Trossachs Pier, Loch Katrine,
By Callander, Stirling FK17 8HZ. Scotland, United Kingdom
Tel: 00 44 (0) 1877 376315/6
As the famous steamship Sir Walter Scott starts its 114th season of sailings on Loch Katrine, the Scottish author whose name it carries is being acknowledged in the naming of one of the world’s first two hybrid passenger ferries – ‘Lochinvar’.
Throughout the 2013 season the Steamship Sir Walter Scott will once again ferry thousands of sightseers across Loch Katrine, offering a four star visitor experience from the fully restored and renovated cabins of the historic vessel which has been plying the Trossachs’ most famed loch since 1900.
Until October the daily timetable features hour-long scenic cruises, as well as return sailings from Trossachs Pier to Stronachlachar.
Built in 1899 on the Clyde, the Steamship Sir Walter Scott was so named due to the role which Loch Katrine played as the inspirational setting for so many of Scott’s writings. Scott’s association with Loch Katrine and the Trossachs spurred the birth of modern tourism, leading to the introduction of passenger vessels designed specifically for sightseers. The Steamship Sir Walter Scott was commissioned for this tourist trade, and she has introduced countless visitors to Loch Katrine’s evocative, timeless landscapes every peacetime year since her 1900 launch.
Today the historically recognised vessel is maintained and operated by a charitable trust, which in 2009 secured her long term future with the completion of extensive renovation and restoration works including the upgrade of her original triple expansion steam engine to operate on clean biodiesel.
This work was undertaken by the Clyde’s Ferguson Shipbuilders, builders of the new Lochinvar, which will be the second of the world’s first two Hybrid RoRo Passenger Ferries. The MV Lochinvar is due to be launched next month as part of CMAL’s new ‘Literary Class’ and will serve the Tarbert to Portavadie route.
Gordon Allan, Operations Director of The Steamship Sir Walter Scott, commented:
“We were delighted to hear that the legacy of Sir Walter Scott will continue with the naming of another vessel, particularly as the MV Lochinvar will be the world’s second hybrid ferry. Protecting our natural marine environments, both inland and coastal, is important, especially here at Loch Katrine, a place of incredible natural beauty as well as Glasgow’s water supply That’s why four years ago we converted the Steamship’s coal powered engines to operate on cleaner biodiesel, enabling us to continue to offer the steam power experience but without any unpleasant and polluting coal smoke.”
With 2013 sailings now underway, Gordon and his team are looking forward to the forthcoming summer season, with new trips, new partnerships and new experiences to be announced over the coming months.
“Last year, the Steamship Sir Walter Scott was very proud to be awarded a Four Star grading by Visit Scotland,”
“For 2013, the Year of Natural Scotland, we intend to build on this, offering visitors to Loch Katrine a host of delightful, insightful and relaxing experiences amidst scenery which inspired one of the world’s greatest romantic novelists.”
Daily cruises aboard the Steamship Sir Walter Scott depart from Trossachs Pier (just off the A821 between Callander and Aberfoyle), where cycle hire, shopping, bar, and restaurant facilities are available.
Further details on the MV Lochinvar can be found at www.cmassets.co.uk
Fresh from the World Pipe Band Championships, which were held in Glasgow during September 2011, the Strathendrick Pipe Band has been entertaining visitors at Loch Katrine.
Based in Strathblane, the Strathendrick Pipe Band has members drawn from across West Stirlingshire. Led by John Muir, the band contains a range of age groups but is noted for having a high proportion of teenage members.
Britain’s Lost Routes – with Griff Rhys Jones
Thursday 14th June 2012 – 8:00pm on BBC1
In the 3rd episode of this series, Griff Rhys Jones visits Loch Katrine as he throws himself back into the early 19th century, joining a herd of highland cows and two sturdy farmers as they retrace an ancient droving route once taken by thousands as they trudged 250 miles through the Scottish highlands from the Isle of Skye to Falkirk market.
Griff and his companions relive the arduous and dangerous trek through steep mountain passes and fast flowing rivers that drovers and their herds once made. They discover how drovers once risked life and limb to swim their cattle from the Scottish islands to the mainland, braving the inclement conditions in their wet plaid and fending off rustlers with sharp shooting. Griff explores how these hardy men went on to become the first cowboys of the wild west as well as becoming the stuff of literary legend.
