Tag Archives: Scotland Nature

Looking for some breathtaking scenery? If so, Scotland’s stunning nature is well worth exploring. Witness the unspoiled beauty of the grassy lands and Munros standing tall as you drive through the most northern parts of Scotland.


Balloch

Things To Do In Balloch

Things To Do In Loch Lomond & Balloch

As we head towards the colder winter season, 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? There are plenty of things to do in Loch Lomond, whether you’re looking to explore the local area, go on a walking adventure or partake in an outdoor activity, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

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.

Balloch Castle

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!

Treezone Loch Lomond

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.

If you’re looking to make the most of what Balloch has to offer whilst on a self-catering or cottage break in Loch Lomond, then get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you plan your perfect break.


Loch Lomond

Favourite Photographs of Loch Lomond

Our Favourite Photographs of Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is not only our home, our sanctuary and our haven, it is also home to some of the most beautiful scenery to ever exist in Scotland. As you wander through the bonnie banks you will be rewarded with views that are sure to take your breath away. Seasonality does not hinder the beauty of Loch Lomond as the landscapes adapt to the ever-changing weather, creating unique seasonal scenes that keep even the most discerning photographer on their toes!

So what better way to celebrate the natural landscapes of Loch Lomond than teaming up with a few of our favourite social media influencers to show you some of their favourite photographs of Loch Lomond?

Warning: the following post may fuel wanderlust.

1. Brodie Duncan

As ex-Group Picture editor for The Herald and Times Group, Brodie has always loved photography and now that he runs a B&B on the banks of Loch Lomond, he gets to pursue his passion almost every day. He says,

“Loch Lomond boasts the most beautiful views and there is hardly a day that goes by where the landscapes don’t change. Whether I’m walking my dogs or cruising on the loch, I always make sure I have a camera with me, as when I get asked ‘what’s the best camera to have?’, my reply never changes. It’s always ‘the one you have with you!’.”

Here are a couple of Brodie’s favourite photographs of Loch Lomond:

Instagram: @duncan.brodie

2. Alexs Smith

Alexs from A bonnie Travelers Inside Guide is a passionate outdoor travel writer and SUP enthusiast from Glasgow and she’s been kind enough to share two photos with us for this blog, and her reasons for selecting these as two of her favourite ever snaps of Loch Lomond!

SUP near Luss with Inchconnachan Island in the background

“I love spending time outdoors for the sense of adventure and to enjoy the fresh air, working at a desk all week really leaves me craving it. I love being up mountains, but there’s something about being in the water that makes me feel totally relaxed. The freedom and mildly meditative ‘blue mind’ state leaves me with a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in one moment. It’s such a great way to disconnect and clear your head.”

Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond 

“I feel so lucky to live in Scotland and with the Trossachs only an hour outside of Glasgow, I usually head there for a day on the hills. Ben Lomond is my absolute favourite to climb, the views are truly breath taking. Hill walking is such a great way to blow away the cobwebs (the Scottish wind will certainly blow you sideways). After a long day of hiking, I usually find my itching restlessness is gone and I’m feeling content and pretty chilled.”

Instagram: @abonnietravelersinsideguide

3. Ashley Glen

Ashley is a mum and Personal Trainer, passionate about outdoor travel and adventure, blogging over at The Explore More Mum. Her favourite photograph is this early morning shot of a very still Loch Lomond.

“Loch Lomond is such a unique and special place for me. I was able to reach the area without needing a car and could explore the surroundings on foot and by stand up paddle. For me, the best time to visit is first thing in the morning, where the warm sun begins to evaporate all the moisture, leaving a hazy glaze over the loch. It’s always the most peaceful and you’ll feel you’ve stolen the loch all to yourself.”

Instagram: @theexploremoremum

4. Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is an experienced photographer, and what you could call the epitome of a proud Scotsman! We love how his favourite picture perfectly captures his one true love. Find out why this is his favourite photo below.

In the words of Robert Burns “And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a’ the sea’s gang dry”

“This is how it feels to be Scottish! I fell in love with this view many years ago climbing here with my Dad. I’ve had this shot in mind for years and eventually was able to get it! Huge thanks to my friend Calum for helping me capture it! Despite his exhaustion, he dragged his tired legs back up another munro!”

