Where the sun shines fair on the banks of Loch Lomond
Britain’s largest loch (or lake) is one of the most beautiful destinations in Scotland (and trust me there are a lot of places to chose from). I have spent many childhood summers visiting my grandparents who are only a 10-minute drive away.
Situated in the heart of the ‘Trossachs’ Scotland’s first national park, is a miniature version of the highlands, only an hour from Glasgow.
The start of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs park is Balloch, which has plenty to do and see.
Balloch Castle Country Park
Initially developed in the early 19th century, the country park and castle are open to the public for beautiful nature trails, guided walks and beautiful gardens. There has been a castle in this site since the 13th century, but now the castle lies derelict. At risk of being destroyed, the local council are now preserving the castle and the Lennox family history.
Loch Lomond Shores
A small shopping area with a great outside play park, crazy golf and excellent ice cream shops in the summer! Recommend the Iru Bru flavoured one! Lomond Shores is the home of Maid of the Loch and also offer boat/kayak rental services and more hire to go and explore the surrounding area.
Sea Life Centre
Also at Lomond shores is the Sea Life Centre (for those inevitable rainy days!), with a host of aquatic animals and great panoramic views from the top floor platform. With the largest number of sharks in a Scottish aquarium, it is worth the entry fee.
If you buy online in advance you can save 30%
The Maid of the Loch
Situated at Balloch pier, the Maid of the Loch was the last paddle steamer boat built in Britain, where it operated between 1953 and 1981. With the need for services declining and the accessibility and condition of the piers worsening, the ship became abandoned at Balloch. It has now been restored and is a cafe and restaurant, and (hopefully) a steamboat service will return next summer.
The Carrick and Cameron House
Heading then up the west side of the loch toward Luss is The Carrick and Cameron House golf course and hotel.
Cameron House is a five-star hotel situated on the banks of Loch Lomond, offering a bar with stunning views over the Loch front. There is even an outdoor bar with blankets and heaters for those cold months and great food.
The Carrick is a stunning 18 hole golf course open to the public to play (for a fee obviously) and has hosted numerous events on the professional golf tour and has been increasingly popular since it opened in 2007.
Sadly a fatal fire just before Christmas 2017 meant that Cameron House is not fully functional as the investigation continues.
The picturesque little village of Luss is situated 20 minutes away from Balloch and was the setting for the Scottish soap opera ’Take the High Road’ which was on in the 90s. A pebble beach, pier and pretty houses, as well as some walks and water activities.
Luss Pier and Beach
The main attraction to Luss is the Loch front, with a busy stone beach in the summer months as locals flock to enjoy the infrequent warm weather. Watch out for midges though as the sun starts going down, the will descend on mass and no amount of tropical repellent will save you!
Loch Lomond Faerie Trail
Perfect for families with young children, where you can explore the home of Scotland’s fairies. You can buy a guidebook and explore the little fairy homes and solve the puzzles and quizzes. Just watch out for trolls!
Luss Heritage Walk
About an hours walk from the Luss General store will take you up to where the old quarry was. The masses of purple slate can still complement the vibrant green of the lush landscape. It is a really nice and relatively easy walk (we do it with my 75-year-old Granny), skimming stones and running through the woods.
Inverbeg and Tarbet
Further up the west, you will find the small villages of Inverbeg and Tarbet.
A tiny hamlet, there is still a pier at Inverbeg although Loch tours only really operate in the summer, it is a quiet and peaceful place for a pit stop and picnic as you head around Loch Lomond.
On the border between Lochs Lomond and Long, Tarbet offers nearby hikes and bike trails, as well as a beautifully scenic train route to Oban, taking in the surroundings. Bear in mind that the train is very infrequent and takes almost two hours to get to Oban.
Loch Lomond is more than just the water, and there is so much to explore! We haven’t even covered 20 miles in this journey, and the East Coast of the Loch is far more rural and untouched.
Check out one of our earlier posts on the beautiful Loch Lomond here