All of Scotland seems to be present within the boundaries of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park in the Scottish Highlands. From Loch Lomond in the west to the pretty town of Callander in the east, you can explore lochs, forests and mountains.
You can drive, cycle, walk pony trek, canoe and kayak. You can spot rare wildlife, savour stunning views and breathe lungfuls of pure Scottish air. Find out more about the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park with this handy guide.
Overview of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, Scotland, was designated as a forest park the year Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, 1953. One of the founding purposes of the six Scottish forest parks was recreation, and nearly 70 years on, Queen Elizabeth Forest Park doesn’t disappoint.
The 50-acre park, which takes in part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, is free to enter on foot, although there is a £2 charge for the amazing Three Lochs Drive through the forest, which contributes towards maintaining the facilities. Start your adventure at the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Visitor Centre, known as The Lodge, at Aberfoyle. This is the hub of park, with a café that has possibly the best views in Scotland. Here, you can learn all about the forest and its wildlife and plan your route, whether you are walking, cycling or driving.
What to see and do in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
From Queen Elizabeth Forest Park walks with picturesque picnic spots, to lochs you can canoe, to mountains you can climb, here’s our list of the highlights to enjoy in this amazing park.
- Take one of the UK’s most scenic routes on the Three Lochs Drive
- Enjoy a cruise on century-old steamship, Sir Walter Scott, on Lock Katrine
- Go Ape with your tribe in the treetops at Aberfoyle
- Climb Ben Lomond, the most southerly of the Munros
- Go open water paddling by canoe or kayak on Loch Drunkie, Loch Achray, Loch Ard or Loch Katrine.
- Get on your bike and make the most of Britain’s largest off-rode cycle network
- Go walking or pony trekking along the shores of Loch Ard
- Climb the crags around Strathyre for breath-taking views
- Lose yourself along the forest trails, looking for butterflies, red squirrels and red and roe deer
- Watch the ospreys and other wildlife up close at the Lodge Visitor Centre
Where to stay
If you are looking for the home comforts that include a wood burning stove and a hot tub, then stay at our peaceful cabin location at Strathyre, which sits with in the park boundaries and has mountain and loch views. Book your cabin at Strathyre for a short break or a longer holiday and you have the perfect base to explore this amazing park.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Head for the Visitor Centre, which is a mile north of Aberfoyle on the A821 Dukes Pass. It is just under an hours’ drive from Glasgow and just over an hour from Edinburgh. If you are on the bus to Aberfoyle, take the path and cycle trail, NCN 7, to the Visitor Centre.
What to do in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Enjoy the scenic Three Lochs Drive, visit the lochs and cruise on the Sir Walter Scott steamship, climb Ben Lomond, or the Strathyre crags, follow the Waterfall Trail, visit Go Ape, go cycling on Britain’s largest off-rode cycle network, spot ospreys, red squirrels, deer and pine martens.
Where to eat in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
The café at the Lodge Visitor Centre has some of the best views in Scotland. It’s open every day and is a great place to enjoy food and drinks while watching the wildlife. Other choices include the Steamship Café on Loch Katrine, The Lade Inn near Strathyre and the Mhor bakery and Tearoom in Callander.