DINING AROUND THE TROSSACHS
The Trossachs have made a real name for themselves in foodie circles, with amazing produce – venison, lamb, award-winning yoghurts and cheeses – and some really fabulous cafes and restaurants. Here are some of our favourite places for a taste of the Trossachs, all within about a half-hour drive of our chalets.
Cafes and chippies, pubs and restaurants – the best places to eat around the Trossachs
MHOR Bread, Callander
This fab, wee artisan bakery and cafe has a touch of Glasgow’s West End about it, run by the same infectiously upbeat Lewis clan who run the cracking MHOR Fish upmarket chippy just along the high street. Fantastic flat whites, notorious giant meringues, stonking haggis pies.
Deli Ecosse, Callander
This cracking deli is run by the super-friendly Julie Carmichael and her Mum. It’s in a lovely airy, converted 19th century church hall, with great coffee, dangerously delicious cakes, a lovely wood-burning stove, and daily homemade breakfast and lunch.
Courtyard Cafe, Fintry
A gorgeous cafe in a beautiful converted farmhouse high up in the Fintry hills, the Courtyard Cafe is run by award-winning dairy queen, Katy Rodger. “Our pastures, our herd, our milk, our dairy, naturally…” runs the tagline for her line of stunning yoghurts, crème fraiche, crowdie and ice creams – no wonder they won Scotland Food & Drink’s Product of the Year in 2012. Luckily the landscaped lawns of Culcreuch Castle are right next door to help you walk it all off, with breathtaking views over the Trossachs.
Woodhouse Cafe, Kippen
Hugely popular, this light, airy cafe is run by the lovely eco-minded Lamb family (cushions are made from recycled family jumpers, coffee grounds are turned into compost etc), who opened here in 2012. Nice outdoor decking for sunny days, fab quiches and tarts, with a great deli and gift shop attached (Chris’s wood is on sale here).
The Wee Blether Tearoom, Kinlochard
The Wee Blether is reached from Lochend via one of the best drives in Scotland, dipping and twisting along Loch Ard with mighty views of Ben Lomond. The cafe has an amazing setting with decking literally just a pebble toss from Loch Ard, plus great soups, cakes the size of your heed (!), and loads of walks and cycle trails on Forestry tracks for afters.
The Pier Cafe, Stronachlachar
We love this wee cafe by the pier on Loch Katrine as much for how you get here as for its food! Serving lovely scones and sandwiches overlooking the loch (with walks to Rob Roy’s childhood home for afters), the Pier Cafe is reached either by a spectacular drive, a breathtaking 14-mile lochside cycle, or by steamer from Loch Katrine pier.
Brig o’ Turk Tearoom, Brig o’ Turk
Traditional Scottish fare gets a fun East European twist just back from Loch Venachar at Brig O Turk Tearoom, where Hungarian owners Veronica and Csaba Brunner have rescued a cute, disused 1920s tearoom built as a meeting point for Glasgow’s cyclists who would hit these quiet backroads at the weekend. Great atmosphere, cute, bothy-chic interior, best goulash this side of Budapest.
The Cross Keys, Kippen
Run by our good mates, Brian and Debby, this cosy country pub has a just-right hint of city buzz, drawing a good gang of locals with its roaring fires, excellent real ales, panoramic beer garden, and its amazing food. The only pub mentioned in the Sunday Times Travel Section’s Hot 100 hotels list in 2015, it was also winner of the Scottish Bar & Pub Awards’ Gastro Pub of 2015.
Lion & Unicorn, Thornhill
Good pub grub (steaks are notoriously good), rotating real ales, friendly staff – The Lion & Unicorn is a great place to meet locals, especially if you like shouting at the football on the big screen.
Black Bull, Gartmore
Any excuse to visit this lovely hilltop village is OK by us. There are easy forest walks here, and the Black Bull – run by the famously dynamic Liz MacGregor – is a friendly place for a blether with the locals and for reasonably priced food and drink.
Lake of Menteith Hotel, Port of Menteith
A lovely 25-minute stroll along the lake from our log cabins and chalets, the Lake of Menteith Hotel has an amazing setting (nearly as good as ours!) with fantastic views over the loch from the bar, conservatory dining room and lawns. Start with haggis bonbons and drinks on the lawn watching ospreys dive for trout; order the pan-roast hake on chorizo and four-bean stew, and you may never leave.
Venachar Lochside, Loch Venachar
All but dipping a toe in Loch Venachar, this panoramic cafe has vast picture windows out over the water. A great menu full of Scottish produce – or just come for tea and cake on lovely lawns beside the loch.
MHOR 84 & Monachyle MHOR, Balquhidder
Both are utterly brilliant, mixing great food with upbeat, informal service in quirky, West End Glasow-meets-country house hotel surrounds. Both restaurants are run by the Lewises, mates from way back, who also run MHOR Bread artisan bakery/cafe and MHOR Fish upmarket chippy in Callander. Four miles from Rob Roy’s grave up a beautiful, big-mountain glen with red deer and Highland Cows, Monachyle MHOR is the outstanding foodie choice in the Trossachs, but we love the mismatched, boutique decor at MHOR 84 – and amazing Eggs Benedict brunch if you’re up here for a walk or a cycle from Callander on National Route 7.
Roman Camp, Callander
A beautiful country house hotel with fine-dining by the banks of the River Teith, Roman Camp – so-called because of the earthworks in the meadows south of the gardens, thought to be Roman remains – is where we’ve gone for many a family celebration.
