59 posts Posts by cameronlodges


Fishing In Loch Lomond

Fishing In Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is the perfect destination to go fishing. With 22 lochs and over 39 miles of beautiful coastlines, there are plenty of places to go fishing in Loch Lomond. Whether you choose to sit along the loch’s edge or rent a boat, you’re never short of finding the perfect fishing spot. We’ve listed our top tips on fishing in the local area and some great locations for catching trout, salmon and coarse fish in Loch Lomond.

The most important tip we can give you is, always remember your fishing permit. If you don’t have it with you then you won’t be able to fish in Loch Lomond. Luckily, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park have a list of fishing permit retailers located throughout the National Park. Within your permit, you will find the rules for angling throughout Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Please follow these rules at all times. We want to protect the richness of our local area and the habitats of our rivers and lochs.

Conservation Tips

We’ve listed some conservation tips below that will keep you right during your fishing trip in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

  • Respect local catch limits.
  • Many lochs and rivers within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park have mandatory catch and release policies for salmon.
  • Use barbless hooks for catch and release fishing.
  • Minimise your handling of fish when returning back into the water.
  • Please don’t release fish into different water from where they were originally caught.
  • Respect the local wildlife surrounding the lochs and rivers during your fishing trip.
  • Follow the advice marked on signage within the area you are fishing.

Fishing Spots In Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park offers several lochs and rivers in tranquil settings throughout the park, all of which offer a different fishing experience. We’ve listed our top 5 beautiful fishing spots throughout Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park that are guaranteed to give you a great fishing experience.

1.Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is a freshwater Scottish loch and is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain. It has the largest variety of fish in the National Park including trout, salmon, and pike. Loch Lomond is also home to powan, a white fish, which is a protected species. If caught, please return to the water as quickly as possible. The loch boasts spectacular views from all angles, so no matter which spot you perch your chair or dock your boat, you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery.

2.Loch Ard

Loch Ard is a freshwater loch located 5km to the west of Aberfoyle and is a source of the River Forth which flows from its eastern end. Loch Ard is a great loch for catching large pike, and hosts the record of perch being caught in Scotland. The record perch was 2.21kg. Whether you choose to fish from the boat or by the shore, you’re guaranteed a fresh catch. This loch mainly features brown trout, pike and perch. So if these fish are on your list, Loch Ard is the perfect destination for your fishing trip in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

3.Lake of Menteith

Located beside the village of The Port of Menteith, near Aberfoyle, lies Scotland’s only lake, the Lake of Menteith. The 700 acre Lake of Menteith is the main venue for hosting the National Fishing Championships in Scotland. Stocked with top quality rainbow, pike and brown trout, this lake is highly popular amongst Scottish fisherman. With a low lying setting and shelter from the surrounding landscapes and islands, there is shelter available from most directions meaning you won’t be as heavily impacted by the wind. Take in the scenic views, relax and watch your fishing rod tighten as you catch your supper.

4.Loch Venachar and Loch Achray

Loch Achray is situated in the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, next to Ben A’an and Ben Venue. This loch is renowned for its brown trout and is well-visited during peak fishing seasons. Its neighbouring loch, Loch Venachar is situated between Brig o’ Turk and Callander. For the best fishing results on this loch, we’d recommend hiring a boat in order to reach deeper and more populated areas of the loch. Expect to reel in brown trout, salmon or sea trout on your fishing trip.

5. Breadalbane

Breadalbane is in the north of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and has great fishing lochs including Loch Earn and Loch Voil. If you’re looking to catch rainbow and brown trout, we’d recommend heading to Loch Earn. Fishing is permitted from the banks of the loch and by boat. The biggest fish caught was over 26 lbs (weighing over a stone!). Now that’s worth a photograph.

Loch Voil is another fantastic loch for fishing. Loch Voil and its western neighbour, the smaller Loch Doine, lie amid beautiful scenery and in a glen steeped in history.  Its waters are full of salmon, brown trout and sea trout. Fishing in Loch Voil and Loch Doine is permitted by the shore. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a day of fishing amongst stunning landscapes.

Fishing is a great way to rediscover the beauty that lies in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Enjoy a breath of fresh air and head to Loch Lomond for a fine fishing experience. Whether it’s a day trip, long weekend or midweek escape, there’s some great fishing spots dotted around our local area. If you’d like to prolong your stay and visit more than one fishing spot, we’ve got a range of luxury self-catering holiday homes on the banks of Loch Lomond which would make the perfect base for your fishing trip.

View our accommodation types below:


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Places To Visit In Scotland Post Lockdown

Scottish Highlands

Explore through our rolling hills and lush farmlands located in the Lowlands, or drive through our rugged glens surrounded by mountain scenery in the Highlands. Scotland is the destination of adventure. As our absence for the great outdoors grows fonder, we’ve created a bucket list of the places to visit in Scotland after lockdown. Remember memories last a lifetime but don’t forget to take some pictures! 

If we’ve missed your favourite place to visit in Scotland, tweet us @CameronLodges or message us on Facebook and we’ll add them to the list!

Scottish Islands

One of Scotland’s most impressive features is its list of islands and if you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime then island hopping is perfect for you. Take time out to uncover the vasty beauty, culture and unique character of each island. Whether you travel to the west or the north, there’s an island to explore. We’ve chosen the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides as our top picks. 

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is bursting with beautiful scenery, majestic landscapes and culture. Switch off and let the island unravel your sense of adventure, free your soul and reconnect with nature. Feel a sense of freedom as you walk along the dramatic Waternish peninsula, discover the Old Man of Storr or explore the mesmerising gardens of the Sleat peninsula. Don’t forget to watch out for wildlife, as Skye is known to be inhabited by a variety of animals including the White Tailed Eagle, otters, seals, whales and dolphins. 

