These days the picture postcard village of Luss is by-passed by the A82 as it makes its way up the west side of Loch Lomond. Most visitors start their exploration of the village from the large car park on its northern side and on the shore of the Loch.
Legend has it that the village takes its name from an adaptation of the French for the heraldic flower, the iris, or Fleur de Lys. According to the legend a local girl married a high ranking French officer in the 14th Century. She died in France but her body was returned to be buried by Loch Lomond; Fleur de Lys strewn on her grave by her husband are said to have taken root and grown here ever since.
A settlement has probably existed here since the 1300s, when it is known that there was a church dedicated to St Kessog, who lived here seven hundred years earlier. The Luss you see today owes much to the local land owners, the Colquhouns, who lived in nearby Rossdhu Castle. In the early 1800s they rebuilt much of the village, in part to house workers for the nearby slate quarries.
Slate no longer features in the local economy. What continues to drive the economy is what rapidly became an important factor from around the time of the rebuilding of the village: as a tourist destination for those wanting to enjoy Loch Lomond. Or simply, like today, those pausing on their journeys to destinations further north.
Luss's popularity and its accessibility means that it can sometimes be a crowded place. But if you catch it at a quiet moment, you really can begin to appreciate what a gem it is. The heart of the village is a street flanked by lovely cottages running down to the shore of Loch Lomond and Luss Pier, from where pleasure trips can be taken in Summer.
For many, the pier reflects one of Luss's key attractions. Loch Lomond is easily accessible here and from the pier you are treated to stunning views across it to Ben Lomond, Scotland's most southerly Munro, or individual mountain over 3,000 feet high.
Just to the south of the centre of the village, and still overlooking the Loch, is Luss Church, built by the Colquhouns in 1875. This is a really nice little church with a fascinating graveyard. The church interior is especially worth exploring.
Luss's obvious attractions bring in more than just tourists. It has popped up as a backdrop to a number of films and TV programmes; including the Scottish soap opera Take the High Road. A little further afield, Luss has in recent years acquired a near neighbour in the form of the Loch Lomond Golf Course, now home to a number of tournaments including the Scottish Open.
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