Luss To Aberfoyle
ROUTE LENGTH: 27 MILES
Turn right onto A82 at Tarbet, and follow. At first roundabout continue on A82, at second turn right (first exit) to A811, passing Gartocharn and going through Dryman. After Dryman, take the slight left onto the A81. Follow past Gartmore exits, and then take left onto A821 to Aberfoyle.
The route begins with a right turn from Tarbet onto A82. At the second roundabout, turn right onto the A811, passing Garocharn and going through Dryman. Take the slight left onto the A81, and follow, turning left onto the A821 to Aberfoyle after. From Dryman the incline is very steep – be prepared! Also the approaches to Gartocharn and Gartmore are both uphill.
By Public Transport
Take 976 from opposite Tarbet Hotel to Loch Lomond Golf Course and then the 305 to Balloch, or 926 to Balloch. If going to Drymen take 309.
Getting to Aberfoyle from Tarbet is difficult. Take the 916 to Glasgow, and north to B10 to Aberfoyle (both bus journeys are over an hour in length).
To check times go to Traveline Scotland and click on Plan your Journey on left side of page.
Kessog like Blane began life in Ireland, and the old association between the saint and the Cumbraes suggests that he may also have begun his Scottish adventure in the Firth of Clyde. However he quickly established himself at Luss which became his headquarters, along with Inchtavannach or Monk’s Island nearby in Loch Lomond.
From Luss Kessog’s influence spreads out into the Trossachs and Perthshire. Fairs were held in his honour at Callander and Comrie, with church dedications at Luss, Callander, Auchterarder and as far afield as the Beauly Firth where the saint is credited with a miraculous rescue at the Kessock ferry crossing, now replaced by the Kessock Bridge.
There are strong connections between Kessog and streams, springs and herbs. ‘Luss’ means herb, and according to one tradition when the saint was martyred far away his body was brought back to Luss, preserved for burial by being wrapped in herbs. More reliably however the saint was murdered for his faith about a mile south of Luss where a cairn was erected. When this was taken down at the end of the eighteenth century it was found to contain a stone head representing Kessog and a statue of an early Bisop Robert Colquhoun. The clan Colqhoun who still own the lands of Luss were the hereditary guardians of Kessog’s relics.
Kessog, like Columba, is a saint who has gained a modern following. The present day church in Luss, which houses a medieval effigy of the saint, is a popular attraction for visitors and pilgrims. The manse glebe has a Kessog walk, where the river flows into Loch Lomond, and neighbouring churches such as the Roman Catholic parish at Balloch have also revived Kessog devotions. Glen Luss above the village was the site of a healing well dedicated to St Bride.
Our Journey follows Kessog westwards by Gartocharn, Drymen, and Gartmore to Aberfoyle.
On the gentle shores of Loch Lomond
And on its green islands are ancient
Stones, the ring of bells chiming
Time out of mind out of time,
Where peace and contemplation
Come unbidden to the inner room.