Milngavie (pronounced Mill-guy) is an affluent suburb situated in the north of Glasgow. It's 15 minutes away from Glasgow airport by car and 25 minutes by train from the city centre. Although not a holiday destination in itself considerable numbers of tourists, probably more than 30,000, pass through the town each year. This is because Milngavie is the traditional starting point for one of the world's most famous long distance walking trails - the West Highland Way. Within a 5 minute stroll from the train station lie the gates to this fabulous route. Walkers, cyclists and runners gather here to be photographed before undertaking their great journey.
Aberfoyle, often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Trossachs’, is a pleasant and peaceful village situated at the foot of the Menteith Hills and amidst the vast Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. The hills are particularly significant because they mark the line of the Highland Boundary Fault which runs through the island of Arran on the west coast to Stonehaven on the east coast and separates the Highlands from the Lowlands. Another prominent feature of the village is the River Forth that runs through its centre before winding its way across a vast flood plain to Stirling and then Edinburgh where it enters the North Sea. The village is busy through the day with day trippers but generally quiet later in the evening. However, there are still enough customers buzzing about to ensure the couple of inns providing food and one or two café/restaurants remain open.
Like Aberfoyle just over the hill, Callander straddles the divide between the Highlands and Lowlands. It sits just beyond the eastern tip of the beautiful Loch Venachar at the foot of the forested Menteith Hills. It’s the largest village in the Trossachs and supports numerous hotels, B&B’s, restaurants and bars and is busy most of the year round. The centre of Callander is distinctly Victorian with many of that eras more substantial villas now operating as small hotels or guesthouses. However, many remain as family homes in this relatively affluent town. The River Teith runs right through the villages’ heart providing a particularly pleasant outlook for well placed residences on its banks and sport in the form of fishing and canoeing. Another great site from the village is that of Ben Ledi, a magnificent looking hill and one reasonably easy as well as pleasing to climb.
A fairly small village, Strathyre resides in a particularly picturesque part of the Scottish Highlands. Nestling amongst the trees of the forest that shares its’ name and straddling the River Balvag a stroll from one side of the village to the other is a walk through nature itself. Woodland walks and a footbridge link the villages’ two halves at the southern end while an attractive old stone humpback bridge provides the umbilicus upstream. For visitors there’s an inn and a café for meals and providing accommodation along with the inn there’s also a couple of B&B’s.
Ardeonaig is a pretty little hamlet on the southern shores of Loch Tay. Not much more than a collection of farm buildings, cottages and country houses it manages to boast a hotel that is renowned for its quality. The Ardeonaig Hotel is a four star establishment that serves as a watering hole to walkers, cyclists and day trippers as well as providing comfortable bedrooms for overnighting guests.
The Highland town of Aberfeldy is a bustling centre of activity. Along the main drag traditional Victorian buildings house shops, banks, hotels, and tea rooms. Step away from here and you’ll find yourself in residential streets full of Victorian terraces and villas many with gardens full of brightly coloured flowers, mature trees and sumptuous hedgerows. At the northern end of town the five arches of General Wade’s Bridge span the River Tay below four sculpted obelisks protruding skywards near the centre of the bridge. It is a simple yet stunning piece of architecture.
Grandtully is a beautiful wee village on the south bank of the River Tay. And despite its size boasts a primary school, chocolatier, hostel, inn, coffee house and a water sports centre. From the inn it’s possible to watch white water rafters and kayakers careering down the rapids below. Less than a minute’s stroll across a bridge adjacent to the inn and water sports centre car park is Grandtully’s nearest neighbour Strathtay, also very attractive. What Strathtay lacks in chocolatiers and inns it gains in a village shop and golf course. And like Grandtully has some fabulous Victorian houses.
Grand hotels, castles and country homes reside alongside impressive examples of Victorian engineering in a truly stunning mountain setting amidst forests of pine and oak and beech and alder and more. With glistening Loch Faskally and the tumbling Tummel River right at the heart of this spellbinding picture, the allure of Pitlochry is patently obvious to see. It’s no wonder that this town is one of Scotland’s most popular visitor destinations outside of Edinburgh. Besides the usual attractions of spas, a distillery, fine restaurants and quality accommodation Pitlochry also boasts a theatre which is responsible in itself for many of the towns’ visitors. The theatre keeps the punters rolling in all year round with many acclaimed productions to see performed by theatre companies from near and far.