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  • Writer's pictureSteve Clarke

Discover Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park...

Above: a recent picture we took one early morning on the Loch Lomond shores.

Otherwise known as Scotland’s first National Park - this internationally famous destination is right on our doorstep! We are very fortunate that the stunning Loch Lomond is within a 30 minute drive from Gareloch Cottage and whether you go once, twice or every day - each experience will be unique. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is vast and includes 22 lochs and 39 miles of coastline across three Clyde sea lochs. Apart from boating, there’s fishing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, paddleboarding, swimming and seaplane rides.

There are so many reasons to visit and enjoy Loch Lomond and not all our dependant on good weather. We’ve put together a few ideas how you may want to spend your time at this glorious location.

Best time to visit…

You may be wondering when the best time of the year is to visit. Obviously Loch Lomond is a major tourist destination the summer months are going to be busy and some of the activities are seasonal. Maybe we’re biased as we’d probably say you can enjoy it all year round. It depends on what you want to do.

April to October are the most popular months with more attractions open. However, you can get just as much out of your visit ‘off season’ - cycling and ramblers may want to seek out this time to get into nature and avoid the crowds. Some of the most stunning scenery are during the winter months when the landscape is covered in snow. Loch Lomond holds special events and festivals throughout the year and during Christmas and Hogmany.

What's on offer...

Loch Lomond has so much to offer. Obviously a popular spot for outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, climbing and cycling. There’s also adventure parks for families, visiting cultural attractions and discovering small villages, golf, swimming and shopping for local produce at farmers markets.

Getting around…

To get around Loch Lomond there’s a waterbus service which is a great way to enjoy the fabulous loch journeys and have time onshore inbetween. Dog guests will be pleased to know all of the waterbus services allow dogs on their vessels. Scheduled services depart from lots of pontoons and piers around Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine so you can park and ride - literally!

Visit historic and pretty villages around Loch Lomond…

One of the villages is in close proximity to Gareloch Cottage for a day out. Luss is a lovely conservation village which sits on the western shore of Loch Lomond (just off the A82, 9 miles north of Balloch and about 10 miles south of Tarbet. If you’re arriving by water bus from another part of the loch, this is where you’ll get your first view of this picturesque village. Walking up Pier Road away from the pier the quaint cottages that Luss is famous for will come into view.

Above: The sandy shore and pier at Luss, we took this picture on our first visit

Above: another of our photos of Luss village

The village has a mix of places to eat, drink and shop and the surrounding Luss Hills are easily accessible for walking. Luss has a long beach which is great during the summer and popular for picnics.

Book a sightseeing boat cruise...

The two most popular for boat cruises are Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond. Many of the cruises also allow visitors to take you own bike aboard or hire a bike if you want to incorporate cycling into your trip.

Tee off in Loch Lomond...

Think Scotland - think golf! Golf lovers won’t go short of amazing golfing locations in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. One example is Aberfoyle Golf course which is overlooked by Ben Lomond. The course consists of 18 holes, 5,218 yards, par 66.

Climbing and Mountaineering...

For both novices and experienced climbers you can go climbing around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and again you will be spoilt for choice.

Above: This is the Cobbler, or Ben Arthur -part of what's known as the Arrochar horseshoe which include Ben Ime, Ben Narnain and Ben Vorlich.

The Arrochar Alps is a stunning group of mountains and includes Beinn Narnain, the Cobbler and the Brack offering a wide range of trad summer and winter climbing across the grades. Located around the coastal village of Arrochar

Winter Climbing...

For guests that prefer a winter holiday. There’s a number of quality winter venues and routes including Central Gully on Ben Lui or Y Gully on the lofty Munro Cruach Ardrain. Beinn Chuirn and Eas Anie offers waterfall ice, the Brack and the Cobbler offer technical mixed routes.


A fairly new activity which has become increasingly popular in the park with a number of venues and circuits including: Loch Katrine, Mini Magic Wood, Butterbridge and Glen Masson. For keen explorers there are many undeveloped stones with great potential including Glen Kinglass and N. Glen Dochart.

Adventure Parks...

An ideal family activity, there’s a choice of adventure parks in this area. There’s GoApe in Aberfoyle and TreeZone in Balloch. Offering treetop ariel courses suitable for adults and older children.

At Treezone (where you’ll park at loch Lomond Shores) there’s a SEA Life aquarium, birds of prey centre, picnic area, boat hire servics and the Loch Lomond Shores Shopping centre. Jurassic Park in Clydebank has minature golf.

The wonder of nature...

One of the main draws to Loch Lomond is for nature and wildlife in Scotland. The park includes some fantastic nature spots with a variety of habitats - wetlands, sea lochs, meadows - supporting lots of different plants and animals. There’s the possibility to see red deer, red squirrels, lots of different bird species including golden eagle. There’s a number of nature trails within the forests and parks and it’s a great opportunity to take wildlife photos.

So this is by no means an exhaustive list of things to do, see and experience at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Just dip your toe in and get started!.

We’d always recommend you plan your trip and seek out the information you need in advance to really make the most of your holiday whilst we are hosting you.

This website is really useful for more information:


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