At the summit of Ben Vane, situated in the Southern Highlands

Instagram: @paulwilsonsphotography

5. Neil Robertson

Neil is a travelling Scotsman and perpetual adventurer who blogs over at Travels With A Kilt.

According to Neil,

“There’s nothing like an early morning escape from city life and the still tranquillity of the Loch before beginning the ascent of one of Scotland’s favourite hills. Glaswegians should forever be grateful for having such sublime beauty in such close proximity.”

Instagram: travelswithakilt

6. Fariba Stoddart

Fariba is an Instagram influencer who adventures through Scotland. Her favourite photo of Loch Lomond features the ever popular Heilan’ Coo!

Fariba captioned her photo “Coos day almost over…” because every Tuesday is ‘Coos Day’ on social media, where users upload a photograph of a Highland Cow with the hashtag #Coosday. We’re not sure when this unofficial tribute to the humble Heilan’ Coo began but VisitScotland posted about it as far back as 2014! So if you’re looking to join in and snap a shot of a magnificent Highland Cow then why not head to Loch Lomond and get snapping!

Instagram: @berriestragram

If these stunning photos of Loch Lomond have given you’re the travel bug, take a look at our selection of luxury self-catering lodges, cottages and apartments and start planning your next trip to Loch Lomond! Or you can let us know if you have any images to add to the list – tweet us @cameronlodges or leave us a comment on Facebook.


Distillery

Distillery Tours Near Loch Lomond

Whisky Distillery Tours Near Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is not only home to our luxury resort and breath-taking scenery, it is also home to many fantastic tourist attractions. As winter fast approaches, we can’t think of anything better than enjoying a dram of Scotland’s finest on a cold day, which is why we think winter is the perfect opportunity to explore the many distilleries in and around Loch Lomond.

A distillery tour involves so much more than a tasting, you will learn about the history of each whisky brand and the ancient methods and processes involved in making the golden nectar Scotland has become so famous for.

We’ve listed our top 5 whisky distilleries below, let us know if you’ve visited our top picks, and if you have any other distillery tours to add to our list – tweet us @cameronlodges or leave us a comment on Facebook, we’d love to hear from you.

Glengoyne Distillery

Glengoyne is often regarded as Scotland’s most beautiful distillery. Situated amongst idyllic countryside landscapes snuggled into Dumgoyne Hill, the distillery is a short drive from Glasgow, Stirling and of course, Loch Lomond. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to taste their finest malt whisky in the most beautiful setting imaginable, with one of their seven tour experiences.

All tours begin with a dram of Glengoyne’s iconic 12 year old malt, followed by a masterclass on Glengoyne’s traditions and secrets, how their infamous bold flavours are created, and a guided tour of the journey their spirits take. Finish off your tour in the most romantic setting as you stroll up to the waterfall and the hidden glen to appreciate the beautiful Scottish landscapes that surround the distillery.

Glengoyne offers a variety of guided tours that will take you behind the scenes and give you unimaginable insights into the production of their Highland malt whiskies, all year round. With delectable options including a Whisky & Chocolate Tour, Malt Master Tour and their 5 hour Masterclass Experience, visit Glengoyne’s website to pick a tour that suits your tastes: https://www.glengoyne.com/visit-us

 Auchentoshan Distillery

Born in the Industrial Revolution, Auchentoshan Distillery prides itself on its Glaswegian heritage. Located in Clydebank, the distillery is a short 15 minute drive from both Glasgow’s West End, and our resort in Loch Lomond.

Experience a malt whisky tour like no other when you visit Auchentoshan, Scotland’s only malt whisky distillery where each drop of whisky is triple distilled to create a distinctive, mouth-watering flavour. With a variety of tours, you can learn about Auchentoshan’s unique distillery methods, malt ingredients and taste a sample of their triple distilled Scottish malts at the end of your tour.

You control how deep you dive into the tasting experience, as Auchentoshan offer six different malt whisky tours which result in varied malt tastings and masterclasses. From a short one hour tour in which you’ll taste one malt, to an exclusive, private hire tour and tasting where you will have the distillery to yourself, there is an option to suit all whisky enthusiasts. Open 7 days per week, all year round, visit the Auchentoshan website to book a tour: https://www.auchentoshan.com/distillery-tours 

Glenturret Distillery

Steeped in over 200 years of history, Glenturret Distillery is the oldest working distillery in Scotland. From its origins among the smugglers and illegal stills of the 18th century, this distillery has fascinating stories to tell you.

