How to Do a Loch Lomond Day Trip from Glasgow & Edinburgh
“By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes, where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond” – these are the opening words of an old Scottish folk song. It is said that one of the captured soldiers of bonnie Prince Charlie already spoke of the beauty of Loch Lomond in a letter to his sweetheart back in 1745 and it was on his words the song was based. The song has been covered by AC/DC as well as Scottish band Runrig, and thousands of visitors head to Loch Lomond’s shores each year. If you too are planning your own Loch Lomond day trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh, then you have definitely made the right choice.
Safe to say, Scotland’s largest loch definitely deserves all the attention it has been given over the years. It is in a prime location, only approximately 35 miles outside Glasgow and is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National park and provides the perfect gateway should you be planning a trip to Glencoe and the Highlands. Like all the national parks in the UK, entry to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is free, and it is easily accessible by car or public transport, and you could easily spend more than one day at Lomond’s shores.
Should you be looking for some guidance to create your own perfect itinerary for your Loch Lomond day trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh, then we are here to help!
Table of Contents
How to Get from Glasgow to Loch Lomond
When visiting Glasgow, it is definitely worth it to plan in a day trip to Loch Lomond. There are several ways to get to the loch no matter if you have a car available or not and should you not want to plan your own itinerary, you can always choose to embark on a Loch Lomond tour from Glasgow.
Glasgow to Loch Lomond Train
When planning your Loch Lomond day trip from Glasgow, taking the train is definitely a great way to get to the loch quickly. Two direct trains run from the centre of Glasgow to different parts of the loch.
One of them runs to Balloch – at the south end of the loch – while the other runs to Arrochar & Tarbet – more on the north end of the loch. Both train stations are reasonably close to the loch, and you will not have to walk more than 15 minutes to reach the shores of Loch Lomond.
Both trains run from Glasgow Queen Street station. The Balloch service runs twice every hour throughout the day up until about 11pm, and you can reach the shores of Loch Lomond in under an hour.
Balloch is the final destination of the line, so there is no need to worry about missing your stop. This service offers a very cheap way to commute from Glasgow to Loch Lomond. Click here to view schedules and latest prices.
The train going to Arrochar & Tarbet is part of the West Highland railway line and does not run as frequently as the train to Balloch, but it is worth noting that this route is considered one of the most scenic train routes in the country.
The service runs about every two hours, and the journey time to Arrochar & Tarbet is a little longer than the one to Balloch. However, within a bit over an hour, you will be at the loch’s north shores, so it is still a great way to get from Glasgow to Loch Lomond.
The station at Arrochar & Tarbet is about a 15-minute walk away from the shores. The last train returning to Glasgow from this station is around 10 pm and it is cheaper to book a return ticket rather than two single tickets. Click here to view schedules and latest prices.
Glasgow to Loch Lomond Bus
Another great way to plan a Loch Lomond day trip from Glasgow is to consider going by bus. Glasgow’s Buchanan bus station is right in the centre of Glasgow, and two Citylink bus routes cross the National Park and Loch Lomond.
While the train does offer a very comfortable way to get to Loch Lomond, going by bus will give you a wider variety of stops and places to visit during your Loch Lomond day trip from Glasgow.
Whichever service you chose, be sure to say to your driver where you are planning to get off, as otherwise, they might not always stop unless passengers are waiting to board at the stop.
The service going to Fort William and Skye from Glasgow has stops at Balloch, Duck Bay Beach, Luss, Inverbeg, Tarbet and Inveruglas; all of which are close to Loch Lomond.
Should you be planning to visit the Trossachs National park, but not necessarily Loch Lomond, the bus actually continues on throughout the park after these stops. This route is serviced frequently throughout the day, although sometimes it is about two hours between coaches.
The other route going to Oban/Campbeltown has stops at Arrochar and Ardgartan. Just like the other bus, it does continue to other stops in the national park, such as ‘Rest and be Thankful’, but these do not offer direct access to Loch Lomond.
This service also runs several times a day, approximately every two to three hours but the last service running from Glasgow is at about 6pm. Click here to view the latest prices and schedules .
Prices for the bus differ depending on which service you chose and which stop you are getting off at, but you will likely be able to travel for anything between £10 – £15 for a return ticket.
Glasgow to Loch Lomond by Car
Getting from Glasgow to Loch Lomond by car is relatively easy. The city has several links to the motorway, and depending on the traffic you can get to Balloch in as little as half an hour.
From Glasgow, you would take the M8 and then change to the M898 to the Erskine Bridge, then take the A82 into the National Park.
If you are planning to go further north than Balloch, then the route is the same; you just keep going on the A82 taking you to other destinations such as Tarbet. The drive along the loch is lovely, and you will already be able to soak up a lot of Loch Lomond’s beauty on your journey along the shores.
However, be aware: While the M8 is a multiple carriageway, the A82 is not and once you are past Dumbarton it could be that you will have to queue behind lorries, buses and behind other drivers. On a sunny day, Loch Lomond is not just popular with tourists but is also visited by many locals.
The route along the loch is quite narrow and overtaking is not recommended unless the area is designated as such. Best is to check for any roadworks or delays on Traffic Scotland’s web page.
If you’re looking to rent a car, then it’s best to browse options on RentalCars.Com which aggregates deals across many major car hire companies. It’s also worth considering taking out an excess insurance policy from iCarHireInsurance to ensure you don’t need to pay any deductible if making a claim.
Loch Lomond Tour from Glasgow
While it is possible to organise your own itinerary and go from Glasgow to Loch Lomond independently, some organised tours offer a great way to see the loch’s beauty alongside a knowledgeable guide.
Tours leave from central locations within the city and mean you do not have to worry about public transport times.
There are several great options to choose from when planning to book a Loch Lomond tour from Glasgow. All offer a great way to not only enjoy the beautiful scenery but to simultaneously learn about Scotland’s and particularly Loch Lomond’s history.
This fabulous tour gives you the chance to visit the Trossachs national park, enjoy a 1-hour cruise across Loch Lomond as well as taking you to Stirling Castle – one of the most beautiful castles in Scotland – to finish off your day. Click here to view the latest prices.
This other fun-filled tour actually starts at Stirling castle and then takes you around several sites of the loch via mini-coach before giving you a glimpse of what it feels like walking the West Highland Way – one of Scotland’s most famous long-distance walking routes – before a finale pit-stop at the world-known Distillery of Glengoyne. Click here to view the latest prices.
Whichever Glasgow from Loch Lomond tour you chose, one will most definitely entail experiences to make your trip to Loch Lomond one you will never forget!
How to Get from Edinburgh to Loch Lomond
Due to Loch Lomond being in such close proximity of Glasgow, planning a day trip from Glasgow to Loch Lomond is a bit more straightforward and involves less travel time, but this should most definitely not dishearten you from planning your Edinburgh to Loch Lomond day trip.
While it does take longer to get there overall, Loch Lomond is still easily accessible from Edinburgh by either public transport or car. A great alternative, should you not want to worry about making connections or driving yourself, is to consider an Edinburgh to Loch Lomond tour.
Edinburgh to Loch Lomond Train
When planning your Edinburgh to Loch Lomond day trip, you will have to go via Glasgow. There are no direct trains from Edinburgh to Loch Lomond, but trains are running from Edinburgh’s main train stations to Glasgow Queen Street all day – most of the time there are several trains within the hour, so you will not find it hard to find one to match your schedule.
Once in Glasgow, you can choose either of the services mentioned above. Overall you will be able to Loch Lomond from Edinburgh within a couple of hours or less. Click here to view schedules and latest prices.
Edinburgh to Loch Lomond Bus
As with trains, you will have to change at Glasgow’s Buchanan bus station to board your bus to Loch Lomond. Buses from Edinburgh’s bus station run to Glasgow every 15 to 30 minutes, and you will likely only have to walk a few steps to board your connecting bus.
Traffic can differ depending on what time of day you chose to travel, and it is important to note that you might spend about three to four hours travelling on your Edinburgh to Loch Lomond day trip.
However, the buses do offer a cheaper alternative to the trains, you can click here to view the latest prices and schedules .
Edinburgh to Loch Lomond by Car
If you choose to go by car for your Loch Lomond day trip from Edinburgh, you will not find it hard. Edinburgh offers a great connection to Scotland’s motorways, and you can reach the loch within about 90 minutes.
There are two main routes you can choose from here: Either you go via Glasgow or via Stirling. Both ways are easy enough to follow and will get you there around the same time. One thing worth doing is to check for any roadworks or delays on Traffic Scotland’s web page so that you can see whether one of the routes will be better suited to your day trip.
If you choose to go via Stirling, you would follow the A90 to leave the city before changing on to the A904 and then the M9. The M9 will take you all the way to Stirling from which you follow the exit to Stirling/Callander/Crianlarich on to the A84.
From there you will take one more turn and then follow the A811 all the way to Balloch. From Balloch, should you wish to travel further up Loch Lomond, you can just keep following the A82 which takes you up to Tarbet and the West Highlands.
If you choose to travel via Glasgow, you would again be best to leave the city on the M9 until you see the M876 exit towards Glasgow. Once you have taken the exit, you will continue on until you merge firstly on the M80 and then the M8 until you get to the M898 to the Erskine Bridge, and then take the A82 into the National Park.
If renting a car in Edinburgh, you’ll find plenty of options on RentalCars.Com.
Loch Lomond Tour from Edinburgh
Should all of the above just not mirror your imagination of a perfect Loch Lomond day trip, then you should consider booking a Loch Lomond tour from Edinburgh. These tours offer a great way to enjoy your day trip from a comfortable minibus or another form of transport with a fun-packed itinerary and a knowledgeable guide.
Most tours will leave from central locations and will make it easier than ever for you to start your Edinburgh to Loch Lomond day trip.
This great tour offers you the chance to visit the Trossachs National Park with a small tour group via Stirling Castle and Glengoyne distillery. It includes live commentary on board of the bus, as well as the option to chose between a boat ride on the loch or a beautiful walk along its shores. Click here to view the latest prices
Loch Lomond Day Trip Itinerary
When searching for things to do during your Loch Lomond day trip, you will find that you have a lot of different options to choose from. Loch Lomond has a vast array of activities to enjoy including watersports such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboards, wakeboarding, water skiing and wake surfing.
It is worth noting that a lot of the activities will be centred around taking in Scottish nature, so if you are into hillwalking, or really just walking in general, then you will have more than enough choice!
To make this choice easier for you, I have compiled my top three stops I would recommend to include in your Loch Lomond day trip.
I want to say that you can either start your day in Balloch or in Arrochar & Tarbet. Both are very convenient to get to and have visitor centres to set you up for a good start for your Loch Lomond day trip. This list, therefore, could easily be done vice versa.