Isle of Skye

Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides are a diverse chain of inter-connected islands including the isle of Lewis and Harris, Berneray, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay.  Travel to the west coast of Scotland and breathe in the fresh Hebridean air and enjoy a slower pace as you discover beautiful coasts and untouched countryside, rich history and the charms of the Gaelic culture. Open your eyes to a new sense of life, listen to traditional musicians in each main town and see Harris Tweed being woven by the locals. Or be adventurous and kayak through the turquoise waters around the isles and coves that surround the Hebrides or paddle in the picturesque Stornoway harbour. You can also cycle the Hebridean Way which runs from Vatersay right through the archipelago to the Butt of Lewis. There are plenty of things to do and see whilst visiting the Outer Hebrides. 

Outer Hebrides Beach

 

Beaches

When it comes to walking along white sandy beaches, people often think of destinations abroad, Scotland is an afterthought but truth be told, our country is full of beautiful beaches ready to be explored. 

Tolsta beach

Tolsta beach on the Isle of Lewis is a breath of fresh air, not far from Lewis’ main town of Stornoway, this peaceful cove is hidden away and perfect for those looking to experience solitude on the Isle of Lewis. It’s also a hotspot for surfers with big swells forming in this exposed stretch of coastline.

Tolsta Beach

Aberdeen beach

Full of charm and character, Aberdeen is another beach to add to your bucket list. This golden coastline stretches for 3km and is one of the best places in Scotland to see bottlenose dolphins in the summer months. If you keep walking along the esplanade towards an area known to the locals as “Fittie”, you’ll discover an old fishing village that dates back to the 19th Century with picturesque cottages dotted along the harbour. 

Aberdeen Beach

Rockliffe beach

Rockliffe near Dalbeattie is another beautiful beach which features an ancient citadel at its hilltop. Stroll along this white sandy beach for 5km and wander through the villages of Kippford and Rockliffe where you’ll find quaint little houses, bursts of colourful plants and welcoming hospitality. 

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

And last but not least, our favourite place to explore, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Home to majestic munros, expansive lochs and beautiful villages with charming locals, it’s the perfect destination to explore the best of Scotland, just 40 minutes from Scotland. With acres of woodland to explore, cycling routes and walking trails to embark on, the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park is full of adventure. 

Loch Lomond is also a freshwater loch, the largest inland stretch of water in the UK and home to 22 islands. Splitting the Scottish Highland Boundary Fault Line, Loch Lomond acts as a gateway from the Lowlands into the Highlands. Water skiing, kayaking and boat tours are some of the most popular ways to explore and experience all that Loch Lomond’s waterfront has to offer. 

Loch Lomond is home to one of Scotland’s most climbed munros, Ben Lomond. The summit rewards walkers with spectacular views across Loch Lomond towards the northern hills and the Trossachs to the east. As you traverse the hiking trail, don’t forget to stop and appreciate the dramatic scenery that envelopes this spectacular Scottish munro.

Located on the western shores of Loch Lomond lies the village of Luss, an area that attracts tourists throughout the year thanks to its unique charm and friendly locals. The village has also been the backdrop for various successful TV soaps including High Road which has contributed to its popularity. With sandstone cottages stretching through the village and picturesque gardens, it’s the perfect village to explore. 

No matter where you go in Scotland, there’s an adventure to be had and a picture to be taken. Reconnect with our beautiful country and feel free once again as you visit some of the best places in Scotland. 

Loch Lomond


How To Organise An Online Quiz

During lockdown, we’re limited to the number of people we can come into contact with, however the introduction of strict social distancing measures has seen a huge rise in online social gatherings. Opportunities for socialising online include virtual dinner parties, book clubs, games of charades, or taking part in an online quiz.

With movement still very much curtailed in Scotland, an online quiz is an ideal way to catch up with friends and kill some time while you’re trapped indoors.

Here are some of our top tips for hosting an online quiz including choosing a platform, deciding how many people to invite, and creating fun and interesting quiz questions. 

Choose a platform to host your quiz

You’ll want to be able to see your fellow players during the quiz (at the very least to make sure that they’re not cheating!) but it’s also fun to see everyone’s reactions to getting answers right and wrong, so choose a platform that has video chat capabilities. Disclaimer: the downside is that you might also have to watch the winner doing a victory lap of their living room whilst gloating about their superior level of general knowledge! That being said, here are our top three video chat platforms for hosting your virtual quiz –

  • Zoom – Traditionally an app for organising conference calls for remote working, Zoom has seen app downloads soar during lockdown. It’s simple to use and private (all you’ll need to join a quiz is the Meeting ID and Password) but unfortunately Zoom limits calls to 40 minutes, unless you have a paid subscription.
  • Facebook Messenger – Messenger has always been a popular app for socialising online. However Facebook recently released a desktop version of their mobile app, meaning that you can access it via a laptop or PC, making it a go to app during lockdown. Messenger has the added benefit of being able to invite people to take part in the quiz, send any pre-quiz information, and host the video chat all within the app.
  • Skype – Skype is one of the most popular platforms for keeping in touch with friends and family, and includes all the benefits of both Zoom and Facebook Messenger, without any call limits to contend with.

Choose who to invite to your online quiz

Although the video chat platforms mentioned in this article allow either 50 or 100 participants, it would be difficult to host such a large quiz! Quizzes are great for both individuals and families to take part in, but we’d suggest keeping participants to a maximum of 10. Ideally 10 individuals or a few families. This means that everyone can talk without interruption and there is less chance of going off-piste. If the background noise becomes too much, ask players to mute themselves while the host asks the questions.

Decide how many rounds the quiz will have

Your quiz should have enough rounds that various themes are covered, however not too many that people get bored. We’d recommend six rounds, with a break after round 2 and round 4, to allow people to top up their drink, nip to the loo, or grab a snack.

