Tourists in the Trossachs

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Not long afterwards the American poet Nathaniel P. Willis (1806-67) was bemoaning the ‘cockneyfication’ of Loch Lomondside, and Lord Cockburn and Carlyle were describing the excesses to which they were subjected in the Trossachs. It was not that the Scots weren't welcoming - they rapidly developed a reputation for unrivalled hospitality - nor was it that they weren't proud of what the tourists came to see. They objected, as they still object, when they were overwhelmed, and the majority of Scots objected, as they still object, to the distorted image of Scotland and things Scottish which the visitors took away with them. 

These images can be attributed, in part, to Scott, who saw to it that the Royal Visit of 1822 revived the Tartan and romanticised it.  In part it can also be attributed to a minor Scottish novelist, James Grant (1822-87), who was closely connected with the first stirrings of Nationalism in Scotland, and was the author of the first of the now ubiquitous clan and tartan guides to the country. Queen Victoria and her offspring mortified many Scots by reinventing Scottish life,   defining Scotland with a sentimental enthusiasm for some Highland history, for kilts and shortbread, and so on. All of this acted as rather a false prospectus which nevertheless brought many tourists to Scotland. 

On 4 August 1845 he arranged accommodation for a party to travel from Leicester to Liverpool. In 1846, he took 350 people from Leicester on a tour of Scotland, however his lack of commercial ability led him to bankruptcy.

The Trossachs Tour was one of the objects of one of the first excursions organised by Thomas Cook in 1846. 'Tourism', as opposed to 'travel', can be said to have begun then. By the middle of the nineteenth century, tourism was being satirised by Rev Edward Bradley (as 'Cuthbert Bede') in Travels in Tartan Land (1862).

able to return to Glasgow, or Stirling, or Edinburgh, having enjoyed what the North British Railway's handbook described as 'the most entrancing single day's journey in the two hemispheres.'

However, the height of tourist kitch may well have been reached at the Imperial International Exhibition in London in 1909. After the success of an Irish Village in an earlier Exhibition, Aberfoyle, or a crass imitation of it, was re-built at White City. 

Yet as much good as bad can be said about tourism.