1. Start your day in Balloch
Balloch is at the south shore of Loch Lomond. It has some great cafes, pubs and restaurants should you wish to enjoy a meal or early lunch before your day trip begins.
The south shores will give you a taste of what beautiful scenery is to come, and there is a VisitScotland Information centre conveniently located directly opposite the train station in the centre of Balloch.
Through the centre, you will have access to local maps of Loch Lomond as well as be able to pick up a timetable for the Loch Lomond Waterbus and Ferry Services.
If you are looking to start your day with a little walk, you can walk along Balloch Castle Country Park at the eastern end of the village. The castle these days is actually a building constructed at the beginning of the 19 th century, but the grounds used to have another castle that was built around 1300.
It will not be hard to guess why the location was chosen for either building: The views of Loch Lomond are spectacular, and the area of the castle towards the loch does create some majestic ambience. The walk will take approximately 90 minutes and is moderately easy as long as you are wearing a good pair of shoes.
You can also hire bikes and boats from the beach at Loch Lomond Shores or take a cruise on the loch from the pontoon.
Other options are to visit the Loch Lomond Bird Prey Sanctuary located in Balloch or, should the Scottish weather be that tiny bit to ‘dreich’ for outdoor activities, you could visit Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium.
2. Visit the beautiful village of Luss
Your next stop should be the village of Luss which is halfway between Balloch and Arrochar and Tarbet. It is quite small, but it is stunning! The village itself is a conservation village, and its old cobblestone buildings make you feel like you step back in time.
If you started your day by taking the train or bus to Balloch, you could easily take a bus up to Luss. Timetables will be available from the visitor centre. If you are looking for a more immersive experience on your Loch Lomond day trip, then it is also possible to catch a water taxi to Luss Pier.
Once there, the village has access to several great walks that will help you explore the village and the beautiful area surrounding it.
These can differ in length, and it is entirely up to you whether you want to dedicate yourself to a 30-minute walk through the village or embark on the 90-minute heritage trail.
One thing not to be missed, however, are the views of Ben Lomond that you can get from Luss Pier. Walk along, and I am sure you will stand in awe.
If you are looking to have a bite to eat or a ‘cuppa’ to warm up, then Luss has a variety of shops and places to eat and drink.
3. Arrochar & Tarbet
Tarbet is actually the one out of the two villages that is closer to Loch Lomond while Arrochar is closer to Loch Long.
Arrochar & Tarbet train station is on the West Highland Railway line, and you can walk from there to Tarbet quite easily. The bus will likely drop you off at the ‘centre’ of Tarbet before either taking the turn towards Campbelltown or Fort William. If you are arriving by car, you will get to Tarbet by just following the A82 from Balloch and Luss.
Depending on your time budget and the time of year, the pier at Tarbet provides access to the loch, and a variety of cruise options are available.
From Tarbet, you can walk the Tarbet Isle Walk. It is only 1.2 miles or 2km long and a relatively easy circuit. You will cross through pine woods and oak woodland with excellent views over Loch Lomond and Tarbet.
A footpath links Tarbet to Arrochar, and the distance is approximately 1.5miles. It is definitely worth taking a walk towards Arrochar as it will actually allow you to cross the narrow path between Loch Lomond and Loch Long offering you spectacular views of another beautiful loch in Scotland so you can tick two off of the list.
There is a visitor centre and a little tea room in Tarbet should you need to warm up after a long day of adventures and hillwalking.
Have more than one day in Loch Lomond?
If you have more time to spend than one day in Loch Lomond, here are some suggestions for the best things to do.
Venture across the Loch to Balmaha
Balmaha is a small village on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. It has a visitor centre, local amenities and some stunning nature walks . One thing definitely worth doing is the climb up Conic Hill . The hill is only approximately 400 metres high, but the climb is quite steep, so be aware! However, the views will make you forget any troubles you had during the climb.
It is from Balmaha you can also visit the small island of Inchcailloch. Balmaha’s bay provides the closest starting point for any crossing to the island.
Boats run from Luss to Balmaha, but it is worth noting that they do not run all year round. There are some online timetables . Still, it is best to visit an information centre at Balloch or Arrochar and Tarbet for up to date timetables and information if you are planning to get to Balmaha by boat. There is a bus service between Balloch and Balmaha runs throughout the day, so it is possible to get there by other means of public transport.
If you are going by car, Balmaha can be reached by driving from Balloch to Drymen village. In Drymen village, turn left on to B837 for Balmaha.
Explore other parts of Trossachs National Park
It is a lovely place, and you will not be disappointed if you choose to stray from Loch Lomond even further into the depths of the park. If you take the bus or drive towards Campbelltown, you will pass the famous spot ‘Rest and be thankful’ – and thankful you will be!
The view comprises a mountain pass ahead of you from which you can see the windy road ahead for miles. Other great bits of the park include Callander, an old town from which you can choose to partake several walks or Killin.
Take in more of Scotland’s beauty outside the park
The A82 continues on towards the West Highlands and will take you to Glencoe . I don’t think there will ever be a time in my life where I do not find Glencoe beautiful. I will marvel and be melancholy at the green mountains, waterfalls and summits all my life.
If you want to see Scotland’s outstanding beauty, then Glencoe should be on your list if you have the time. Should you not have a car you do not need to worry: The West Highland railway runs through Glencoe, and you can even listen to an audio tour created by Scottish Natural Heritage.
They created a free app that provides an audio guide to several scenic train routes in Scotland. If you are going by bus, towards Fort William, the coach might not stop, but you will be able to enjoy the views nonetheless.
Another great place is the seaside town Oban – the self-proclaimed ‘seafood capital of Scotland.’ To be fair, I did have the best fish and chips I ever had in my life there, hands down. So potentially this is true. Oban always has something going on, and you will be able to partake in boat trips, visit museums or soak in some local musical talent at one of the pubs.
Oban can easily be reached by car or public transport. If you board the West Highland Railway at Arrochar and Tarbet, it will take you straight there, and buses run to Oban from several stops along the loch.
Looking for something more action-packed?
Consider climbing Ben Lomond: Ben Lomond is one of Scotland’s Munros – Scottish mountains with a summit of more than 3,000ft or 914.4m. To get there the best way is to go to Tarbet and then take a boat to Rowardennan. It can then be accessed via Rowardennan car park.
It is worth noting that the climb can be tricky at times and especially if there is snow should only be attempted by people who have some experience and the appropriate gear.
Take in the views from a bicycle: Ride along the 28km traffic-free cycle route stretching along the banks of Loch Lomond, either starting from Arrochar and Tarbet or Balloch.
Walk the West Highland Way : If you have several days or preferably a week, you could even make Loch Lomond your starting point to walk the West Highland Way all the way to Fort William.
Where to Stay in Loch Lomond
If you decide that you’d like more than a day trip to Loch Lomond and would rather spend a night or two, have a look at these accommodation recommendations for a great place to rest your head:
Global B&B — A charming bed and breakfast located in the village of Luss, this is an excellent, quaint place to rest your head when visiting Loch Lomond. They have a handful of lovely, comfortable and clean rooms available and a great breakfast is included each morning. Click here to see their availability
The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel — If you’re on the hunt for a bit more luxury on your trip to Loch Lomond, then you can’t go wrong with this plush hotel. They have a range of luxe and stunning rooms available and there is also a great restaurant and bar on site. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Loch Lomond!
Going on a Loch Lomond day trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh is an excellent and easy way to enjoy the beautiful Scottish countryside while not venturing too far from the city.
Are you planning a Loch Lomond day trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh? Have you been recently? Let us know in the comments below!
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About Daniella Lynn Theis
Daniella is a writer for The World Was Here First. Based in in Glasgow, Scotland, she has lived in several different countries and is always on the hunt for adventures, trying to find even the most hidden secrets for any destination. In her spare time, she loves photography and finding new eateries and things to do in or around Glasgow.
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Walkers on Conic Hill
Head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond for your next Scottish adventure. The mesmerising loch lies in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, where you’ll be surrounded by charming villages, rolling countryside, hills and some truly wonderful activities. Getting out on the water or near is a great way to have fun but it's important to stay safe too – be prepared by following these safety tips .
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Did you know Loch Lomond is home to 22 islands and 27 islets? Find more interesting facts about the many islands of Loch Lomond.
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Loch Lomond's accommodation offers a wide range of facilities to make your stay as comfortable as it gets.
Tom Weir statue at Balmaha Bay
Tours, Routes and Trails
Check out our ideas for day trips and tours in and around Loch Lomond.
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Get valuable experience, build your skills and have fun by volunteering in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
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Take in the spectacular views of the Arrochar Alps in the west across Loch Lomond to Ben Lomond.
Map of Loch Lomond
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How to travel to and around Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond is served by regular rail services from Glasgow Queen Street to both Balloch and Helensburgh Lower with a journey time of less than an hour. Many of these services also run through to North Lanarkshire and West Lothian.
The famous West Highland Line runs through the area on its way from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. This scenic railway journey stops at Dumbarton, Helensburgh Upper, Garelochhead, Arrochar/Tarbet and Ardlui on its way north, providing good access to the western and northern parts of the Loch Lomond area.
Check out travel to Loch Lomond by rail
Driving to Loch Lomond from the central belt is easy, especially from Glasgow via the A82 or the M8 and Erskine Bridge. If you want to visit the eastern side of the Loch Lomond area, follow signs for Drymen, leaving Glasgow via Milngavie. Via the A82, take signs for Dumbarton, then Balloch. For the western sea-lochs, travel via Helensburgh (A814 from Dumbarton).
Check out journey times to Loch Lomond with Google Maps
Glasgow Airport is located just under 30 minutes from Loch Lomond, offering UK and international links. Loch Lomond is home to the UK’s only commercial seaplane service, Loch Lomond Seaplanes which connects Glasgow with Loch Lomond.
Edinburgh Airport also offer many flight connections and takes just over an hour to get to Balloch by road.
Find more information on Scottish airports
Bus and coach
Take the bus from Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station to the south side of the loch with a journey time of approximately 45 minutes. Or head to Ardlui at the northern tip which takes around 1 hour 20 minutes.
Plan your journey with Traveline Scotland
Take advantage of the Waterbus service departing from piers and pontoons around the loch.
The Clyde and Loch Lomond Cycleway (NCN7) takes you from Glasgow to Loch Lomond along former railway lines and canal towpaths. You’ll immerse yourself in the great outdoors through forests and past castles before you reach Loch Lomond.
The West Lomond Cycle Path starts next to Balloch Railway Station at the south of Loch Lomond and runs north along the loch for 27km to Tarbert. You can even catch a train back to Glasgow and the central belt of Scotland. The path is level and traffic free for most of the route with only two short sections on minor roads.
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Balloch Castle Country Park
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Loch Lomond Tours
Tours to loch lomond.
