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Balloch Culture & history

Our most recommended Balloch Culture & history

From Balloch: Standing Stones, Inveraray Castle & Highlands

1. From Balloch: Standing Stones, Inveraray Castle & Highlands

Experience the magic of the standing stones and castles of the Highlands on a true Scottish day trip from Balloch. Drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and walk in Inveraray Castle. Spot seals in Loch Fyne and see standing stones over 5,000 years old. Meet your friendly guide and group at the visitor's centre and get ready for your adventure into the heart of Scotland. Relax on a beautiful drive along the western shore of Loch Lomond, stopping at viewing points to admire the serene scenery of the Trossachs National Park. Travel onwards towards Argyll and enter the Gothic Inveraray Castle, learning about the Wars of Scottish Independence and seeing rifles used against the Jacobite soldiers. Roam around the castle's 16-acres of wonderful gardens and soak in the aroma of flowers in the air. Leave the castle and keep an eye out for swimming seals as you travel along the shoreline of Loch Fyne, one of the deepest Scottish sea lochs. Get out of the car for a walk to view the largest finding of cup and ring marked rocks in the country. Thought to be ancient prehistoric art, try to unravel the mystery behind the creation of these patterns and learn about Dunadd Fort, the birthplace of Scotland. Pretend you're Claire from Outlander as you discover a collection of monolithic standing stones, stone circles, and burial cairns believed to be over 5,000 years old. You won't find anything as special as this in Scotland. Take time to explore the picturesque ruins of Kilchurn Castle next, a former fortress on the banks of Loch Awe. Watch for signs of thunderous clouds in the sky, as rumour has it that this historic castle was destroyed by lightning. Escape into the grounds for a short walk around the old stone walls. Depart from Kilchurn and venture further into the Highlands towards the mountainous Trossachs region of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Finish your unforgettable day trip by enjoying the most magnificent landscapes on the banks of Loch Lomond.

From Aberdeen: Dunnideer Castle, Heritage and Folklore Tour

2. From Aberdeen: Dunnideer Castle, Heritage and Folklore Tour

Discover the history of Granite. Aberdeen is called the Silver city because of the beautiful granite buildings that sparkle in the sunlight. In homage to the granite quarries in Aberdeenshire and the master stone masons who worked the granite, the park called Place of Origin was created to tell the tale. Dunnideer Castle, now ruined, was a tower house located near Insch. It was built circa 1260 partially from the remains of an existing vitrified hill fort in the same location. Vitrified forts are stone enclosures whose walls have been subjected to vitrification through heat. It was long thought that these structures were unique to Scotland, but they have since been identified in several other parts of western and northern Europe. Vitrified forts are generally situated on hills offering strong defensive positions. Guests will have the option to walk to the top of the hill to see the wonderful views across the valley. Please note the hill is steep in places and a reasonable level of fitness is required. The well preserved carved stone retains some of its carvings. The carvings on the Picardy Stone are typical of early Pictish symbol stones. From the top, the south face of the stone is carved with: a double-disc and Z-rod, a tightly coiled serpent and Z-rod, a simple mirror. The precise meaning of these carvings is unknown, and remains the subject of debate. We don’t know a lot about the Picts, the descendants of Iron-Age tribes who occupied the area north of the Forth and Clyde estuaries in the first millennium AD. They left about 300 carved stones across the country. The Bass of Inverurie is the reduced and altered remains of the earthwork castle serving as the seat of the Lordship of the Garioch. The Bass was originally surmounted by a wooden palisade. Though many such mottes were later rebuilt in stone, that never happened at Inverurie. The Bass did have its moment in the spotlight of history in 1306 when Robert the Bruce rested here over Christmas. From Inverurie, he rode out to defeat his great rivals, the Comyns, at the Battle of Barra in 1307. His victory was one of the turning points in the Scottish battle for independence that culminated at Bannockburn seven years later.

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What people are saying about Balloch

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 310 reviews

We swapped to the Loch Lomond National Park tour with our guide Derek which was brilliant! Highly recommend