A village set in scenic environs, Aberfoyle is particularly treasured by outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers. There are many panoramic views and scenic trails to enjoy, including a gentle stroll to a nearby waterfall and more strenuous routes to lofty woods and rocky crags. Situated close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest, Aberfoyle is the perfect place for walkers and cyclists. The Doon Hill and Fairy Knowe walk is a circular route which boasts some truly beautiful views. Walkers undertaking the Rob Roy Way often find Aberfoyle to be an ideal stop between Drymen and Callander. The Three Lochs Forest Drive is situated close to the village, while the celebrated Aberfoyle Golf Club is located nearby at Braeval.
For those who enjoy an outdoors challenge, Go Country – the Forest Hills Water Sports Centre – is based at Kinlochard and offers activities such as canoeing and an assault course. Aberfoyle Bike Park provides no less than 700 metres of biking trails, with many features and challenges along the way. Go Ape, the famous outdoor activity centre, features two of Britain’s longest zip-wires – something which gives aerial adventure enthusiasts the chance to view the beautiful forest scenery from an entirely different perspective!
Based at the Duke’s Pass, The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre offers a variety of trails which are suitable for all tastes, as well as tree-top adventures, a café, and plenty of information for visitors. The Aberfoyle VisitScotland iCentre is situated conveniently on Main Street, and the knowledgeable staff members there have information on many locations throughout the area. There is also a bookshop on the premises, along with other merchandise.
The Scottish Wool Centre is one of the most popular attractions in Aberfoyle, and presents many activities for visitors to enjoy. These include ‘The Gathering’, a three-times-daily dog and duck show (which takes place between April and September), where a shepherd will give a history of Scottish sheep and commands his dog ‘on hand’ to herd ducks. Other animals are sometimes also on site in observation areas, including birds and different breeds of sheep. The Scottish Wool Centre also offers a large shop area with clothing and other gift items on sale, as well as a restaurant area.
Between April and September, visits to Inchmahome Priory by ferry are always popular. This island sanctuary functioned for over three centuries, with Robert the Bruce visiting it three times while King of Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots was also kept safe at this location as a child during Henry VIII’s ‘Rough Wooing’; Henry attacked Stirling in an attempt to force Mary into marrying his son, in order to unite the two kingdoms.
Other historical stories in the Aberfoyle area include the legend of the ‘Poker Tree’, situated close to the main crossroads; while in the village, don’t forget to find out the link between this mysterious tree and Baillie Nicol Jarvie, a Glasgow magistrate and cousin of the infamous Rob Roy MacGregor, who once stayed at an inn at the Clachan of Aberfoyle.