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Loch-side sleeping and steamship exploring in one of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park's most historic locations

It’s not always clear which is the biggest attraction at Loch Katrine. The water itself – a nine-mile-long S shape in the heart of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park – or the 100-year-old single screw passenger steamship (the last of her kind) that sails across it. The world-famous steamer Sir Walter Scott came here in 1899 by barge, boat and horse-drawn carriage before being painstakingly re-assembled for her maiden voyage. For today’s vessel visitors it’s a far easier ride. A one-hour drive from Glasgow, a little more from Edinburgh, or the sleeper train from London to Stirling affording you a little less stress on your journey north. From Stirling, it's just a short drive into the spellbinding heart of the Trossachs and the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. A truly magical setting, Sir Walter Scott described 'the scenery of a fairy dream’ in his famous poem Lady of the Lake.

Along with running the Steamship Sir Walter Scott, the Lady of the Lake, the Trossachs Pier, Brenachoile cafe, the gift shop, and visitor centre, the team here at Loch Katrine have also just opened an exciting eco campsite. The brand new facilities are suitably modern, fully accessible and cater for eight camping pitches and up to 12 motorhomes, while a clutch of secluded glamping lodges allow those travelling light to live in luxury but still enjoy the great outdoors. The lodges' prime position means glampers wake up in the long dawn shadows of Ben Venue, soundtracked by the rippling waters of Loch Katrine and the crinkling top of Ben A'an – the mountain in miniature – looming in the distance. As evening descends, the dramatic sunsets enjoyed from the lodge are very special indeed. Inside each eco lodge, a compact kitchen, heating, proper beds, TV and free Wi-Fi come as standard. The largest ones also offer en suite shower rooms and underfloor heating.

As pampered as an eco lodge stay might sound, it’s still a far cry from the delights Queen Victoria experienced when she came to visit the loch in 1859, famously demanding an entire house and jetty be built for her exclusive personal use. Alas, despite the production of the gothic royal cottage and jetty, which can still be visited to this day, Queen Victoria never stayed there overnight. The 21 gun salute that greeted her arrival shattered almost every window in the house.

If you’re not listening to such tales as you take a narrated boat tour across the water, then hiring bikes on site is also a fantastic option. You can grab a one-way boat ticket to the far end of the loch (taking bikes and buggies on board) and pedal back along the quiet and almost car-free, loch-side road. Hiking, meanwhile, is the key attraction for many. Whether it’s a gentle stroll to Glengyle (the birthplace of Scottish legend Rob Roy MacGregor), taking the long route to Ben Lomond or making your way up to the nearby peak of Ben A'an, there are endless opportunities to keep you occupied. The latter even boasts views back down to the loch, where you can see the Steamship Sir Walter Scott departing across the water. From up top you can really understand how Loch Katrine – “highland thief or robber” in gaelic – earned its name. It certainly steals your breath away.

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The Owner Says

It’s not always clear which is the biggest attraction at Loch Katrine, the water itself – a nine-mile-long S shape in the heart of The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park – or the 118-year-old single screw passenger steamship, (the last of her kind), that sails along it. The world-famous steamer, Sir Walter Scott, came here in sections in 1899 by barge and horse-drawn bogies before being painstakingly re-assembled for her maiden voyage at the end of March 1900. For today’s visitors it’s a far easier journey! We are a one-hour drive from Glasgow and just a little more from Edinburgh. The sleeper train from London to Stirling affords you even less stress on your journey north. From Stirling, it's just a short drive into the spellbinding heart of the Trossachs and the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve.                                                                       

It is a truly magical setting!

