Aberfoyle is situated
in south east Perthshire on the upper reaches of the River Forth. It is a
key centre in both The Trossachs and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and
as such has become a tourism centre.
Aberfoyle remained little more than
a remote Highland clachan until the end of the 18thC. The church & manse
date from about 1740. Like much of Highland Perthshire, Gaelic would have
been widely spoken.
Sir Walter Scott was a frequent visitor
to the area. In his novel Rob Roy, Aberfoyle and Bailie Nicol Jarvie
figure prominently. Scott stayed at the Old Manse and rode much of the
surrounding countryside researching locations and looking for inspiration.
The Lady of the Lake was written in Aberfoyle. Local tourism took
off after it's publication in 1810.
To the north of Aberfoyle runs the
Duke's Road which was built by the Duke of Montrose around 1810 and was only
opened to the public in 1931 when the Forestry Commission acquired the land.
The road leads from Aberfoyle over the hills to Loch Achray and the heart
of The Trossachs.
In 1882 the railway arrived with the
opening of a branch line from Buchlyvie.
From the 1820s until the 1950s the
town was a centre for the quarrying of slate used in Scotland on roofs. At
it's peak this was a huge operation in the hills north of the town. Up to
1.5 million slates were produced annually and shipped by railway to the centres
In 1951 the railway closed but tourists
still flocked to the town by road.
Above the town lies the David Marshall
Lodge gifted to the Forestry Commission in 1960 by the Carnegie Trust. This
countryside centre provides information about the forests and offers superb
views across the upper Forth valley.