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The Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust has received the green light from the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to reinstate the historic Roderick Dhu Path, and construct a stunning lookout tower and platforms above Trossachs Pier at Loch Katrine.
This is the spot where Sir Walter Scott was inspired to write his Lady of the Lake poem, published in 1810. Scott was born 250 years ago last month, and it was his poem that is credited with triggering the birth of Scottish tourism.
The site was visited earlier by other literary giants such as poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and writer Dorothy Wordsworth who stayed in wicker huts at this jutting headland which were built for ‘the accommodation of strangers to admire and sketch this wild and picturesque landscape’ and were made accessible in the late 1770s by a new road blasted out of the rock.
This imaginative project is part of a more ambitious Trossachs Trail Tourism Management Programme which has been developed by two heritage and conservation charities – the Sir Walter Scott Steamship Trust and Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs – in partnership with local communities and Forestry & Land Scotland, and seeks to improve visitor infrastructure at busy tourist hotspots in the heart of the Trossachs.
James Fraser CEO of the Steamship Trust and chairman of the Friends said: ‘Securing approval for this landmark cultural heritage project to celebrate the contribution of literary giants such as Sir Walter Scott to Scottish tourism is a major step forward in our efforts to improve visitor facilities and connect people with Scotland’s rich natural and cultural heritage in easily accessible, safe and responsible ways that are compatible with the aims of the National Park.
‘We are hugely indebted to the large number of local residents, visitors, businesses and community and conservation groups for their unprecedented level of support for this project which has really captured the imagination and we look forward to delivering a high-quality project which does justice to the magnificent setting which Scott vividly described as the scenery of a fairy dream.’
A conditional funding approval of £375,000 was secured earlier this year from VisitScotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to assist with the delivery of this project and a series of car park and visitor facility improvements at Ben A’an, Trossachs Pier and Stronachlachar Pier car parks, along with improved signing around the 40 mile Trossachs Trail which was inspired by the original Trossachs Tour developed by Thomas Cook in the 1800s.