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The Trossachs

The Trossachs region has long been a favourite weekend getaway, offering outstanding natural beauty and excellent walking and cycling routes within easy reach of the country's southern population centres. With thickly forested hills, romantic lochs, national-park status and an interesting selection of places to stay and eat, its popularity is sure to continue.

The Trossachs first gained cachet in the early 19th century, when curious visitors came from across Britain, drawn by the romantic language of Walter Scott's poem 'Lady of the Lake', inspired by Loch Katrine, and novel Rob Roy, about the derring-do of the region's most famous son.

In summer, the Trossachs can be overburdened with coach tours, but many of these are for day trippers − peaceful, long evenings gazing at the reflections in the nearest loch are still possible. If you can, it's worth timing your visit to avoid weekends.