Loch Lomond, Scotland
Loch Lomond was everything that we expected it to be a more. This is one of the most visited destinations in Scotland. The Loch is 22.6 miles long with many vantage points to stop and enjoy the outstanding scenery. We took many pictures. We camped at Cashel Campsite on the east coast of the Loch which has amazing views and spent time at the Bird of Prey Centre, in Balloch which also has an excellent information centre. Loch Lomond has many highlights. The most outstanding was the Sweeney Cruise Company Cruise.
With the campsite being ideally on the side of the Loch, eating “alfresco” was a perfect choice and the Oak Tree Inn was just a few miles away. There was always a choice of great food to eat.
There are so many things to see and do, we should have stayed a week, not a couple of days. To find out more definitely, go to the visitor’s centre in Ballock to find out more.
The amazing scenery offers photographic opportunities all year round.
How did we get there?
We arrive on our BMW1250R Adventure motorcycle. Scotland is a superb area for motorcycling and Loch Lomond was no exception. We had travelled across from Edinburgh, a straightforward journey through Falkirk and Stirling, before turning west on the A811 to the bottom of Loch Lomond. I had reserved a camp site on Pitch Up. The directions were easy, especially with the GPS on the motorcycle.
Where did we stay?
We stayed in the tent. Perfect for us, giving us much more flexibility where we could stay and cost effective. The campsite is beautiful. It is on the edge of the Loch, on the West Highland Way. With a small shop on site, clean toilets and showers, dishwashing, and laundry facilities. This was an ideal spot, especially as the campsite in motorcycle friendly.
Three miles south is the Balmaha village, with a very good local store and a lovely restaurant. More on that later. To the north is Ben Lomond Car Park and the beginning of the Ardess History Trail with beautiful views and amazing walking.
What was the climate like?
Throughout the complete trip around England, the weather was exceptional. The sky made it more challenging to take photographs as it was overcast. There was also a strong wind on the second day, dropping the temperature from a pleasant 20 degrees to 11 degrees with the wind chill factor. On these days, Adobe Creative Cloud for the photographs and the protective windbreaker were extremely useful.
Where did we eat?
We travelled everywhere with the MSR Firefly, as it is so small and convenient. Porridge for breakfast made a perfect start to the day with plenty of tea to wash it down with. The store also had bacon and hamburgers for when we stayed on site. Keeping the costs down and I always like cooking outdoors. The smell of the bacon seems to be even better in that environment.
In Balmaha village we discovered The Oak Tree Inn and if the weather had been inclement, or a different time of year, we would have stayed there. The 38 bedroomed inn has a super restaurant. At the time of writing, it was twice named Scotland’s best pub. The food, service and ambience was superb and we will visit again when we are in Scotland.
Where did we go?
The scenery was amazing, and I would have been happy to sit by the Loch. However, there are so many things to do and driving the BMW in Scotland is so much fun we made the most of our time here by Loch Lomond.
We booked a trip on the Sweeney’s Cruise Co which is in Balloch. We booked online and everything was very efficient and organised. The cruise was very informative, explaining all about the Loch, the things that we could see on all sides of the boat, and the narrator ensured throughout that it was fun with his witty banter.
The trip lasted about 2 hours, and there was a bar. The two hours passed too quickly, and we would have been happy to spend longer enjoy the amazing scenery.
Balloch also has an Information Centre with a beautiful selection of souvenirs to suit all budgets, from crystal cases to table mats, as well as very helpful staff who were very knowledgeable about the local area.
Another highlight for us was the Birds of Prey Centre, just 5 minutes from the centre of Balloch. In fact, it was so good I have added another blog all about it and would recommend you visit when you are in the area. I will certainly return when I am in Scotland.
There are so many photography opportunities in Scotland. Loch Lomond is no exception. Besides the Bird of Prey Centre and the cruise, the other area of particular interest was at the base of Ben Lomond. Here are some exceptional places to park the car and take photographs. I took here the lead picture for this article here and there are so many more opportunities within easy walking distance.
Recommended places to stay:
Cashel Campsite, Rowardennan, Glasgow G63 0AW, United Kingdom
Can be found at https://www.campingintheforest.co.uk/
The Oak Tree Inn
Balmaha, Glasgow G63 0JQ,
Places to Visit or trips to take:
Sweeney’s Cruise Co Loch Lomond
Riverside, Loch Lomond, Balloch, Balloch, Alexandria G83 8SS, United Kingdom
VisitScotland Balloch iCentre
Old Station Building, Balloch Road, Balloch G83 8SS,
Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre
Ben Lomond Way, Balloch, Alexandria G83 8QL
Remember to take your insect repellent. The mosquitos, as dusk sets in, are very enthusiastic. A good repellent makes this time of day more pleasant.
Have an amazing time, We did.