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Glen Lyon
Glen Lyon

Ben Lawers and Glen Lyon: Loch Tay, Killin and Kenmore
(Explorer Maps)

Tour Scotland, Glen Lyon

Glen Lyon Photograph Scotland

Glen Lyon, River Lyon and Meggernie Castle, Scotland. 10x8 Photograph (25x20cm) Glen Lyon, River Lyon and Meggernie Castle from Robert Harding.

Crossing northward over Loch Tay one comes from one of the smallest glens in Scotland to the longest, Glen Lyon,
although now it is somewhat curtailed. The river Lyon has its many sources in the hills that surround the loch of the
same name which is set just to the north of the Forest of Mamlorn. Beinn Heasgarnich (3,530 feet) and Creag Mhor
(3,387 feet) dominate Loch Lyon southward, while Beinn Mhanach (3,215 17 feet) Beinn Achaldair (3,399 feet) and Beinn A’ Chreachain (3,540 feet) firm a crescent-shaped block to the north.

Loch Lyon, at the head of this great glen, is now the site of a series of very ambitious hydro-electric schemes which have resulted in the damming of the loch at Lubreoch while a new reservoir has been established lower down the river at Stronuich. These works, desirable
though they are, are certainly no improvement to the glen itself so that Glen Lyon is perhaps best explored by
working eastward, thus turning our backs on such features and following the bustling river down towards its junction with the Tay near Taymouth Castle, for the works of nature still far surpass the works of man both in scope and beauty.

At Cashlie, below Stuchd an Lochain (3,144 feet) are to be found the best preserved of some twelve Iron-Age
ring-frwts, or fortified homesteads. The glen’s old name is Cromghlearn nan clach, ‘crooked glen of the stones’ and,
according to fable, Fingal had twelve castles in this glen.
The glen widens through Kenknock and Moar, where the road crosses the burn from Loch Giorra, until, south of
the road and the river, can be seen the ramparts of Castle Meggernie. Raised around 1582 by ‘Mad Cohn’ Campbell, the castle is privately owned. ‘Mad Cohn’s’ great grandson Robert Campbell, brought notoriety to the glen with his involvement in the Glencoe massacre in
I692, but another past owner, one James Menzies, established a more peaceful image as the man who introduced larch trees to Scotland.

A little further down the glen is Bridge of Balgie, whence a road probes south to the heart ot the hills of the Lawers group, passing Lochan na Lairige. another
hydro-electric site, on its way to join the A827 which runs by the north bank of Loch Tay. Further east from Bridge of Balgie a track leads north between Meali
a Mhuic (2.444 feet) and Beinn Dearg (2,702 feet) on its way to Dali and Loch Rannoch.

Beyond innerwick and on the north bank of the river is Camusvrachan while to the south is Miiton nestling below the range that is dominated by Ben Lawers (3,984 feet). The height of Ben Lawers has long presented both an enigma and a challenge. For many years the mountain was wrongly included among the select band of those which topped the 4,000 feet mark and after its true height had been established one Malcom Fergusson restored its distinction by constructing a cairn on the summit sonic sixteen feet high but sadly it did not
survive the storms and tempests of later years and Ben Lawers is now back again to its true elevation. Renowned for the rare alpine plants which flourish here. both Ben Lawers and neighbouring Beinn Ghlas are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. In more recent years the establishment of ski slopes and a centre in Coire Odhar has further popularised the area.

North of the glen at this point is Carn Gorm (3,370 feet), ‘blue hill’ and a little further east is Carn Mairg (3,419 feet) the ‘rust-coloured hill’. In the narrow river gorge is found ‘Macgregor’s Leap’ where the clansman, a fugitive from Campbell vengeance, jumped the river to save his
life during a flight into exile with hounds baying at his heels.

Beyond Glen Lyon the river flows past the site of an ancient Roman encampment and the town of Fortingall.
Here can be found the two thousand year old yew tree under which Pontius Pilate, the son of a Roman legionary, is said by some to have been born.

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