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  • Writer's pictureSteve Clarke

Our day trip to Balmaha - on the banks of Loch Lomond


During our last visit, we took a day trip over to the picturesque location of Balmaha, a village which is on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond.

It's only about half an hour's drive from Gareloch Cottage but we'd recommend you go early as it's one of the most popular destinations for tourists, as well as local day trippers.

There's a large public car park (which fills up quickly) and you can then walk across from there to the lovely Oak Tree Inn, Village Shop and Mocha Coffee Shop to fuel up before taking a brisk walk!

We had lunch at Mocha - there's lots of outdoor seating and it's got a lovely relaxed vibe.

Near to the Oak Tree which is another great eatery with outside seating is Weir's Rest. Celebrating the life of TV presenter and Scottish climber Tom Weir. His long running TV series'Weir's Way' introduced the wonders of the Scottish scenery to millions of Scots.

Here's Tom's iconic statue, obviously we couldn't resist taking a photo of it! Behind his statue you can get a glimpse of the stunning lochside and pretty harbour boats dotted around. In the distance is Inchcailloch Island.

We took a relaxing walk along the loch past some lovely cottages including this one below (it had it's own private little beach!)

Walking past here, we followed round the lochside for a relaxing walk enjoying the stunning scenery and beautiful sunshine.

We took it easy, but you can easily fill a couple of trips to Balmaha.

Here's a quick run down for ideas...

  1. Climb Conic Hill – for one of Scotland’s most iconic views across Loch Lomond and the Highland Fault line. Conic Hill is one of the best hills for families in Scotland.

  2. Catch the ferry to Inchcailloch Island – explore the pretty ‘island of the old women’ by boat from Balmaha Boatyard.

  3. Try the ice cream and coffee at St Mocha – stop by Balmaha’s cafe, home to Loch Lomond Coffee and ice cream parlour.

  4. Hike the Balmaha millennium forest walk to Craigie Fort – follow the trail to a lovely viewpoint over Loch Lomond. scarf.

  5. Explore Balmaha pier, bay and Balmaha beach -discover the east side of the loch by foot or by SUP.

  6. Walk the West Highland Way – the Drymen to Inverarnan section of the famous West Highland Way takes you through Balmaha and is a great way to discover the lochside.

  7. Take an Island Cruise – Head out on a boat trip with Cruise Loch Lomond at Luss or with Sweeney’s Cruises at Balloch.

  8. Visit Balmaha visitor centre – visit the Loch Lomond national park information centre to find out more about the loch and the Highland Boundary Fault.

  9. Balmaha boat hire – fancy exploring the loch under your own steam? Charter a boat from Balmaha boat hire.


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