It’s important to think of your participants when deciding which rounds to have. While you might know everything there is to know about the Impressionist Art Movement, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Choose quiz categories that suit the age, interests and knowledge levels of everyone involved. Traditional Quiz categories include General knowledge, Music, TV & Film, Geography, Sport and History.

But why not think outside the box? Here are some ideas:

Fetch

In this round, players are asked to fetch a household item. The quickest person to fetch the item gets 3 points, the second person to come back with the item gets 2 points, and the third person gets 3 points. If you’re feeling generous, you can alter the points to ensure everyone playing gets a point, with the first person getting maximum points and the last person getting 1 point.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Just like the TV quiz show, each person will be asked to answer one multiple choice question. Whilst answering, they will have the option to use two of the three lifelines below:

  1. 50/50 – the host will remove two incorrect answers.
  2. Ask the audience – the host will put the question to everyone playing, and each player must raise their hand to indicate what they think the correct answer is.
  3. Call a friend – the player can choose one friend from the group to help them answer the question.

Award 5 points for a correct answer without help, and subtract two points for each lifeline used.

Guess The Year

Describe an event and ask players to provide the year it happened. Award 3 points to the correct year, 2 points if the answer is within 3 years, and 1 point if the answer is within 5 years. 

If you’re playing with a group of friends, you can personalise the quiz to your shared histories, for example –

  • What year did X Person  get married?
  • What year was X Person’s baby born?
  • What year did X Person get engaged?
  • What year did the group go on a holiday to a particular destination?
  • What year did X Person graduate?
  • What year did X Person move to X Address?

Online quiz question types

Many video chat platforms like the ones mentioned in this article allow you to make use of sharing your screen, sharing your device audio and sending files. This makes varied and interesting quiz rounds possible. For example, share your screen to show pictures (film scenes, music album covers, flags, famous landmarks – the possibilities are endless!), use the audio sharing function to have a music round that includes questions such as name that tune, complete the song lyric, or who sang it.

Virtual quiz prizes

It’s difficult to give prizes for a virtual quiz, so why not make your quiz a weekly event and make the loser host the next quiz, or do a forfeit. This encourages everyone to take the quiz seriously and acts as a fun way to reward the most knowledgeable players!

The future of the quiz

Our virtual quiz ideas can be easily adapted to a normal situation, so when lockdown is over, we can look forward to hosting quizzes in each other’s homes or whilst you’re on holiday. Luckily our luxury lodges come equipped with large dining room tables providing the perfect location to host a quiz, so don’t forget to swot up before  your next lodge break.


Indoor Activities for Kids

With recent events having brought school days to an end, this has left parents with the task of keeping their children amused from morning till night. We know how taxing this can be so we’ve put together some ideas below which might just help you out with making the most of the time being stuck at home.

Indoor Obstacle Course

Your children can wear off excess energy in their own indoor obstacle course. Make it as long as possible through your living room. Use clothes horses turned on their sides and cover them with a sheet to make a tunnel. A dining room chair can be climbed over. Another section could be a long strip of cardboard laid out on the floor that they have to walk along without stepping off. You could even include a part where they have to stop to read out a rhyme or assemble a few building bricks before moving on. Time each child from the start to the finishing line and see who has the best average score over several turns. You could even have a go yourself, but make sure you don’t win!

Make a Theatre

Making a toy theatre from a cardboard box encourages them to make something that has a purpose. It’s an effective way of promoting their ability to visualise three-dimensional structures. With school closed, take every opportunity to broaden their knowledge without them realising it. Read up on a few facts about Shakespeare’s Globe or old music hall performers before teaching them about the traditions of live theatre. Your efforts could be enhanced enormously by downloading an authentic Victorian toy theatre made of paper. It comes complete with scenery and a script for re-enacting the pantomime, Cinderella.

Finger Puppets

Making their own finger puppets from paper is an ideal way of encouraging their imaginations. It also helps to develop their language skills, storytelling techniques and improve their confidence. Once you have a downloadable template, you can help them invent their own characters which can be used with or without a theatre.

Puzzle Books

Puzzles are great fun at any age, but for children they are an essential part of helping them sharpen their IQ by mastering mathematical problems and lateral thinking. Curiosity, crosswords and word games should help them to continue learning to read. There is a huge selection of downloadable puzzles to choose from. Creating a puzzle is even more stimulating, so help them to make their own puzzle books for each other to complete.

Indoor Football League

Football played on the floor with several teams of two or three soft toys and a building brick to represent each goal can turn into an ongoing league. Games needn’t be any longer than five or ten minutes and a goal is scored whenever the brick is knocked over. Imaginative team names can be invented and calculating points for wins and draws should help them with their arithmetic skills. Hold regular fixtures over the coming weeks with a cardboard trophy at the end.

Make a Castle

You can continue your children’s education by helping them to make a castle using a downloadable castle plan. Once completed, the castle can be used as scenery for toy soldiers while you teach them a few historical facts about famous knights, Mediaeval castles such as Bodiam or Warwick and why they have moats and drawbridges.

Seasonal Diary

Your children can record each day’s weather pattern in an exercise book. You can teach them the names of cloud formations, wind direction and points on the compass, and if you have a thermometer, the temperature. They can draw pictures of the flowers, birds and insects they see in the garden each day and learn to identify them by name.


Easter Baking Ideas

Easter Baking Ideas including Cadbury’s Crème Egg Brownies

Easter is the perfect occasion to spend quality time together, and what better way to enjoy the company of family and friends than over some delicious home baking? The ideal activity for a rainy day during the Easter holidays, roll up your sleeves, dig out your apron and enjoy some baking inspiration in our blog.

Simnel cake

Enjoyed for centuries, this light fruit cake was traditionally eaten in the lead up to Easter, especially on Mothering Sunday as a treat during lent, however it’s now a delicious option for Easter Sunday. With two indulgent layers of marzipan and 11 marzipan balls on top for decoration, used to represent Jesus’ apostles (minus Judas), marzipan lovers will be in heaven!  But don’t worry if you’re not a huge fan of marzipan, you could swap the 11 marzipan balls for some flowers or Easter decorations.

