A visit to the beautiful countryside in the Trossachs wouldn't be complete without a leisurely cruise on a loch and so we boarded the Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine for a one and a half hour cruise taking in some stunning views along the banks.
The Sir Walter Scott (named after the 19th century author and poet) is a major attraction to visitors in the area. She is 110 feet long, 19 feet wide and weighs 115 tons, and has sailed the waters of Loch Katrine since 1900. She still has the original 3-cylinder triple expansion engine and has two locomotive-type boilers. The vessel has a crew of five, and is the only surviving screw steamer in regular passenger service in Scotland.
Anyway it was a fine sunny day and we seated ourselves on the open deck which appeared to have sufficient seating for all the passengers on board and she majestically eased away from the quay and into the open water.
Loch Katrine the eleventh largest loch in Scotland and the shoreline is about 22 miles in length. The loch is owned by Scottish Water and is the main water supply for the city of Glasgow.
There are many small islands in the loch, at the west end – Rubha nam Mult (originally a headland before raising of water level) , Black Island, Eilean Dharag at the east end is Eilean Molach (Ellen's Isle) Am Priosan (not quite an island) and Otter Island. There are several other very small unnamed islands which we passed
Loch Katrine originally became widely known after the books 'Rob Roy' and 'Lady of the Lake' by Sir Walter Scott were published in the early 19th century. still favoured as a day out by locals either for walking, cycling, photography or for just taking in the breathtaking scenery.
The popularity of the Trossachs in general grew in the 1850s after the railway arrived nearby at Callander where we paused a while to take some refreshment at the local hostelry and to exchange some friendly banter with some locals . The Dreadnought Hotel in Callander we're told ran daily coach services (horse drawn) to the pier at the east end of Loch Katrine in order for guests to take a cruise up the loch on the early steamships.
We had a great day out, explored some beautiful woodland and took in some wonderful scenery, comes highly recommended by us.