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Celebrating 20 Years Of LETI Tourism Collaboration In "A Place For All Seasons"
November 2014 marks 20 years since the Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) was formed to promote Loch Earn as an all year round visitor destination.
By: Loch Earn Tourism Initiative Group
LETI villages lie within The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park of Scotland where Perthshire and Stirlingshire meet. Current Chair Kim Proven sees that as an advantage. “We benefit from two council regions and market ourselves across a variety of areas. Our location in Central Scotland is like a Celtic cross brooch symbolising the A84 and A85 crossroads from where our lochs, villages and services stem. We pin Perthshire, Stirlingshire, The Trossachs, Breadalbane and the foot of The Highlands together making this an ideal 365 day holiday maker and day tripper destination.”
LETI members live and work in naturally beautiful countryside including the Clan McLaren rallying cliff Creag An Tuirc above Rob Roy MacGregor’s final resting place at Balquhidder Church – a location described in Queen Victoria’s 1869 journal (Volume 58, p230) where she enters “Nothing can surpass the beauty of the spot, which overlooks Loch Voil…” - a sight that triggers the same depth of feeling from locals and international visitors today.
Wildlife is a key attraction as Hidden Glen Safaris’ owner Alan Sneddon testifies, “The popularity of BBC nature programmes proves that there are thousands of interesting seasonal animals and birds in Scotland. Most visitors want to spot golden eagles and deer during our off road Land Rover excursions though we see other creatures on route”.
LETI country is also renowned for its walking, climbing, cycling and fishing areas and twenty golf courses can be reached within an hour’s drive. Sky Sports awarded St Fillans Golf Club its ‘Ultimate Venue’ accolade during this year’s Ryder Cup. The picturesque 9 hole golf course is professional Sandy Lyle’s favourite inland course and visitors are made to feel most welcome.
Annual events like the BLS Highland Games Lochearnhead, Strathyre Music Festival, Stuc A Chroin Hill race and Monachyle MHOR Fun festival are promoted by LETI and its members. Wining and dining is another great reason to sample the area. Hospitality members offer menus for all. LETI boasts snacks and take-ways, outside catering delivery services to cottages and cabins, tea rooms with home baking, a Master Chef, Taste Our Best and AA Rosette award winning restaurants, chef owned hotels, guest beer festivals and whisky tasting nights. The newest addition to LETI adds another dimension with the Loch Earn Brewery and Hotel in St Fillans. Members look forward to promoting Loch Earn Beer and Cider when they go into production on the banks of Loch Earn next year, during Visit Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015.
Autumn and winter breaks are as popular as spring and summer for walkers and wildlife spotters. The LETI base is not an hour’s drive from the ski slopes and mountains of Glencoe. Waterfalls at Glen Ogle and Edinample are spectacular during rainy periods when ‘Loch Occasional’ makes the odd appearance near Balquhidder. Hoteliers and publicans at The Strathyre Inn and MHOR84, light fires and stoves during winter and host live music nights. Great venue’s for chatting up villagers to gain local knowledge.
LETI has achieved much within two decades. Today its business volunteers are as dedicated to continuous improvement investment as ever and they enjoy promoting collective reasons to return to the naturally beautiful “Place For All Seasons”, that they are proud to share.