often described as the Gateway to the Trossachs, lies
approximately 25 miles north of Glasgow and to the
west of Stirling. With a population of only 640, it
is a small country town but benefits from one of the
most beautiful locations in Scotland. The town is
part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National park
and is surrounded by the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.
If you want to walk, mountain bike, photograph,
canoe, fish or just relax in a cafe and browse round a gallery,
the Trossachs is exactly where you want to be, and our self
catering cottage is the perfect base. A network of bike or
walking trails surround the village and can be easily accessed
from the door of Dukes Cottage self catering cottage without
the need to trouble your car. When you are finished for the
day why not close the door and walk 50 metres round to the
one of the excellent cafes or pubs on Aberfoyle's main street
- the Forth Inn for some award winning food or real ales in
front of a roaring fire, a beer in a bustling beer garden
on a sunny evening or Liz MacGregor's cafe for some cracking
coffee and cakes while watching the world go by.
drop in to the mouth watering Delicatessan and Butcher
on the main street for something to retire to the
cottage with, bottle of fine wine in hand!
Read more about Aberfoyle and the Trossachs at the Trossachs.co.uk website, and more about the
local forest at the Forestry
There is an excellent map download available for walking and cycling from the Forestry Commission here, and paper versions can be picked up in the tourist information if you ask at the desk (they are well guarded!)
Here are some of our
own ideas to check out when you are in the area :
Straight out the door of Duke's Cottage
in Aberfoyle you can stroll on the easy forest trails round
the Queen Elizabeth Forest. Choose from a half mile stroll
to a 4 mile hilltop trek in this spectacular forest, picturesque
in summer and winter alike, but downright stunning in the
golden hues of autumn. If you are looking for something with
a little more altitude, why not head for Ben An above nearby
Loch Venechar, Ben Venue just along the road or Ben Lomond
a short drive away by the famously scenic Loch Lomond.
a short stroll, why not head for Doon Hill. A local
legend has it that the Reverend Robert Kirk (b. 1644),
the minister of Aberfoyle, had angered the Fairies by
entering their kingdom in Doon Hill and was imprisoned
under the hill for eternity. The hill is located two
miles to the south of Aberfoyle town centre. Follow
the road from Aberfoyle car park over the old bridge,
past the graveyard (where you can visit Kirk's tomb)
and then on to the forestry track.
Doon Hill (also known locally as The Fairy Knowe) is sign posted
from here, and the summit is covered in bunting and various
other offerings for the fairies (some quite bizarre) - if you
go round the tree seven times, your wish will be granted...
The round trip will take around 2 hours from Aberfoyle.
Having lived near Aberfoyle for a few years now, we can
vouch for the quality of tracks and trails in the immediate
area for mountain biking. There is a bit of everything from
long and scenic forest road tours to tight and twisty local
singletrack right behind the house. If we can help with
a bit of route advice, don't hesitate to contact us.
Road cycling is second to none too, on quiet country roads
with few cars - the stretch along Loch Katrine is even closed
to traffic, so why not ride the 12 miles along the singletrack
road, grab a coffee in the Pier
Tea Room and jump on the Steamship Sir Walter Scott
to hitch a lift back? The Loch Katrine website
has more information.
We have bolted an anchor into the wall at the side of the
cottage to lock a maximum of two bikes to (at your own risk
of course!), where the bikes are also behind an iron gate
and under cover of a roof.
Bike hire is available nearby at Trossachs Cycles (approximately
2 miles away by Gartmore), the Scottish
Cycle Centre over the hill on the shores of Loch Venechar
Wheelz over the Duke's Pass by Loch Katrine.
There are a number of courses in the area, the closest
of which is the Aberfoyle Golf Club (about 1 mile away)
which is very hilly but is great fun and sports some great
views! Over by Loch Lomond is the superb Loch
Lomond Golf Club where they hold the Barclays Open.
isn't far away either at around 1 hours drive.
With the Lake
of Menteith nearby, reputed to be the best location
for rainbow and brown trout in Central Scotland,
there is something for the fisherman too. Loch Ard,
Loch Drunkie, Loch Lomond and the River Forth among
many more provide both coarse and game fishing all
within easy reach of Duke's Cottage.
Only a few miles away at Loch Ard there is Go
Country, a charitable company offering the hire
of mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks and fishing equipment.
They also offer organised days out with anything
from quad biking to clay pigeon shooting and gorge
walking. Drop them a line if you want some adrenaline
to balance all this quality relaxation!
Sights to See
There are almost too many sights to list in the
Trossachs when you come and stay in our self catering
cottage, but here are some of our personal favourites:
- Lake of Menteith / Inchmaholm Priory:
The only 'lake' in Scotland is home to a magnificent ruined
13th-century Augustinian priory on one of its islands.
Pack your lunch, jump on the small passenger ferry and
take a trip out to wander on the tranquil island. Find
out more here.
- 3 Lochs Forest Drive: Open from April
to October, the forest drive entrance is only 5 minutes
drive from the cottage. Take your car through 7.5 miles
of leafy forest tracks deep into the forest, navigating
round 3 lochs where you can stop for a picnic or just
to soak up the peace and quiet. More information on the
- Go Ape - Aberfoyle: A tree top vertigo
inducing challenge high above the forest near the cottage.
You are less than 15 mins walk to the longest zip wire
in Britain, and it is great fun for a day out - check
their website out here.
- Glengoyne Distillery: Drive 15 minutes
down to Glengoyne for a distillery tour and sample of
this local produce. If you have the time and inclination,
why not climb up Dumgoyne to take in some breathtaking
views while you are there? Visit their website here.
- Visit Stirling: If the rain comes on
(and it has been known to round here) then why not take
a drive over to the historic town of Stirling. Visit the
Wallace Monument, the battlefield at Bannockburn and the
castle above the town. It is only 25 mins drive and also
houses a great selection of shops to rival any city main
- Loch Katrine: Visit Loch Katrine and
walk round the shores of this beautiful loch, eat in the
cafe and take a cruise on the Steamship Sir Walter Scott.
has more information.
For more ideas, the Trossachs Discovery Tourist
Information Centre is only minutes walk away on Aberfoyle
Step out the cottage, stroll to the main street
in Aberfoyle and you can bag one of the outdoor tables
by Liz McGregors tearoom. Soak up the sun with a cappucino
and cake while reading your morning paper - what better
way to start another day of your holiday?
Alternatively walk for 15 minutes up to the cafe in the Lodge and enjoy the sweeping
view over the forest or a take a drive to the Wee
Blether tearoom on Loch Ard where the cakes really
are some of the best out there!
The same could be said of The Woodhouse near Kippen, where they also serve up a mean plate
of home made soup.
But on a sunny evening there are few locations to beat the
Cafe on Loch Venechar - watch the sun going down with
a glass of wine, pint of beer or coffee as the hire boats
clink and jostle below the waterside decking.
Shops and Galleries
On a rainy day why not browse round some
of the local shops to pass a pleasant afternoon? With a resident
expert always on the lookout for a good shopping experience,
here are some local favourites:
In the summer they are perfect to
duck out the sun and have a refreshing cold drink,
in the winter you can cosy in by the roaring fire
and dig into a hearty meal to escape the chilly weather
outside. Here are some of our favourite pubs in the
- The Forth Inn - 2 minutes walk round the corner
on Aberfoyle main street!
- The Oak Tree, Balmaha (Gastro Pub of the Year
- The Inn at Kippen, Kippen
- The Cross Keys, Kippen
- The Old Mill, Killearn