Issue 18, Spring 2003

This edition's cover picture was taken from the seven story high viewing gallery atop the new £60m Loch Lomond Shores development at the southern end of Loch Lomond. I am pleased to say that we have arranged visits to this exciting destination in many of our itineraries next year. Further details on the back page.

As I write this, our third Lochs and Glens tour to Northern Spain has just returned and all departures seem to have been a success by all who went, although we are waiting for more guest reaction before deciding which hotels to book in the future.

On our first Calais Shopper day tour there was some excitement when it was discovered two asylum seekers had somehow managed to stowaway on the coach in France, but the problem was firmly and swiftly dealt with before the return journey. However, we have learned from the experience and extra security measures will be in place on all future tours to ensure that there is no possibility of a re-occurrence.

Our itineraries for most of 2004 are now completed and are enclosed with this newsletter. The garden visits and bird watching holidays have been successfully booked this year and will be repeated with some variations next year. But our latest offer in activity breaks will be the introduction of a number of walking holidays. Jenny Baker of the Inversnaid Hotel will be leading these walks. She is well experienced in hill walking and knows the area well.

The planned routes will not be over- energetic, but may include one or two hill summits and of course some sections of the beautiful West Highland Way which passes the Inversnaid Hotel on its route from Glasgow to Fort William. The final itinerary will depend to some extent on the prevailing weather at the time.

But, whatever your tastes, we do hope that within the pages of the enclosed programme you will find something to interest you.

Michael Wells

Letter From America

To Whom It May Interest

In 1944, when I was stationed with the U.S. Army in Southeast England, I had the pleasure of spending a few days leave at the Inversnaid Hotel. Our unit arrived in the UK, through Scotland in the spring of 1943, and proceeded to our base in Essex County by troop train. At that time, I knew that I wanted to visit Scotland again!

That opportunity came in early summer of 1944, when the Red Cross told a fellow officer and myself about the hotel. We bummed a ride on a B17 bomber to Glasgow and continued our journey by bus up the west side of the Loch until we were adjacent to the hotel. The hotel boat met us there for the trip across the Loch. What an enjoyable few days we had there in that beautiful setting with perfect weather, away from military routine and fellowship with civilian vacationers. During our stay, I assembled all of the guests in front of the hotel and took the enclosed photo. It is my hope that it will be of interest to someone there. I cannot identify anyone by name, but do remember that the gentleman sitting in the middle with his coat buttoned was our host. The man to his left holding the lad was his brother-in-law from Glasgow. I believe his name was Barnett. It was he who gathered the guests each evening for 'entertainment'. This consisted of encouraging each of us there to perform. No television was to be found at this site!

Marvellous memories continue to linger. How I would enjoy another visit to this spot, but time is running out. Enjoy the picture. It is now yours.

Respectfully, Robert C. Strohbeck, Toledo, Ohio

Loch Lomond Shores

Loch Lomond Shores, the new £60m tourist destination at the southern end of Loch Lomond will be included in some Lochs and Glens itineraries next year.

The centrepiece of the development is Drumkinnon Tower, designed as a modern day castle. Visitors enter the seven-storey building via the ground floor Great Hall where a 15m high glass wall gives spectacular views across the water. They then move into to the Auditorium to see the highly acclaimed, giant screen film 'Legend of Loch Lomond' some scenes being shot at Inversnaid.

They can then make their way to the top of the tower to the viewing gallery to enjoy the wonderful panorama across Loch Lomond to Ben Lomond in the distance.

Also in the complex is a selection of shops and an excellent visitor centre with details of the newly formed Loch Lomond National Park.

To complete this new day excursion there will be a loch cruise that departs from the Lomond Shores jetty. For many years we have included cruises in the northern part of the loch, but we are delighted that we can now show our guests the picturesque southern waters where most of the lochside castles and stately homes were built.

We are sure that this new addition to our itineraries will provide a memorable day for our guests.

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