Strathyre is a small village with some amazing natural attractions.
Strathyre is officially the first village in the highlands of Scotland, heading North, lying just beyond the Highland Fault line which is around 4 miles North of Callander. The village sits in a natural amphitheatre with the towering Ben Sheann sitting at 1870 Ft above the Village on the West and with Ben Ledi and Ben Vane to the South. To the West Lies the two imposing “Munro Mountains” Stuc A Chroin (975m) and Ben Vorlich (985m) to the East. The Braes of Balquhider and majestic Ben More (1174m) to the North.
The village offers some fantastic walks and trails. The most well known being the BLiSS Trail which follows the route of the National Cycle Network Route 7 linking Strathyre with Balquhidder, Kingshouse, Lochearnhead then heads East to St Fillans. The Double award winning BLiSS trail features around 24 works by well-known artists who have used the trail to showcase their exhibits. The exhibits reflect the local history and wildlife of the area with an 8 ft soaring eagle, Highland Cattle, magnificent Stag and West Highland Terriers found along the route. The Rob Roy Trail links Drymen to Pitlochry and passes through the heart of Strathyre – This is a 7 day walk of around 94 miles or a little less depending on the chosen route.
If you are a visitor to the area – please check our EVENTS Section for details of any events that may be on locally.
Welcome to Bonny Strathyre.
Award Winning Broch Cafe and a game of Petanque
The award-winning Broch Cafe is a popular place to visit with it’s indoor or outdoor pateau options giving a great opportunity to enjoy fantastic breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack with the magnificent backdrop of Ben Sheann. You can enjoy a game of Petanque or later in 2019, perhaps a game of Disc Golf in the cafe’s own course.
The White Stag Inn, Ben Shean Hotel and Munro inn offer good food, drink and accommodation and heading North out of the Village, we have Airlie House, Rosebank House and Creagan House with its baronial hall all offering popular, good quality, bed and breakfast accommodation options.
There is a wide choice on Self Catering cottages around the village. These are all listed in the Directory on the Top Menu bar.
Health and Safety information for Visitors can be found here
Award winning BLiSStrail
Short clip from Scottish Television where the BLiSS trail was featured. narration by Kim Proven LETi
An idea conceived by Kenny Higgins and Kim Proven from Loch Earn Tourism Initiative utilised the popular National Cycle Route 7 and its link with villages of Strathyre, Balquhider and Lochearnhead.
It all started when Kenny arranged for the placement of a 7 foot Golden Eagle to be installed in Strathyre Broch Recreational area. He then approached Sustrans where he was a part time ranger and a further exhibit was added outside the Broch Cafe with a seating arrangement based round three bicycles metal art work and Oak seating. This was positioned as casual seating or a 180 degree turn to admire the towering Ben Sheann.
A small Heiland Coo carving was added. In tandem, Kim and husband Fraser had already erected a very impressive Stag in their beautiful lochside setting and further impressive exhibits were added and named such as Blawn wi the wind – Tall metal thistles set on rocks.
Kenny and Kim thought about more designs and Kim reached out to well known Ratho Blacksmith and metal Artist Kev Paxton and several further exhibits were added around the three villages, Such as Drovers Bho
Through time further impressive Artwork followed, some already in private gardens such as Airlie House’s impressive Airliephnt – A 4 foot Elephant made entirely from driftwood. Exhibits grew and the route was extended to include St Fillans and the impressive 8 foot stainless “Still” man standing in Lochearn. Further Willow exhibits were included with a MotorBike/ Dragon design and roe deer also in Willow at Balquhidder. Here can also be found a book lending Library based on a Red Phone box. Out to the end of Loch Voil is the beautiful setting around Monachyle Mhor Hotel which has its own unique structural exhibits. One being completely based on mirrored panels to reflect the beautiful Braes of Balquhidder.
Excellent marketing support and negotiation by Kim Proven, chair of LETi developed considerable interest in the BLiSS trail to such an extent it reached TV promotion and has won two prestigious Tourism awards. In the early stages of development and on his 10 minute journey to a LETi meeting Kenny thought about the 4 communities linked by the trail Strathyre, Balquhidder, Lochearhead and St Fillans. LETi had that all important i in its title representing the International symbol for information or being synomonous with Tourism. A simple reorganising of the first letter of each village wrapped around the all important ” i ” for Information and Tourism and low and behold, BLiSS was adopted as the name of the trail.
