Day Trips from Glasgow: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

loch_lomond_scotland

Loch Lomond is one of the most beautiful places in Scotland, and is very easily accessible from Glasgow. It is often considered to be the gateway from the lowlands of Central Scotland to the Highlands – you’ll be surprised at the change in scenery! The Loch (Scots word for ‘lake’) is the largest freshwater expanse in mainland Britain and the area is steeped in history. There are many things to do in the area, so let’s have a look at a few:

Getting there
The easiest way to travel to the area is to take the train from Partick, Hyndland, Charing Cross or Queen Street Low Level to Balloch. The journey takes around 45 minutes and trains leave regularly (see the Scotrail website for timetables: http://www.scotrail.co.uk/buy-tickets#book-tickets-open).

Arriving
When you get to Balloch, there is a Tourist Information service directly opposite the train station. They can provide advice on onward travel, local activities and places of interest: http://www.visitscotland.com/info/services/balloch-information-centre-p332391 Many places around the loch are accessible on foot, or you can alternatively call a taxi or take a short bus journey if you prefer.

Activities
The Loch Lomond Shores complex, just a short walk from Balloch, is the gateway to the loch and National Park. Here, you will find walking trails, places to eat, loch cruises, shopping (including an outlet of the famous Edinburgh department store, Jenners), boat hire, the National Gateway Centre (which comprises a café, shop and advice centre for navigating the area) and an aquarium. The Loch Lomond Shores website is very useful: http://www.lochlomondshores.com/ as is this free, printable map of the area: http://www.lochlomondshores.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/lls-sitemap.jpg

Travelling onwards
The Water Bus timetable does not begin operating until 29th March, but there are also ordinary buses which run on land to take you to various destinations around the Loch! Ask for advice on these bus services at Balloch Information Centre or at the Gateway Centre at Loch Lomond Shores.

Luss
Luss is a beautiful conservation village on the western shore, with shops and places to eat, a beach and wonderful views of the mountain Ben Lomond. The number 305 bus goes from Balloch to Luss. This website provides useful details about Luss: http://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/luss-p235041

Balmaha
Balmaha is a lovely village on the east shore of Loch Lomond, with a great visitor centre providing useful information: http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/visiting/national-park-visitor-centre-balmaha/menu-id-924.html The number 309 bus from Balloch will take you to Balmaha.

It’s a good idea to plan an itinerary for your trip to Loch Lomond, as there is so much to do, but don’t forget to check the train timetables so you don’t miss the last train back to Glasgow!