A to Z Abroad: Aberfoyle

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Scotland is probably best known for rugged green hills and feisty, warm-hearted people. I was lucky enough to drive through the stunning scenery of the Troussachs and gaze upon the Scottish crown jewels, but my favorite memory of Scotland is far away from the tourist traps. Hidden in the hilly folds of Stirling is the small village of Aberfoyle, where I Β found a little peace from the hustle of a guided tour.

Aberfoyle is a traditional stopover for tourists as the main road passing through the village is considered the gateway into Β the Troussachs region, Loch Lommond, and Loch Katrine. While the scenery is beautiful, the small-town charm of Aberfoyle instantly made me feel at home.

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Aberfoyle, Scotland
Photo by: c.b.w. 2006

While the rest of the tour group was herded into a tourist trap, I wandered off on my own into the central part of town. One main road runs through Aberfoyle and it is the artery that connects everything from a Scottish Tourism Office to a stationary shop and grocer.

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Downtown Aberfoyle
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

My grumbling stomach lead me straight through the doors of small corner deli. In this unassuming building, they make the best sandwiches known to man. Turkey, tomato, and cucumber were all stuffed artfully into two slices of freshly baked bread. For dessert, I treated myself to a three layer biscuit of caramel, chocolate, and graham cracker crust.

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Home of the best sandwich ever!
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

Aside from small-town charm, Aberfoyle has the added bonus of offering a nice place to picnic. I took my lunch stream side and enjoyed the natural beauty of the Scottish countryside. My tour group was probably hanging out in a restaurant and I couldn’t help but think they were really missing out on the real Aberfoyle.

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A lovel picnic view in Aberfoyle
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

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A souvenir better than a postcard!
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

It’s been eight years and I still think about Aberfoyle and that sandwich, (yes, it really was that good). This small town should definitely be on the radar if you’re ever in Scotland – just remember to ditch the tourist traps and indulge in a little local flavor instead.

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Part of the A to Z Challenge!

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c.b.w. 2013

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58 thoughts on “A to Z Abroad: Aberfoyle

  1. Jemima Pett

    Oh to be in the Trossachs, now that spring is just around the corner! Aberfoyle is also extremely useful for a public convenience in the car park – very handy for when I’m travelling back to England from the wilds of Mull πŸ™‚ Have fun with your A to Z – looking forward to more delights!

    Jemima at Jemima’s blog

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  2. Wow what a wonderful adventure you chose. I know one day, after the kids are out on their own my wife and I will join the traveling cadre. I hope we can strike off on our own and not get shoe horned into the usual tourists traps like you have. Looking forward to seeing more of your A to Z posts.

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    • I went on tour groups for two years and have since sworn off of them. I was always wondering off, anyway! I guess I was born to be an independent traveler!

      Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

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  3. This place looks beautiful! I always like to avoid the tourist traps as well. I like trying more authentic food and visiting hidden gems. Thanks for sharing this. I would love to visit Scotland!

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    • For the last 10 years of travel, I’ve made it a point to avoid the main road and well trod paths. πŸ™‚ The famous sites are nice, but its the hidden gems I’m anxious to experience.

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  4. Super pictures. It’s years since I’ve been along that road. Now the SO has retired and we no longer have to go in school holidays we’ll have to take a trip – if I can get time off. πŸ™‚
    Good luck with B-Z

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  5. This is lovely, and reminds me of the years, pre-children, that my husband and lived and worked at the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, and Yellowstone.

    This is a lovely post filled with gorgeous images and details. It makes me long even more to get to Europe…perhaps, in a few years , when the children require less support, financially.

    Until then, posts like this are delightful! =)

    Thanks for the visit, the tour, and the sandwich!

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    • I hope you enjoy the rest of my virtual global tour! And I do hope you make it to Europe soon. I’ve always believed the places we want to go are one decision away from becoming reality. πŸ™‚

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  6. I’ve never really traveled abroad but have always wanted to visit Scotland. Your photos are great and really capture the simplicity of the town you stumbled across. Your dessert sounds delicious!

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    • Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚ Yes, that dessert was amazing. I’m still trying to find a recipe to make something similar.

      Scotland is great first trip out of the country. It’s easy to get around the people are really welcoming to visitors.

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  7. susanscottsa

    CB that was a lovely post thank you and had me drooling a bit at the sandwich and cake. Many of us here in South Africa have Scottish heritage and I yearn to go back. Your photographs do Aberfoyle proud.
    How come I found this only today – i.e. 2nd April? Hope to see the ‘B’ up anon ..

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    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you stopped by!

      I think there might be a slight delay due to international distance. I get posts from the UK and other parts of the world a bit early, because I’m on the West coast of the U.S. πŸ™‚

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  8. I am going to enjoy reading your blogs, this month, and living vicariously in all the wonderful places you have visited! I will mention Aberfoyle to my dear friend who will be visiting Scotland later this year. I hope she’ll have room in her suitcase for me! πŸ™‚

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    • There are so many places to go! At the top of my list is Egypt (my personal and professional interest in certain periods of ancient Egypt play a central role in this dream destination). I’d like to explore Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe, too. πŸ™‚ Next summer, I’m planning on a trip to the Netherlands.

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