Duke’s Pass

This is the latest post in my series of photo locations in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Scotland.  The details are inside…

The A821 runs through the main street in Aberfoyle before turning north and up into the hills.  After passing the David Marshall Lodge and Craigmore, the road eventually flattens out into a section called The Duke’s Pass.

The Trossachs is strictly the area surrounded by Loch Katrine, Ben A’an, Ben Venue and Loch Achray; this is how the OS maps (1:25k and 1:50k) are marked, although the name is commonly used for the wider surrounding area.  The Trossachs became a popular holiday destination following the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s poem “The Lady of the Lake” in 1810, but at that time it could only be accessed along Loch Venachar and Loch Achray from Callander.  The Duke of Montrose had the Pass constructed in the mid 1880s to allow easier access from the south and it was opened to the public in 1931 when the land was acquired by the Forestry Commission.  The name of The Duke’s Pass is still in use today. (Source: Wikipaedia).

There are several places along the Pass that would be good for landscape photographers, but I concentrated on the viewpoint at grid reference NN523045.  Approaching by car from Aberfoyle, you come through a hairpin bend which crosses a burn (stream) and the view point is a couple of hundred metres further on.  There is a lay-by to park in on the right hand side of the road at the foot of the climb, which is quite steep but very short.

At the top of the climb there is a shelter with a seat and a plaque which identifies the elements of the surrounding view.  Although marked as all round viewpoint, my favourite views were in the north-west quadrant, towards Ben Venue and Ben A’an.  If you want to catch golden hour sun on the hills to the north, don’t leave it too late because the bottom of the valleys lose the light much earlier than you might be used to in a flatter landscape.

mountain moor hill fell Scotland tree landscape cloud heather pink sunset
Trossachs Sunset – Ben Venue and Ben A’an
mountain moor hill fell Scotland tree landscape cloud heather pink grass movement sun flare sunset cloud quartz rock
Trossachs Sunset – Ben Venue and Ben A’an

For very little physical effort you are rewarded with some fantastic views of a classic landscape.  This has to make it worth a visit in any landscaper’s book.