Things to do & see at Thorntree
Here you will find some suggestions and links for places you might want to visit during youir holiday at Thorntree Barn. Here are some attractions and tourist facilities in the Local area, in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and further afield.
Apart from our lovely Garden (at least that is what people are kind enough to tell us), we have Martins in the Yard all summer. We have in the past also had Swallows but they have deserted; hopefully they may come back.
Two years ago we put up an Owl box, supervised by the experts, and were lucky enough to get a Barn Owl nesting almost immediately. Three chicks were successfully reared and ringed, and we are still hearing Barn Owls in the neighbourhood. You might be lucky too. The box is in full view of the patio to the accommodation.
In the local area
We are only 12 miles from Stirling and less from the new Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. There is so much to do in our immediate area that is only possible to give you a taster. Most of the links on this page take you to a specific page on another website. If you explore that website in full you will find much more to interest you. We list some links on our links page which you can use to do your own research.
Amongst the most obvious local attractions are Stirling Castle, Scotland’s second most visited historic castle, Loch Lomond, at the centre of the National Park, Blair Drummond Safari Park, a day for all the family, The Falkirk Wheel, a wonder of engineering, The Wallace Monument, a tribute to Scotland’s iconic past, The Old Town Jail, near to Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, a 14th Century fortress, Drummond Castle and Gardens, Castle Campbell at Dollar, Lomond Shores, shop, eat and play on a wet day, Loch Katrine, take a trip on the Sir Walter Scott amidst stunning Highland scenery, Queen Elizabeth and Achray forests, visit one of our great forests with a wonderful visitor centre and a death slide, Knockhill Circuit, thrills spills and noise, Deep Sea World, Scotland’s shark centre at South Queensferry……….. there is much much more.
A little further afield?
In Glasgow (centre of city less than 1 hour out of rush hours), we suggest The Kelvingrove Art Gallery, which has just celebrated its 1 millionth visitor since its multi million pound restoration, The Burrell Collection, but don’t miss Pollock House whilst there, The Glasgow Science Centre, with its Imax Cinema, The Botanic Gardens, just reopened after the ‘rebuilding’ if its famed glass house, or just Go Shopping – Glasgow has one of the best fashion shopping facilities in Europe !
In Edinburgh, you must see Edinburgh Castle, for no visit would be complete without this, Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, The Royal Yacht Britannia, now moored in Leith harbour – see also the exciting property development and newest shopping centres, Edinburgh Zoo, a complete day out for all the family, Dynamic Earth, the story of our planet's past present and future, The Camera Obscura, and explore the wonders of light and illusion, and John Knox House part of Edinburgh‘s Reformation history sited on the Royal Mile.
Or take the example and challenge of some of our previous guests. They have ventured (in the day) as far as Inverness, Aberdeen, Mallaig and the Road to the Isles, Oban, Inverary, North Berwick , Loch Ness and Fort William and of course Glen Coe, Culloden and other battle sites.
If you are looking for Scotland’s historic houses why not visit Hopetoun House or Drumlanrig, Inverary Castle, Dalmeny House, or check out others at the Stately Homes website. All those mentioned are within 90 minutes easy drive from Thorntree. New Lanark is less than one hour away, as is The Antonine wall, (part of our Roman Britain history), both now World Heritage sites.
Are Gardens your thing?
Here is a link to a The Gardens in Scotland website you might want to use to research further. Many private gardens are open through Scotland’s Gardens, but you will need to check when the owners are due to open them. Some gardens will open for you by appointment, given advance notice. There are great gardens at Branklyn in Perth, Cluny in Aberfeldy (you might see a Red Squirrel), at Scone and Falkland Palaces and at most of our historic houses.
Local Markets and Shopping
Not just because you can get fresh local produce in season, but in the interest of being ecologically minded, you can purchase most of your fresh vegetables at Thornhill Village market on Wednesdays, and pick your own soft fruit in season at Briarlands (near Blair Drummond). Stirling has a range of supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons.
There is an excellent range of Pubs and Restaurants within 20 minutes of Thorntree. Buchlyvie has two good pubs which both do meals – The Rob Roy and The Buchlyvie Inn. Thornhill has the Crown and the Lion and Unicorn and Kippen The Cross Keys and the Inn at Kippen. Near to hand is the Lake Hotel at Port of Menteith with wonderful views over the Lake of Menteith, Menus here are overseen by Ian Fleming. Nick Nairn’s Cook School is also at Port of Menteith. Culcreuch Castle is at Fintry, where there are also the Clachan Hotel and Fintry Inn. In Killearn there is the Black Bull Hotel. There are more simple café restaurants in Buchlyvie, at Ward Toll and at Ballat and of course a fuller range in Stirling where you will find Indian,Chinese, Italian and many other cuisines. A new coffee shop is opening at the Kippen roundabout on the A811 in March 2012, to be called the Woodhouse Coffee Shop. For the more discerning, you can drive into Glasgow and try any of the restaurants, some of which are internationally renowned. Or our special favourite Monachyle Mhor at Balquhidder is run by renowned chef Tom Lewis, who cooked at Thorntree for Carol's very important birthday.
There are many good golf courses nearby either for just a casual game or for the more serious. Gleneagles is 40 minutes away and St Andrews 90 minutes. There are local courses at Balfron, Buchanan Castle Estate and at Aberfoyle. You can check out the links on our links page or just call us for advice.
If you are looing for a good base for a walking holiday, you could not do better than to use Thorntree as a base, especially if you want to combine this with other more varied activities. Have a look at this site which is a good point to start your research from. A challenge for you. Why not climb all the Bens and Hills in sight of Thorntree Barn.
Home Coming 2014
Scotland will welcome thousands of visitors from home and abroad for Homecoming 2014. This promotional year will celebrate heritage and ancestry and give an opportunity for Scots to trace, discover and enjoy their roots, whether they live now in England, The States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East or elsewhere. Already there are over 200 events organised for this celebration. 2012 was the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns, and ther is a new museum dedidected to the immortaL Bard in Ayrshire, his home. Thorntree welcomes all those visiting Scotland to join in with any of the events or returning to trace their ancestry. You will find some of the events listed on Scottish Heartlands, the Visit Scotland site for Central Scotland