Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Trossachs


 I can't believe that this trip was the first opportunity I've had this year to re-visit the Trossachs, time just seems to have flown by. Having said that though, the Scottish weather has played it's part a bit. Every time I have planned a visit the forecast has been against me.

It was good to see that the upgrade to the A80 has been completed which made my journey up a lot quicker. I think it only too me just over two hours to get from Penrith up to Stirling. The weather started off beautifully sunny but started to cloud over as I neared Glasgow. By the time I was on the A80 there was thick low cloud and my spirits sunk somewhat. However as I approached Aberfoyle, the clouds started breaking and the rest of the day was beautiful.

I started off in Aberfoyle where I bought my provisions for the day at the excellent local bakery. Across the road to the Coop for drinks and then I was set for the day.

The first loch I arrived at was Loch Ard with it's famous boathouse. I don't think any photographer can pass this spot without taking a few shots of the jetty and boathouse with the backdrop of Ben Lomond. A few miles farther on the road and it wass Loch Chon. Fortunately my trip coincided with the bluebell season so the surrounding forest was a carpet of blue. This area is very popular with fishermen but it was very quiet, possibly due to the recent bad weather which suited me fine, lots of photos were taken.

I then drove up to Loch Arklet and was greeted by a cuckoo call which if  I remember rightly was there last year. Onwards down to Inversnaid by Loch Lomond and then back across to Stronachlachar on Loch Katrine for a late lunch in the delightful Pier Tea-rooms. My last port of call was was the far end of  Loch Katrine which was maybe only ten miles as the crow flies but it entailed driving back to Aberfoyle and then over the beautiful Dukes Pass. The pass is named after the Duke of Montrose who constructed the road in 1885. It was opened to the public in 1931 when the Forestry Commission acquired the land.

The weather and light were both gorgeous as I parked up by the old Trossachs Pier so I went for a walk along the loch side. The Loch was so still, it was giving some great reflections. These were unfortunately spoilt by a lone sailor but not before I had take some beautiful photos. I returned to the car at about six o'clock and began the long journey back to Cumbria. The advantage of returning so late was that the Glasgow traffic had quietened down so it was a speedy trip back to my caravan.

It had been a long but worthwhile day out.

Loch Ard

Boathouse. Loch Ard

Loch Ard

Loch Chon

Buttercups

Loch Chon

Loch Chon

Bluebells

Highland Cattle

Highland Cattle

Waterfall, Inversnaid

Loch Katrine pier

Reflections, Loch Katrine

Reflections, Loch Katrine

Reflections, Loch Katrine

Reflections, Loch Katrine

Looking down Loch Katrine

Road around Loch Katrine

Ben Venue

Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine

Wider views at Harlow Carr RHS Garden, Harrogate

Some more photos of my afternoon at Harlow Carr RHS Gardens in Harrogate. The last set were mainly close ups of the flowers whilst this set ...