The sleepy village of Aberfoyle suddenly bursts into life in the summer with the arrival of hordes of tourists. It lies on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and, along with Callander to the east, is one of the main tourist centres for the Trossachs.
It makes an ideal base for walking and cycling as the surrounding hills provides tremendous scope for that. There's plentiful accommodation, though you'll have to book early to avoid disappointment during the busy summer season.
Phone code: +44 (0)1877
Aberfoyle enjoys a very convenient locale, right in the heart of the Trossachs area. The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and the Loch Ard forest are the chief attractions in the area. While nightlife and entertainment can turn out to be a bit disappointing, Aberfoyle scores when it comes to a healthy blast of the outdoors.
Local Sights & Activities for Aberfoyle
Three miles east of Aberfoyle is the Lake of Menteith, the only lake in Scotland (as opposed to loch). On Inchmahome island in the middle of the lake are the beautiful and substantial ruins of Inchmahome Priory T01877-385294 (HS), the 13th-century Augustinian priory where the four-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots was sent in 1547, safe from the clutches of Henry VIII. A ferry takes visitors over to the island from Port of Menteith. Apr-Sep Mon-Sun 0930-1830. The lake is also a popular spot for fly-fishing and you can rent boats from Lake of Menteith Fisheries, T01877-385664, Apr-Oct.
To the north of Aberfoyle is Doon Hill, better known as the Fairy Knowe. The tree at the top is said to be the home of the 'People of Quietness', and in 1692 a local minister was less than discreet in telling the world of their secrets. As punishment he was taken away to fairyland, and his spirit has languished there ever since. If you go round the tree seven times, your wish will be granted, but go round it backwards and… well, we won't be held responsible. It's about an hour up and back (The best time for this short walk will probably be dusk when it is at its most atmospheric). Cross the bridge over the Forth and head past the cemetery, then follow the signs.
Aberfoyle Hotels & Accommodation
The best place to stay in the area is the Lake of Menteith Hotel, in Port of Menteith, situated on the lakeshore overlooking Inchmahome, Tel. 385258. It's stylish, comfortable, very romantic and boasts a fine restaurant (lunch mid-range; dinner expensive).
A few miles away along the Kinlochard road and overlooking the loch is the elegant Forest Hills Hotel, with a good restaurant (though not cheap)and revamped leisure and spa facilities.
On the outskirts of Aberfoyle is the Rob Roy Hotel.
There are dozens of B&Bs in and around Aberfoyle, including The Barns of Shannochill, by Aberfoyle, Tel. 382878, a barn annexe in the country; and the lovely Creag-Ard House in Milton, 2 miles west of Aberfoyle overlooking Loch Ard, Tel. 382297, with fishing and boat hire available.
Camping In Aberfoyle
Camping is available at Cobeland Campsite, Tel. 382392, open Apr-Oct, 2 miles south of Aberfoyle on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park; and the excellent Trossachs Holiday Park, Tel. 382614, open Mar-Oct, set in 40 acres and with mountain bike hire.