The team at Loch Katrine are providing support and assistance for Erskine, the charity founded in 1916, and which has provided nursing and medical care for members of Scotland’s Armed Forces ever since - rebuilding shattered lives and providing first class care. Every year Erskine needs to raise £7million to continue providing high levels of care, and fundraising events take place year-round across Scotland to help the charity, which is encouraging supporters to Walk Loch Katrine. For further details please call Erskine on 0141-814-4555, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.erskine.org.uk
Watch out for some of the hottest jazz sounds around during the Callander Jazz and Blues Festival 2012. It’s all happening between the 28th and 30th September 2012, and once again one of the festival highlights will be the ever-popular Jazz Cruise on Loch Katrine. Setting off from Trossachs Pier the Steamship Sir Walter Scott will become the venue for a concert to remember! Click here for further information about this event, and the 2012 festival line-up.
Question: What is the best way to carry out annual inspections and repairs to a 112-year old steamship?
Answer: Build a special cradle on the slipway at Stronachlachar, which makes it easy for essential maintenance to be carried out.
And that is exactly what the team of engineers who lovingly care for the steamship Sir Walter Scott all year round have done; designing, fabricating and installing the cradle which will make it possible for the regular maintenance which is essential to safeguard the ship’s future to be carried out.
Operations Director Gordon Allan emphasised how valuable the new cradle will be. “Between 2007 and 2009 the charitable trust which owns the steamship made a significant investment in the restoration and renovation of the Sir Walter Scott, and this further investment will ensure that this fine old ship remains in excellent condition year in, year out, and indeed for generations to come”.
The status of the steamship Sir Walter Scott as one of the UK’s most historically important vessels has been marked by the raising of a new ensign bearing the mark of National Historic Ships’ Historic Fleet.
Robin Denny (a descendant of the famous Denny family) and Gordon Allan with the plaque commemorating the refurbishment of the ship.
For well over 100 years since its launch back in 1899, the Sir Walter Scott has been providing countless visitors and tourists with the memorable experience of travelling on a steamship to admire the enchanting landscapes of Loch Katrine. Today, it is believed to be the oldest steamship still operating a regular passenger service in Scotland, with daily sailings available from April to October.
The ship itself was constructed by one of Scotland’s best-known shipbuilders - William Denny of Dumbarton, who fitted what was then a state-of-the-art passenger steamer with the latest design of triple expansion steam engine, built by Paul & Co of Dumbarton. Robin Denny, a descendant of the famous Denny family, returned to Loch Katrine in April 2011 to assist the team which looks after the Sir Walter Scott on a day-to-day basis, and to join Operations Director Gordon Allan in unveiling a plaque commemorating the hard work of the many highly skilled professionals and volunteers who contributed to the refurbishment of the ship, which was completed in 2009.
Robin’s visit to Loch Katrine has been appreciated by Gordon and his team. “Robin is a regular visitor to Loch Katrine, and he is a great supporter of all the effort which goes into maintaining a grand old steamship like ours. You could say it’s after sales service – more than 100 years on! For us, though, Robin represents a wonderful link to the people who, over a century ago, sat at a drawing board and undertook the painstaking process of putting together every last nut, bolt, and piece of timber, before launching the steamship, then transporting her up Loch Lomond and overland from Inversnaid to her home on Loch Katrine.”
Both the new ensign and the plaque were arranged by Graham Ellis, a founding Trustee of the Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust, the charity which owns and operates the ship. Graham added: “The continued existence of the Sir Walter Scott as an operational passenger steamship is down to the fantastic restoration work which was undertaken over the harsh winter months by the many highly skilled engineers, craftsmen and volunteers who worked at the Stronachlachar slipway, to ensure that today’s visitors can enjoy travelling on such a beautiful, comfortable vessel. The plaque recognises the exceptional quality of their work, and the contribution they have made to ensuring the future of such an historic vessel”.
The dramatic and beautiful landscape of Loch Katrine provided the atmospheric setting for the video to accompany Scottish singer Susan Boyle's recording - 'A Perfect Day' which was launched exclusively on ITV on 7th November 2011.
Crew members of the Steamship managed to meet Susan Boyle in between the filming of her video at Loch Katrine.