We’ve chosen Cassie Best’s Simnel cake recipe from bbcgoodfood.com (November 2018). You can access the original recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 250g mixed dried fruit (a mixture of sultanas, currants, raisins and candied mixed peel)
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 500g pack marzipan
  • 250g pack butter, softened
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs, plus 1 beaten to glaze
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g glacé cherries, halved
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 150°C (130°C for a fan assisted oven) or Gas Mark 2.
  2. Butter and line the cake tin with a double layer of grease proof paper.
  3. Add the dried fruit, orange juice and zest, and 2 tbsp water to a pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally. When the liquid has been absorbed, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, lemon zest, mixed spice and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Mix in the cooled soaked dried fruit and fold in the cherries.
  5. Roll out a third of the marzipan and use the base of a deep 20cm cake tin as a template to cut out a circle. Wrap any offcuts and the remaining two-thirds of marzipan and set aside for later.
  6. Add half of the cake mixture into the lined cake tin then top with the marzipan disc. Add the remaining cake mixture on top of the marzipan. Cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until a knife comes out clean. Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to fully cool.
  7. Once fully cooled, brush the top of the cake with apricot jam. Roll out half of the remaining marzipan and use the base of the cake as a template to cut out another disc. Place it on top of the cake.
  8. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 equal-sized balls for the apostles. Brush the marzipan with beaten egg and arrange the apostles in a circle on top around the outside, and brush them with a little egg too. Put under a hot grill for a minute or two until just starting to caramelise – be very careful as the marzipan will burn easily.

Photo Cred: BBC Food Recipes 

Cadbury’s Crème Eggs are synonymous with Easter. And what better way to showcase them in all their gooey deliciousness than in a decadent chocolate brownie! We’ve adapted this recipe from the Sweetest Menu blog, but you can find the original recipe here.

Cadbury’s Crème Egg Brownies

Ingredients

  • 115g unsalted butter, chopped into squares
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped into squares
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 85g plain flour
  • 6 Cadbury Crème Eggs, cut in half

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C (160°C for a fan assisted oven) or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Butter and line an 8 inch square baking tin with a layer of grease proof paper, leaving some overhang around the edges which will make it easier to get your brownies out of the tin later!
  3. Gently heat water in a pot until it simmers.
  4. Add the chocolate and butter to a heatproof bowl (e.g. Pyrex or similar), then sit the bowl on top of the simmering pot of water. Please note that the water shouldn’t touch the bowl. Stir until the chocolatey butter mixture has melted.
  5. Remove the bowl from the pot, making sure you don’t touch the hot glass.
  6. Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture and mix with an electric mixer. Next, add the eggs one at a time then use the mixer to combine with the rest of the mixture. Sift the flour into the mixture and mix until smooth.
  7. Pour the brownie mixture into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, press the halved Crème Eggs into the top of the brownie and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until cooked. Leave to cool completely before cutting.

Photo Cred: Good To Know Recipes

Mini Egg Baskets

A really simple recipe that will allow the kids to get involved in the kitchen, these tasty Easter treats are made with items that you’ll probably already have in your cupboards. You can find the original BBC recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 12 cupcake cases
  • 225g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 50g butter
  • 75g cornflakes
  • 36 Cadbury Mini Eggs

Method

  1. Gently heat water in a pot until it simmers.
  2. Add the chocolate, golden syrup and butter to a heatproof bowl (e.g. Pyrex or similar), then sit the bowl on top of the simmering pot of water. Please note that the water shouldn’t touch the bowl. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the pot, making sure you don’t touch the hot glass. Stir in the cornflakes and mix until all the cornflakes are coated in chocolate.
  4. Divide the mixture into the cake cases. Add 3 Mini Eggs to the middle of each nest and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until set.

Photo Cred: BBC Food Recipes 

What are your favourite things to bake at Easter? Tweet us @cameronlodges or leave us a message with your recipes and pictures! Giving the recipes in this blog a go? Make sure you tag us in your creations on social media!


Top Tips To Prepare For The West Highland Way

Walking the West Highland Way? We salute you. Embrace the wild rolling hills, charming villages and craggy mountains as you embark on Scotland’s most famous long distance trek which affords stunning scenery for 96 miles. Walking the West Highland Way offers great solitude or provides the opportunity to socialise and meet new friends, as people tend to split the route into similar segments, meaning you will often encounter the same people on a daily basis. The terrain can be strenuous, the weather can be turbulent and motivation levels can fluctuate as tiredness kicks in. So make sure you’re fully prepared for it by following our top tips!

Training

96 miles. 8 days. It’s a long distance. The exhaustion will hit you harder on different days but if you’ve done your research, planned out your route and prepared, then don’t be nervous! Take your time and enjoy it. Choose when you’re walking the WHW and set yourself mini goals on the lead up to the main event. Step by step, one walk at a time and you’ll be ready to go the distance.

Your training programme will differ dependent on your walking experience. If you’re an avid hillwalker then just keep practicing, whereas if you’re a novice, start small, walk for 30 minutes every day, then progress. Give yourself time to rest and recuperate, then up your walking time and terrain. The WHW includes flat landscapes, narrow and rocky paths and upward climbs. If you’re comfortable with walking long stretches on flat surfaces, then you need to challenge yourself and walk on an incline progressively. Our best piece of advice is to study the route and emulate this in your training. As your confidence grows, try a hill that’s more challenging, because if you don’t push yourself, you’re going to struggle and that will take the fun out of walking the WHW.

There are plenty of walking routes throughout Scotland that will help you prepare!

Walking Clothes & Shoes

Scotland’s weather can be relentless and can change in the blink of an eye. It’s critical that you pack clothes, footwear and kit suitable for all weather eventualities. According to the advice given on the West Highland Way website, you should follow a 3 layer clothing system: a base layer, middle layer and an outer layer for protection.

