The small Trossachs town of Callander lies right on the main tourist trail from Stirling through to the west Highlands. The town became famous during the 'Scottish Enlightenment' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the gleaming reports given by poets Sir William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott and developments came to a full swing with Queen Victoria choosing to visit Callander and with the arrival of the train line in the 1860s.
Callander sits at the eastern end of the Trossachs, 14 miles northwest of Stirling; its wide streets are totally and unashamedly devoted to tourism and lined with tearooms, restaurants and craft shops. The town's overworked TIC, Apr-May and Oct-Mar daily 1000-1800, it is located on the main street, in Ancaster Square, Tel. 330342. Same opening times as visitor centre below. It shares the same building as the Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre, which gives an entertaining account of the life of Rob Roy MacGregor.
Phone code: +44 (0)1877
Local Sights & Activities for CallanderSightseeing
Walks And Cycle Routes Around Callander
Callander is also a good base for exploring the Trossachs. A recommended local walk is to Bracklinn Falls, reached by a woodland trail which leads from Bracklinn Road. It's about 30 minutes each way. Another trail from Bracklinn Road leads up to Callander Crags, from where there are great views of the surrounding area. Allow 11/2 hours there and back. The most challenging walk in the area is to the summit of Ben Ledi (2,857 ft), but it's a tough climb and you'll need to be fit, experienced and prepared.
Two miles north of Callander, on the A84 route to the Highlands, are the Falls of Leny, in the narrow and dramatic Pass of Leny. The falls are accessible from the car park by the roadside or via the Callander to Strathyre Cycleway, which follows the old train line to Oban, from Callander north along the west bank ofLoch Lubnaig. This forms part of the Glasgow to Killin Cycleway, which runs from the centre of Glasgow, via Balloch, Aberfoyle, Callander, Balquhidder and Lochearnhead, to Killin. This is the best way to see the Trossachs.
The A84 heads from Callander along the east bank of Loch Lobnaig, and run towards Loch Earn. Towards north a side road branches towards the small village of Balquhidder, renowned for the Rob Roy's burial ground. The grave is in the churchyard, by his wife and two of his sons, is thankfully understated. In the nearby converted village library, there is a fabulous cosy tea-room catered with delicious sandwiches (March to October, times vary).
Callander's family-run Toy Museum located on 111 Main St, T01877330004, Apr-Oct daily, is a true Aladdin's Cave with rare collection of toys that dates back to 100 years and it a great treat to watch. You can also hire bikes in Callander from Wheels, Invertrossachs Road, Tel. 331100.
The best place to eat is the Roman Camp Hotel (see above). Otherwise the hotels and pubs offer bar meals. Most of the places along the main street are overpriced, but the Ben Ledi Café offers good-value basic grub (well it was good enough for Prince William when he visited the town). If you want a cake or a sandwich try Dun Whinny's, 9 Bridge St, Tel. 331257, or Pip's Coffee House on Ancaster Sq. There's also an internet café, The Cooler on the Main St. A few miles north of town, at Kilmahog, is the highly rated Lade Inn, Tel. 330152.
Travel Directions to Callander
There are regular buses to and from Stirling (45 mins). There's a Scottish Citylink service once daily in summer between Edinburgh and Fort William which stops in Callander. A postbus leaves daily, except Sun, at 0915 to Trossachs Pier and connects with cruises on Loch Katrine. There's also a postbus between Callander and Aberfoyle, via Port of Menteith (Mon-Fri in the afternoon).