Heritage in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
The Forest Park is steeped in history. Look out for traces of ancient industry in the woods, and follow in the footsteps of outlaws, poets and royalty as you explore.
At work in the woods
Follow the Oak Coppice Trail from The Lodge or the trails at Sallochy to spot old coppiced oaks. The trees were regularly cut back to encourage new stems for building, fuel and to make charcoal for iron smelting. Aberfoyle was a centre of iron ore production in medieval times and, by the 19th century, was famous for its slate quarries.
The Women's Timber Corps - affectionately known as the Lumberjills - stepped up to the mark to manage the country's forests during World war. A life sized bronze sculpture stands in the grounds of The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre as a lasting commemoration to their efforts.
A very famous farmer
Rob Roy, Perthshire’s famous outlaw and cattle rustler, was a farmer in Glen Arklet. Born in in 1671 at Glengyle at the head of Loch Katrine, he lived in the glen for most of his life. Follow the Old Military Road from Stronachlachar to Inversnaid Garrison to find out more about his colourful life or wind through wooded Strathyre to reach his grave at Balquhidder.
In search of inspiration
Loch Katrine has been inspiring great writers and artists for centuries, including Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth. Their evocative works drew Victorian tourists to the area, and Queen Victoria visited several times. The Duke’s Pass, the winding road from Aberfoyle to Loch Katrine, had to be upgraded to accommodate the surge of visitors.
Look out for the little people
According to local legend, the Forest Park is also the haunt of fairies. Find the entrance to a fairy queen’s underground palace at Doon Hill near Aberfoyle or climb Beinn an t-Sidhein, the ‘fairy mountain’, in magical Strathyre Forest.