Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Highland Cow, Rob Roy Way


Today, I joined a small group hike along a section of the (94 mile) Rob Roy Way which traversed about nine miles from Callander to Strathtyre in the Trossachs and Queen Elizabeth Forest Park region of Stirlingshire, Scotland.

Unfortunately, we experienced persistent, and sometimes heavy rainfall, which, apart from personal inconvenience, impacted on the quality of photographs.

The precipitation did not, unduly, affect enjoyment of the hike which followed a defunct railway line along which we encountered:

  • Two rivers, the Teith and Leny.
  • A wide range of trees including oak, beech, ash birch, holly and conifer plantations.
  • Tree fungi and ground fungi.
  • Numerous streams cascading off the hills and mountains.
  • White water rapids and the Falls of Leny.
  • Kayakers.
  • Mountain bikers.
  • Sheep, horses, cattle and Highland Cattle.
  • Rich brown and gold autumnal colours from the ferns and tree leaves.
  • Loch Lubnaig, a lake about three miles long.
  • Mountains, Ben Ledi and Ben Vorlach.
  • Berries and fruits such as blackberries and rose hips.
  • The popular tourist villages of Callander and Strathtyre.


Strathtyre, Trossachs, Scotland

Autumnal Colours, approaching Strathtyre on Rob Roy Way

Ground Fungi, Trossachs, Scotland

River Teith at Callander, Scotland

Loch Lubnaig, Scotland

Mountain Biker, Rob Roy Way, Scotland

Hiking Group, Rob Roy Way, Trossachs

Rose Hips, Trossachs, Scotland

Rob Roy Way at Loch Lubnaig, Trossachs

Mountain Bikers, Rob Roy Way

Mountain Stream, Rob Roy Way

Video clip of Falls of Leny, Trossachs, Scotland


Kayakers, River Leny, Scotland

Inchgarvie Island, Firth of Forth, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Inchgarvie Island which is located in the Firth of Forth, north of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The island is uninhabited and was last occupied in World War II.  I encountered it in course of a recent boat trip.

The name is derived from the Gaelic Innis Garbhach which means a “rough island”.  Area is 0.83 hectares.

Over the past 500 years or so the island has featured in official records principally because of fortifications erected during various conflicts, viz:


  • A fort or tower was built during 1513 on instructions of King James IV of Scotland.
  • Subsequently the building was adapted as a state prison.
  • During the Civil Wars in the 17th century the island was occupied by Royalist troops.
  • During the Napoleonic Wars ( 1803-15) defences were repaired and supplemented with cannon but by the middle of the 19th century these fortifications were in a ruinous state.
  • During WW2 the pre-existing fortifications were incorporated in new defences centred on an anti-aircraft gun battery.

As will be evident from the image above, the WW2  buildings remain extant, albeit in a decayed state.




Balgonie Castle, Fife, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Balgonie Castle which is located near Glenrothes, about one hour N.E. of Edinburgh.

For a long period the castle was a roofless ruin but in 1985 was purchased by the Morris family who implemented a repair and restoration programme resulting in the sound and attractive structure evident today. The castle is now used for weddings and entertainment.

Like many castles, Balgonie evolved piecemeal over the centuries starting with a 14th century Keep then North Range added in 1496 and finally a Tower (75 ft high) in 1666. The Courtyard is surrounded by a wall rising to a height of twenty feet.

Over the centuries, Balgonie has been home to powerful families from the local Fife region which include:

  • Sibbald
  • Lundie/Lundin
  • Leslie
  • Maxwell
  • Balfour.

Famous visitors include:

  • King James IV of Scotland
  • Mary, Queen of Scots
  • Rob Roy MacGregor

In addition to its hospitality function, the castle is open to visitors on a restricted basis.

Video clip of courtyard


Balgonie Castle, Fife, Scotland


Balgonie Castle, Fife, Scotland