Things To Do in Balloch & Loch Lomond, Scotland
As we head towards the warmer summer, you may be longingly thinking of your next holiday and gathering brochures for somewhere abroad. But why holiday overseas when you can take in the stunning Scottish scenery around Loch Lomond?
Head to Balloch and the surrounding area, often known as the gateway to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and use this lovely part of Scotland as the base for your travels. Famous in the past for being a vital gateway for boats entering Loch Lomond in the 1800’s, Balloch takes its name from the gaelic ‘bealach’ which translates as mountain pass. The village lies at the southern end of the loch and is an easy drive from Glasgow via the A82.
While Balloch makes the perfect place to stay in while you explore the loch, there’s plenty to do in the village itself. Start by exploring Balloch Castle Country Park. Sadly, the castle itself is now derelict and under renovation, but with 200 acres to discover you could easily spend an entire day in the park. You can opt for a guided walk, follow one of the many nature trails, or wander round the walled gardens. Take a picnic to make the most of your day out.
As we all know, Scotland is famous for its whisky, but that’s not the only delight our breweries have to offer. Don’t miss the Loch Lomond brewery, where you’ll find a choice of award-winning local ales. Definitely one for fans of a good brew! Anyone looking for a more lasting souvenir can find a number of shops selling work by local artists and craftsmen, such as the beautiful creations of Icefire Glass, many of which have a Scottish theme. Open to the public most days you can watch the experts make incredible glass sculptures based on a whole host of diverse themes from fantasy to wildlife. There are many shopping opportunities in the area, with a number of retail outlets in the Antartex Shopping Village just outside Balloch.
If your party includes children over the age of 7, then head for the Treezone Aerial Adventure Course. Zip wires and scramble nets will keep them happy (and wear them out!). Open throughout the year, the course has over 17 obstacles, with the longest crossing being 31 metres, the longest zip wire 65 metres (which has some of the best views in the country) and the highest point up at 14 metres!
For a more sedate afternoon, visit the Maid of the Loch, the last paddle steamer to be built in the UK. Open as a historic public visitor attraction, it’s free to climb aboard The Maid, which also has a Tea Room on board with plenty of food and drinks options. Whilst you’re there you can also visit the Balloch Steam Slipway, a heritage building attraction (built in 1902) which demonstrates how the steam engine works by pulling The Maid out of the water.
There’s also the delightful Loch Lomond Shores walk which is a sculpture trail about 1km long that you can take a buggy along if you have small children and includes the ‘Teko the Swimming Otter’ sculpture. And don’t forget the Farmers Market at Loch Lomond Shores which takes place on the first and third Sunday of every month.
Our activities page has more information on the summer activities available in Loch Lomond such as Segway Safaris, Pony Trekking, Mountain Bike Hire, Bat Walks and much more.