Attractions industry news

10 Oct 2023

'Birthplace of Scottish tourism', Trossachs Pier, to get iconic viewing tower

Plans to create a visitor attraction at Trossachs Pier in the Scottish highlands have been given the go-ahead.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority approved the proposals, filed by Steamship Sir Walter Scott Ltd., for a three-storey scenic tower and lookouts with walkways.

The £350,000, landmark lookout tower will feature two high-quality viewpoints with linking boardwalks on a headland above the busy Trossachs Pier visitor hub.

Forming the latest phase of a £1.8 million investment in sustainable tourism in the Trossachs, the construction project will be led by visitor attractions specialist, Cap Co.

The attraction is set to open to the public in early 2024.

Simon Egan, business development director of Cap Co, said: "We are excited to be taking this project forward through the build stage and are delighted that our initial designs, which blend sensitively into the stunning landscape at this iconic site, have been widely welcomed by many community groups and individuals who strongly supported this imaginative scheme at the planning stage.

"We will be making use of a helicopter to transport materials to the site as part of our light-touch approach to building structures in this environmentally sensitive location, and visitors will then have the opportunity to enjoy the special views from 2024 onwards."

The views over Trossachs Pier at Loch Katrine were popularised by famous writers and poets in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

One of these was Sir Walter Scott, whose 1810 famous poem, 'The Lady of the Lake' put The Trossachs and Scotland on the tourist map, with crowds flocking to visit Loch Katrine to see the landscapes described in Scott's poem.

Other Victorian writers and painters were also drawn to the area, with boat trips, initially by rowing boats and then steamers, added to accommodate the growing number of early tourists. leading it to be dubbed as the "birthplace of Scottish tourism".

James Fraser, CEO of Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust said: "The recently completed path and the new scenic tower and lookouts will restore public access to this celebrated vista which has played such an important role in Scotland's rich history.

"In addition to Sir Walter Scott, other literary giants such as Coleridge and the Wordsworths visited wicker huts on the headland, made accessible by a road blasted out of rock in the 1790s and they were followed by many thousands of Victorian tourists that came to the site to enjoy the scenic wonders these famous writers so vividly described.

"We've carefully constructed a short path on what was the former old road, which has been overgrown for many years, allowing today's visitors to enjoy classic views of Loch Katrine.

"The viewpoint is a short walk and is more accessible than the nearby peaks of Ben A’an and Ben Venue, and the new tower and lookouts will ensure many more people can safely visit this great vantage point above Trossachs Pier."

When it opens in 2024, the attraction will be named Roderick Dhu Watchtower. This is due to earlier associations with Rob Roy Macgregor who lived on the shores of Loch Katrine.

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