A Beginners Guide to Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond. My first true love! If you don’t know, Loch Lomond & Trossachs is a national park in Scotland. However, this post will focus on only one aspect of the park – the water itself, Loch Lomond. Since I was young, we’ve always visited the shores of Loch Lomond for summer day trips and winter road trips. It’s not particularly a secret, but I wanted to make it as simple as possible for you to plan your trip, too. Loch Lomond is a fresh water loch and is the greatest inland stretch of water in Britain based on its surface area. Below I’ve split the Loch into East and West to make your trip as straightforward as possible.
If you are travelling north to Loch Lomond from the south, you will likely pass through Balloch first. It’s often called the ‘gateway to Loch Lomond’ and the village is a great starting point to explore the east or west coast of the loch. You can jump on to the water bus to get around the loch or even take a slow cruise if you would rather a more relaxing method of sightseeing. If you’re interested in exploring more of Balloch, why not take a stroll up to Balloch Castle for a little history lesson.
If you’re looking to make Balloch your base, check out the latest hotel deals in the area.
Balmaha was probably one of my first memories of visiting Loch Lomond when I was younger. My uncle had a boat and we would all go up to Balmaha as a family to relax on the beach and go out on the water. The area has gotten a lot more modern in recent times, with toilets and visitor information at the public car park. Just down the road from the main car park is the famous and much-loved Oak Tree Inn. Also nearby is one of the easiest hill climbs – Conic Hill. Balmaha is a great base for exploring the loch with lots of modern amenities.
If you’re driving around the east coast of Loch Lomond you will pass Balmaha before reaching Rowardennan – just seven miles along the road. Unfortunately public transport will only take you as far as Balmaha, and if you are driving in your own or hired car, the road ends at Rowardennan. The village is the gateway to Ben Lomond and makes way for the West Highland Way to pass through.
Ahh Ben Lomond, my favourite Munro! Ben Lomond is probably Scotland’s most popular mountain amongst climbers and keen walkers. Accessible through Rowardennan and at 3192ft, it will give you unrivalled views of Loch Lomond and the northern hills. Because it is so easy to get to from the main cities, it’s popularity continues to grow. For that reason, there is a surfaced path that clearly outlines the climbing route up to the top.
Inversnaid is a small village in the north east coast of Loch Lomond. It’s only accessible by walkers and again forms part of the West Highland Way. The area can also be popular with those walking the Garrison Track and the woodland nature trail. The village offers budget accommodation.
Another family favourite of ours. If we weren’t going on the boat at Balmaha, we were driving up to Luss to sit on the bonny banks. My first memory of Luss is the sandy beach and my little Lhasa Apso dog very reluctant to get into the freezing water with us. Luss is very popular on sunny days and has a lot of day-trippers from Glasgow so beware of crowds during the summer and weekends. Luss is also a great base if you are looking to get involved in some water sport on the loch such as sailing and canoeing.
Luss also has a visitor centre on site and options for eating at the local hotels. If you’re looking for a great view, I recommend taking a stroll along the Pier. Try to spot Ben Lomond and Conic Hill!
If you follow the A82 road from Luss you will find yourself hitting Inverbeg after a short two mile trip. Compared to the popularity of Luss, Inverbeg is pretty quiet. However, Inverbeg Holiday Park is very popular if you are looking to use it as a base for a relaxing family-friendly holiday. The holiday park even has its own private harbour and dinghy pond!
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