Scotland’s largest loch is your introduction to the spectacular Highlands on many of our small group tours. This famous body of water is the beating heart of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. 720 square miles of diverse scenery from lush rolling countryside and thick forest, to vast glens and craggy mountains. As we sojourn up the loch’s western shores you’ll have a fantastic view of Ben Lomond. It’s Scotland’s most southerly Munro (a mountain over 3000 feet high).
The traditional village of Luss on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, is a stop on our many of our 1 day tours from Glasgow & Edinburgh, as well as our Shore Excursions from Greenock. Its cottages have been beautifully preserved from the 18 th and 19 th centuries. In the summer the villagers take great pride in their lavish floral displays. Luss has been a Christian settlement for at least 1500 years and its wonderfully restored church with its lychgate is well worth a visit. There’s even evidence of the Vikings having raided this area in 1263 in their stone ‘hogback’ grave in the atmospheric churchyard.
We can also enjoy a paddle on the lovely beach or alternatively take a wander onto the picturesque Luss pier with an ice cream, during our three and four day tours to the Highlands, Skye and Mull. We also stop here on our six day island hopping tours to Mull, Iona, Skye, the Highlands and Loch Ness. All of these tours depart from both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
For guests on our one day tours to Loch Ness, Haunting Glencoe and the Highlands, and to Glenfinnan Viaduct, Mallaig & Glencoe from Glasgow; there’s a stop further north for refreshments and photos on the side of Loch Lomond.
For those looking for a more bespoke experience, we also offer private tours to Loch Lomond. With the opportunity to personalise your itinerary you can really explore what the loch has to offer. From kayaking to tree top adventures, there’s options for everyone including the thrill seekers out there.
Visiting Loch Lomond
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glencoe & Loch Shiel
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Mallaig & Glencoe
A stunning day tour from Glasgow that takes you to locations from movies such as Skyfall, Highlander and Harry Potter. We’ll travel to Glencoe and the ‘Road to the Isles’, from Fort William to Mallaig, one of Scotland’s most scenic routes. Capture the Jacobite Steam Train crossing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Highland Lochs, Glens & Castles
Our Highland Lochs, Glens & Castles tour will take you to some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer. Shimmering lochs, breathtaking mountain scenery & historic castles. From quaint Inveraray to the pretty conservation village of Luss, enjoy the incredible views and settings of the Scottish Highlands.
Let us take you to some of the best scenery the Scottish Highlands has to offer. Shimmering lochs and breathtaking mountain scenery to historic castles and secret glens. Visit magnificent Inveraray castle and enjoy lunch at a traditional Highland pub before exploring the pretty Highland village of Luss.
Isle of Skye, The Highlands & Loch Ness
An island of faerie folklore, single track mountain passes, secret glens, craggy rock formations, crystal clear pools and waterfalls. Rich in history with a vast array of wildlife and spectacular scenery, it’s little wonder the Isle of Skye is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland.
An island of faerie folklore, single track mountain passes, secret glens, craggy rock formations, crystal clear pools and waterfalls. Rich in history with a vast array of wildlife and spectacular scenery, it’s little wonder the Isle of Skye is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland.
Sit back and fully absorb the ever-changing colours and textures of the isle of Skye on this four day tour. Get up close to the curious geology of the Trotternish Peninsula and feel the magic at Fairy Glen. You’ll see why romantic Skye was voted the world’s 4th best island destination by National Geographic.
Sit back and relax as this four day tour weaves through the Highlands to idyllic Skye. Capture photos of the Quiraing, Kilt Rock and the Old Man of Storr and feel like you’re on the edge of the world at Neist Point lighthouse. Skye always lives up to its reputation as the world’s 4th best island destination.
Isles of Mull, Iona & Skye Island Hopping
Explore the islands of Mull, Iona, Ulva, Staffa & Skye. Enjoy the wildlife on the Isle of Mull and the peace and serenity on the tiny sacred island of Iona. Get off the beaten track on the small community island of Ulva and the uninhabited island of Staffa before visiting the spectacular Isle of Skye.
Isles of Mull, Iona & The Highlands
Discover Scotland’s wild west coast and the outstanding islands of Mull, Iona and their sister isles. Mull is perfect for nature lovers with the chance to spot sea eagles, dolphins and even whales. Visit Iona Abbey and explore Fingal’s Cave on Staffa. Enjoy a walk on one of Scotland’s most spectacular beaches.
Loch Lomond National Park & Stirling Castle
Enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of the Loch Lomond National Park. Explore the picturesque Highland village of Luss and learn about the area’s lawless Vikings and feuding clans on a cruise of Loch Lomond. Visit the imposing Stirling Castle and hear about the key moments of Scotland’s long violent and bloody history.
Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & the Kelpies
Visit grand Stirling Castle one of the most important castles in Scottish history. Enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of Loch Lomond with a cruise on one of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs. Capture some photos of the Kelpies, these magnificent 30-metre-high horse heads tower above the Forth and Clyde Canal.
Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Trossachs
Visit Stirling Castle which overlooks the site of where the battle of Stirling Bridge took place, and where William Wallace (of Braveheart fame) defeated a much larger English army in 1297. Enjoy forest covered mountains and glistening Highland lochs as we travel through the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.
Loch Ness, Haunting Glencoe & The Highlands
Our Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands tour is one of our most popular day tours. The journey covers a lot of the Scottish Highlands in a single day. Spectacular Glencoe will take your breath away and you’ll have the chance to spot the mythical Loch Ness Monster with a cruise on Loch Ness.
Oban, Western Highlands, Lochs, Castles & Glencoe
Shimmering lochs and breathtaking mountain scenery to historic castles and secret glens. Enjoy the incredible views and settings of the rugged Western Highlands. From quaint Inveraray and Oban to moody Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, ending with warm hospitality at a traditional Highland pub that’s said to be haunted.
Private Shore Excursions from Greenock Port
Private shore excursions have become more popular in recent times. You can choose one of our scheduled Greenock Shore Excursions on a private basis. You might have your own bucket list of places to see. We can help you to create your own private shore excursion of Scotland.
St Andrews and Falkland Palace
Standing Stones and Stone Circles of Kilmartin Glen
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Loch Lomond National Park, Kelpies & Stirling Castle 1 day tour
Step back in time and discover the legends, landscapes, and landmarks that defined Scottish history.
Stirling Castle* - Choose to step inside and learn about the most important battles in Scottish history.
The Trossachs - This beautiful region has attracted travellers from around the world since the 19th century.
Rob Roy country - Visit the region where the ‘Scottish Robin Hood’ made his mark.
Loch Lomond - One of Scotland’s largest Lochs. Admire the views and take postcard-perfect photos to share with your friends and family.
The Kelpies - The largest pair of horse sculptures in the world are made from 300 tonnes of steel.
Envision gory battles thrashing against the grand walls of Stirling Castle. Follow in the footsteps of the outlaws that hid amongst the hills of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. And relive the journeys taken by Rob Roy and William Wallace.
This Scottish tour is perfect for anyone who wants to admire beautiful scenery and learn about the heroes, tragedies, and landscapes that defined Scottish history.
Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
- Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
- If you're planning to visit Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, it may be cheaper if you buy a Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
Some attraction tickets can be purchased in advance when you book your tour. You’ll have the option to add at check-out. Other attractions will not be available to book beforehand, instead you can purchase those while on tour.
- Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
- Air conditioning as standard
- The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
- Attraction entry tickets
Leave Edinburgh and travel through the historic grace of Linlithgowshire. Your guide will help you spot Linlithgow palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
On the way to Loch Lomond you stop at the Kelpies Monument. These two horses’ heads stand as a testament to the horse power that drove the industrial development of Central Scotland.
From here you head to the shores of Loch Lomond, which is Scotland’s largest loch and is protected as Scotland’s first National Park.
This is the perfect place to enjoy a walk along the ‘bonny banks’ and take in fantastic views of the mountains. This tranquil area was once the home of Scotland’s famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. By spending time on the trails by the loch you’ll be walking in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s greatest legends.
You then head into the Trossachs or ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. Steep mountains, shimmering lochs, and thick forests: this area is stunning.
You stop for lunch in the heart of the National Park then continue to the city of Stirling where you can visit one of Scotland’s most magnificent castles*. You can choose to take in the views from inside and understand why this castle was so instrumental in Scottish history.
From here our short journey back to Edinburgh passes the Kelpies once again before arriving back in the capital.
You are able to pre-purchase entrance tickets to the following attractions at the time of booking:
- Stirling Castle
Other attractions may be booked and paid locally during the tour.
Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?
The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.
Is there parking close to the departure point?
We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.
When should I get to the departure point?
Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.
What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?
If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies. 100% charges are applicable, and you will not be entitled to a refund or alternative.
What are your cancellation policies?
We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.
Can Itineraries change?
Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. Your driver-guide will keep you up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.
Can I pre-book a specific seat?
Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.
Are there toilets on the bus?
Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.
How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?
We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.
Do you take children on your tours?
We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.
You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.
How much time do I get off the bus?
We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.
Why do you exclude visitor attractions?
We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.
Do we need to bring our own lunch?
You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.
Should I tip the driver-guide?
Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.
What about travel insurance?
We advise you take out travel insurance.
What is ABTOT?
You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.
I have more questions, who can help me?
If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email [email protected] , or check out our full FAQs .
Prices from £50.00
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The largest stretch of fresh water in Britain (23 miles long and up to five miles wide), Loch Lomond is the epitome of Scottish scenic splendour, thanks in large part to the ballad that fondly recalls its “bonnie, bonnie banks”. In reality, however, the peerless scenery of the loch can be tainted by the sheer numbers of tourists and day-trippers. All that considered, it came as no surprise that Loch Lomond was voted one of the most beautiful places in Scotland in our reader survey.
The islands of Loch Lomond
The west highland way.
Designated Scotland’s first national park in 2002, the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park covers a large stretch of scenic territory from the lochs of the Clyde Estuary to Loch Tay in Perthshire, with the centrepiece being Loch Lomond.
The most popular gateway into the park is the town of Balloch , nineteen miles from Glasgow city centre. Both Balloch and the western side of the loch around Luss are often packed with day-trippers and tour coaches.
The loch’s eastern side , abutting the Trossachs, is very different in tone, with wooden ferryboats puttering out to a scattering of tree-covered islands off the village of Balmaha. If you are planning to go to Loch Lomond, check out these great tours to Loch Lomond either from Glasgow or from Edinburgh .
Beautiful sunny view of Loch Lomond in the Trossachs National Park with the surrounding hills - shutterstock
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Visit two traditional capitals, London and Edinburgh, and enjoy a trek through the Loch Lomond national park. This trip will let you discover peaceful Scottish islands by foot, with several days of detailed walking tours included in the trip.
