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Article published 03/10/2023

New contract awarded

The Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust has announced that it has awarded a £350,000 contract to designers and specialist builders, Creating Adventurous Places Ltd (CAP.Co). They have been tasked to construct a dramatic three storey scenic tower and lookouts with walkways above Trossachs Pier at Loch Katrine.

The installation of the scenic tower and lookouts marks the latest phase of the Trossachs Visitor Management & Scenic Viewpoints Projects being coordinated by the Steamship Trust. Funding support has also been given from the Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund,  which is designed to improve visitor facilities at busy tourist hotspots.

It follows on from the completion of a hand-built stone path to the viewpoint with the help of helicopter lifts of bags of stone to protect the sensitive site as well as car park extensions and toilet improvements at Trossachs Pier.

The landmark lookout tower will feature two high-quality viewpoints with linking boardwalks on a headland above the Trossachs Pier visitor hub, known as Roderick Dhu Watchtower due to earlier associations with Rob Roy Macgregor, who lived on the shores of Loch Katrine.

Loch Katrine presentation

Rob Dickson (right), VisitScotland’s Director of Industry and Destination Development, recently visited Loch Katrine to review the recent infrastructure improvements and to hear more about the historic viewpoint plans. He is pictured with James Fraser, CEO of The Steamship Sir Walter Scott.

The history of the site

This historic site is credited with being the birthplace of Scottish tourism due to Sir Walter Scott's 1810 blockbuster poem 'The Lady of the Lake' putting The Trossachs and Scotland on the tourist map.

Crowds flocked 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.

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

Loch Katrine

It is fantastic to see the plans and site for the new scenic tower and lookouts, supported by the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund. They will elevate the experience of these wonderful surroundings for people to enjoy and allow visitors to view the landscape from a historic viewpoint. Delivering this new infrastructure without impacting on the local biodiversity is also important.

We know visitors are attracted to Scotland because of our stunning scenery and fascinating history, which this region has in abundance. You can really immerse in the local wildlife, enjoy panoramic views and imagine Rob Roy and his clans folk keeping a watchful eye on the countryside.

The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund is helping Scotland become a responsible tourism destination in line with the national tourism and economic strategy.”

Rob Dickson, VisitScotland’s Director of Industry and Destination Development

CAP.Co won a competitive tender to build the tower and walkways. They have worked on similar innovative projects at historic attractions throughout the UK, including recently at Windsor Great Park and Blenheim Palace and at several National Trust for Scotland properties.

This project is another example of the Steamship Trust’s commitment to celebrate and showcase the special scenic and cultural heritage qualities of Loch Katrine and the Trossachs.

At Trossachs Pier, the Loch Katrine destination consists of boat cruises, cycle hire, a gift shop, café and 10 eco lodges. There are regular cruises on the recently restored 123-year-old Steamship Sir Walter Scott and Lady of the Lake.

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