Industry Toolkit

Sense of Place Toolkit Section 4: Themes to Share


  1. Dramatic Natural Landscapes and Views
  2. Coast, Water, Lochs
  3. Towns and Villages
  4. Local Food and Drink
  5. Wildlife and Nature
  6. The Great Outoors

Key Themes and Ideas for Sharing Them

This section brings together what could be considered some of the most unique features of Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs.

Presented in themes, these are by no means exhaustive, and cannot all be covered here, but those listed are offered as ways to:

  • Inspire tourism and hospitality businesses to identify and understand the area's key assets
  • Provide ideas for promoting and communicating these assets to visitors via different activities and channels
  • Highlight some best practice examples from businesses in the area for further inspiration

1. Dramatic Natural Landscapes and Views

Natural Assets

The scenic and dramatic beauty which draws visitors to the area includes the diverse landscapes of Scotland’s first National Park, with its forests, mountains, lochs, waterfalls and romantic and tranquil spaces, and the fact that theLoch Lomond and Trossachs area brings together the best of Highland and Lowland Scotland. The Clyde Sea Lochs adds to these features, from the stunning Arrochar Alps and The Cobbler, to coastal trails and the glacial Fjord of Loch Long, not forgetting historic built heritage and the gateways to Dumbarton and the Clyde.

Ideas for Sharing 

Focus on the following to share with visitors, online and offline:

  • Best spots for stunning views
  • Interesting facts about the landscape – hills, forests, water, lochs, coastlines, beaches
  • Photos capturing the seasons – spring flowers, autumn colours
  • Blog posts of top ten views, best places to see sunsets, changing seasons
  • Videos or vlogs celebrating local views
  • Customer reviews with their own tips/recommendations
  • Social media posts sharing stunning views on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Encourage guests/customers to share their views on social media, tagging your business or using a dedicated hashtag, such as #lochlomond


Wee Hills with Big Views

11 Views to Take Your Breath Away

Seven Wonderful Waterfalls

Scenic Routes Viewpoints

Video - Love Loch Lomond Landscapes

Video Blogs from the National Park

Loch Lomond Trossachs Area Fact File

Did you know....?

The National Park has 21 Munros (mountains over 3000ft / 914m) and 19 Corbetts (between 2,500ft and 3,000ft / 762m and 914m).

Top Tip

Create your own content using the free tools listed in Section 1, such as the VisitScotland digital media library, photo editing tools, and free templates from Canva to enhance social media posts and newsletters.

Further information and resources

The Digital Tourism Scotland topic library has lots of practical examples including webinars and case studies, of how to use social media to show off your area's natural assets. 

2. Coast, Water, Lochs

Lochs and Gems

Water in its many forms, the immensity of loch and landscape in Loch Lomond, a multitude of beautiful islands...all captivating features for visitors. The pretty coastline of the Clyde Sea Lochs, and numerous stunning lochs in the National Park including Loch Katrine, Loch Long, Loch Earn and Loch Lubnaig, only serve to enhance the offering for visitors, while remaining easy to access from Glasgow and central Scotland.

Ideas for Sharing

  • Interesting facts about the history of the lochs, natural habitat and wildife which can be found within/nearby.
  • Ways to explore and experience lochs: water-based activities such as boat trips, watersports.
  • Maps, guides and trails for access points to lochs from various towns and villages.
  • Timetables and access points for seasonal Waterbus services.
  • Best spots for viewing waterfalls, top tens, blog posts and stunning photos.
  • Highlight tours and cruises which combine more than one loch, or combine other activities such as walking and cycling.
  • How to access guided trails such as the Clyde Sea Lochs Trail, where to start, what means of transport.
  • Encourage visitors to share their favourite water-based experiences, lochs, falls and coastal points.


Water-based activities

Water-bus services (seasonal, timetable updated annually)

7 Wonderful Waterfalls

Loch Lomond Trossachs Park Wonders

Two Lochs Tour Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine History

Did you know....?

Loch Lomond is 623 ft / 190m deep at its deepest point in the north and contains an estimated 92,805 million cubic feet (2628 cubic m.) of water. It also has the largest surface area of any Scottish loch. Loch Lomond is 5 miles (8km) across, at its widest point to the south of the Highland Boundary Fault that runs through the loch. In its northern section it narrows considerably, to less than a mile across (c. 1.2km). The loch is 24 miles (39km) long.

Top Tip

For more fascinating facts about the features and assets of the area, check out the Facts File on the Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs website.

Further information and resources

Find more useful information from:

Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

Love Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond Trossachs National Park

3. Towns and Villages

Explore towns and villages

Loch Lomond, the Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs offer interesting towns and villages to explore, from Balloch, the Gateway to the National Park, to the East, West and North Villages, rural Drymen and Gartocharn, and Victorian town of Helensburgh, part of the Clyde Sea Lochs Trail. Offer guests a compelling reason to visit and suggest trails, itineraries and tours, activities and opportunities for them to get the best experience.

Ideas for Sharing

  • Highlight what to see and do in towns and villages  - what's best for shopping, pubs, eating out, exploring.
  • Recommend local markets, festivals and events, and key information for how visitors can access them.
  • Help visitors with information about how to explore by car, by bike, public transport and the waterbus.
  • Share opportunities for visitors to make connections with locals or experience events such as Highland Games


Towns and Villages - National Park

Towns and Villages - Love Loch Lomond

Park Gateways

Download a Map from the National Park

Download the Love Loch Lomond Visitor Leaflet and Map

Visitor Centres

Did you know...?

