I think the hardest for me living lockdown life was that feeling that you can't leave your area and go to the trip to a new place you never been before. Not to mention that Scotland is very rich on absolutely fantastic spots and extremely picturesque walks trails and hiking routes. We even found a couple of gorgeous spots around our area that I will make another blogpost about soon.
So since last week restriction on parking and staying local for recreational purposes were lifted and I took that chance to escape to the forest. Despite summer and relatively warm weather, it was a rainy day with fog and no winds what making Scottish forests look even more enhanced and magical. I also had my own interest in going to this specific route in Queen Elisabeth Forest Park. I'll tell you later ;)
Aberfoyle cottages on the way to the walking trail near Loch Ard
I have a little hobby and something to cheer up me a bit when needed - I open Google maps and Pinterest and starting to browse spots to go around Scotland. I think I have over 500 spots by now in my bookmarks. Here is a Pintrest board I am keeping some inspiration for travelings. And this daytrip was my birthday escape (lucky me to get restrictions lifted right for my birthday!) and I wanted to see something arty and something natural same time. So Loch Ard Sculpture trail came as a good idea to do both.
Ghost mirror foxes (this what i was looking particularly for, but the other part of this project is completely in different place as we figured out later) by Rob Mulholland
Another one sculpture from trail
Just forest. Its a nice trail, no much steep hills, we done a loop marked red on the map (paper copies available there for free at the stand at forest car park)
Some gifts from nature. This was my other reason to go to this forest - to collect blueberries for home made jam! The mushroom turned to be not edible, however just look how beautiful it is!
Boat houses on the way back from trail
10 minutes drove from Loch Ard car park you may find another scenic spot - Little Fawn waterfall accessible from The Lodge forest visitor center (where you also can park for £3 per day, this car park still wasn't working at beginning of July 2020, but there is a tiny free one before the main gates). Waterfall is 10 minutes walk downhill from visitor center, very nice clean path with some sculptures and playgrounds along the way (we haven't used them as it still not permitted tho)
View from visitor center
When nature taking over human's spot
The Little Fawn Waterfall
An here is what i was looking for originally! The Ghost figures of Vestige project by Rob Mulholland. Its very strange experience to notice a human shape out of sight while you walking through woods. And when you trying to spot a decent shape and see a person - your vision is tricked by silhouette of a human and reflective surface. It making you watch as much as you can but not to see what your brain is expected. A proper modern art experience worth to check! I will not tell where is the sculptures exactly, its better for you to discover them on your way by yourself.
Loch Ard and Lodge forest making a nice day trip destination for any weather. I don't think there are many people there in usual times, so worth to go if you like to be around trees more than around people.