Let me introduce you to one of my favourite regions of Scotland – the Trossachs.
Often overshadowed by the Loch Lomond side of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the Trossachs may not have the big mountains (and big crowds of visitors) of Loch Lomond, but to me, that is no bad thing. Instead, the Trossachs has beautiful woodlands, the pretty towns of Callendar and Aberfoyle, and three beautiful lochs – Loch Lubnaig, Loch Katrine and Loch Venachar.
Ben Ledi is a Corbett (a Scottish mountain over 2000ft) which rises above Callendar and Loch Lubnaig – on a good day, the mountain is visible from miles around. For those who easily get caught up in just bagging the bigger Munros (like me!) it is a spectacular hill and well worth your time!
The mountain is easily accessible from the A82 to the north of Callander – just follow the signs to the Strathyre Forest Cabins. Park in the car park just to the left once you have crossed the river. Note – we climbed in winter, and by the afternoon the car park was full, in summer, I’d suggest getting their early as this is a rather popular hill.
The path to the summit is well managed (and currently being upgraded) by the Forestry Commission and is easy to follow as it winds its way up through the woodland. On a clear day (or once the regular Scottish cloud inversion has cleared) there are fantastic views down to Loch Lubnaig and as far across as Stirling.
Once you have reached the top of the woods you climb up to a final long ridge which rises to the summit.
‘Ben’ in Gaelic means hill, and ‘Ben Ledi’ is taken to mean ‘the hill of the slope’, which describes the summit to a T. In the past, Ledi has also been taken to mean ‘hill of god’ and the summit of Ben Ledi is actually graced with a cross.
The cross is actually nothing to do with the ‘hill of god’ – it is a memorial to Sergeant Harry Laurie of the Killin Scottish Mountain Rescue team, who died in 1987 in a helicopter crash. The mountain has (is?) also been regularly used for Beltane celebrations, with local people using the summit to get as close to heaven as they could – and you can see why.
From the top the views from the trig are spectacular, with full 360 view of the Trossachs and the southeastern highlands. Can you spot the surrounding Munros of Ben Lomond, Ben Vorlich and Ben Lawers? I’ve bagged all three of them! I challenge you to find a better view in Scotland than this… utterly heavenly!
Click for full pano image!
As the clouds & mist descended on the summit (typical weather, we were rather lucky) we returned to Loch Lubnaig via the atmospheric (and interestingly named) Stank Glen.
After the excesses of Christmas, the 6.5-mile round trip took us 4.5 hours, however, the weather was so stunning, I did stop to take a lot of photographs.
Love from, Scotland x
More things to do in the Trossachs: