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26km (16 miles) NW of Stirling; 69km (43 miles) N of Glasgow; 84km (52 miles) NW of Edinburgh; 68km (42 miles) W of Perth

In Gaelic, the Trossachs means the "bristled country," an allusion to its luxuriant vegetation. The thickly wooded valley contains three lochs: Venachar, Achray, and Katrine. In summer, the steamer on Loch Katrine offers a fine view of the splendid wooded scenery.

For many, the small town of Callander makes the best base for exploring the Trossachs and Loch Katrine, Loch Achray, and Loch Venachar. (The town of Aberfoyle, discussed below, is another excellent choice.) For years, motorists -- and before them, passengers traveling by bumpy coach -- stopped here to rest up on the once-difficult journey between Edinburgh and Oban.

Callander stands at the entrance to the Pass of Leny in the shadow of the Callander Crags. The rivers Teith and Leny meet to the west of the town.