Cromlix House, Dunblane
Opened to great fanfare in 2014, Andy Murray’s country house hotel has a modern, hip conservatory dining room overseen by Albert Roux, with a headchef who previously headed up Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant at Gleneagles. It should be wildly pricey, but Andy’s mum, Judy, who calls a lot of the shots, has kept prices low to encourage a local crowd. So 3-course lunch costs £28.50, 3-course dinner £31.50. Amazing value.
The Kailyard by Nick Nairn, Dunblane
Fine-dining at Dunblane Hydro, with Nick’s stamp – delicate, unfussy fare, letting the produce speak for itself – all over it.
Andrew Fairlie’s, Gleneagles
OK, it’s a wee bit more than 30 minutes from Lochend, probably more like 40, but so worth the extra 10 minutes to eat at Scotland’s only two-Michelin-star restaurant. Amazing, magical dining room in the Gleneagles resort, taster menu with wine pairings that
MORE ACTIVITIES AROUND THE TROSSACHS
EXTREME SPORTS AROUND THE TROSSACHSHigh-ropes adventure course & zip-wire, Aberfoyle Hidden away among the towering pines at The Lodge in Aberfoyle, Scotland’s first Go Ape is also its most spectacular, with two of Britain’s longest zip wires, both over 400m long and 150ft high, whizzing thrillseekers aged 10+ over a beautiful 90ft waterfall.The best adventure
CYCLING AROUND THE TROSSACHSThe Trossachs are criss-crossed by an endless network of cycle routes, from gentle, lochside trundles to full-on Danny Macaskill type single-track descents. Running right through the heart of the Trossachs and its lochs, National Cycle Route 7 passes through Aberfoyle and Callander, our two closest towns, and can be picked up anywhere
DISTILLERIES AROUND THE TROSSACHSThere are two excellent distilleries within a half hour of Lochend, however, one of the best whisky experiences lies only a 20-minute walk from the chalets. With several local whiskies in its cosy Port Bar, and a Malt Vault with more than 35 single malts from the Highlands & Islands (everything from
FAMILY ACTIVITIES AROUND THE TROSSACHSWe have our own wee play park right here beside the lake, right in front of the log cabins. And in many ways Lochend is one giant play park, with trees to climb, a lake to paddle in, our quiet drive to pedal. However, if you’re here with children, there is
Forest Visitor Centre
LODGE FOREST VISITOR CENTRE IN THE TROSSACHSLess than 15 minutes from Lochend, The Lodge is the Forestry Commission’s flagship visitor centre, and a place we’ve been going to as a family for years. It’s somewhere our guest really love.Cafe, gift shop, GoApe adventure course and walks galoreThe Lodge itself has a whole room dedicated to
GOLFING AROUND THE TROSSACHSGolf was invented in Scotland, so it’s little wonder we’ve got so many great golf courses within a pitching wedge of the chalets. Being so centrally located means that St Andrew’s, Troon, Muirfield and Turnberry are all easily reached from Lochend, but here are half-dozen or so really excellent courses closer to
PONY TREKKING IN THE TROSSACHSCastle Rednock Trekking Centre, Port of Menteith We’re really lucky to have this excellent stables only 5 minutes from Lochend. Catering for riders of all abilities aged 4+, this friendly riding centre offers pony-trekking, Segway-treks, orienteering and quad pods, where children as young as three can be towed around the beautiful
Shops & Galleries
SHOPS & GALLERIES AROUND THE TROSSACHSHome to fantastic foodie produce and a burgeoning arts scene, the Trossachs are full of great wee delis, craft shops and galleries. It would be impossible to list them all, but here are some of our favourites, all within about a 20-minute drive of Lochend.The best shops and galleries near
SIGHTSEEING AROUND THE TROSSACHSThe Trossachs for the heart of Rob Roy’s old stomping ground, and the glens and bens beyond Lochend are absolutely packed with historical interest. It is impossible to list all the castles and monuments, historic villages and boat trips in the area, but we’ve picked out a few favourites, all within a
SCENIC DRIVES AROUND THE TROSSACHSIf the Trossachs are God’s own hiking and biking country, they’re also where He’d take a Sunday drive! Our own lake road (B8034 from Port of Menteith) is one of the most beautiful, twisting and turning along the Lake of Menteith, with roe deer often seen nibbling the banks beside the
WALKING AROUND THE TROSSACHSThere are so many fantastic walks right on our doorstep (the excellent walkhighlands has route descriptions and maps for more than 90 walks in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park alone) it’s almost impossible to pick out a few, but here goes:Walks for all levels in the TrossachsEASY The Lodge;
DINING AROUND THE TROSSACHSThe Trossachs have made a real name for themselves in foodie circles, with amazing produce – venison, lamb, award-winning yoghurts and cheeses – and some really fabulous cafes and restaurants. Here are some of our favourite places for a taste of the Trossachs, all within about a half-hour drive of our chalets.Cafes
MORE THINGS TO DO AT LOCHEND CHALETS
With so much on offer at Lochend Chalets we have listed our favourite things to do for you. Browse all the amazing things you can do when you enjoy a short break ta The Lake of Menteith. Stay on site or explore the local landscapes. Take a day trip somewhere further afield or use your holiday lodge as a base to tour around Scotland. Whatever you want to do there will always be something to keep you entertained and make memories that will last a lifetime.