Further artistic exhibits are now regularly featured on the route, which can be mostly observed on foot or by bike. Some stay a while until sold and are replaced with something new but many are permanent features to enhance visitor experience. An audio accompaniment was added to help with background on the artistic creators and the ideas that inspired the artworks. The BLisSS trail has become a popular attraction in the area. Further details can be found here
This is a great walk for spotting wildlife – look out for red squirrels and deer, particularly early in the morning, and listen for shrieking jays and the mewing of buzzards overhead. There’s the option to extend the route by diverting on the descent onto the Coille MacCaskill Path. This grove is an excellent example of a native pinewood and is dedicated to Don MacCaskill, a local forester and naturalist. This trail starts from Strathyre village car park. Part way on the trail are selection of Standing stones. Follow the busy Tighanes Burn up through the Scots pine past waterfalls for fine views across to Ben Vane and the Braes of Balquhidder. Long steep slope for 400m. Narrow earth and grass paths with muddy sections. Includes one bridge and a forestry road crossing.
Ben Sheann Walk
The Ben Sheann walk takes you up to the summit of Ben Sheann 1870ft above the village. Allow 80 Mins each way. Access is by 2 or three routes, the easiest is by heading North out of the village on the Back road to Balquhidder and stay on this narrow road for quarter of a mile to forest track access on the left with a barrier across the entrance. Follow the forest track for 200 yards to the T junction and turn Left, walk around the same distance again South and watch for a small track on the right that takes you on to another wider track the long gradual climb to the shoulder of the 1st Summit.
The higher summit beyond is the highest point at 1870ft. Ben Sheann has fame from Victorian times as the enchanted Hill of the Faeries or hollow mountain. Heed this as a warning and be sure to stay on recognised well trodden paths, as there are many deep fizures in amongst the tree growth areas where sheep have disappeared never to be seen again. It is a worthwhile climb and the view from the top is stunning into the two valleys below. After taking a little over an hour to reach the summit consider the race event held in May each year. Where the fastest runners race to the summit and back to the fields in the village below in around 22 – 23 minutes. some take a lot longer.
Rob Roy Short circuit
This is an enjoyable walk through Strathyre’s enchanted forest. Access is by the end of the cul-de Sac up the side of the Munro Inn. Turn left past the old church and round the back of the Tennis Courts. Over a wooden bridge and stay on the narrow track to the Y junction. Take the right hand arm passing picnic Benches and right again up the side of waterfalls to a wooden bridge. You then enter what the village call the enchanted forest. This area is said to be inhabited by Faeries and Small troll like creatures. Gold Panners used the small stream to pan for Gold nuggets and claim to have heard eerie sounds coming from the area during the night. Continue onwards through the trees on the winding path to the Forestry commission Track. Here you have two choices continue Left on what is part of the Rob Roy Trail and after 2 miles takes you to the end with a left hand hairpin taking you down to Mhor 84 Motel for Tea coffee cakes or a lunch. You can then take the National Cycle and Hiking route 2 miles back to Strathyre. Alternatively turn right at the forest track junction and stay on this for around 300 – 400 yards watching for a narrow path(s) on your right taking you down the Village sledging and skiing slope back into Strathyre arriving back by the Tennis Courts.
Strathyre is a popular Cycling stop with the award-winning, cycle-friendly Broch Cafe. The popular cafe will soon to be equipped with a bike maintenance station, and eBike and eCar charging facilities. A popular walk or cycle is the old back road to Balquhidder (3 Miles) or take the 2-mile former railway tarmac cycle path to Kingshouse where coffee awaits at Mhor 84 motel.
Onwards by a further 4 miles takes you to Lochearn head and for the fit and energetic, you can head North to Killin and the spectacular Falls of Dochart. It is possible to walk or cycle 8 miles South to the bustling tourist town of Callander passing down the side of the spectacular Loch Lubnaig and through the Strathyre Cabins complex where guests relax in their Hot Tubs or in the small cafe open to the public.
So you have forgotten your bike? Don’t worry we may be able to help, with a little notice, Gary McDonald hopes to be arranging Bike Hire from the village from late Springtime onwards. Tel: 07857 282881
Strathyre has wildlife in abundance. The nearby mountains have deer and Eagles soaring above, Over loch Lubnaig, an Osprey is regularly seen along with Herons, Swans and a wide range of ducks. In the Loch and rivers, we have Salmon, Brown Trout Rainbow trout, Perch, Otters, Mink and great crested Newts. Around the village Red Squirrels, Pine Marten, Badgers are regularly spotted along with Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Barn Owls, Bats, Turtle Doves, Siskins and many other visiting species.