Balmaha is a small village on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond and an essential stop for West Highland Way walkers. It's also home to the National Park Visitor Centre and an excellent base for climbing Conic Hill and exploring the island.

4. Local Food and Drink

Local Delicacies

Food and drink is inextricably linked to Scotland’s natural environment – our rural landscapes and coastal areas – and making connections to this will help visitors to develop a strong sense of place. Sampling local food and drink is an important part of the visitor experience, and this visitor trend continues to grow and develop. Visitors are seeking authentic experiences and the opportunity to try and buy local products. 

Ideas for Celebrating and Supporting Local Food

  • Promote local products in menus: in cafes, pubs and restaurants, breakfasts in B&B's, welcome packs in self-catering properties
  • Display the origins of local food and drink on your website, on menus, list and profile local suppliers
  • Highlight regular food events and farmers' markets to visitors 
  • Make recommendations for local places to eat and shop
  • Offer picnics and hampers to guests going on walks and daytrips
  • Share recipes using local produce or which connect to the stories and culture of the area
  • Give guests information on opportunities for food foraging and guided food walks and activities


Forest Holidays Picnic Butler

Inver Breakfast Hamper deliveries to guests staying in their bothies

The Oak Tree Inn website Food Map and Loch Lomond Coffee

Producers in the National Park

Love Loch Lomond Food and Drink Listing 

Businesses participating in the Taste our Best Quality Assurance scheme, such as La Barca and Knockderry House Hotel.

Did you know....?

When on holiday in Scotland, 43% of our visitors speak to the locals to guide and influence their choice of places to eat out. Accommodation providers are also used to help choose places to eat (25% sought personal advice from their accommodation provider, 13% used the accommodation room pack and 9% used other leaflets at the accommodation). (VisitScotland, 2017).

Top Tip

There are lots of ways to showcase local food and drink suppliers, from listing them on your website and creating recipes featuring their products, writing blogs recommending favourite places to eat, creating a Twitter list of suppliers and restaurants, or sharing photos and tagging them on Facebook and Instagram.

Further information and resources

Scotland's Larder

Taste Our Best Scheme

5. Wildlife and Nature

Natural Treasures

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park has abundant wildlife present in its woodlands, mountains, lochs and glens and rocky coastline of its sea lochs. There are four distinctive areas of the National Park – Loch LomondCowalThe Trossachs and Breadalbane.Exploring the Loch Lomond and Clyde Sea Lochs area, visitors are drawn to its dramatic mountains, natural woodland, unspoilt wetland and open waters. 

Ideas for sharing

  • Share information about natural habitats and species.
  • Recommend a local nature guide or tours where visitors can experience wildlife.
  • Highlight seasonal specialities - the National Park and RSPB Loch Lomond offer a range of activities.
  • Keep a nature logbook next to your guestbook so that visitors know what to look for.
  • Link to relevant web content on the main destination organisations in your area
  • Encourage birds and nature into your own garden and show your guests - videos and webcams are a great way to capture nocturnal visitors!
  • Provide maps and nature books onsite, or downloadable maps and trails on your website.
  • Promote activities by local organisations such as the National Park, Forestry Commission, National Trust for Scotland and RSPB.


Wildlife and Nature in the National Park

RSPB Loch Lomond Reserve

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre

Explore Nature with Friends of Loch Lomond Trossachs 

Wild Park 2020

Forest Holidays Strathyre have created compelling website content around the local wildlife  which guests can spot, from blogs about Pine Martens to creative games for children, plus a Forestipedia blog resource covering nature and wildlife in general.

Did you know...?

The island of Inchcailloch is just five minutes away by ferry and well worth visiting. Birdlife flourishes on the island and in the summer, includes species such as blackcap, willow warbler and chiff chaff. You may also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the fallow deer that live on the island.

Top Tip

The RSPB Loch Lomond Reserve website has a great list of wildlife spotting opportunities by season, and much more, including events such as guided nature walks.

6. The Great Outoors

Trails and Adventures

The diverse landscape of mountains, hills, forests, glens, lochs, coastline and rugged terrain offers an outdoors paradise. Long distance trails, some of which can be done in sections, or accessed partly by public transport, are hugely popular, including the Three Lochs Way and The John Muir Way.

The West Highland Way attracts visitors from all over the world, with many of the area's accommodation providers based in and around access points for the West Highland Way.

Ideas for Sharing

  • Promote your proximity to a recognised trail or outdoors activity and make this clear and accessible on your website and all marketing collateral.
  • Partner with other local businesses on the route/trail to double the chances of exposure, and cross-sell the benefits for visitors.
  • Team up with local activity providers to offer cruises, guided walks, and other outdoors activities for your guests.
  • Make trails and maps available to your visitors - tap into opportunities offered by the trails themselves to promote them  - such as toolkits.
  • Promote local access, opportunities to leave the car and get out and walk, cycle, sail, take a cruise or learn a new activity in the outdoors
  • Take advantage of familiarisation trips offered by local operators, agencies or destination organisations to improve your knowledge of the area.


The West Highland Way

The Three Lochs Way

The John Muir Way

Video: Outdoors Adventures

Outdoors Adventures

Things to See and Do

8 Great Outdoors Activities for Families

Did you know...?

SUPs – Stand Up Paddleboarding – is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in Scotland and there are plenty of places to try it out in and around Loch Lomond, with activity operators to help you enjoy it safely.

Top Tip

There are lots of ways to learn more about the outdoors and experience nature. Check out the resources from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park for more ideas.

Further information and resources

Outdoor Learning in the National Park

Related Resources

Sense of Place Toolkit Section 5: Ways to Explore