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You are one step away from joining a magical adventure! If you are fans of the wonderful world of the little magician apprentice, Harry Potter then the time has come to discover the very scenes where the Harry Potter universe was filmed. Do not forget to bring your wand. We await you on platform 9¾!
Many of Loch Lomond’s 37 islands are privately owned, and, rather quaintly, an old wooden mail-boat still delivers post to four of them. It’s possible to join the mail-boat cruise, which is run by MacFarlane & Son from the jetty at Balmaha. But even going on a regular 2h Loch Lomond cruise is a great way to discover the islands.
In summer the timetable allows a one-hour stop on Inchmurrin Island, the largest and most southerly of the islands inhabited by just ten permanent residents; if you’re looking for an island to explore, however, a better bet is Inchailloch, the closest to Balmaha. Owned by Scottish Natural Heritage, it has a two-mile, signposted nature trail. You can row here yourself using a boat hired from MacFarlane & Son, or use their on-demand ferry service.
Opened in 1980, the spectacular West Highland Way was Scotland’s first long-distance footpath, stretching some 95 miles from Milngavie (pronounced “mill-guy”) six miles north of central Glasgow, to Fort William , where it reaches the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain.
Today, it is by far the most popular such footpath in Scotland, and while for many the range of scenery, relative ease of walking and nearby facilities make it a classic route, others find it a little too busy in high season.
The route runs along the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, over the Highland Boundary Fault Line, then round Crianlarich, crossing the open heather wilderness of Rannoch Moor.
It passes close to Glen Coe , notorious for the massacre of the MacDonald clan, before reaching Fort William. Apart from one stretch halfway along when the path is within earshot of the main road, this is wild, remote country, and you should be well prepared for sudden and extreme weather changes.
The beautiful landscape of Glen Coe - shutterstock
Though this is not the most strenuous of Britain’s long-distance walks, a moderate degree of fitness is required as there are some steep ascents. If you’re looking for an added challenge, you could work in a climb of Ben Lomond or Ben Nevis.
You might choose to walk individual sections of the Way (the eight-mile climb from Glen Coe up the Devil’s Staircase is particularly spectacular).
If you want to tackle walking the whole West Highland Way you need to set aside at least seven days. Avoid a Saturday start from Milngavie and you’ll be less likely to be walking with hordes of people, and there’ll be less pressure on accommodation. Most walkers tackle the route from south to north, and manage between ten and fourteen miles a day, staying at hotels, B&Bs and bunkhouses en route. Camping is permitted at recognized sites.
Although the path is clearly waymarked, you may want to check one of the many maps or guidebooks published: the official guide, published by Mercat Press, includes a foldout map as well as descriptions of the route, with detailed cultural, historical, archeological and wildlife information.
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10 Things to do in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland
Last updated: April 7, 2022 - Written by Jessica Norah 51 Comments
There are many things to do in Loch Lomond, and it is a popular weekend destination for locals from Glasgow and Edinburgh in search of nature and outdoor activities. Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park was Scotland’s first national park, designated in 2002.
The national park contains a diverse geography that includes 21 munros (Scottish mountains), two forest parks, 22 lochs, and over 50 designated special nature conservation sites that are home to a variety of wildlife. Loch Lomond itself is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain by surface area.
Visitors can go cruising on a lake in a historic steamship, rent a canoe or kayak, spend a day visiting small villages, see Rob Roy’s gravestone, have fun at an aerial adventure park, or go climbing or biking. If you enjoy hiking, there are a number of short and moderate hiking paths to enjoy here, and a few of Scotland’s popular long distance paths such as the West Highland Way and The Three Lochs Way run through here.
If you are visiting Glasgow or Edinburgh and are looking for scenic landscapes or outdoor adventure, you might consider a day trip to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. We’ll share our top things to do in Loch Lomond and provide tips about visiting the area based on our own visits.
Table of Contents:
Basic Travel Information for Loch Lomond
We’ll share how to get to Loch Lomond, how to get around Loch Lomond, where to stay, when to visit, and where to find further resources on planning your trip.
Getting to Loch Lomond?
Loch Lomond makes an easy day trip or weekend trip from Glasgow (25 miles) or Edinburgh (78 miles). If you are flying into Scotland, Glasgow Airport is the nearest airport with the best connections to Loch Lomond. Rental cars are easy to hire at the airports of Glasgow, Edinburgh, or Inverness.
The area can be reached by car, train (check ScotRail or Trainline for service), bus (check National Express for service), or seaplane (check Loch Lomond Seaplanes services here ).
If you don’t have a car and would prefer to have a guided visit, it is also possible to take a bus tour that visits Loch Lomond such as this tour we did from Edinburgh that included a visit to Loch Lomond and two whisky distilleries.
You can see a number of small group tours to Loch Lomond from both Edinburgh and Glasgow by Rabbie’s Tours. There are also other options such as this tour which includes Stirling Castle.
Getting around Loch Lomond?
The easiest way to get around Loch Lomond is by car or bus, although you can also get around the area by train, bike, hiking, waterbus, or boat although you’ll be more limited in where you can visit. Local train services are through ScotRail and there are a number of local bus services . For more info about getting around Loch Lomond see the national park website.
Best Time of Year to Visit Loch Lomond?
It depends on what you want to do in Loch Lomond as there are things to do in the park all year round. However, some of the attractions and businesses are seasonal, especially the water related activities, campsites, and boat cruises. The most popular time to visit is between April and October as there is warmer weather, longer daylight hours, and more attractions are open.
However, if you are seeking solitude, cycling or hiking off-season can be a great time to get out into nature without any crowds and many people love to see the snow-covered landscape in the winter. You’ll find festivals and special events throughout the year and during Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year’s) you’ll find holiday celebrations throughout Scotland.
Where to Stay in Loch Lomond?
T o make the most of a trip to Loch Lomond, we would definitely recommend spending a night or two to see the highlights of this area. I would do a little research first to see what you want to do in the park so you can determine the best area to search for lodging.
The most visited parts of the park are probably the south and west, and that section has the highest number of tourist attractions and services, but all areas of the park are worth exploring depending on your interests.
If you only have a day or two, I’d focus on an area or two of the park you want to explore. Some places with more lodging include Callander, Balloch, Luss. If you want to stay south of the park, you could also consider Helensburgh. You could also day trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh but we’d recommend spending the night if you have the time.
Accommodation options around Loch Lomond range from small hotels and bed-and-breakfasts to campsites and cottages. To search and compare prices for hotel, apartments, and B&B options you can check to see what Loch Lomond lodging is available during your visit.
B&Bs & Hotels in Loch Lomond
We can personally recommend the refined but cozy Loaninghead B&B in Drymen for those looking for a peaceful B&B experience with a great breakfast.
Some other options we suggest checking out are Shandon Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast (cozy farmhouse B&B) in Drymen, Loch Lomond Arms Hotel (traditional village inn) in Luss, Woodvale (well-rated B&B) in Balloch, and Queen of the Loch (hotel with on-site restaurant) in Balloch.
Self-Catering Accommodations Options near Loch Lomond
If you are looking for self-catering options, there are lots of apartments, holiday homes, and private rooms you can book around Loch Lomond.
To get started, we’d recommend checking out holiday homes on Booking as well as Plum Guide , Vrbo and Snaptrip which between them offer a variety of apartments, homes, and private rooms to get started on your search.
A couple of options, both in Drymen, are Loaninghead Holidays (cozy well-furnished holiday cottages located next to the recommended Loaninghead B&B) and Luxury Lodges which are luxury self-catering cottages with private hot tubs.
Luxury Accommodation within Loch Lomond National Park
Many of the self-catering spots and nicer B&Bs are listed as luxury properties such as Luxury Lodges mentioned earlier. For those looking for a bit more luxury and a resort style experience, I’d recommend checking out the 4-star MacDonald Forest Hills Hotel in Aberfoyle and the 5-star Cameron House in Alexandria.
Both of these hotels offer a swimming pool, on-site restaurants and bar, recreational facilities, a fitness center, and a spa.
Loch Lomond Hostels
There are a few hostel options around Loch Lomond. The Rowardennan Youth Hostel in Rowardennan is a well-rated budget spot offering dormitory style accommodation.
Camping at Loch Lomond
For those planning to camp, there are plenty of areas you can do so within the park and nearby. You can check on camping regulations and book available pitches and RV spots here within the national park, or check out one of these camping and campervan sites .
You can go wild camping in many areas of the park but not all so do check the wild camping regulations as there have been increased regulation recently because of irresponsible campers.
You also may need to obtain a permit to camp (regardless of the type of camping) in certain areas of the park, depending on the time of year.
If you are planning on renting a campervan, we recommend using Motorhome Republic . They compare prices across the major rental firms in the UK to find the best price for you. You can book your campervan for the UK through them here .
Where to Find out more information about Loch Lomond?
For more information about the area, we recommend checking out the Love Loch Lomond website , the local destination organization, as well as the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park website.
If you are planning to combine a visit to both Glasgow and Loch Lomond you can check out Laurence’s post about a 2 day visit to both Glasgow and Loch Lomond as well as the Pack More In website, which has lots of practical information and tips for visiting both places in a short amount of time (e.g., a weekend). We also have a guide to more day trips from Glasgow for further inspiration.
Once in the area, we also recommend checking out one of the local visitor centers which are located in several towns throughout the area to pick up brochures and maps, as well as ask about local sites and events.
10 Things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park
Loch Lomond first became a popular tourist destination after being featured in Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake and even Queen Victoria would make a stop here. This area continued to gain in popularity for its natural beauty, becoming the first national park established in Scotland. There are a lot of things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park and the surrounding area around the park.
Loch Lomond is a popular spot for nature lovers and is a popular weekend escape for locals from Glasgow, Stirling, and Edinburgh for a couple of days of outdoor pursuits.The top things to do in the area involve outdoor activities, such as hiking, boating, kayaking, fishing, stargazing, climbing, camping, and cycling. But there are also other things to do such as challenging yourself at adventure parks, visiting historical and cultural attractions, exploring small towns, whisky distillery tours, golfing, and buying local produce at farmers’ markets.
The area also offers plenty of family-friendly activities with nature parks, an aquarium, canoeing, mini golf courses, aerial courses at adventure parks, guided family activities, and more to keep both children and parents entertained.
Hiking, Climbing, & Cycling
Whether you are looking for a pleasant lochside stroll or a strenuous multi-day hike, you’ll likely find a trail or path of interest at Loch Lomond. Many of Scotland’s most popular hiking trails run through this area, including the long-distance trails West Highland Way , Rob Roy Way , and The Three Lochs Way .
There are also a number of short and moderate hiking paths to enjoy here which include country parks (e.g., Balloch Castle and Mugdock Country Parks), old railway lines, lochside paths (e.g.,Clyde Sea Lochs Trail), and forest treks. I’d check at the local tourism information offices or with your lodging for the best paths near you.