Waterproof or windproof trousers are a must, they’re lightweight and quick drying! We’d also recommend gym t-shirts or loose t-shirts as comfort is key and you’ll be wearing them all day. A cosy sweatshirt is also ideal for the trek as you might need an extra layer between your waterproof and t-shirt for added warmth. If you’re trekking in the winter, a cosy hat and pair of thick gloves will be your saviour and if you’re embarking on this trail in the warmer months we’d suggest a lighter set of gloves and skip-cap to protect the back of your neck if the sun decides to make an appearance.

With rough sometimes wet terrain, and rocky paths, a good sturdy pair of boots will be critical. It’s the most important item of equipment for this journey, you need to be comfortable and supported. Break in your boots well in advance and make sure they’re appropriate for every weather condition. You’ll also require some good quality socks to go with your boots. Thick walking socks in the winter with a thinner lining sock or slightly thinner but supportive socks for the summer. We’ve also heard that packing a pair of light flip-flops is a must especially in the evenings when your feet need some well-earned rest and air.

Other must-have accessories include a rucksack for your water and food, spare socks, midge net and repellent, sunscreen, headlamp, first aid kit and thermals!

Book Your Accommodation

There’s plenty of accommodation dotted throughout the trek but don’t leave booking your accommodation last minute as you don’t want to be disappointed especially in spring, summer and the autumnal seasons when the route is at its most popular. Whether you fancy combining camping with an overnight in a B&B, the choice is yours. If you’re worried about budget or simply want to immerse yourself in nature, there are plenty of campsites available to choose from. We’d suggest you familiarise yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code if this is your choice of overnight. However, if you’d prefer something more comfortable, there are a plethora of hotels, local B&Bs, guesthouses and hostels to choose from. Beware, some villages including Rowardennan and Bridge of Orchy have limited options therefore you’ll need to book in advance to ensure your space. It’s all about organisation, if you book in advance, you’ll enjoy the comforts and charms of local villages which just adds to the overall experience of the WHW.

Luggage Transfer

Make your life that little bit easier and give your back and shoulders a rest and book your baggage in for transfer at certain points throughout the trail. It’s 6-8 days of constant walking, constant pressure on your shoulders, let someone help you even if it’s just for a couple of days. Two benefits of luggage transfer are that you’ll only need to carry your day bag with food and water, and your extra clothes and socks will be dry and waiting for you at the end of the day. There are several companies on hand to transfer your luggage. Costs vary dependent on which company you choose but a list of recommended baggage transfer companies.

Take Your Camera

Scotland is home to breath-taking scenery and the WHW gives you a glimpse of all that our rugged landscapes have to offer. Each town or village offers a vibrant charm and picturesque setting. Why not take advantage of Scotland’s rich beauty and take a selfie or panoramic of the view.

Sometimes a photograph might not do the landscape justice but its a memory you can cherish and look back on. Each day will be different, document your journey, appreciate the scenery and take lots of photographs. By taking photos you’ll always be able to differentiate segments of the journey. It’s an essential accessory for your hike!

The West Highland Way is challenging but when you cross that finish line in Fort William, there’s no feeling like it. As long as you properly prepare, have the right walking gear, plan out your day-to-day mileage and book your accommodation in advance, you’ll have the time of your life and make memories you’ll never forget.


Must See Film Locations In Scotland

Film Locations in Scotland for Skyfall, Braveheart & Harry Potter

Scotland’s jaw dropping scenery, rugged landscapes, silvery lochs, coastlines, urban towns and charming countryside villages make for the perfect film or TV backdrop no matter the genre. Our photogenic corner of the world has featured on the big screen on numerous occasions as filmmakers have flocked north of the border take advantage of our breath-taking landscapes. Some notable screen productions include Harry Potter, Skyfall, The Da Vinci Code, Braveheart, Outlaw King and Outlander. This year, why not go on an adventure and appreciate the dramatic beauty of some of the most iconic film locations in person.

Harry Potter: Glenfinnan Viaduct Also Known As The Bridge To Hogwarts

The Philosopher’s Stone film marked the first sighting of the Glenfinnan Viaduct back in 2001 when Harry Potter discovered he wasn’t a small-town boy, but a young wizard, as Hagrid personally delivered his letter to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To start his new life, Harry hops on board the Hogwarts Express which can be spotted on its journey north across the stunning 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway bridge on the West Highland Line that towers over Loch Shiel and affords magnificent views over the Glenfinnan Monument. With a mix of natural and man-made beauty, this spot on the West Highland Line attracts infinite numbers of Harry Potter fanatics yearly to appreciate the mesmerising scenes from the big screen. Park in the Glenfinnan car park, stretch your legs and embark on a short walk to savour unimaginable views.

Skyfall: Glen Coe and Glen Etive

Skyfall sparked the moment where the world fell in love with the Scottish Highlands when 007 and his boss M retreat to the Bond family estate, set within the magnificent landscapes of Glen Etive to prepare for one last battle. Speeding through the countryside in his silver Aston Martin, James pulls to the side of the road to survey the deep valley, meandering river and rugged terrain which protects his ancestral home. Driving through Glen Coe is arguably one of the most scenic routes in Scotland offering visitors endless evergreen terrain, mountain tops and rolling landscapes. When exploring or road tripping through Scotland, Glen Coe should be at the top of your bucket list, you’ll need to pull over to fully appreciate the mesmerising tranquillity.

