Trossachs National Park, Scotland

Up until last year I hated the idea of staycations. If I couldn’t get far away, it wasn’t a holiday. But with time restraints, a budget to stick to and the need to escape from the city and jump face first into some nature knocking we started looking closer to home. We wanted walking and relaxation. To really feel like we were escaping the rush of our everyday lives and disconnect somewhat.

The brief: somewhere beautiful, a short flight/transport, great hiking (and accessible to newbs like me), affordable, somewhere quiet but accessible to pubs/shops, not too far from the airport so we could arrive before midnight after our evening flight.

Result: Scotland. More specifically. The Trossachs National Park!

If you don’t know recognize the name of the park  you will probably still be aware it as it’s home to one of the best know Lochs in Scotland. Loch Lomond, and also home to Ben Lomond for a little jaunt up the 974 meter tall mountain.

We were off!

We finished work on a Thursday, raced to the airport, hopped a 7.30pm flight from London and arrived in Glasgow by 8.50pm. We picked up our rental car and bingo bango were at our accommodation by 10.30pm that same night.

We have become big fans of self catering for breaks like this. Air BnB is my buddy. It really helps you get away from the rush (read: avoid people) if you have your own space. You can stock up on all your goodies and it does work out cheaper, so affordable is a *tick*. We booked a lovely little 1 bed by a stream on the edge of a farm in a wee village called Croftamie 30 minutes from the Glasgow airport and 3o minutes from the centre of the national park and all the walking routes we could want.

There is not really anything in this little village. The nearest amenities, pubs/shops are in the neighboring town of Drymen only a 5 minute drive so perfectly accessible. There is the option of staying in the town of Aberfoyle which is a village in the national park but is a little more of a drive from the airport and being in the park can be a little pricier due to tourists.

We liked our location as it was equidistant to the airport and we weren’t planning on eating out so didn’t need many amenities nearby. Our host for this trip has to be one of my all time favorites. She was so generous, thoughtful and communicative but before this becomes an ode to my Air BnB host lets move along to the star of the show: The Trossachs.

Firstly I think the photos will speak for themselves so I’ll leave you with these for a moment:

Recommendation: If you climb Ben A’an or are in the vicinity I’d highly recommend a stop in at The Byrne Inn. With a warming fireplace this tucked away pretty little pub is a great place to rest your feet with a glass of red and some serious comfort food with Scottish flair.

Do I need to say anything else? Probably not, but I will. Briefly. We were incredibly lucky with the weather but I’d hop a flight to Scotland in a heartbeat and to my surprise this simple getaway has become one of my favorites ever! The simplicity of getting lost (figuratively I hope) in nature followed by a good meal and plenty of red wine. What’s not to love? I am a staycation convert, although I not going to give up my passport anytime soon. I have since staycationed in the New Forest and I am looking at the next hiking holiday on a larger scale abroad. Hmm, where to??

I wonder…