Along with running the Steamship Sir Walter Scott, the Lady of the Lake, the Trossachs Pier, the steamship cafe, the gift shop, and visitor centre, the team here at Loch Katrine have just opened our new and exciting eco campsite. The brand new facilities are suitably modern. Our new secluded eco lodges allow those traveling light to live in luxury but still enjoy the great outdoors.  Located 7 miles from Callander and 5 miles from Aberfoyle; our Eco Camp is the perfect base to get away from it all but still be within a short drive to bustling tourist hubs.  Inside each eco lodge, a compact kitchen, heating, proper beds, TV and free Wi-Fi come as standard. The largest lodges also offer en suite shower rooms and under-floor heating.                                                                                                           

The lodges' prime position means “glampers” wake up to the view of Ben Venue, lulled by the rippling waters of Loch Katrine. As evening descends, the dramatic sunsets enjoyed from the lodges are very special indeed. As exciting as an eco lodge stay might sound, it’s still a far cry from Queen Victoria’s experience when she came to visit the loch in 1859, famously demanding an entire house and jetty to be built for her exclusive personal use. Alas, despite the production of the gothic royal cottage and jetty, which can still be visited to this day, Queen Victoria never stayed there overnight. The twenty-one-gun salute that greeted her arrival shattered almost every window in the house making it impossible for her to stay overnight.

All eco lodges include a small kitchenette with combo microwave, fridge and sink, Freeview HDTV, free Wi-Fi, lighting and heating.

The Luxury Loch Lodges have en-suite facilities (including a walk-in electric shower), under-floor heating and sleep up to 4, with 2 in a king-sized bed and up to 2 in a fold down bed.  The Ben Lodges have panel heating and sleep 2 in fixed double bunk beds and 2 in a 'put-u-up' double sofa bed. A toilet and shower block is nearby.  A wheelchair-friendly lodge is available. 

Campers have access to the shared toilet and shower block and some pitches have optional electrical hook-ups. Our standard pitch is 2.6 x 4 meters. Two camping pitches are wheelchair-friendly.  The whole woodland area surrounding the camp is truly beautiful and is designated as a SSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and SAC (Special Area of Conservation). As a result of this, we do not allow charcoal BBQ's or open fires at the Eco Camp site to ensure protection of the woodland.

Parking for campers is in main Trossachs Pier car park overnight (car park is covered by CCTV), cars can access the site for loading and unloading only.

Please bear in mind that there is no direct access to the Loch at the Eco Camp site, a fence prevents access due to continual boat movements.  There are view points and access to the lochside a short walk up the lochside.  Fishing on Loch Katrine is by boat only and requires a permit.

Campervan/Motor-home pitches are in the car park and have electric hook-ups, water and are close to a toilet block where there is a wet room and shower.           

All guests receive 20% off sailings on the Steamship Sir Walter Scott or on the Lady of the Lake.

On all of our boat cruises you can hear about the facts and tales relating to Loch Katrine. You can hire bikes on site and purchase a one-way boat ticket to the far end of the loch (taking bikes and buggies on board) and pedal back along the quiet and almost car-free, loch-side road.

Hiking, meanwhile, is a key attraction for many. Whether it’s a gentle stroll from Stronachlachar Pier to Glengyle House, (the birthplace of Scottish legend Rob Roy MacGregor), taking the long route to Ben Lomond or making your way up to the nearby peak of Ben A'an, there are endless opportunities to explore the beautiful landscape. Ben A’an boasts spectacular views across the loch to the west. From here you can see the Steamship Sir Walter Scott steaming across the water. From the summit you can really understand how Loch Katrine – “highland thief or robber” in Gaelic – earned its name. It certainly steals your breath away.

Further information about hiking routes is available from our kiosk.

Other nearby attractions within easy reach from Loch Katrine include the castles at Stirling (01786 450000) and Doune (01786 841742), whisky distilleries at Deanston (01786 843010) and Glengoyne (01360 550 254), the National Wallace Monument (01786 472140), Blair Drummond Safari Park (01786 841456), and Go Ape Aberfoyle (0845 094 9032).

Reviews

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★★★★☆

Cosy lodge and tranquil scenery!