The Da Vinci Code: Rosslyn Chapel

Located in the east-central Lowlands, bordering Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders lies the beautiful Rosslyn Chapel, once seen in The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks. Before finishing his enthralling and gripping thriller, Dan Brown knew he wanted the tale to end in Scotland’s Rosslyn Chapel where a mixture of mystery and magic can be found. Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou were sent to the chapel near Edinburgh to film the mind-blowing finale. The chapel was founded back in 1446 as a place of sacred worship and boasts beautiful architecture, ornate stonework and masonic imagery. The carvings and imagery have inspired various myths and legends over the years. Whether you’re visiting the capital city or exploring the Midlothian area, make sure you stop by the chapel as the stature and architecture won’t disappoint.

Braveheart: Glen Nevis Near Fort William

The Glen Nevis valley was the backdrop to young William Wallace’s hometown, Lanark, where he grew up and fell in love with Murron, a local lass. Although the Lanark village set was dismantled following the Braveheart production, the Braveheart Cark Park still remains to this date. To fully appreciate some of Scotland’s wonder and beauty, Glen Nevis is a stunning valley which resides in the shadow of Britain’s highest mountain top, Ben Nevis in Fort William. With ample walks, terrains and landscapes to explore, Glen Nevis is the perfect place to go an adventure. Plus, if you’re an avid hillwalker, Glen Nevis is the final stretch for the West Highland Way, a 95 mile walking route from Glasgow to Fort William.

Outlaw King: Linlithgow Palace

Outlaw King is a Netflix Original film which tells the tale of Robert The Bruce, the 14th Century Scottish King who launched guerrilla warfare on the English army. Hollywood star Chris Pine walks in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce as he fights to reclaim Scotland after King Edward made him an outlaw. The Outlaw King production followed the locations in which Robert the Bruce fought and lived, including Linlithgow Palace, the residence of several Scottish kings in the 15th and 16th Century. The ruins of the majestic palace are located alongside the loch and visitors can now see the Great Hall where generations of kings and queens feasted, where Mary Queen of Scots was born and then walk through the courtyard where Robert the Bruce once stood.

Outlander: Doune Castle

If you’re enchanted by the mystical and spell-binding Outlander story and want to fully immerse yourself in Claire and Jamie’s world, then come and experience the landscapes, towns, dramatic castles and country charm that inspired the writers and producers. Located north of Stirlingshire, Doune Castle plays a leading backdrop in series 1 of Outlander. The story shows Doune Castle as home to Colum Mackenzie and his clan in the 18th Century. Visitors can appreciate the castle, the grounds and its architecture by heading to Stirling where you can revel in a time which once was. Explore the Great Hall where banquets were held, the kitchen where sumptuous foods were prepared and enjoy the marvellous setting which surrounds the castle.

Photo Cred: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/tourism-visitors/places-to-visit/doune-castle/

 

The list of Scottish locations caught on screen are endless, as the infamous Game of Thrones also filmed scenes at Doune Castle, not to mention Avengers: End Game which filmed a dramatic scene in our capital city, Edinburgh. Glasgow’s streets are also soon to be transformed into Gotham City in the latest Batman film with Robert Pattinson.

Scotland’s appearance in blockbuster movies has seen tourists from all corners of the world flock to our great country to explore the landscapes which feature in their favourite films and TV series. And if you’re impressed by the view from your living room, then you’re in for a real treat when you visit in person.

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A Day Trip To Stirling: Top Tourist Attractions

Things to do in Stirling, Scotland

A small city bursting with monumental history, rich culture, breath-taking scenery and a buzzing atmosphere. Stirling Castle’s hill-top boardwalk offers locals, tourists and explorers alike the most picturesque scenes towering over the city grounds and across Loch Lomond & The Trossachs mountain peaks to the north. With countless unique experiences, adventures, cosy cafes, local restaurants and pubs to take refuge, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Stirling town centre. To help you plan the perfect day out in Stirling we’ve listed our top 5 tourist attractions guaranteed to have you smiling from start to finish!

Stirling Castle

Stirling is steeped in rich Scottish history, and at the heart of the old town lies one of Scotland’s most important sites, the medieval Stirling Castle. Perched upon craggy volcanic rock, Stirling Castle was once residence to the Stewart kings and queens who threw magnificent banquets, coronations and celebrations which attracted various aristocrats, knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors to revel in the magnificent gardens and rooms of the castle. Mary Queen of Scots was one of the many royals crowned at Stirling Castle back in 1542.

Once a formidable military fortress, it is now a tourist hotspot where you can discover the tales from the battlefield that shaped Scotland, and appreciate the endless beauty of Stirlingshire. Walk through the castle grounds and step back into the 16th century where costume characters walk you through a life which once was. Immerse yourself in rich history with one of the castle’s guided tours or head to the palace vaults where the little ones can dress up and play with medieval instruments, an unforgettable experience for all ages. Cobbled streets, intriguing history, family tours and magnificent architecture, Stirling Castle should be at the top of your bucket list when visiting this historic city.

The National Wallace Monument

The summit of Abbey Craig is where this national and iconic landmark stands, where visitors can discover the life and legacy of one of Scotland’s finest heroes, Sir William Wallace. The Wallace Monument honours a fallen Scottish hero who led Scotland to victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge against King Edward’s army.

Step inside The Hall of Arms and learn how the Battle of Stirling Bridge was fought and won, the weapons used by each army, and bear witness to a conversation shared between Wallace and Andrew de Moray following their battle triumph. You’ll also have the opportunity to see William Wallace’s legendary sword in the centre of The Hall of Heroes and his surrounding comrades as you learn their battle tales and triumphs including Robert The Bruce. Following your hike to the crown of the monument you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views across Stirling out towards Loch Lomond.

Stirling Old Town Jail

Stirling Old Town Jail unlocks an experience not for the faint hearted, where you can discover the unthinkable, grim and gruesome tales of crime and punishment in the Royal Burgh of Stirling. Following the dawn of 11th November 1847, a parade of prisoners was marched from the depths of Stirling’s Tolbooth Gaol (Jail) across St Johns Street, and into the New County Jail, known as the Old Town Jail.

