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St Fillans on Loch Earn: The Complete Visitor’s Guide

St Fillans on Loch Earn: The Complete Visitor’s Guide

St Fillans is a small gorgeous village on the eastern shores of the picturesque Loch Earn. Certainly, if you’re visiting Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, you’ll want to include a visit to St Fillans and Loch Earn as part of your itinerary. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about visiting St Fillans on Loch Earn. This will include information about things to do in St Fillans as well as things to do in nearby Lochearnhead, which is another quaint village found at the opposite end of Loch Earn.

A Loch Lomond cruise is a wonderful experience. Make sure to do a Loch Lomond Cruise during your visit to the national park.

About St Fillans: History

St Fillans is one of Soctland’s most breathtaking villages. Located at the eastern end of Loch Earn, the village is beautifully positioned, overlooking the scenic loch. The village itself is small; but, bursting with charm and character.

In the 18th century, the village was formerly known as Port of Lochearn or Meikleport. In 1817, the clachan (a small settlement), was renamed St. Fillans by Lord Gwydyr, the husband of Clementina Drummond, who was heiress to the Drummond Estate. So, where did that name originate? Well, it’s believed that the Irish missionary Saint Fillan lived on St Fillans Hill (AKA Dundurn Fort) – the site of a Pictish hillfort. It was Saint Fillan who helped join the Gaels and Picts, in Christianity, paving the way for a united Scotland.

More people visited the village with the introduction of the railway between Crieff and Lochearnhead in the early 20th century. Since then, St Fillans has become a popular lochside getaway and resort village.

Views of Loch Earn from St Fillans
Views of Loch Earn from St Fillans

Where Is St Fillans?

It’s located near Comrie on the eastern border of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Scotland.

St Fillans Map

To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map showing the location of the village.

A screenshot of a map of St Fillans

Plan Your Visit to St Fillans

There are plenty of nice things to do in St Fillans. Below, you’ll find information about the best walks in the area, the best things to do in the village and the best ways to experience the stunning Loch Earn.

Best St Fillans Walks

Let’s talk about the must-know walks in St Fillans, starting with the St Fillans Viewpoint Walk.

Dan looks towards Loch Earn during the walk to Ben Vorlich
Views of Loch Earn during the walk to Ben Vorlich

St Fillans Viewpoint (East Creagh Mhor)

The St Fillans Viewpoint Walk (AKA the East Creagh Mhor Walk) starts from the Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans. You’ll then follow a series of trails to reach a magnificent viewpoint, featuring a wooden table, that looks over the length of Loch Earn.

There is a circular option as well as a shorter out and back option.

Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin

Positioned south of Loch Earn, Ben Vorlich is one of the most awesome Munros to bag. By doing an extended walk from Ben Vorlich, you can also bag another Munro – Stuc a’ Chroin. Beck and I rate this double Munro walk as one of the best in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Read more: Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin – The Ultimate Walking Guide

Dan looks at Stuc a' Chroin from Ben Vorlich
Views of Stuc a’ Chroin from Ben Vorlich

Other Things to Do in St Fillans

Other than walking, there are plenty of other things to do in and around St Fillans. Of course, the main attraction of the village is Loch Earn – a glorious 10.5km (6.5 mile) long loch.

Loch Earn

Basically, a visit to St Fillans goes hand in hand with a visit to Loch Earn. Interestingly, the loch is the source of the River Earn, which winds its way to join the River Tay, which is Scotland’s longest river. Other than admiring the views of the lovely lake, there are many watersports and other water-based activities to enjoy at Loch Earn.

Dan at Loch Earn, near St Fillans and Lochearnhead
Loch Earn

Loch Earn Watersports and Fishing

Crieff Hyrdo is a popular company running most of the watersports at Loch Earn. The activities on offer include paddleboarding, kayaking, e-surfing and pedalo hire. Loch Earn is also a popular place for fishing brown and rainbow trout. You can get fishing licences from several local shops in St Fillans.

Neish Island

Neish Island is a tiny island located within Loch Earn. From the shores of Loch Earn, it’s difficult to see the ruins of a castle. Perhaps, you’ll need to kayak your way over to explore further.

Neish Island, on Loch Earn, seen from St Fillans near Lochearnhead
Neish Island

St Fillans Village Store

The charming St Fillans Village Store and Coffee Shop opened in 1885 and has been serving customers ever since. Make sure to visit the delightful village store and enjoy a hot beverage from The Kitchen.

River Earn Bridge

The River Earn Bridge is one of the most popular places to scope out views of the splendid Loch Earn. Near the bridge, you’ll find families hanging out and swimming in the river. There’s also a useful information board near the bridge, and, also a private car park, meant for village store customers.

