as the war memorial of the town. It looks like a traditional mercat cross with an animal or another creature on top, but I was not able to distinguish what it was. Neither was it possible to find out if this is the original mercat cross of the town that was converted to a memorial, or if it was created after the war and was a memorial from the beginning.
There is a plaque on the plinth of the shaft showing many names, as well as an inscription remembering the dead of World War One, and another one for the dead of World War Two. In addition to the English words, there are also some Gaelic words, one of the few occasions where I saw Gaelic during my trip.
Callander's tourist information centre is located in a former church, St Kessog's Church. St Kessog is an Irish saint who was Scotland's patron saint before St Andrews, and who brought christianity to this part of Scotland.
The building was constructed in 1883 in Victorian Gothic Style, at the place where the former Parish church was located. The church was converted to a visitor's centre in the 1990s and now houses the tourist information as well as a small exhibition about Rob Roy.
About 5 miles south of Callander is the village of Doune and it's castle.
It is a 14th century castle that is still intact and lived in today. You can visit the interior of the castle. Monty Python fans will recognise it as the castle that was used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The scene where they are outside the castle and the French are occupying it.
The castle is open all year round and admission is £4.20 (December 09).
You will need some form of transport for this trail, either motorised or pedal powered.
The Trossachs Trail is a circuit of part of the Trossachs that starts and ends in Callander. The trail is about 15 miles long and takes in five lochs as well as passing underneath Ben A'an, one of more popular hill walks in Scotland.
Starting in Callander head north for 2 miles to Kilmahog (note, Hamish the "muckle cow" on your right as you enter the village) and take the left hand road signposted "Trossach Trail".
Follow the road west along the shore of Loch Venacher. Once you have passed the loch you will go through the wonderfully named village of Brig O'Turk and then on to Loch Achray under the shadow of Ben A'an.
Just passed Loch Achray the road bears left and there is a spur to the right. Take the right hand spur and follow for 1 mile and it brings you to the pier at Loch Katerine where Walter Scott based his peom The Lady of the Lake. In summer you can take the Sir Walter Scott steamship for a cruise on the lake but expect it to be closed in winter.
Retrace the road back along the spur and turn right towards Aberfoyle and up over Dukes Pass (named sfter the Duke of Montrose), a spectacular twisting mountain road.
Glimpses of Loch Drunkie can be seen as you head up over the pass before dropping down to Aberfoyle where you might want to stop for refreshments.
Continue on to Lake of Menteith where you can take a boat across to Inchmahome Priory which is on an island in the lake, again this will be closed in winter.
After the lake rejoin the main road and head back to Callander or bear right and head for Doune and the castle.
Take a gentle stroll along the river. Walk along the high street and admire all the buildings. A very pleasant little place with fabulous scenery ... enjoy