For 1 hour, visitors can gasp and gulp while listening to the history behind the punishments dished out in this medieval jail, including the baffling tales of the heroes and villains which once roamed the jail. You’ll learn about the Tolbooth’s notorious and infamous ‘Happy Hangman’ executioner, the Union Martyr, the murderer Allan Mair and many more. These men come to life through vivid and interactive performances as they take you through the horrors of the Old Town Jail. The observation tower also offers visitors beautiful views across the old town and surrounding countryside.

Battle of Bannockburn Experience

Swap the school and work uniform for medieval armour as it’s time for you to relive one of Scotland’s most infamous battles… The Battle of Bannockburn. Located just outside of Stirling and within the vicinity of the great battle, the visitor centre has created a fully immersive 3D experience which brings the thrilling 14th century battle back to life.

Bear witness to many great warriors including Robert The Bruce, see their weapons, armour and battlefield positions as you wander through the centre. Plus, you’ll get to take command of your own simulated 3D battle against King Edward II and try to recreate Bruce’s decisive victory against the greatest British army known. Following your enactment, you can take a stroll outside and wander across the parkland and admire the iconic statue of Robert The Bruce.

Blair Drummond Safari Park

Just 4 miles outside of Stirling lies 120 acres of beautiful woodland, magnificent animals and attractions to impress all ages. With over 350 exotic animals to visit, Scotland’s only giraffes, drive-through reserves, sea lion presentations, a boat trip to Chimp Island and an adventure play area, there’s plenty to keep you busy all-day long!

The drive-through reserves allow you to get up close and personal to various animal species including zebras, rhinos, deer and everyone’s favourite, the lions. It’s exciting, educational and fun all in one. You’ll be in awe with the skill of the sea lions, fascinated by the monkeys swinging from the trees, enthralled by the flying fox and delighted with the number of food and refreshment outlets available.

 

With plenty of things to do including countless unique experiences, adventures, defining history, immersive experiences and wild animals at your fingertips, Stirling is the perfect city to explore with those you love. The abundance of things to do, including activities and attractions are infinite, you could wander the city, enjoy local cuisine, revel in culture and appreciate everything Stirling has to offer in 1 day. However, if you’d like more time to explore we offer a range of luxury self-catering holiday homes on the banks of Loch Lomond just a short drive away which would make the perfect basecamp. Browse our collection here:


Family Activities & Things To Do at Christmas

Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones. And whether your 5 or 55, it’s the most wonderful time of the year and a time that family takes centre stage. But it’s hard to keep everyone entertained throughout the festive season, which is why we’ve put together a list of our favourite family activities to enjoy at Christmas time. Special thanks to Laura  from The Breastest News, Sam from North East Family Fun, Susan Mann and Katy Stern from Otis & Us for contributing their ideas to our blog!

 

Bake a Christmas Treat

Christmas is the time to overindulge, and what better way to indulge than with your own homemade goodies? Many families have cherished family recipes that are passed down from generation to generation, and Christmas provides the time to try them out.

But if you don’t have a family recipe, keep it simple with these Jammy Star Cookies from BBC GoodFood. An easy bake that kids will love to get involved in, with minimal ingredients and a relatively quick baking time, you can sit back and relax with a cup of tea and one of your homemade biscuits in under an hour and a half! Plus they are an ideal gift to give to friends and family on Christmas morning, or to enjoy when visitors pop by.

Opt for different shaped biscuits for an extra special festive treat. Christmas tree, snowman, reindeer, candy cane and snowflake are some of our favourites! You could also decorate the top of your biscuits in festive colours.

Tweet us your favourite festive recipes @cameronlodges

Watch a Christmas Movie

There’s nothing like a Christmas film to get you feeling festive! All our family bloggers agree that watching Christmas movies is one of the best family activities to enjoy during the festive season – especially since it’s not weather dependent. Switch the lights off, light the candles, close the curtains and snuggle up together on the sofa with a fluffy blanket and let the Christmas movie marathon begin. The only things missing are movie snacks and everyone’s favourite, hot chocolate! From It’s A Wonderful Life, A Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, The Polar Express to everyone’s favourites Home Alone and Elf, there’s endless movies to choose from! We’ve enlisted help from our bloggers to help you decide on a Christmas classic for all the family to enjoy. Laura from @BreastestNews says The Snowman is a favourite in their household, while Sam and the gang from @NEFamilyFun love watching Christmas Chronicles.

But they all agree that snuggling up with lots of festive treats and watching the magic of Christmas come to life on the big screen is the best way to enjoy indoor family time during December. It’s a classic Christmas tradition for everyone to enjoy!

Decorate the Christmas Tree

Katy from @Otisandus_blog, Susan from @susankmann and Laura from @BreastestNews all agree that putting up the Christmas tree is one of their favourite parts of Christmas and the festive season.

For an extra special touch, why not make your own Christmas tree decorations? From decorative pine cones to scented fruit decorations, there are lots of ideas. With relatively inexpensive and easy to find supplies, you can create something magical that can add extra sparkle to your tree and can be used for years to come. Here are some of our favourite Christmas decoration ideas –

Festive Pine Cones

Pine cones tend to fall in autumn and can be found not too far from conifer trees and in conifer dominated woodland. Scotland’s native conifer tree, the Scots Pine can be found throughout Scotland so you shouldn’t have to wander too far from home to find a conifer forest and some fallen pine cones for your Christmas crafts.

Here are some ideas for decorating your pine cones –

  • Paint the pine cones in a colour that matches your Christmas tree colour scheme
  • Spread some glue on the ends of the scales then dip in either
    • Artificial snow
    • Glitter

When you’ve finished decorating, glue on some ribbon to the bottom of your pine cone to allow your decorations to hang on the tree, or alternatively, simply place them on the branches.

Does your family have homemade tree decorations? Tweet us @cameronlodges with pictures!