For those with Kayaks, it is possible to navigate from Loch Doine 9 miles to the North West all the way through Loch Voil and into the meandering River Balvaig, through Strathyre and into loch Lubnaig a further 4 mile stretch to the South.
Our forest tracks offer a wide choice of routes for hikers or cyclists on mountain bikes. Route 7 has been developed with a significant stretch in tarmac. From Strathyre Route 7 takes you 9 miles South to Callander or head North on our new Tarmac track to Kingshouse – Lochearnhead and to the spectacular Dochart Falls at Killin. There is also a loop to Blaquhidder for those looking for a shorter route of around 7 miles.
Stuc A Chroin Hill Race
In May the British championship hill race Stuc A Chroin 5000 takes place. (See the EVENTS tab on the menu bar) The route ascends 5000ft to the summit before returning to the starting point in the village. The record for the 16-mile run is little over 2 hours. Later in the month of May is the Ben Sheann Hill race with its record time little over 22 minutes.
The Village boasts a spectacular Firework event in November and the Christmas Market and Fayre late November /early December is very popular with locals and visitors. Strathyre takes on a totally different perspective in Winter with a spectacular scenery and becomes a great place for photographers to capture some winter scenes. Local children and visitors take to the natural slopes on the East side of the village with toboggans and the occasional skiier can be spotted enjoying the hill. There are a number of pleasant walks around the village starting with coffee or breakfast at the Broch Cafe and ending in an evening meal in front of a cosy log fire in one of the three Pubs. – Check opening times.
Live Music from the local band Balvaig, takes place at the White Stag Inn on the first Sunday of every month starting from 2pm. In May each year (Apart from 2019), the village runs the Strathyre Music Festival which features over 20 musical acts/bands over the weekend event drawing 2000-3000 people into the village.
In 2019 the festival committee is taking a break from the normal format and it is possible the local pubs may host a variety of bands throughout the year to keep the tradition going until the festival’s return in 2020.
Balvaig has built a good reputation for live music in a relaxed atmosphere which has attracted many visiting guest performers who are always made very welcome no matter how accomplished they are. Here is a link to a fairly typical walk-in (Bothy style) music session from July 2019.
Local Fishing and Tuition
Local Ghillie and fishing expert Stuart Mathieson offers fishing tuition for Trout, Salmon or course fishing and has access to some popular and exclusive fishing spots in our area. Stuart can be contacted to discuss a fishing tuition session at: Fishon Scotland m.me/553726221393148 Stuart is able to provide rods reels and all you will need for fishing along with relevant permits. Please provide as much notice as possible due to the popularity of these events.
For DIY Fishing, permits are available at the village shop for local river or loch fishing or if stopping in Callander on the way, from James Bayne: Fishing Shop Main Street Callander covering permits for the wider area.
Guided Walks, Wildlife, Bat Watch and Bush Skills
Local ranger (Jack Black) is available for guided walks and tours including bush skills experience. Great fun for all the family – Advance booking is required. Jack is a local celebrity and a man with a million fascinating stories to tell and a great companion to lead you around the areas local Fauna, Flora, History and Culture. Jack’s Bush skills events are also popular as is his Picnic Butler experience as featured on Televison
tel: 07856 172825
Please call well in advance of your visit due to the popularity of Jacks events.
For Groups Visiting Strathyre for Adventures
If you would like a real Adventure holiday, Strathyre has a custom built Outdoor Centre on the North side of the Village. The Craigvinean Strathyre Outdoor centre is run by a team of qualified instructors and tutors and offers mixed groups of up to 25 with Bunk accommodation. The centre is well equipped with a lounge hall and large kitchen, Hot Showers and a wet room. From here your group can enjoy a selection of outdoor activities.
Full list of Activities:
- Standup paddle boarding
- water safety training and accreditation
- Hill walking and mountaineering
- Film and photography
- Expeditions and D of E training
- Mountain biking
- Trail running
- Rock climbing
- Gorge walking
- Survival skills
Contact Steven for info and costings E.mail
An excellent Guide to the wider area is available through our local Tourist Group LETi