Work is underway at Loch Katrine to install a 188-metre path to the landmark Rhoderick Dhu viewpoint, where Sir Walter Scott was inspired to write his epic poem Lady of the Lake, published in 1810.
A helicopter recently made around 60 short round trips from a field by Loch Achray to airlift bags of rock and aggregate, each weighing around one ton, dropping at points along the route of the pathway close to Trossachs Pier. The helicopter flew by the beautiful and dramatic snow-capped peak of nearby Ben Venue to access the site.
The path is part of a project by Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust, which was awarded funding in a recent round of the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF), managed by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. The award of a £231,000 grant is for a stunning landmark lookout tower and two high-quality viewpoints with linking boardwalks above the busy Trossachs Pier visitor hub at Loch Katrine.
James Fraser, CEO and Trustee of the Steamship Trust, said:
‘We are excited that work on this project is underway and when complete will create a more accessible vantage point overlooking the loch for those unable to climb the surrounding mountains and allow them to enjoy a view that is an essential part of the rich history of the Trossachs.
Whilst Scott’s poem is credited with Loch Katrine becoming the birthplace of Scottish tourism, some years earlier, at the end of the 1700s, a new road was blasted out of the rock to access this viewpoint. Painters and writers like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Wordsworth’s visited to admire and sketch the incredible view.
This project is another example of the Trust’s commitment to preserve and celebrate the heritage of Loch Katrine and the Trossachs, which will also include the return this spring of the much-loved Sir Walter Scott Steamship that first began sailing in 1900’.
The pathway and towers will open later this year.