Definitions

Trossachs

Trossachs

[tros-uhks]

The Trossachs (Scottish Gaelic, Na Trosaichean) itself is a small woodland glen in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It lies between Ben A'an to the north and Ben Venue to the south, with Loch Katrine to the west and Loch Achray to the east. However, the name is used generally to refer to the wider area of wooded glens and braes with quiet lochs, lying to the east of Ben Lomond.

The scenic charms of this area came to popularity when Walter Scott extended his romantic portrayal of Scotland's past from border ballads to poems of a medieval past rich in chivalry and symbolism, with his 1810 poem Lady of the Lake giving a roll call of Trossachs place names, the lady herself being found on Loch Katrine. This was followed up by his 1817 historical novel Rob Roy romanticising the outlaw cattle thief Raibert Ruadh born by Loch Katrine and buried at nearby Balquhidder. Scotland's only lake, the Lake of Menteith, lies about 6 miles (10 km) to the south east of the glen, on the edge of the Trossachs area.

The effect of this romantic literature was to draw tourists to the area and make the Trossachs Hotel well known. Loch Katrine itself changed in 1859 when a dam was built at the eastern end and connecting aqueducts built to bring a new main water supply to Glasgow. Queen Victoria had a holiday house built overlooking the loch. A steamer service started, and the 1900 SS Sir Walter Scott is still going, giving visitors a delightful way to enjoy the scenery while adding to the picturesque view. The area is now in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, remaining popular with walkers and cyclists, and for the motorist the winding roads have a certain charm.

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