For those looking for hilly forest paths, we can recommend Queen Elizabeth Forest Park in the southeast part of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National park which offers some wonderful scenery and views. If you are exploring the west side of the national park, you can alternatively visit Argyll Forest Park which also offers some lovely woodland scenery.
For those interested in climbing or bouldering, you can also find sites that are well-suited to climbing in Loch Lomond . There are 21 munros (hills or mountains over 3,000 feet high) within the park, and Loch Lomond is a popular spot for munro baggers (those trying to summit all the munros in Scotland) with several relatively easy to hike ones here for the less hardy adventurers.
For those planning to do a lot of hiking or any long-distance hiking, we’d recommend getting a good hiking map. We personally recommend the Ordinance Survey maps for the area(s) of Loch Lomond National Park you plan to go hiking. There are OS 1: 50,000 scale Landranger maps (good for those planning to stick to established hikes and paths) as well as the OS 1:25,000 scale Explorer Maps for those wanting to explore beyond the paths.
For those with limited mobility who want to explore some of the trails, you can check out these trails and towns that have all-ability paths and trails.
Cyclists and mountain bikers also have a lot of options around Loch Lomond. There are a number of cycle routes around Loch Lomond , and you can choose from easy, mostly flat paths to more difficult mountain bike trails. One of the more popular bike paths is the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path which is suitable for leisure cyclists and families.
If you are not bringing your own bike, you can rent bikes from several places in the area including Katrine Wheelz , Go Country , Loch Lomond Leisure , and Wheels Cycling Centre . Some of these companies also offer guided cycling and mountain biking tours.
You can also combine a day of biking and boating as many of the sightseeing cruises on Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine allow bikes and some even come with a bike rental option as part of the price.
Sightseeing Boat Cruise
One of the most popular activities for first time visitors to Loch Lomond is to explore the area with a sightseeing boat cruise. Although there are a number of lochs in the area, the two most popular for boat cruises are Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine.
For Loch Lomond, the family-run Sweeney’s Cruises have been offering sightseeing cruises of Loch Lomond for over 100 years, and they also offer a seasonal daily waterbus service and private boat charters. There is also the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer, built in 1953, that is being renovated by the Loch Lomond Steamship Service and is hoped to operate cruises again soon.
You also have several options on Loch Katrine , including the famous historical steamship Sir Walter Scott built in 1900 and the cruiser Lady of the Lake .
As a fan of Sir Walter Scott, I couldn’t visit the area within doing a trip aboard the steamship Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine, a setting for his narrative poem Lady of the Lake . No matter what cruise you do, you’ll get some nice views around the loch and most offer commentary in English and serve refreshments on board.
We cruised Loch Katrine on a chilly morning and we were happy to sit with our hot chocolate and enjoy the cruise. This was followed by a simple hot lunch at the The Steamship Cafe which is located next to the pier. Many cruises also offer the ability to take your own bike aboard or hire a bike so you can return by bike or do some biking before returning to the boat.
Loch Lomond & The Trossoachs National Park contains 22 lochs and 39 miles of coastline around three Clyde sea lochs so it should be no surprise that many people visit this area for a bit of time on or near the water. In addition to the sightseeing boat rides mentioned earlier, the area offers the opportunity for boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, paddleboarding, seaplane rides, and even river sledging.
If you plan to go swimming, you’ll need a wetsuit and appropriate gear as the water is never really warm! In the area, it is easy to rent boats, wetsuits, lifejackets, canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks, such as from Loch Lomond Leisure or In Your Element . Both of the above companies also offer guided water adventure activities such as kayaking, canoeing, canyoning, and river sledging.
If you are planning to fish, you’ll need an angling permit (check out info for angling guidelines and permissions ) and for guided fishing tours (gear included) check out the Lomond Angler .
If you love adventure parks, then you’ll be happy to know that you’ll have your choice of adventures parks in this area. The two main ones are GoApe in Aberfoyle and TreeZone in Balloch. Both offer treetop aerial courses that are appropriate for older children and adults, but do check age, weight, and height requirements before you go.
Laurence did the course at TreeZone and had a great time despite rain, and found the course to be both challenging and to have a great easy-to-use safety system.
If you go to Treezone, you’ll park at Loch Lomond Shores , where you’ll also find a SEA LIFE aquarium , a birds of prey center , boat hire services, picnic area, and the Loch Lomond Shores shopping center.
It is an easy place to spend an afternoon, and is an ideal spot to stop for families. For miniature golf, you may want to stop at Jurassic Parrr in Clydebank.
Enjoy the Small Towns and Villages
If you enjoy wandering through small towns and villages, there are many to choose from scattered throughout the Loch Lomond area. Some of our favorites to explore are Callander, Luss, Balloch, Killin, and Carrick Castle. You should stop and explore a few and find your own favorites.
Many towns have small tourist information offices where you can pick up a map and explore the local historic sites, walking paths, and attractions. You can also book a guided walking tour of some of these locations, such as this tour of Callander .
A favorite for many visitors is Luss , which is a scenic conservation village located along the shore of Loch Lomond. It has picturesque village houses, a sandy shoreline, cobbled streets, and several small shops. It is a pretty village and fun to explore, especially on a sunny day, but it can get busy as many bus tours stop here.
During your stay, I’d ask about any local events or festivals which are always fun to attend. If you enjoy farmer’s markets, you might want to plan a stop at the popular local Farmer’s Market at Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch, which takes places each month on the first and third Sunday. You can find fresh produce, meats, seafood, bread, sweets, soaps, and other local products at the market.
Stay in a Cozy B&B, Cabin, or Campsite
Loch Lomond is a perfect place to spend a night or two away with your family or significant other in a cozy B&B, cabin, or farm stay. We personally stayed at the small and cozy Loaninghead B&B , where we had a wonderful room with a king-sized bed, views of the hills and cows, and an amazing cooked to order breakfast served on fine china!
To search and compare prices for hotel & B&B options you can see what Loch Lomond lodging is available during your visit. You can also find a lot of self-catering lodges and cabins throughout the area. Camping and Rving are also popular options. You can go wild camping or book a pitch (be sure to check out the local laws) within the national park or check out one of these camping and campervan sites .
Scotland is the home of golf and you’ll find a number of golf courses located near Loch Lomond . A couple are private clubs like Loch Lomond Golf Club and you have to be a member or be invited by one to play the course, but most are open to the public and offer reasonable rates and scenic courses.
Those looking for a bit of pampering might consider playing the championship standard Carrick Golf Course and staying in the nearby Cameron House Resort & Spa. No matter which courses you are interested in playing be sure to pre-book your tee times before your visit.
Seek out Nature
Loch Lomond is one of the top destinations for nature and wildlife in Scotland. Hiking, cycling, horse trails, and nature trails are plentiful throughout the Loch Lomond area and nature lovers should have no difficulty seeking out some great nature spots. The park includes such a variety of habitats—forest, meadows, wetlands, sea lochs, etc.—that it supports a wide variety of plants and animals.
The area has plenty to offer for wildlife lovers including the possibility to see otters, red deer, porpoises, red squirrels, pine martens, and loads of bird species from birds of prey like golden eagles to seabirds such as gannets. You can find a number of nature trails within the forests and parks, and the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Scotland has a Nature Hub at Loch Lomond between Balloch and Drymen which is a special area of wildlife conservation. The RSPB is a great resource to contact for wildlife information in Scotland.
For those seeking woodland areas, we recommend checking out either Queen Elizabeth Forest Park or Argyll Forest Park . There are several waterfalls around Loch Lomond , including the Falls of Dochart, Inversnaid Falls, Bracklinn Falls, and Falls of Falloch, and waterfall lovers can have fun seeking these out, with access varying from easy walks to more strenuous hikes. A popular scenic spot for fans of the TV show Outlander is Devil’s Pulpit, a gorge in Finnich Glen south of Drymen. If you want to visit Finnich Glen, you can follow these instructions on how to find the Devil’s Pulpit .
Scotland also has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe, and there are several spots within the Loch Lomond national park which are especially great for stargazing on a clear night. In the winter, you might even be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights!
Historical & Cultural Sites
Scotland is full of historical and cultural sites, and Loch Lomond is no exception. You can find a bit of everything from prehistoric cairns and stone circles to ruined castles to a masterpiece home of 20th-century Scottish design. Although it is not the best area of the country for culture lovers, there are some interesting thing to discover here. You can find interesting stories and history in each of the villages. For instance, the village of Tyndrum is built over the battlefield where Clan MacDougall defeated Robert the Bruce and also has an association with Rob Roy MacGregor.
Those interested in Rob Roy may want to stop to see his gravestone at the Balquhidder Parish Church. There are a number of heritage trails you can follow at several of the towns, including Killin, Luss, and Callander which include interpretation panels. Art and literature lovers may want to explore The Great Trossachs Art & Literature Trail which highlights the artists and writers, such as Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth, who visited and drew inspiration from this area.
Those interested in prehistoric to medieval history can find ruins and remnants throughout the area, such as the Auchenlaich Cairn, a neolithic chambered cairn, near Callander, the Kinnell stone circle in Killin, and the ruins of Strathfillan Priory in Kirkton, between Crianlarich and Tyndrum.
You can visit small museums such as Denny Tank in Dumbarton, where you can learn about shipbuilding and see the world’s first commercial ship model experiment tank.
Architecture and art lovers will want to make a stop at Hill House in Helensburgh to visit one of the domestic masterpieces from Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh .
Visitors may want to visit Dumbarton Castle , which is now a ruined castle but the park contains a Georgian governor’s house with artefacts, 18th-century artillery fortifications, and scenic views of Ben Lomond. Similarly, Balloch Castle Country Park is a former 19th century private estate where visitors can discover a variety of gardens and parkland and see the castle (although the interior is not open to the public).
Garden lovers exploring the western side of the park might want to make a visit to the Benmore Botanic Garden and those interested in old churches may want to make a stop at the nearby St Munn’s Church and Argyll Mausoleum in Kilmun.
Distillery & Brewery Tours
Most visitors stop for a whisky tasting and/or tour at some point during their first trip to Scotland, and this area can be a perfect place to do just that. You’ll be able to taste local whisky at just about any pub or bar in Loch Lomond and most bartenders should be able to offer some advice and guidance if you are new to whisky. But you can also head to one of the local distilleries if you want to see how it is made.
None of these are actually located within the national park, but all are a short distance away depending on which part of Loch Lomond you are visiting. The three closest that offer public tours are Glengoyne near the village of Strathblane, Auchentoshan in Clydebank, and Deanston in Doune. All of them offer whisky tours, tastings, and the opportunity to buy whisky to take home with you.
