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Stronachlachar >  Google™ Map May 2015+  Stirling Coat of Arms

sron place + (a') + chlachair Scottish Gaelic (of the) stonemason. Population - 0.

Scotland Flag UK > Scotland > Stirling

May 2015+

Stirling Coat of Arms

You can get here by boat, which is a return trip from Trossachs Pier, but you'll be lucky to be let off for 10 minutes when they land. That's also about the same amount of time you'll need if you're just investigating on the way back from eyeing up some birds at Inversnaid.

There's some imagination required, then, leaving plenty of time for a celebrity challenge and a boat that's berthed at  Brigadoon.

The parking is free next to the pier on Loch Katrine and it's pronounced more Katterin, not as in rhymes with 'latrine'. That's reassuring since it provides most of Glasgow with their drinking water and that was thought to be Buckfast Abbey?

Bang in an unpronounceable bit of the Trossachs, this whole area was romanticised and popularised by, soon to be Sir, Walter Scott. The old steamship that takes his name has been fuelling passengers the reverie for more than 100 years, itself now fuelled by biodiesel.

It runs nearly all year round with just a short winter break, which comes as something of a surprise to hear. A couple of visits have been made here before and there's not been so much as a peep-peep.

Despite nobody actually seeming to live here, there's an elaborate communications network in place.

Stronachlachar - GCHQ

Visual, written and spoken forms are catered for and all that's missing is a log fire and a blanket for some smoke signals.

Do you know what? Any of those are preferable to a text or a WhatsApp™, right kids?

You'll likely have arrived by the single-track road from Aberfoyle along which the coaches are unforgiving in a giving way kind of way.

The Pier Café has a period feel and is the ideal place to relax as you either wait to set sail or delay another potential encounter with a Shearing™s.

Stronachlachar - Pier Cafe

It's popular with cyclists preparing for the 14-mile ride on the narrow road north of the loch and you might want to pull up a chair...

Not too far back, it was along this road that somebody sort of recognisable goes pelting past on a bike. Not only that, he's chasing a cameraman hanging out of the back of a van. It's not until six months later, flicking through the TV channels after tea... 'That's why he looked vaguely familiar?'

He's having a 'race' with his dad, you see, the actor Larry Lamb and junior is in the saddle while the Eastenders bad boy but Essex good guy is on the paddle, steamer. The SS Walter Scott, of course, except he's not since there's still no sign of it anywhere.

Not wishing to shatter the illusion created by television, but let's do it anyway, it looks like they filmed on different days, probably, so that steamship isn't thought to be any more real than it was earlier.

SlyBob were cut from the edit so that's the real reason for spilling the beans and at least it's now known just who George Lamb is.

Another option is to follow the path south of the loch but that soon runs out forcing you up through some ferns and back in by the road and the occasional coach.

Thinking about it, that's not much of an option so the time machine's been brought out to look west to Stronachlachar from the summit of Ben A'an.

Loch Katrine - From Ben A'an

It's a moderate, 1500-footer but with excellent, uninterrupted views and although it's only about six miles from the pier at Stronachlachar by flying crow, it's nearly three times that by car.

Below you is Trossachs Pier and the starting point for the steamer but there's still not a peep-peep.

Trossachs Pier

If it's not berthed up in Brigadoon, just exactly where do you hide a boat on a Scottish waterway?

In a 'loch'-up?

What's What
 Cruise Loch Katrine
Where's Where