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Aberfoyle is a bustling little village really, with a population of around 600 people but which is swelled considerably during the summer. Like all good quaint Scottish villages there is a fair amount of history, sprinkled with the usual magic dust of folklore, mystery and legend!
Although settled long before, Aberfoyle really took off in the late 19th Century when the incumbent Duke of Montrose had the foresight to construct a road over the 'shoulder' of Craigmore (a hill marking the entrance to the 'Trossachs' - of which more later) - this road, cunningly entitled the Dukes Pass meant that Aberfoyle became the entry point to the Trossachs for the majority of people. Coupled with the now defunct rail line and the presence of slate meant it grew in prominence. Aberfoyle is mentioned in 'The Lady of the Lake', a poem by Sir Walter Scott.
Geographically, Aberfoyle is surrounded by beauty in the rolling Trossach countryside and by the abundant lochs - from the closes Loch Ard, through Loch Chon, Vennachar to the fabulously titled Loch Drunkie, Loch Katrine which provides Glasgow with its drinking water, and Scotlands only lake, Lake of Mentieth. The Dukes Pass takes the visitor over some beautiful countryside, through villages like Brig O'Turk eventually through to the bigger town of Callander.
Aberfoyle itself has many tales of folklore associated, one if which relates to the apparent presence of fairies. Reverend Robert Kirk was something of a fairy/elf/whatever obsessive, and had become convinced that Doon Hill was the portal to their magic kingdom. Upset by his 'outing' of this secret, the fairies extracted their revenge by kidnapping the Reverend - and died one day after his reappearance!
Further, Rob Roy McGregor, a part mythical part real Scottish legendary figure was born nearby, and there now exists a tree in Aberfoyle where Rob Roy hid from the law, and upon which even now hangs a poker which had apparently been used to try and find him!
Aberfoyle has a few eating places - of the three hotels on the main street The Forth Inn is excellent, The Coach House is OK but don't go into the Clachan, only one cafe of particular note The Wee But & Ben - but it is very good indeed - and some small shops to entertain the visitor. There are inexplicably two butcher shops, both of which are excellent. The Aberfoyle Butcher prepared the meat for the main course at the Queens Birthday, while the deli produces some great lunchtime snacks.
For accommodation in and around Aberfoyle check out www.visitaberfoyle.com or www.aberfoyle.co.uk both should provide good results for things to do and places to see you will find lots of useful info on the following link: www.forthinn.com/things_to_do_!.htm
Branching out from Aberfoyle, the Trossachs are a range of hills and glens which spread North west and west taking in the aforementioned Lochs (and many more besides) and lots of spectacular viewing points, tremendous hill walking and other country delights. Stirling, a decent sized (in Scottish terms) town affords the delights of chain retail and eating, and even Glasgow is only an hours drive.