If you prefer beer to whisky, you might want to try a beer or cider from Balmaha Brewing Co. brewed at the Oak Tree Inn or beer from the family-run Loch Lomond Brewery which you’ll find served and for sale throughout the area. Loch Lomond Brewery offer a variety of beers and can sometimes give brewery tours if you contact them in advance.
So there is our list of things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park! Have you visited Loch Lomond? If so, do you have any places you’d add to this list? If you haven’t visited yet, would you add Loch Lomond to your Scotland itinerary? As always, feel free to ask us any questions you may have about things to do in Loch Lomond or anywhere else in Scotland!
**Disclosure: Although we’ve visited Loch Lomond a few times now, on our most recent visit we partnered with Love Loch Lomond who helped us plan the logistics of our trip to Loch Lomond, and who also covered our accommodation, some of our meals, and entry into local attractions in order for us to share our experiences as travel writers. However, as always, this article contains only our own honest thoughts and opinions. You can read more in our Ethics Code about how we accept work.**
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Sveta Post author
June 11, 2022 at 8:52 am
Such a wonderful description!! We are planning to visit to Loch Lomond and we are going to stay there for two days at Gowannlea Guest House and then we are going back to Edinburgh. Could you recommend us what are the better sights to visit ?
Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author
June 11, 2022 at 9:20 am
Sounds great and glad you will have the chance to visit Loch Lomond and Edinburgh. For things to do in Loch Lomond, we cover all the top sights and attractions in our article. The big focus is really the lochs themselves and outdoor things like hiking, boating, and cycling.
If you have any specific questions or have specific interests, happy to provide futher advice.
Colin Kint Post author
July 13, 2020 at 11:47 pm
Finally, I’ve got what I was searching for. It was a complete guide to travel loch Lomond. I’m planning on a tour with my family. Please note that I have 2 kids aged 2 and 4, my wife, and my elderly parents.
When it comes to going for a tour, the first thing that comes into my mind is the room. as my parents are old, they need better comfort. I was searching for a hotel near Trossachs national park to stay 3 days (at least). As you mentioned the room and food opportunities, I’m eager to know the medical benefits (if emergency) in the B&B. Can you please let me know so that I can start packing?
July 14, 2020 at 8:40 am
I think if you are parents are looking for a place to stay with more comfort and more amenities, you might consider the Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel . The hotel has a lot of amenities for the area, including a spa, and the hotel also has a 24-hour front desk that is staffed so that if there was an emergency, they could help you contact medical services right away. The hotel is located in Aberfoyle in the south eastern part of the park and there are several things to do in and around that part of the park.
The 5-star Cameron House is the other more luxury hotel in Loch Lomond but I believe it is currently closed until 2021.
In terms of medical services within the park, I am not an expert on that. But there are some clinics and at least one medical centre, but I think for hospitals, I think they would need to take someone outside the park. The closest major hospitals would probably be around Stirling and Glasgow.
Wishing you and your parents a wonderful trip to Loch Lomond!
Anita Post author
December 29, 2019 at 7:04 am
Hi, my friend and I are planning to visit the area at the end of February and were wondering if you had any recommendations for things to do in winter? Also do you think it would be feasible to drive there ourselves (in terms of road conditions in winter) or would we need to have experience driving through snow/icy roads? Really appreciate your help!
December 29, 2019 at 10:14 am
Yes, unfortunately, some of the attractions and activities we recommend at Loch Lomond are not open in winter or are not as pleasant in the winter months. This is especially so for the boat and water based activities. But there is still a lot you can do within the park. Here are some suggestions:
-Hiking is one of the most popular things to do within the park and so I’d definitely still recommend these as long as you are prepared for the weather and potential rain. Same with cycling. -There are still some local farmer’s markets and there is shopping at Loch Lomond Shores which also regularly hosts events. -It is a good place to go wildlife spotting and deer are common as well as winter birds and I’d consider a stop at the Loch Lomond RSPB Nature Hub. The geese can often been seen at sunrise taking off from the lake in large flocks. -Visit the historical villages like Luss. Also, I think most of the historical and cultural sites we list (e.g. Rob Roy grave, stone circles, Denny Tank museum, castle ruins), except for the botanical gardens, are viewable year round. Just be sure to check visiting dates/hours for any indoor attractions. -I think the Treezone (aerial adventure park and courses) is open on weekends and certain days over the winter months. I think there are also golf courses in the park that are open year round. -Stargazing is great in the winter on clear evenings. -The regular boat cruises on Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond are not running in the winter but it looks like there is one regular winter cruise on the MV Lady of the Lake on Loch Katrine. You can see cruise schedule here .
Although snow/ice is definitely possible in February (and throughout the winter months), the roads are generally fine in this part of Scotland in the winter and roads are regularly gritted as needed and any snow on the roads tends to be cleared really quickly. But of course, we also recommend checking road and weather reports during your trip. So I think you can definitely drive although you do have other options of course if you prefer not to do so.
If you prefer not to drive, I’d recommend joining a tour as the public transport is not super easy to get around unlesss there is a bus/train to the specific town/area you want to visit. Rabbie’s is our recommend tour provider in Scotland and they have several tours that include a visit to Loch Lomond, which you can see here . Unfortunately, though, some of these tours don’t run in the winter.
Hope that helps and wishing you a great visit to Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park!
December 30, 2019 at 8:28 am
Thanks heaps for your reply, it’s very useful for us. I’m glad to hear that we are able to drive and that some things are still open. I think we will try fit in some hikes if possible.
December 30, 2019 at 9:00 am
Hi Anita, You’re very welcome. Hiking can be fun in the winter as long as the weather isn’t too bad and you are well-prepared with good waterproof shoes and gear. A good place to start your trip might be to make a stop at the visitor centre in Balloch as they will know for sure what is open and happening during the dates of your visit and can also recommend which trails might be best for hiking at that particular time. Wishing you a great trip, Jessica
Tracy Post author
August 10, 2019 at 11:05 am
Hi! I love the article. There is so much wonderful advice! We will be travelling from Edinburgh to Oban and would love to know what you think is the best drive based on “views” with maybe a spot of hiking on the way through. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Tracy
August 11, 2019 at 5:32 am
You have a few options, the most direct route is north through Stirling and then across to Oban on the A84 and A85, which provides some time in the eastern and northern parts of Loch Lomond & the Trossahs National Park. You can of course stop for a hiking trail within Loch Lomond – one idea might be this hike to Bracklinn Falls from Callender. This route also gives you the chance to stop at a number of attractions along this route, including three River Forth bridges at Queensferry, the Kelpies, Stirling Castle, Duone Castle, Bannockburn, etc – obviously you would not have time for all these but you can pick a couple to stop at along the way.
Another route, which would take a bit longer but provides a route right up the center of Loch Lomond National park is to head across to Glasgow and then head north on the A82 through the heart of the park and then take the A85 to Oban. This route gives you more chances to explore Loch Lomond itself (you can take a boat cruise if you want) and to visit Luss village. You can easily stop at a hiking trail within the park, there are many. Along this route, you could also add Queensferry bridges, Linlithgow Palace, the Kelpies, House for an Art Lover, or other attractions in Glasgow, etc. to this route with only a short detour.
I think either of the above are great options, just depends on how much time and what you are most interested in seeing. If you are primarily wanting to explore Loch Lomond, the second option up through the park might provide more classic views and it takes you along Loch Lomond itself.
Hope that helps! Jessica
David Cameron Post author
April 2, 2019 at 2:46 am
One article and every detail I need is here. Superb work. The views look amazing, and those waterfalls look absolutely gorgeous. 2020 holiday trip has been decided thanks to you guys 🙂
April 2, 2019 at 9:27 am
Hi David, Glad this was helping in planning your trip to Loch Lomond. Just let us know if you have any questions as your trip gets closer. Best, Jessica
Jill Post author
May 28, 2018 at 1:25 pm
Scotland is so beautiful! I spent a day in Loch Lomond many years ago on my first trip to Scotland and I have fond memories of my visit there.
May 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm
Hi Jill! Glad you have some nice memories in this part of Scotland. Yes, we have really been spending some time exploring Scotland’s national parks over the past 2 years! Loch Lomond is really beautiful and we also love the Cairngorms National Park which also has some real beautiful areas and also a lot of wildlife. Laurence also likes it because you can ski there in the winter 😉 ~ Jessica
Patrick Post author
May 21, 2018 at 6:42 am
Hello, cool article. Funny Question, we are going to be visiting friends in Luss for the Highland games in July. My wife and kids wanted to go see some highland cattle. Can you please tell me where they are in the park? On the brochure it shows them. Thanks so much!
May 21, 2018 at 7:00 am
Hi Patrick, Highland cattle are scattered here and there in fields throughout Scotland so you’ll likely see them as you are driving around Loch Lomond National Park. There are several locations you might see them around Loch Lomond, but they obviously move around, go into barns, and change fields fairly often so there is no single place you can alway see them. But we have always seen at least a few from the road when traveling in the area, so I would just look for them in the fields outside of the towns and you have a very high chance of seeing them. If you are looking for a place to stay, I believe the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel in Luss keeps a few in a field next to the hotel. Enjoy the Highland Games in Luss and your time in Loch Lomond! Best, Jessica
Denise Post author
January 15, 2018 at 6:23 am
HI, thanks for the information. I am planning to travel in April and stay some days in the park. Was thinking about renting a motorhome. How are the facilities for motorhome in the part? Is it a good option.? How many days would you recommend. I am travelling with my husband and a daughter – 14 years old and a son – 12 years old. We like hiking and biking.
January 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm
Hi Denise, I have not personally been to Loch Lomond in a caravan or motorhome, but camping and caravanning in the park is very popular in the warmer months, and many sites provide good facilities. Here is a list of caravan & camp sites within the park that should help you find and book a place that best suits your needs. Note that in some areas of the park between March and September each year, camping/caravanning is only permitted in campsites or in camping permit areas. But that should not affect you as you plan to rent a proper caravan site. I’d rent the smallest size caravan that you need as with hilly narrow places in Scotland, having a smaller vehicle makes them easier and safer to navigate.
I think that a camping or caravanning trip to this area is a great idea, especially if your family enjoys outdoor activities as there is loads to do for an active family (e.g., hiking, biking, boating). Your kids may enjoy one of the zip lining and adventure parks as well. In terms of how much time to spend, you can see a lot in 2-3 days, but could easily extend this to a week or more if you want to do a lot of hiking & biking and see various areas of the park. I’d recommend if you are spending more than 3 days to set up in two different caravan sites so you see more of the park. Perhaps setting up in the eastern side of the park for 2-3 days and then setting up in the western part of the park for 2-3 days.