Going To The Pantomime

It’s not only festive season, it’s pantomime season! Pantomimes are deeply rooted into our culture and are often based around fables and fairy tales to keep the little ones smiling and amused. Expect laugh-out-loud comedy, creative backdrops, dazzling costumes and plenty of boos and hisses at all the evil villains. Pantomimes have all the ingredients to make the perfect family day out. The theatre is calling, you better grab those tickets and get going! This year in Glasgow alone, you can look forward to Snow White, Jack and The Beanstalk and The Magical Adventures of Pinocchio.

If we’ve missed any pantos or you’d like to share your experiences with us then tweet @cameronlodges

Do Something Different This Christmas

There is still time left to book a luxury lodge break and escape to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond this Christmas. It’s the most magical time of the year and we’d like to share it with you. Plus, we have limited Christmas and New Year availability so book now before it’s too late. Book before 21st December and we will give you 10% off!


How To Get To Loch Lomond

 

Loch Lomond is one of the most beautiful places imaginable in Scotland. With breath-taking countryside landscapes, cragged hills, mountain peaks and charming local villages, there’s no shortage of places to explore on the bonnie banks. With various activities on offer and things to do, Loch Lomond is the perfect place for a day trip, long weekend or a week’s holiday.

By car, train or bus, Loch Lomond is easily accessible from all of Scotland’s major cities, especially Glasgow. We’ve listed our top 3 ways in which you can reach Loch Lomond from Glasgow below.

Travelling to Loch Lomond By Car

Loch Lomond is approximately 25 miles from Glasgow and takes approximately 30-35 minutes to drive.

Traveling to Loch Lomond by car is the quickest mode of transport however, the road to Loch Lomond affords such beautiful views, you might end up taking little longer than expected as you stop to admire the scenery and snap a quick pic.

We’ve listed our top 2 routes from Glasgow, one starting from the M8 motorway in the city centre, and the other from Great Western Road, in Glasgow’s West End.

Both routes end at Loch Lomond Shores, the gateway to Loch Lomond, where you’ll find plenty of free parking spaces! Our resort is a short 25 minute walk along the shore road from Loch Lomond Shores, where you will find The Boat House restaurant, Cameron House Marina and the Loch Lomond Seaplane.

Via M8 and A82:

  • Merge onto the M8 and keep right at the fork to stay on the M8 (9.9 miles)
  • Take the M898 exit towards Erskine/Bishopton (0.4 miles)
  • Continue onto the M898 (0.8 miles)
  • Continue onto the A898 (1.3 miles)
  • Keep left at the fork, follow signs for A82/Crianlarich and merge onto Great Western Rd/A82 (2.3 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Dumbarton Rd/ A82 (2.7 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A82 (0.4 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A82 (3.6 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A82 (2.5 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A82 (5.6 miles)
  • Turn right (262 feet) and you’ll find Loch Lomond Shores car park

Via Great Western Road and A82:

  • Head northwest on Great Western Road/ A82 (0.5 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Great Western Road/ A82 (1.0 mile)
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on Great Western Road/ A82 (4.0 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Dumbarton Road and continue to follow A82 (2.7 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A82 (0.4 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A82 (3.6 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto A811 (0.4 miles)
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Old Luss Road (440 feet)
  • At the roundabout, continue straight onto Ben Lomond Way (0.2 miles)
  • Turn left and Loch Lomond Shores car park will be on your right

Travelling to Loch Lomond By Train

Enjoy Loch Lomond by train when you board a ScotRail train at Glasgow Queen Street on North Hanover Street, right in the heart of Glasgow city centre. Sit back, relax, sip on a freshly brewed coffee and appreciate the beautiful landscape that pass you by as you leave the city for greener pastures.

Below we outline everything you need to know about travelling to Balloch train station in Loch Lomond, from Glasgow Queen Street station.

Train Ticket Prices From Glasgow to Balloch

A single off-peak ScotRail train ticket from Glasgow Queen Street to Balloch costs £5.70 (as of December 2019, from Trainline) however if you travel during peak times your ticket will cost more. We advise checking the Trainline or Scotrail website before travelling.

The first train leaves Glasgow Queen Street at 6:42am and arrives at Balloch train station approximately 49 minutes after departure, and the last train leaves Balloch station at 22:44 and arrives back at Queen Street at around 23:33 (as of December 2019, from Trainline). Trains frequently depart Glasgow Queen Street to Balloch, with 35 services in operation throughout the day, catering for all travellers whether you prefer to explore in the morning, afternoon or evening. Please note that journey times and lengths are subject to change depending on the time, date and weather conditions.

Train timetables from Queen Street to Balloch.

Balloch train station is in the heart of Balloch town centre with various shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels. The station is also close to the starting points for various cruise and ferry trips, and local walking and cycling trails. Balloch’s iCentre sits directly opposite from the train station where you can pick up a local map to start planning your Loch Lomond adventure.

Travelling to Loch Lomond By Bus

Buses are considered the least expensive mode of transport within Scotland, however this also means that the travel time is longer due to the number of stops in between destinations. Please note, that bus departure frequency and timetables are subject to change at the weekend. We recommend checking the First Bus website before travelling.

First Bus operate three services that depart from Glasgow to Balloch in Alexandria – First Bus 1, 1A and 1E. First Bus operates bus services from Osborne Street in Glasgow’s city centre to Balloch approximately every 30-40 minutes, with several stops in Glasgow before heading onto the M8 motorway towards Balloch. The bus from Glasgow drops you off at Balloch Bus Terminus which is a 7 minute walk from the iCentre, located in the centre of Balloch. Once you arrive at the bus terminus, walk north-east on Balloch Road towards Fisherwood road for 0.3 miles and then turn right onto Carrochan Road and keeping walking for approximately 128 feet and the visitor’s iCentre will be on your right.

To view the bus routes in more detail, please visit the FirstBus timetables page.