Loch Katrine is of course a reservoir constructed as part of a cutting edge water works project by Fredrick Bateman completed in 1859. The Victoriana weekend - September 17th and 18th is to celebrate and marvel at the technology and Victorian legacy in the area and fingers crossed, even inspire a new generation of steam enthusiasts!
The Steamship Sir Walter Scott was built in 1899 by William Denny Brothers Limited (ship number 623 from the yard) and transported to Stronachlacher to service the Stronachlacher – Trossachs Pier route on Loch Katrine allowing Victorian Tourists, inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s vivid descriptions of the scenery and goings on around the loch, to experience them for themselves.
The steamer is still running the triple expansion steam engine fitted to the vessel in 1899. The triple expansion engine was at the cutting edge of Victorian design and technology at the time and is still one of the most efficient types of steam engine. Visitors can watch the engine from above, seeing the three cylinders pushing the crank round at 85 rpm, giving about 8 knots of forward speed.
We are not going to spoil this picture with too much detail, people can come to the loch and see for themselves, a trip on the steamer is narrated highlighting the history of the loch, area, water works project, illicit whisky making and the steamer itself.
A trip on the loch works all your senses - the sights and smells of the engine and loch side and the lack of sound from the engine, the steamer is quiet enough to catch out unsuspecting canoeists. A Rob Roy Special (hot chocolate with brandy) helps keep the breeze away whilst enjoying the surroundings.
As Loch Katrine is also home to The Scottish Steamboat Association there is likely to be some smaller steamers on the loch following the SS Sir Walter Scott around – a bit like a swan with cygnets in tow.
There will also be a producers market on site and other steam related curiosities as well as a special guest or two.
We look forward to welcoming visitors young and old to the Steam Ship Sir Walter Scott, which has the best view in the world, where, I hope they will enjoy and learn more about the timeless legacy of the Victorians!
Fàilte gu Loch Katrine!
For local bed & breakfast accommodation visit Westerton Bed & Breakfast
The Team at Loch Katrine