New tourist guide puts Luss in the spotlight
A KEEN hiker and history buff has set up a new heritage tour business to show off the beauty of the area.
Gerena Sumen has spent many hours at the Mitchell Library and Dumbarton Library honing her knowledge in preparation for the 60-minute guided walk around Luss, which she recently launched.
The 63-year-old, who previously worked for Visit Scotland and as a guide for the Burrell Collection and Hill House in Helensburgh, decided to focus on the village first because she knows it well and thinks it is necessary do more to promote herself and the community at large.
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She said: âI have been a hiker for over 30 years, doing most of the Munros and climbing a few high mountains such as Mount Kilimanjaro, but I also love the history and thought I would like to combine the two with a walking tour.
âI like showing Luss to tourists, telling his story, his architecture, his clan legends and other tales.
âMy favorite stop on the walking tour is Loch Lomond. I find that the beauty and moods of the landscape can give visitors a taste of the great outdoors that you can only feel in this beautiful place.
“I’ve been told a lot of people don’t visit Luss and keep going up the road and when they stop they say they never knew he was there so I’m trying to promote a local place and wider community, so people know it.
Gerena loves the village so much that she comes down from her home in Arrochar to take the tour, which covers Luss’s Coronation, the miners’ cottages, the village’s ancient past, its present, and its WWI war heroes.
She also shares her knowledge of St. Kessog and early Christianity, Luss Parish Church, Shore Cottage, Colquhoun, MacFarlane and MacGregor Clans, and of course Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond.
One of his favorite tales from the tour, however, involves the capture of Dumbarton Castle by the Colquhoun clan of the Earl of Lennox.
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The castle was starving because they were under siege, and Sir John Colquhoun let loose a deer and a dog, so the men of the castle would open the gates to go hunting.
They came out in pursuit of the deer and left the doors open and Sir John and his men entered the castle and captured it bloodlessly.
And while she has invited people from all over the world to join her tours, Gerena hopes the chance to experience fascinating local snippets of history will inspire more people to join her.
âI think (knowing the history) makes people appreciate where they live more,â she said.
Tours will cost Â£ 10 for adults and will leave at 11am and 2pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
To reserve your seat or find out more, visit argyllwalks.co.uk.