Beck walks across the River Earn Bridge in St Fillans, near Loch Earn and Lochearnhead

Dundurn Church

The Dundurn Church is a lovely church found in the village and certainly worth visiting. Indeed, it’s one of the prettiest churches in this part of Scotland.

Dundun Church in St Fillans

Lochearnhead

Located on the western edge of Loch Earn, you’ll find the village of Lochearnhead. Although not as pretty as St Fillans, Lochearnhead is definitely still a beautiful village to explore. Lochearnhead also offers plenty in the way of watersports. Found at the Clachan Cottage Hotel, the Loch Earn Wakeschool offers wakeboarding, waterskiing, paddleboarding and kayaking.

After spending time on the water, you’ll then need to head to the Clachan Cottage Hotel for a drink and a bite to eat.

FYI – Lochearnhead is one of the locations where the famous Highland Games takes place.

Views of Loch Earn from Lochearnhead
Views of Loch Earn from Lochearnhead

BLiSS Trail

The BLiSS trail, found in Breadlbane, is an approx. 50km cycling/driving culture trail. The trail features many art installations and roadside sculptures. As an acronym, BLiSS stands for the towns which are connected by the walk – Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans. Most people finish the trail in St Fillans and spend time relaxing in the village afterwards. In St Fillans, you’ll find the Fish Out of Water sculpture opposite Achray House.

How to Get to St Fillans

The quickest and easiest way to get to St Fillans is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars for reasonable prices. The website is user-friendly and booking online is super easy.

When it comes to parking; unfortunately, there aren’t many options. Because we visited the village store, we were able to use their private car park. Given the lack of parking in the town, this may be one of your best options. Of course, if you’re staying in one of the hotels in the village, you’ll be able to use their private parking.

Public Transport

You can get to St Fillans using public transport. From Glasgow or Edinburgh, you’ll first need to get to Stirling. From Stirling, there are many options. You can either travel to the St Fillans via Callander or Crieff. We recommend using Google Maps and Trainline to help plan your journey using public transport.

Overall, the journey time to St Fillans from Glasgow or Edinburgh could be around five hours. Indeed, in a car, it’ll be much quicker and easier to get to the village.

St Fillans Hotels

The village has many beautiful accommodation options. Despite being a small village without an exhaustive list of accommodation options, there are still some absolutely gorgeous places to stay.

The standout accommodation options in the village are Achray House and The Four Seasons Hotel. At either of these highly-rated St Fillans hotels, you’re guaranteed an excellent stay. But, specifically at Achray House, you’ll enjoy dazzling views of Loch Earn, whilst the hotel features fabulous decor and offers a mean full Scottish breakfast.

Beck at Achray House in St Fillans
Achray House

If you can’t find accommodation in St Fillans, then we recommend staying in Lochearnhead. The best accommodation option in Lochearnhead is the Clachan Cottage Hotel.

Clachan Cottage Hotel, Lochearnhead
Clachan Cottage Hotel

St Fillans Camping

Loch Earn is a popular place for wild camping, especially on the south edge of the loch. Although, please bear in mind, that between March and September, you’ll need a camping permit to stay in areas that fall under a Camping Management Zone.

Facilities at St Fillans

Other than being a popular destination for holidaymakers, the village has its own thriving local community. In the village, you’ll find a care home, school, pharmacy, medical centre and golf club. In terms of places to eat, the village store, Achray House and The Four Seasons Hotel all provide great meal options.

Fun Fact About St Fillans

According to local folklore, there is a rock, located near Dubdurn Fort that is occupied by fairies!

What to Do Nearby

What next, after visiting St Fillans, Loch Earn and Lochearnhead? Not far from Loch Earn, you’ll find the equally impressive Loch Lubnaig. Beck and I visited Loch Lubnaig after visiting St Fillans and highly recommend it.

Read more: Loch Lubnaig – The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Read more: Loch Lomond Walks – The 26 Best Walks in Loch Lomond

Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

Bonus Tips

  • Best time to visit: the best months for visiting Scotland are during summer or either side of summer (May to October). Specifically, the locals will tell you that the best St Fillans weather is in May and June. Indeed, the middle of the year brings with it long hours of daylight as well as warmer and dryer weather. But, this is Scotland, so anything is possible really. For an accurate forecast of Loch Earn weather, we recommend heading to the MET Office.
  • Loch Earn fishing: head to the Drummond Estate Boat Hire on the northern edge of Loch Earn for boat hire and information about fishing.
  • Spend the weekend: there are plenty of things to do in and around this gorgeous village. Why not spend the weekend or longer? Indeed, this village would also be a great base for exploring more of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

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Daniel Piggott

Physiotherapist turned travel blogger, Dan is a keen hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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