Enjoy your trip to Loch Lomond! Jessica
January 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm
Hi Jessica Thanks for your answer. Would April be a good time to go? I am worried about the rain
January 17, 2018 at 4:07 am
Hi Denise, I think April is a good month as the days will be longer by then. But if you have flexibility I would suggest May if that is possible just because the weather does tend to be a tad better and the seasonal businesses should all be open by then in the Loch Lomond area. But I am sure you will enjoy either month. In terms of rain, well, it rains throughout the year in Scotland so you may have rain during any month so I would just come prepared with waterproof layers, ponchos, waterproof hiking backpack covers, and waterproof shoes so that you can go hiking/biking in any weather. It rarely rains hard enough to really keep you inside so if you are dressed for the weather, you should be fine! Best, Jessica
January 17, 2018 at 2:39 pm
Fantastic, Thanks a lot!
Rob+Ann Post author
September 28, 2017 at 7:11 pm
The landscape is just stunning! It’s great that there’s much to do and see, but honestly…we’d stand there gobsmacked at the scenery! As always, great photographs. Loch Lomond, and Scotland in general, has been on our bucket list for far too long. Thanks for the great ideas to get us moving!
October 1, 2017 at 9:23 am
Hi Rob & Ann, Yes, Loch Lomond (and Scotland in general) has some beautiful rural scenery! Hope you get a chance to visit soon!! Jessica
Michelle Post author
September 25, 2017 at 2:40 am
I’ve been to Loch Lomond before, purely by accident – we were driving from Edinburgh up to Braemar and along the way we passed by this beautiful loch. It had no signage and there was nobody around, so we just took a couple of pictures and left, but later on, after looking at a map we concluded that it was Loch Lomond. (It was March, I think, so that might explain why it was deserted!)
I had no idea there was so much to do there! I’d definitely be up for some hiking and horseriding. Looks like a return visit is in order. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
September 27, 2017 at 4:51 am
Hi Michelle, Yes, Scotland outside of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, & the Isle of Skye tends to be pretty sleepy from about November to April, except for holidays. But I am guessing that perhaps you stopped at a loch in or near the National Park but perhaps not Loch Lomond. It is well signed and also most of the parking lots have signs as well and some even have tourist information centers, so it may have been a nearby loch as there are 22 of them just within the National Park! But who knows 😉 Hope you get a chance to return! Best, Jessica
October 4, 2017 at 12:20 am
Aahh that makes so much sense! You’re probably right, haha. Will have to check out the real Loch Lomond next time I’m in Scotland! 🙂
October 4, 2017 at 9:41 am
Hi Michelle, Yes, it is hard to know which loch you were at, it could have been Loch Lomond. Scotland has so many! But hope you get a chance to return to experience even more of Scotland’s beautiful lochs!! 😉 Jessica
Lara Dunning Post author
September 24, 2017 at 9:56 pm
Thank you for such a thorough post with lots of tips about exploring this National Park. Scotland is high on my list, and I love National Parks, so I so appreciate learning about this part of Scotland. Gorgeous photos!
September 27, 2017 at 4:45 am
Hi Lara, Yes, hope you get a chance to visit Scotland soon, I think it was just voted the most beautiful country by Rough Guide readers. Loch Lomond is a great area if you enjoy hiking and national parks! Best, Jessica
Rhonda Albom Post author
September 24, 2017 at 9:46 pm
I traveled through the area on a gorgeous summer day in 2012 ( a veritable heatwave in the upper 20’s). The area is so lush and green (couldn’t miss the highland cattle).
September 27, 2017 at 4:44 am
Hi Rhonda, Yes it is a beautiful area and lush (thanks to our rainy weather!) – especially gorgeous on a sunny day like the one you described! Best, Jessica
Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute Post author
September 24, 2017 at 9:11 pm
Loch Lomond is beautiful. I don’t think I have any Scottish roots, but the the area is so fascinating. Stone circles, distilleries, lambs, gorgeous waterfalls, and Rob Roy’s grave? I’m there! Thanks for linking in this week!
September 27, 2017 at 4:42 am
Hi Jim, Yes, there is plenty to keep travelers busy around Loch Lomond. It is a very popular spot for those looking for hiking, boating, and cycling, but it offers much more like the prehistoric sites, farms, waterfalls, shopping, villages, and historical sites! Hope you get a chance to visit on you next trip to Scotland! Best, Jessica
Bryna | Dotted Line Travels Post author
September 24, 2017 at 8:16 pm
Loch Lomond looks like an amazing National Park, and a great place to spend a weekend! I’d like to seek out nature (and get some great shots like you did) and visit some of the historical and cultural sites. I love visiting ruins! I’d also love to see some of those cows. I haven’t seen cows like that in real life. They’re pretty adorable!
September 27, 2017 at 4:40 am
Hi Bryna, Yes, I don’t think many people even know Scotland has national parks as they are fairly new. Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, the first, was only established as a national park in 2002. If you enjoy national parks and outdoor activities, you may also want to visit Cairngorms National Park a bit further north. You can find Highland cattle scattered all over Scotland, especially in the middle and northern parts of the country, so you’re likely to see them if you venture outside the cities. We actually just saw some yesterday in France 😉 Best, Jessica
Julie Post author
September 24, 2017 at 3:36 pm
I would absolutely add Loch Lomond to my Scotland itinerary! Scotland is definitely on my bucket list but this makes me want to get there ASAP. Saving for later!
September 27, 2017 at 4:31 am
Hi Julie, Yes, Loch Lomond is a great place in Scotland to get out into nature and onto the lochs. Jessica
Anda Post author
September 22, 2017 at 11:53 pm
Another great guide with lots of detailed information about Loch Lomond. Your beautiful pictures surely make this place look very appealing. Breweries and Distilleries don’t interest me too much, but photographing waterfalls like that would. I have a lot of your posts bookmarked for future reference., so I’m going to save this one too. I’m hoping to make it to Scotland next spring.
September 23, 2017 at 2:26 am
Hi Anda, There are a lot of things to do in Loch Lomond, especially if you like being outdoors: hiking, biking, golfing, birdwatching, photography, boating, fishing etc. It is also great for nature photography as you said. If you come to Scotland, do let us know!! Best, Jessica
California Globetrotter Post author
September 22, 2017 at 11:48 pm
Oooh I’m in love with everything in this post!! From the plethora of lochs, to the cute cows, distilleries and beautiful hotels!! I wouldn’t mind spending a few days here!!
September 23, 2017 at 2:24 am
Hi Lolo, Yes, it is a pretty and (can be) peaceful place, especially if you head out hiking. It was nice to see the baby lambs in the fields and Highland cattle around the lake – we stayed at a B&B on a farm so it was a nice bucolic trip 😉 Best, Jessica
Tomas Post author
September 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm
Thanks for sharing this post because, only seeing your pictures make me go there right now, and then the adventure park and brewery. So I’ll pin it for later 😉
September 23, 2017 at 2:21 am
Hi Tomas, Yes, you could easily plan a day or weekend trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh to do a lake cruise around Loch Lomond or Loch Katrine, followed by the adventure park for the treetop course and zipline followed by some relaxing beers 😉 Best, Jessica
Hilary Post author
September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
Your photos are absolutely stunning, and really do the area justice! We’ve visited Scotland twice as a family and there is never enough time to see and do everything!
September 23, 2017 at 2:20 am
Hi Hilary, Yes, we have lived in Scotland for almost 2 years now and we still have a number of places we want to visit. I guess any place is like that. Hope you get a chance to come back and explore thoroughly as there are many things to do in Loch Lomond! Best, Jessica
Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields Post author
September 22, 2017 at 2:24 pm
We often combine travelling with cycling. I love the idea of cycling around Loch Lomond. I didn’t know you could do that. Thanks – I might add it to the holiday to-do list.
September 23, 2017 at 2:18 am
Hi Lyn, Yep, there are cycle paths all over the national park and around Loch Lomond as well as the Clyde sea lochs trail . You can also use the boat tours or water taxis to get across the lochs, as most allow bikes and you can also rent bikes from several places in the area. A great destination for both hiking and cycling! Best, Jessica
Anisa Post author
September 22, 2017 at 1:59 pm
I had to cut Loch Lomond out of our Scotland itinerary because we just didn’t have enough time. I hope to make it there on my next trip, it just looks lovely. I would like to take one of the sightseeing boats and also do some hiking.
September 23, 2017 at 2:15 am
Hi Anisa, Sorry you were not able to visit Loch Lomond on your visit to Scotland, but hopefully you can visit on a return trip. There is a lot to see is Scotland so I understand. It is a fantastic place for hiking and we definitely recommend one of the boat trips, we really enjoyed our cruise on the Sir Walter Scott but you have a lot of choices for either Loch Lomond or Loch Katrine! Best, Jessica
Seana Turner Post author
September 22, 2017 at 6:29 am
I”m not much of an adventure park person, but the breweries and nature hiking look good to me! My husband would be all about the golfing. Great photos of the waterfalls, by the way. My brother in law (who loves nature photography) is giving these photos the thumbs up!
September 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm
Hi Seana, Hiking and visiting a brewery is definitely a good way to spend some time around Loch Lomond. There are loads of hiking trails for people of all levels and through a variety of landscapes. If your husband likes golfing, he’s definitely enjoy a trip to Scotland, the home of golf. Glad your brother-in-law enjoyed our photos, we had some gray days on our last visit to Loch Lomond but landscape photography is Laurence’s favorite type of photography as a travel photographer 😉 Jessica
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- Distillery visit
Loch Lomond and Whisky Distillery Half-Day Tour Verified
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This half-day Loch Lomond and Whisky Tour gives you the opportunity to experience the beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. You’ll also visit the Glengoyne Distillery, to take in the production, smells, and flavors of their whisky.
- Follow the course of the Clyde, the river that made Glasgow great
- Admire the beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
- Learn about malt whisky production at the Glengoyne Whisky Distillery
Departing from Glasgow city center at 13:15, you’ll enjoy a leisurely drive, following the course of the Clyde, the river that has been so important in Glasgow’s history. The Clyde was once home to the shipyards and heavy manufacturing factories that forged Glasgow’s name as the Second City of the British Empire.
On this 4.5-hour excursion, you’ll travel north to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. This area of outstanding natural beauty straddles the cultural and physical boundaries of the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland and is now a managed and sustainable environment for visitors and local people, right on the doorstep of Glasgow.
Go for a stroll along the shores of Loch Lomond in Balloch Country Park or soak-up the atmosphere in the bars and restaurants at Loch Lomond Shores. From here you can walk to the former volcanic plug at Dumgoyne Hill and visit the Glengoyne Whisky Distillery Experience.
Glengoyne produces a Highland single malt from water that runs out of the volcanic rock behind the distillery.
On the tour you’ll experience the majesty of one of Scotland’s most famous Lochs and round your afternoon off with a dram of whisky, the water of life, before returning to Glasgow at 18:00.
