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The National Trust for Scotland

Kilchurn Castle [© Crown Copyright Historic Scotland reproduced courtesy of Historic Scotland.]

Ready for the round-up

The fishing village of Pittenweem in Fife

Dogs Chasing Ducks

Aberdour Castle and Garden

Ben Lawers Nature Reserve

One of Scotland's historic castles

The magnificent Stirling Castle (Historic Scotland)

Arduaine Gardens in Argyll (National Trust for Scotland)

Thistle Parks on a Google map
Thistle Parks on a Google map

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Argyll, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs


Fife, Stirlingshire and Argyll

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From the East Coast to the West Coast - mountains and lochs, woodlands, fishing villages and castles and gardens – plenty to entertain you and the family.   

The Kingdom of Fife – golf, fishing villages and St. Andrews
Think golf, fishing villages and historic castles! St. Andrews is the jewel in the crown, with golf courses galore, a superb beach, and secluded university colleges, where the Prince William and Kate Middleton first met. St. Andrews Castle has a bottle-dungeon, into which prisoners were pitched in rougher times; St. Andrews Cathedral, now a ruin, is still impressive enough to warrant a visit, and the indepedently owned shops in the town are absorbing enough for hours of browsing.

South of St. Andrews are the former fishing villages of Pittenweem,  Anstruther (Scottish Fisheries Museum) and Crail; take time to explore them or head inland to Falkland Palace or Loch Leven and Lochleven Castle on a tiny island, where Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned before she fled to England.  Inlandis the market town of Cupar, near which is the Edinburgh Woollen Mill centre;  the highlights here are the deer and the otters, the red squirrels and the foxes and the wildcats.   Aberdour Castle is now a splendid ruin, but was once the luxurious Renaissance home and pleasure gardens of Regent Morton, once Scotland's most powerful noble.  Aberdour was originall built as a fortified residence in the 1100s. The fine painted ceiling dates from the 1600s.  .Castle Campbell is to the west of Fife, a remarkably well-preserved, medieval castle, set high above a tree-lined ravine and plunging burns on the edge of the Ochil Hills.  The castle was the Lowland residence of the powerful Campbell dynasty.  Here i the 16th Century, the Protestant reformer, John Knox, came to preach and Mary, Queen of Scots, the Catholic queen, came to feast. 
Stirling, the Trossachs and Loch Lomond
Near the town of Stirling are tributes to two Scottish heroes. The Wallace Monument towers above Stirling and the view from the top rewards those who tackle the long climb.  You will need a couple of hours at Stirling Castle, for a long time the centre of the royal Scottish court;  the Renaissance Royal Palace is a highlight of the visit.

If you travel west via Callander and Kilmahog in the Trossachs where you can meet Hamish Dhu and Honey, two beautiful Highland cattle, at the Simply The Best visitor centre..Enjoy a cruise on board the steamship Sir Walter Scott, by far the best way to enjoy Loch Katrine in the heart of Rob Roy Country, and then visit Rob Roy’s grave at Balquhidder. But before you leave Loch Katrine, hire a bike and go for a leisurely cycle run along the banks of Loch Katrine;  you'll find Loch Katrine Wheels at the Trossachs Pier. At the the Forestry Commissions' Lodge Forest Visitor Centre near Aberfoyle, there are panoramic views of the changing autumn colours from the cafe.  On Loch Lomond you can "Cruise Loch Lomond" from Tarbert, Inversnaid, Luss and Rowardennan;  combine cruising and walking or cycling. In Aberfoyle itself you can watch sheepdogs at work (herding ducks, not sheep) at the Scottish Wool Centre, then do some shopping in the Centre;  this is great fun for all..

Loch Lomond in the Argyll National Park attracts visitors from all over the world; stroll through the pretty loch-side village of Luss or visit the visitor centre at Balloch before taking a walk through the woods. On Loch Fyne is the town of Helensburgh, where you can visit Hill House, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the famous designer.

.Dunoon and the Cowal Peninsula
Dunoon is the gateway to the Cowal peninsula, a short ferry trip from Gourock on the Firth of Clyde west of Glasgow. Head north from Dunoon and you come to Auchindrain Crofting Museum and Inveraray, where you should visit Inveraray Jail to get a glimpse of stern justice in the 18th century.

Oban and Argyll
Oban is the gateway to Mull and other islands, with Caledonian MacBrayne ferries providing an excellent service. But there is no need to leave the mainland because there is plenty to see and you should spend time exploring the area round the Oban.  Dunstaffnage Castle is just to the north and to the south iis Kilmartin Glen, where there are more standing stones and burial cairns than anywhere else in Europe. You can climb to the top of Dunadd, a hill cloaked in mystery, once a stronghold of the Romans and the crowning place of the kings of ancient Scotland. Right on Oban harbour is the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Centre, where you can get your kit for walks.  Inveraray was a "new town" in the 18th century, as its layout suggests;  the Edinburgh Woollen Mill visitor centre was originally a blacksmith's smithy, dating from 1787.

For more ideas on what you can do each day, ask staff on your caravan park or visit the local information centre..

View the Thistle Holiday Parks in Fife, Stirlingshire & Argyll


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