The Loch Achray Hotel was originally built by the Duke of Montrose in 1868. The Duke used ‘Achray Lodge’ as a centre for hunting deer, fishing and grouse shooting. From the 1930s onwards Achray Lodge has been a hotel, allowing visitors to explore the popular Trossachs, made famous by Sir Walter Scott and his romantic novels.
Of all the people associated with the Trossachs, Sir Walter Scott is probably the most well known. Indeed, he has often been referred to as the inventor of the Trossachs, the Highlands and all that goes with them. By the end of the 1700s Scott had written several essays and ballads about the Scottish Highlands. A decade later he was finally inspired to write his greatest work "The Lady of the Lake" after a holiday to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Scott became the largest selling author in Britain and the Trossachs became universally known. Visitors flocked to the area, attracted by the charming scenery and dramatic history narrated in his works.
Amongst the visitors to the Trossachs was William Wordsworth on his grand tour of Scotland with his sister Dorothy and friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Robert Louis Stevenson, John Keats, James Hogg, Jules Verne, George Eliot and Hand Christian Anderson also visited the area to see the setting of Scott's work for themselves. However, the most important early tourists to the area were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert - both great lovers of Scott's writings. There is no doubt that this royal tour resulted in even more people visiting the Trossachs!
There has been a building in the vicinity of the present Loch Achray Hotel for a very long time - a cottage and a mill date back to the late 9th century. For many years the lands surrounding Loch Achray were known as Lochton and by the end of the Middle Ages they belonged to the Earl of Menteith. In the early 1600s Lochton was acquired by the Earl of Montrose and it was his family that was responsible for today's building. In 1868 the Duke of Montrose built Achray Lodge, the foundation stone bearing this date can still be seen in today's hotel. The Duke used Achray Lodge as a centre for hunting deer, fishing and grouse shooting.
In 1929 the lodge was sold to its tenant, Sir A. Kay Muir before the Blair family acquired the property. For a short while during the war years German prisoners of war who were billeted nearby came over to help maintain the gardens and grow food. The beautiful bridges and waterfalls over Achray water can also be attributed to two German master builders.
Since the end of the Second World War the Loch Achray Hotel has changed hands many times and various extensions were made to the original building over the years. Lochs and Glens Holidays acquired the hotel in 1988 and today the Loch Achray is a comfortable and friendly establishment. Although the hotel has undergone many changes since 1868 the surrounding countryside remains remarkably untouched except for the establishment of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.