- Transportation by air-conditioned mini-coach
What’s not included
- Glengoyne Distillery entrance fee
- Price From £22
- Listing categories Amateur
- Location / Region Lowlands
12 reviews on “loch lomond and whisky distillery half-day tour”, s l – united kingdom.
Great tour with a great guide
Zuzanne – Sweden
Outstanding professional and friendly service
I’m glad I choose this tour. Toni, the guide/driver was one of the most professional persson I have met. He had a close contact with the office and made sure that guests who were running late will be on the bus. Even thoug it put us 5 min behind the scheduled trip, Toni reassured us that it will not effect our tour. He also gave us a choice between two options to view Loch Lomond and took the extra 20 min total drive to make sure we have the best scenery. He was not aware that the road the distillery was closed, but with a professional, calm but fun attitude he got us there on time and we did not miss a minute. We actually had a chance to experience more of the Scottish country. He introduced us to many interesting facts and the music choice and information around it was extra. The guided distillery tour was also a pleasant experience. I experienced a great afternoon with an intelligent and fun guide. Well planned trip, I can highly recommend.
Carole – United Kingdom
We enjoyed the tour and the sampling of the whiskey
Jayne – United Kingdom
Our guide Ian was excellent, very knowledgable. Unfortunately his company hadn’t advised him of the roadworks on the Erskine Bridge, nor that there was a big swimming event on, which meant we had only 15 minutes at Loch Lomond instead if more than an hour which was very disappointing as we had guests from New Zealand with us. The distillery tour was excellent and even the weather cleared up a bit!
Iain – United States
Not much to see at the lake when it’s raining.
The lake visit was of little value in the rain. The distillery tour was interesting because of the old school production of their products.
Maria – Sweden
Really nice trip, absolutely pricewort. The guide’s, Jim and Stuart, made the trip both funny and interesting.
Marianne – Canada
Good Distillery tour. Loch Lomond is picturesque and nice for a stroll
Guide/ driver was friendly, informative and kept to outlined schedule. Vehicle was clean and comfortable. Although I have never had Scotch whiskey, I enjoyed it as well as the tour of Glengoyne. Excellent guide, Meghan explained everything about their product, the history of Glengoyne and how it is made as well as the differences between the various aged whiskeys.
Amanda – United States
Perfect Half Day Tour
The Loch was lovely. I am not a Scotch drinker, but I still really enjoyed the distillery tour. Well worth the time and money.
Laura – Spain
The guide made the tour great
We were so lucky to have IAN as out tour guide, a superfriendly and caring local. He was entertaining, helpful and always had something interesting to say at all time. The tour itself isn’t that great, I think it’s better worth your money to do a full day tour because we felt like it was too short. The distillery is very touristy and not thaaat good as we thought. The Loch is nice but also quite touristy.
Colette – United Kingdom
Absolutely brilliant tour of Glasgow, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs with a lovely, enthusiastic and very knowledge guide. My boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the distillery also.
Ylfa – Iceland
Great activity loved the guide
It was a great activity. We absolutely loved our guied (forgotten his name 🙁 ) But he told us a lot of interesting stories about Scotland.
Heather Ceana – Freital, Germany
Tour the Glengoyne Whisky Distillery and learn about how whisky is manufactured. The staff are knowledgeable and helpful. The process is quite fascinating. It was interesting to learn about the process and see the equipment involved. Great change to shop afterwards at discount prices.
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Loch Lomond Day Trip from Glasgow
Scotland abounds with beautiful nature, so picking one place to visit can be quite challenging!
However, if you only have a short time to explore, Loch Lomond is an eminently doable day trip, as well as an enchanting destination that is sure to delight you.
Only located about an hour from Glasgow , Loch Lomond offers serene views, nice hiking at a variety of activity levels, and a lovely escape from city life.
While the loch is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park , it is super easy to just visit the loch by itself, even if you do not make it to the rest of the national park.
Named after nearby mountain Ben Lomond , Loch Lomond has loads of history. The surrounding area has been the site of battles, and a refuge for many Scottish rebels. Learning about the history really adds to the visit and colors the framework of this place in a very special way.
Table of Contents
While those seeking to explore the wider national park area may find it easiest to drive, it’s totally doable to see the loch itself as well as a variety of walking paths and even a castle by taking public transport.
If you’re coming from Glasgow, it’s very easy to navigate. Simply take the train from the Glasgow Queen Street Station to Balloch , the end of the train line. It should only take about 45 minutes, and the trains run pretty frequently as well.
Note that we thought that there would be more connections within the Trossachs by bus– while they do exist, they are quite few and far between, and not really doable for a day trip. If you want to do other popular hikes other than the loop around the loch itself or a boat ride, you may need a car.
Things to Do on a Loch Lomond Day Trip
Hiking or nature strolls:.
There are several hiking trails around the loch worth visiting. Once you arrive in Balloch, check out the tourist information center across the street from the train stop. Balloch is quite small, but as it acts as the gateway to the southern part of the loch, and there are very knowledgeable folks working at the center that can recommend hikes and activities, as well as give you some maps and other goodies.
An easy walking loop takes you along the water to the Balloch Castle overlooking the loch, and then back through the walled garden. This was an enjoyable 45 minute-ish walk that offered beautiful views of the loch and the wooded surrounding area. We found that the trail was clearly marked, and it’s easy to see why it’s a popular option.
If you want to take the bus a bit further up the lake (and the route schedule fits with your time constraints), the tourism office really recommended Balmaha .
From here, you have several options for admiring the surrounding nature: if you are feeling a bit adventurous, hiking up Conic Hill is super recommended, but takes about 2 hours or a bit more. If you are more interested in staying at a lower altitude, taking a boat out to Inchcailloch Island is a great option as well.
Montserrat day trip from barcelona, a weekend in glasgow, a weekend in edinburgh, take a boat ride.
For those who want to go out on the loch itself, taking one of the many boat rides onto the water is a really memorable and enjoyable experience. There are a few options and price ranges, but we chose to go on the hour-long boat ride to Inchmurrin Island and back. You can get tickets at a little gazebo near where the boats dock.
As you go, you’ll be able to see the entrance to the Highlands, as Loch Lomond acts as the dividing area between the Lowlands and Highlands.
Along the way, you see a few historic houses that are built on the water, and there’s a presentation about the history of the homes and the area in general, of course done in an ultra-charming Scottish accent. Cameron House in particular was neat to pass by. We recommend sitting on the left side of the boat for the best views of the houses.
Be sure to pack some layers, as there is quite a windchill once you get on the water! There was also a freak rainstorm in the middle of our ride despite otherwise sunny skies, so a rain layer is also a good thing to bring along.
Ultimately, we absolutely loved visiting Loch Lomond, but it really just scratched the surface of the amazing nature that Scotland possesses. It’s a great option for those in a pinch time-wise, as it’s so easily accessible from Glasgow. While beautiful, it really only served to spark our desire to visit the Highlands even more!
As we’ve mentioned in our Glasgow and Edinburgh travel guides, we are absolutely smitten with Scotland and really eager to go back to visit. If you’re planning a trip of your own (which you absolutely should!) feel free to save our guides on Pinterest here or by clicking on the photos below!
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Things to do
There's always more
Stroll on the loch shore at sunset. Hike up a Munro before sunrise. Camp out in a wild glen, or cycle over the Duke’s Pass. Spend an afternoon fishing, bouldering, or horse riding – whatever your style, you’ll find something brilliant to do here.
Walking & hiking
Wee hills with big views
Great outdoor activities for families
2-Day Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Itinerary
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- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in 2 days
- 1-Day Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Itinerary
- 3-Day Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Itinerary
- 4-Day Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Itinerary
Table of contents
Day 1: southwest side of town, day 2: proximity is everything, sea life loch lomond aquarium.
Maid of The Loch
Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre
Where to eat, cafe at the shores.
Balloch Castle & Country Park
Scottish maritime museum, the denny ship model experiment tank, mcdonald's.
Popular road trips from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
What's the weather like in loch lomond and the trossachs national park .
It depends on when you visit! We've compiled data from NASA on what the weather is like in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park for each month of the year: see the links below for more information.
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in January
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in February
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in March
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in April
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in May
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in June
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in July
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in August
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in September
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in October
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in November
- Weather in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in December
All road trips from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to London drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Edinburgh drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Paris drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Dublin drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Ranelagh drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Amsterdam drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Rome drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Barcelona drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to York drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Belfast drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Berlin drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Blackpool drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Liverpool drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Prague drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Madrid drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Florence drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Brussels drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Manchester drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Milan drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Vienna drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Budapest drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Lisbon drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Birmingham drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Venice drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Bath drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Copenhagen drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Bruges drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Munich drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Newcastle upon Tyne drive
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Fort William drive
All related maps of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
- Map of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
- Map of London
- Map of Edinburgh
- Map of Paris
- Map of Dublin
- Map of Ranelagh
- Map of Amsterdam
- Map of Rome
- Map of Barcelona
- Map of York
- Map of Belfast
- Map of Berlin
- Map of Blackpool
- Map of Liverpool
- Map of Prague
- Map of Madrid
- Map of Florence
- Map of Brussels
- Map of Manchester
- Map of Milan
- Map of Vienna
- Map of Budapest
- Map of Lisbon
- Map of Birmingham
- Map of Venice
- Map of Bath
- Map of Copenhagen
- Map of Bruges
- Map of Munich
- Map of Newcastle upon Tyne
- Map of Fort William
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park throughout the year
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in January
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in February
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in March
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in April
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in May
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in June
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in July
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in August
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in September
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in October
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in November
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in December
Looking for other day-by-day itineraries in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park ?
Check out our other curated itineraries that are also filled with jam-packed days:
Day itineraries for nearby cities
- 2-Day London Itinerary
- 2-Day Paris Itinerary
- 2-Day Rome Itinerary
- 2-Day Prague Itinerary
- 2-Day Madrid Itinerary
- 2-Day Berlin Itinerary
- 2-Day Amsterdam Itinerary
- 2-Day Lisbon Itinerary
- 2-Day Budapest Itinerary
- 2-Day Vienna Itinerary
- 2-Day Dublin Itinerary
- 2-Day Venice Itinerary
- 2-Day Edinburgh Itinerary
- 2-Day Copenhagen Itinerary
- 2-Day Munich Itinerary
- 2-Day Brussels Itinerary
- 2-Day Manchester Itinerary
- 2-Day Belfast Itinerary
- 2-Day York Itinerary
- 2-Day Bath Itinerary
- 2-Day Bruges Itinerary
- 2-Day Fort William Itinerary
- 2-Day Ranelagh Itinerary
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