Heart 200 - A rough Guide and some detour reccomendations!
As with any route, you don’t simply have to stay on the track. We often end up venturing off the beaten track to get closer to scenic places, further from the hustle and bustle or simply to expand or knowledge of the area and give some variety to it all. So we do say to all our Scottish Tourer customers don’t get to bogged down if you don’t stick completely to the route. A bit of spontaneous adventure is sometimes just what we all need!
Stirling is just a short drive from our depot once you have collected your motorhome and decide to head off on your holidays. With this being known as the gateway to the highlands its also a wonderful place to start the Heart 200 route.
• Don’t miss Stirling Castle if you can it’s a wonderful day out and the children love the dressing up part! There are a few wild camp spots near here and we provide a SAT NAV which has all of these preloaded.
• Old Stirling Bridge. Before the current stone bridge was built there were several timber structures that stood here. The bridge here “the gateway to the highlands” was the main crossing up until the early 1800s. Probably the most famous timber bridge was the one that stood near where the battle of Stirling took place. The old Stone Bridge is truly beautiful, and one of the only arched medieval bridges that remain in Scotland. It stands at over 80 metres long and has 4 arches supported by 3 piers. Previously there were arched gates at each end but these are no longer there.
• The Wallace Monument which of course represents Sir William Wallace our national hero. As history would have it England invaded Scotland and leaders in Scotland accepted Edward I as their King. William refused to accept this and refused to follow English rule. HE was recognised as a traitor, captured , hung , disembowelled , beheaded and quartered. When Scotland gained independence 23 years following his death he was remembered as a patriot and a hero. The structure itself stands at 67 metres high making it very hard to miss. There are steps which lead to the top of the tower and the view from the top is utterly spectacular.
• If wild camping isn’t your thing on your first night there is a campsite called the Witches Craig Caravan and Camping Park. It sits at the foot of the Ochil Hills giving it some wonderful views and surroundings. It makes a great base for seeing Stirling on your route.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park is the next step on the Heart 200. This road takes you through some outstanding natural beauty.
• If you have time to stop in Doune we do recommend stopping at Wood Winters wines and whiskies. Here you can meet likeminded people who really embrace drinking excellent quality spirits. The staff here are incredibly knowledgeable and will share how to sample, taste, and know if it’s a good quality you are drinking.
• Dunblane Cathedral may be small but its beauty will enchant anyone who walks through its doors. The inside really has to be experienced to be appreciated, the intricate details, the character and the history embedded within the walls here. The stained glass here is unique and the shadows can be somewhat eerie as the flames flicker off them in the darkness. The church is a result of the Bishop Clement in around 1230s. For some slight history after the abolition of Bishops there were no longer Cathedrals (they were historically where a bishop sat) however many are still known as Cathedrals due to their history.
• Stepping to Callander next the Bracklinn Falls are located in the woods above the town. The falls themselves are a place of natural beauty and the 20 metre long bridge which has a unique A shape roof gives some spectacular views over the gorge. There is a lovely walk round here to stretch your legs on. The path is well maintained generally and will take you around 2 hours to complete.
• Other places to visit on this section include Loch Katrine, Sir Walter Scott’s Steamship, Andy Murrays gold post box and of course the distillery. We do try and say not to do everything as then you don’t have time to truly appreciate and absorb where you are if you have to rush.
• Although many of our customers choose to wild camp we thought we would include some camp sites here. The Milarrochy Bay by Loch Lomond is a small camp site but its staff are super friendly and although slightly off the exact 200 route it is worth the detour if you prefer a campsite.
Heading from the Trossachs to Lochearnhead you will come by the Devils Pulpit which is worth a sight. There is a lovely walk here and some amazing views and scenery to be enjoyed. This again was a slight detour and went 15 minutes back from our original route but it was worth it. The Gorge itself isn’t obvious initially you do need to look hard for it. Be very careful here as it’s a very step drop. This is not a walk for anyone who is unsteady or infirm on their feet.
• Firkin Picnic stop was a welcomes stop to stop for a hot cuppa and a sandwich. There is a large parking area, benches and public toilets which we have always found to be immaculate. You really to learn to appreciate a clean toilet when you are away! There is also the opportunity here to take a walk down by the banks and the water rippling is really tranquil and peaceful.
• The Inverglas Pyramid by Inveruglas makes an ideal viewing platform over Loch Lomond. It’s an 8 metre high viewpoint and you can see Ben Lomond and Arrochar Alps from here.
• Falls of Falloch is one of the best waterfalls you will find in Scotland. There is a pool the waterfall drops into where people can often be seen swimming. It’s a lovely picnic spot and ideal for watching wildlife.
Castle Menzies in Aberfeldy was the seat and home of the clan Menzies for 500 years. It was built in the 16th Century and has survived the turbulent history of Scotland. The castle was taken over by a restoration society and is now open to the public. It can also be hired out for weddings. The Generals Wade’s Bridge is worth a visit, this bridge crosses the River Tay, when it was originally built it was the only bridge that crossed the river. There are a few lovely cafes and galleries in Aberfeldy so its worth a day trip to stop and explore for local bits and bobs. The Distillery is located on the banks of the river Tay and therefore it has a gorgeous water supply from the Pitilie Burn. There is a lovely tour given here if you have time.
Blair Atholl features in many of our blogs but its list of things to see and do is endless. There is simply so much history embedded here along with some outstanding scenery its no doubt its so popular with our customers of Scottish Tourer. There are many walks around here and the fish and chips from the visitors centre is amazing. The surrounding areas are amazing to explore, we have concluded the best we know of here though.
Pitlochry has a lovely distillery and being a single malt highland whisky it has a unique taste to it. The Blair Athol ancients water source is said to give it its special taste. Here you can tour round one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. Although much of the wishy here goes into blends there best seller is their 12 year old single malt. The Pitlochry Dam is a lovely walk and a breath taking sight. There is a fish ladder here for the salmon to climb up. If you visit between April and September you may get to see the fish make the climb to their spawning grounds.
Dunkeld is a beautiful part of the country. The hermitage is not to be missed by any visitor. Here you can find Ossians Cave and explore the woods, wildlife, water and history steeped within the woods. The walk here takes a little over an hour.
Heading from Blairgowrie we do recommend heading if you have time up the old snow road towards glenshee. The views here are remarkable and the landscapes unique. Once up at glenshee there are munros to be tackled, chair lifts to take you to the top and a lovely café to feed and water you all. The chairlift is a fantastic way to get to the top of a Munro without actually having to climb it! This is a fair detour however it is worth doing if you have time.
Scone Palace is the crowning place of the Scottish Kings such as Macbeth and Robert The Bruce. The house itself houses an array of antiques and paintings. The grounds are immaculate and worldwide known. There is a walled garden and a kitchen garden here which the public can walk round alongside the castle. There is a walk just along the road by Quarrymill to for another stretch of the legs before returning to the Scottish Tourer Depot.
This guide is very rough. It is a guide of where we like out of the heart 200, everyone is different and wants to explore different areas. No route needs to be stuck to 100% as life would be boring othThis guide is very rough. It is a guide of where we like out of the heart 200, everyone is different and wants to explore different areas. No route needs to be stuck to 100% as life would be boring otherwise. Please do remember and share with us any recommendations that you have after being away in our motorhomes as we love to feedback to future customers.
In Scotland we are lucky to have such an abundance of outdoor pursuits on our door step, set amongst some of the most beautiful landscape and all within easy driving reach when combined with a motorhome you can enjoy a holiday while experience some adrenaline based activities.