Loch Lomond and the Trassachs National Park

ImageLoch Lomond (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


Our first conscious event (meaning after jet lag left our weary bodies!) in Scotland took us to Loch Lomond, deep in the Trassachs National Park.  We loaded onto a little boat that took us on a peaceful, circular route around the banks of this freshwater loch.  Loch Lomond is considered the boundary between the lowlands of Central Scotland and highlands.  We sipped coffee laced with Scottish whiskey and enjoyed the stories shared through speakers by the captain as we stood on the upper deck in the misty rain.


ImageMisty Peaks (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


The story I enjoyed most was about the popular song, “The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.”  Everyone knows this particular lyric, “you take the high road and I’ll take the low road and I’ll be in Scotland before ya.”  The song was published in 1841 but its author is unknown.  The poet Andrew Lang wrote a poem based on the lyrics later in 1876.  The poem, and likely song, reference the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebellion and the subsequent hanging of his supporters.


ImageThe Caretaker’s Cabin (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


“The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond”

“By yon bonnie banks an’ by yon bonnie braes

Whaur the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond

Whaur me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomon’.


O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road

And Ah’ll be in Scotlan’ afore ye

Fir me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomon’.


‘Twas there that we perted in yon shady glen

On the steep, steep sides o’ Ben Lomon’

Whaur in (soft) purple hue, the hielan hills we view

An’ the moon comin’ oot in the gloamin’.


The wee birdies sing an’ the wild flouers spring

An’ in sunshine the waters are sleeping

But the broken heart it kens, nae second spring again

Tho’ the waeful may cease frae their greeting.”



Banks of Loch Lomond (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


There are several interpretations of the lyrics but the one given to us by our guide matches this version: “Attributing the song to a Jacobite Highlander captured after the 1745 rising. The Hanoverian British victors were known to play cruel games on the captured Jacobites, and would supposedly find a pair of either brothers or friends and tell them one could live and the other would be executed, and it was up to the pair to decide. Thus the interpretation here is that the song is sung by the brother or friend who chose or was chosen to die. He is therefore telling his friend that they will both go back to Scotland, but he will go on the ‘low road’ or that of the dead, and be home first. Another supporting feature of this is that he states he will never meet his love again in the temporal world, on Loch Lomond. Some believe that this version is written entirely to a lover who lived near the loch.”  (Wikipedia)    


ImageIsland on the Loch (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


This experience was so delightful that I couldn’t imagine Scotland getting any better.  But it did.  Oh, it did. 



  1. Lovely story about the Loch, Debi. My wife and I don’t have a lot of travel plans, but one is Scotland. Your photos match perfectly the tone of the lament. It great to hear from you and glad your safe and sound.

    1. Thank you, Bruce. Scotland had been on my travel list for quite some time – wish I hadn’t waited so long. Scotland is an amazing place. I’m still floating. Met a lot of Canadians on my journey, too.

  2. Wow! Debi…just beautiful!! I love your eye…it looks like you catch the photo exactly the way I would want to see it!! I tried to click on your other post about not being to upload photos and it said there was a 404 error…no post. Looks like you found your way…I pray you will have ease with the rest of your uploads. Love to you! 😉

    1. I found a way to post by going through some back door in WordPress. If the problem continues I’ll try to contact someone for I’d much prefer going through the FRONT door. Much easier. Anyway, thanks for your sweet note! I love the way you phrased that – “you catch the photo exactly the way I would want to see it.” Wow – I love that! Thanks again!

      1. It’s true!!
        I often have strange little glitches with WordPress. Never had trouble posting. My stuff usually just suddenly starts working again…?
        So happy you are back. I am in NJ now so we will have to do a sunrise together again!

      2. Deal! I’m finally over the jet lag and exhaustion. Took longer this time…maybe age had something to do with it. Gulp! When you get back we’ll plan a sunrise photo shoot.

      3. I’m in NJ for the summer (sunrise is earlier here!!!) So get settled (age has absolutely nothing to do with it…hehe) and let’s compare South (?) Carolina to NJ…In a week or two…If u r “up” for it 🙂

      4. Honey, I’m game! It’s North Carolina, so NC and NJ sunrises R Us. Actually, Cosmos brought up an interesting point the other night. The sun doesn’t actually “rise” and “set” as it’s us that’s doing the moving. What shall we call it, then? Shall we come up with a new name for “sunrise?”

  3. The sights are fantastic Debi! Great photos! I’d love to go to Scotland! Thanks for the tour!
    Note: I didn’t get any whiskey! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much. I found the narrative about that song interesting because it was so obscure. Who thinks about that song and where it came from? What it means? Anyway, the song and loch really match each other in feel and measure. Thank you again for your kind comment!

  4. Very beautiful, Debi. Such a treasure to see Scotland through your eyes. Hey, check out my blog, I nominated you for something!

    1. The caretaker is single, Gaelyn. There was lots of conversation about that on the boat. He monitors wildlife and flora in the area and works with various agencies. Didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him, though. What a luscious locale, eh? I would love it, too. What a view.

  5. I love lakes! Your photos are amazing! I’m glad to visit your blog, thanks to Lorrie 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s