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Loch Ard

Tour Scotland, Loch Ard

This small loch is the centre of an area of outstanding natural beauty and wisely has been included within the bounds of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, which also includes neighbouring Loch Lomond.

It is best reached by way of Aberfoyle, itself an ideal centre for anyone wishing to tour the area. Although only some twenty seven miles from Glasgow it still remains a very pleasing village although it has modern features in its western areas. The old village lies more to the east and here it was that an old clachan (Highland inn) was used as the setting for one of the more stirring scenes of Rob Roy. The site it occupied is now taken by a hotel. Nor was this the only one of Scott’s works to feature the lovely Trossachs, for his Lady of the Lake also did much to spread its fame and make it known internationally. The title itself, The Trossachs, strictly only applies to a very small area, about two miles across, between Loch Katrine
and Loch Achray to the north, but by common usage it has come to be associated with the much wider region
which is roughly located between the peaks of Ben Ledi in the east and Ben Lomond in the west and extending down south of Loch Ard.

So popular did the district become that in the early 19th century the Duke of Montrose built a road northward from
Aberfoyle across the Menteith Hills and the Achray Forest to the shore of Loch Achray. This route, now the A.821, is still known as the Duke’s Road. To the west of this road as it winds its way up to the viewpoint overlooking Loch Drunkie can be seen the Aberfoyle quarries and,
towering up behind them through a screen of fine trees, loom the slopes of Beinn Bhreac (2,295 feet) and Ben Venue (2,393 feet). Beyond is Loch Katrine, snaking its serpentine course away towards Glen Gyle.

Loch Ard is held by many who visit this enchanting region to be the jewel of the Trossachs, surrounded as it is by
beautiful woodlands of birch and oak. Although only small in area, Loch Ard nevertheless has two tiny islets set in its crystal waters. The larger of these was called St. Mallo and on it could be found the ruins of an ancient chapel once dedicated to that saint. On the smaller island of Dundochill were said to lie the remnants of the Duke’s Castle, thought to have been built by the Duke of
Albany. Earl of Fife and Regent of Scotland.

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