My partner and I really enjoyed our stay at Loch Katrine. The lodge was spotless and included a lovely little basket of coffee, tea bags, sugar and milk. The beds were more comfortable than it looks and the linen we purchased for an extra £20 was worth it! The bathroom is completely segregated and absolutely luxurious for a campsite. All in all the accommodation and facilities was totally worth the price! The staff were absolutely wonderful and couldn't have made us feel more welcome. Thank you guys! The only thing I would suggest as an improvement is to have at least some bread, butter, milk, and other basics in the shop to buy as we didn't realise that we couldn't take the opportunity to eat past the cafe's closing time. Although we weren't prepared for this (and will be next time), it would have been nice to have the option to buy a few essentials. Other than that, I couldn't fault the campsite! Thank you for a wonderful stay and will definitely be visiting again!
Sep 14, 2018 by Claire
★★★★★

The comfort yet still being so close to nature and peace.

The comfort yet still being so close to nature and peace.
Jul 24, 2018 by Fiona
★★★★☆

Beautiful location

Myself, my partner and our dog stayed for one night in July 2018. The campsite location is beautiful and the campsite is well set out and immaculately kept. The camping pods have a surprising amount of space and are well equipped. However, it should be noted that there is a combination microwave but no cooking hob so plan meals accordingly (although we did discover that you can actually cook pasta in a microwave). BBQs can be hired. Another issue we had was definitely with the lack of toilet/shower facilities. There are quite a few pods plus people camping in tents overnight and there are only 1 toilet and 1 shower each for male and female. We had to forgo morning showers before checking out! On a related topic, there was also a lack of dog poo bins which seemed strange considering that dogs are allowed on site. Otherwise a lovely night with minimal midge bites!
Jul 23, 2018 by Ruth
★★★★★

The eco pods were absolutley amazing and the scenery is spectacular especially from the Walter Scott Steamship

Jun 21, 2018 by jane hanby
★★★★★

Cute pods in an amazing location

My family of three (myself, partner and 6 year old daughter) stayed in Ben Lomond. It's really well equipped and we ordered the gas BBQ and linen which was all ready for us when we arrived. The view is stunning, the bed surprisingly comfortable, our daughter loved the bunkbeds and we all loved sitting out on our wee veranda (when there were no midges - more on that later!). The best bit is being able to get up, breakfast and then head straight onto the cycle path first thing ahead of any crowds - we had the path to ourselves much of the time. Our daughter also adored climbing up the hill and over the big rocks behind our pod, with her friends. The shower and toilet were spotless - there's only one of each for each gender, but we never had to wait so it wasn't a problem. The only issue was the midges - they were out in force and nothing stopped them other than the fan in the camping kitchen. This meant it also got a bit hot at night as we couldn't open any windows. One of the trustees of the site chatted to us and said they'll be putting up midge proof screens so windows can be opened which would make a big difference. They maybe also need to put fans on each of the pod porches as we had to give in and go inside after being bitten to death! We'll definitely be back but maybe ahead or after the midge season next time!!
Jun 11, 2018 by Stephanie
★★★★★

Wonderful pod in a great location

Really well equipped pod with the bonus of having a sink and crockery and cutlery. The location is fabulous. Stayed in the Ben Ledi pod with my dog, it was wonderful to sit out and admire the stunning view of Loch Katrine and Ben Venue. The one shower and toilet didn’t seem to be an issue even though the site was pretty full. Thanks to Gordon and his team who were very friendly and helpful, I would highly recommend this site, and will definitely be heading back in the future.
May 22, 2018 by Karen Henderson
★★★★★

Peaceful lochside area with stunning views.

We camped at this brand new site and were very impressed. The pitch we had was beside the Loch and had stunning views. The site itself is very peaceful and the staff very helpful and friendly. The kitchen area is a work in progress so the site itself is not fully finished as yet. There is one toilet and one shower for ladies and one for gents which, whilst perfect for us, may not be sufficient if the site were to be full and I'm not sure if more are planned so that would be worth checking on. Will definately be back.
May 17, 2018 by Debbie

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If you've stayed at Loch Katrine Eco Camping campsite, please take a minute to tell us about your experience. Every month, one lucky reviewer will be picked at random to win a £100 voucher, courtesy of our recommended retailer Blacks. Each review counts as one entry, so get writing!

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