Caroline Quentin’s National Parks: The Actress visits Loch Lomond in the first of this three part series
In this new series, Caroline Quentin visits three of the country’s most popular National Parks to celebrate some of the areas of outstanding natural beauty that are right on our doorstep. During the series, Caroline will meet the extraordinary people who live and work in the Parks and witnesses some of the incredible wildlife that roams free. In doing so, she begins to appreciate why so many people choose to visit these spectacular National Parks.
In the first episode, Caroline travels to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, located in the South-West of Scotland. The park is an area steeped in the very best of Scottish lochs, scenery, wildlife and history. It’s the largest national park in Scotland, stretching over 700 square miles.
Caroline enjoys a trip by sea-plane over Loch Lomond so she can appreciate the breathtaking views in style. Loch Lomond itself is just one of 22 lochs in the park but it’s by far the largest and the deepest. The Trossachs in the park’s name refers to the area of glens and hills off to the east. Caroline is stunned by the beautiful landscape commenting that “it’s quite epic actually isn’t it, the scenery. One moment it looks quite domestic and quite small and the next minute it’s really quite grand and it takes your breath away.”
Inveraray Castle is on the outskirts of the park and hosts an annual Highland Games every July. The games are an opportunity for the community to come together and take part in traditional events that celebrate all things Scottish. After enjoying a meal of local delicacies, Caroline watches the Scottish dancing contest where girls as young as six compete for a medal. The caber tossing world championships are also held at Inveraray and Caroline gets a lesson from four times world champion Steven King. Caroline says of the caber tossing, “this is the most horrible thing I’ve ever done, it’s really frightening, and I’ve done some quite scary things. Because when you’re looking up it give you vertigo, it’s incredibly heavy.”
Caroline later agrees to spend the night with a group of volunteers who are monitoring the bats on Inchcailloch, one of the loch’s most picturesque islands. Caroline keeps watch with the team using a bat detector and is surprised by how enjoyable she finds the task, “what’s incredible, is that standing here, in the dark and the quiet, with a load of people I’ve never met before is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done.” The following morning Caroline enjoys the beautiful views from the island for a moment of quiet reflection. Caroline then helps the Park Rangers tag a roost of tiny three-week old owl chicks, as part of a project to protect the barn owl population
Caroline continues to throw herself into every aspect of life in the stunning National park and joins a wild swimming enthusiast for a dip in Loch Lomand, in the torrential rain. As she braves the icy cold water in her wetsuit, Caroline admit, “I was slightly dreading this, I have to be honest, but now I’m in, it’s incredibly invigorating, and the water is so clear and so beautiful.” Before bidding farewell to the park, there is just time for Caroline to put on her dancing shoes to take part in the liveliest of Ceilidhs.
Caroline Quentin’s National parks begins tonight on ITV at 8pm
Leave Your Comments Below.