The video, with its striking photography showing the exhilarating Autumn beauty of Loch Katrine, was launched exclusively on ITV on 7th November, and showcases the beauty of The Trossachs to millions of viewers worldwide. Click here to watch the official video on YouTube.
With its many attributes and features, Loch Katrine is a popular attraction for groups and parties of all kinds, whose interests range from steam boats to weekend hill-walking, and who are all attracted by the scenic beauty and charms of The Trossachs.
Congratulations! Members of Muckhart and Kincardine Guides get set to go for a sail on the Sir Walter Scott.
Earlier this year however – a very different group made their way to Loch Katrine, for a rather special centenary adventure! The group comprised members of Muckhart and Kincardine Guides, who chose to make an overnight stop at Loch Katrine for the Adventure element of their Baden Powell Challenge, not camping out in the countryside however, but sleeping on board the steamship Sir Walter Scott.
The adventure started when the group arrived for a safety briefing from Operations Director Gordon Allan, before tackling their first challenge: sorting out sleeping accommodation on the 110-year old steamship itself, well used to hosting visitors on sightseeing cruises, but definitely not set up to offer the most comfortable overnight accommodation.
Organising the sleeping arrangements was just the first task the party faced – and during their time at Loch Katrine the Guides had to tackle a range of challenges, culminating in a pedal tractor race, and even a murder mystery game back on board the steamship.
Breakfast and the presentation of certificates brought the visit to an end for the Guides (or so they thought!). As the Sir Walter Scott resumed its traditional role, welcoming visitors onboard for another cruise in this most beautiful area, the girls were invited to stay aboard for the morning sailing to Stronachlachar. This was the icing on the cake for the Guides, who thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience.
Are you looking for a great way to say ‘Congratulations!’ - ‘Happy Birthday’ - or even just ‘Thank You!’? Then a Loch Katrine Gift Voucher is the ideal solution.
Available from £10 upwards, they can be used for all Loch Katrine sailings and cycle hire from Katrinewheelz, and in The Katrine Cafe, and in Katrine Gifts.
They’re available now from The Information Office at Loch Katrine - and also by calling (01877) 332000. Now you can give someone the gift of a wonderful day out at Loch Katrine!
All aboard The Sir Walter Scott as the steamship officially set sail on Loch Katrine after a three year restoration project. The 110 year old vessel is a firm favourite amongst visitors to the Trossachs and will now serve tourists for generations to come. Watch the report from STV's Scotland Today.
The refurbishment of the steamship Sir Walter Scott was recently aired on the BBC Scotland show, Landward. The report by Nick Nairn can seen by clicking here. The Scotland Outdoors section of the BBC website also has an audio clip that can be heard here, and an image gallery that can be viewed by clicking here.
A new Souvenir Guide Book, telling the story of Loch Katrine and the veteran steamship Sir Walter Scott has just been published. Written by the renowned transport historian Michael Pearson, the full-colour booklet is filled with spectacular images which capture the beauty of Loch Katrine, and the atmosphere of a journey on the famous ship.
It is available for purchase from Katrine Gifts at Trossachs Pier for £3.25, or at the specially reduced price of £2.95 when purchased in conjunction with your cruise tickets. For further information, call (01877) 332000.
…life around the shores of Loch Katrine wasn’t just as peaceful as it is today! Perhaps fact and fiction have become mixed up as the tales of the famous highlander Rob Roy MacGregor have been told and re-told, but one fact which is never disputed is his bravery and his love of the countryside and its people.
You can get a glimpse of what life was like in Rob Roy’s day with new displays which have been installed at Trossachs Pier - an ideal introduction which sets the scene for a cruise on Loch Katrine.
Understanding how and why people come to Loch Katrine is really important – it means that the correct decisions can be taken by the team responsible for managing and operating the attraction, to provide a great experience for visitors, every time.
Of course information is obtained through a number of different means, including special visitor surveys, which will be carried out again during the main Summer months in 2012.
If you are invited to participate in our survey this year, we hope you’ll be prepared to participate! Your comments are important to us.
Thank-you for helping to make Loch Katrine such a special place for all our visitors.
The 2011 Visitor Survey provided an insight into the visitors who enjoyed a day out at Loch Katrine –