Ask someone to name a beauty spot they associate with Scotland and chances are the answer will be Loch Lomond. This lovely stretch of water with imposing Ben Lomond on its flank is one of the most iconic in the country.
Loch Lomond Self Catering Cottages
Exploring the Beautiful Loch
Loch Lomond, set against a magnificent backdrop of mountains up to 950 metres high, is Scotland's largest freshwater loch being 23 miles long and 5 miles at its widest. It is a beautiful setting and thus attracts many day-trippers from Glasgow, just 20 miles from the city centre to Balloch on the southern bank.
The area is noted for its scenery, leisure activities and wildlife rather than places of historical interest. The 95 mile West Highland Way (from Milngavie in north Glasgow to Fort William) passes along the eastern shore of the loch.
Balloch is a busy town on the south-west corner of the loch. The 2003 development, Loch Lomond Shores, lies to the west of the town and contains the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Gateway Centre with information and audiovisiual presentations about the natural heritage of the area. The development includes a shopping mall and a jetty from which boat trips leave and where the restored paddle steamer, Maid of the Loch, is moored. Canoes and bicycles can be hired and there is pony trekking nearby.
A few miles north on the west coast of the loch is the famous championship Loch Lomond Golf Course and north of that, the pretty village of Luss. The A82 continues north towards Crianlarich. The West Loch Lomond Cycle Path departs from Balloch and follows the west shore to Tarbet where the A83 west to Arrochar meets the A82.
The east shore of the loch is the peaceful one, with just a single track road winding along the loch and through delightful woodlands ending at the Rowardennan Hotel. The famous walking route the West Highland Way runs along this shore and the road from Balloch to access the east bank of the loch, passes through the picturesque village of Drymen. Balmaha is on the eastern bank of the loch from where boats can be hired. The eastern bank is popular for its watersport centres, picnic sites and gravel beaches and the road ends at Rowardennan at the foot of Ben Lomond - a popular 5 hour round climb.