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May 2015

RSPB™ Nature Reserve where Atlantic oak woodland rises steeply from the loch and gives way to open moorland with spectacular views.


It's an RSPB™ Nature Reserve where Atlantic oak woodland rises steeply from the loch and gives way to open moorland with spectacular views, alright, albeit a rather randomly allocated area that's done in two parts.

Head for the hotel that's right on Loch Lomond to ha-ha at some hikers before heading back home via a farmyard. That way, the time will fly by unlike any of the wildlife that's mostly of the musty, four-legged variety, phew-ey!

Inversnaid is a known stopping-off point on the West Highland Way, you know, the 100-mile long trek from Milngavie to Fort William? It's welcome as well, the leg up the east bank of Loch Lomond is gruelling although more start, stumble then stop than steep.

You can follow part of the way north before a woodland loop brings you back on yourself. Here is where you can smugly snigger at those less fortunate, content in the knowledge you're not going all of the way, today.

It's also remote, about 13 miles on a single track road from Aberfoyle and you really don't want to meet a coach coming the other way.

The refreshment-serving hotel caters mainly for the coach-bound hordes as well as walkers and ferried day-trippers from Tarbet.

It was reputedly mooted as a potential location for the shooting of  The Shining but, unlike the coach, Kubrick did a u-turn because nowhere can be that creepy and isolated, eh?

There's an unmanned RSPB™ hut back up the road from the hotel with limited parking at Garrison Farm who can also put you up for the night. They'll let you out along their track but the only sign of any wildlife, of sorts, is their Highland Coos and calves.

Near Inversnaid - Garrison Farm Track
Near Inversnaid - Garrison Farm Livestock
Near Inversnaid

Nothing feathered showing, so far, not that any notice would have been taken of a talking golden eagle. You too will be too busy trying to frame some Ben or other in this nice bit of woodwork.

If you're a bit more daring, you could head for the humps that overlook Loch Lomond. They're home to a feral herd of goats but don't forget the gas masks, it can be vouched that these ammonia spraying herbivores don't half stink close up.

Near Inversnaid
Near Inversnaid - Goat(s)

They're fond of a wander, this just one of a group spotted on the way home near Loch Chon. They're also fond of the rich woodland habitat and, unfortunately for them, has called for a controversial cull by the RSPB™ of all people and they now number not much more than 30.

Half of them are already hobbled and it looks like Shearing™s could finish the job on the RSPB™'s behalf?