Set in the beautiful Perthshire countryside, Glenturret Distillery is where Scotland’s oldest malt whisky is produced. Glenturret Malt Whisky is still hand crafted today using the only remaining hand operated mash tun in Scotland. Their team have been making whisky by hand and heart since 1775 and visitors get to experience the traditional handmade distilling methods that have been used to craft whiskies at Glenturret for generations.

Whether you’re looking for a unique distillery tour, a special warehouse experience, or even the opportunity to blend your own whisky, Glenturret is the only remaining distillery in Scotland able to deliver a traditional, hand-made whisky production experience. Open 7 days a week, book your Glenturret experience now: https://www.theglenturret.com/visit/

Deanston Distillery

From opening as a cotton mill factory located on the banks of the River Teith, to a community driven craft distillery in Perthshire, Deanston Distillery has a fascinating story of regeneration to share with you. Residents of Deanston have spent decades committed to authentic craftsmanship in order to produce single malts with an aroma of fresh honeyed sweetness.

Immerse yourself in the history and heritage of Deanston distillery through informative tours and tasting experiences with a team of passionate craftsmen. Allow the team to take you on a journey through time, and discover the devotion required to create their flavoursome single malts. Visit Deanston distillery to explore the flavours of Deanston and discover how their hand-crafted approaches result in drops of rich whiskies. For a whisky tasting and distillery experience you won’t forget, visit Deanston’s website to book a tour to suit your preference: https://www.deanstonmalt.com/visit-us/

Tullibardine Distillery

The history of Tullibardine Distillery can be traced back to 1488, when King James IV of Scotland walked through the doors of a local distillery to purchase beer before his coronation. However it wasn’t until 1947 that this local brewery was transformed into the well-established, globally recognised Tullibardine Distillery.

Situated in the village of Blackford within the stunning Perthshire countryside, Tullibardine Distillery is a family owned business that believes in their traditional handcrafted distilling methods used to create their Highland Single Malt Scotch whiskies. Following the distilling process, their whisky needs a drum to mature and remedy in, to give their malts the perfect flavour and colour. Experience a true Scottish distillery where whisky is distilled, matured and bottled all in one location, giving Tullibardine control over the whole process.

The heart and soul of Tullibardine comes from the passion and drive of their team who craft charming Highland Malts that will leave you wanting more. We recommend taking a tour with their distilling experts to uncover the secrets of Tullibardine and end your educational journey with a taste of pure Highland perfection. There are four exceptional tours available to you, visit Tullibardine’s website for more information about each tour: http://www.tullibardine.com/tours.html

Touring distilleries and tasting single malt whiskies can be tiresome for the designated driver, so why not book a break in one of our luxury self-catering properties and take advantage of the various public transport options that will take you to your destination. A luxury lodge, cottage or apartment at Cameron Lodges is the perfect base for your distillery adventure.


Munro Climbing

Everything You Need To Know About Munro Bagging

Munro Bagging in Scotland

Hikers Munro Bagging

Hikers bagging some munros

Bagging (or reaching the summit of) a Munro, a mountain of at least 3,000 feet, is one of thebestways to see the wonders of Scotland from a different viewpoint. Providing breathtaking views, unrivalled scenery and wildlife, as well as a number of seasons in one walk, Munro bagging is an experience in itself, with nothing quite like it. And with Scotland boasting 282 Munros and 227 subsidiary tops, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

If this sounds like it’s up your street then you won’t be alone as thousands of people are now pulling on their hiking boots every year to tick another off their list. The activity of Munro bagging has seen a recent surge in popularity and become somewhat of a phenomenon in Scotland, with many tourists travelling to the country to see what all of the fuss is about. For a hugely fun activity, little experience is required to navigate the first or indeed, every other Munro following that.

You can also maximise your stay and bag a few Munros in the space of just two or three days – many now plan a Munro bagging weekend to make the most of their time in Scotland.

 

Some Munro Bagging Facts

Hiker staring at mountains

  • Munro bagging isn’t a new activity, as Reverend AE Robertson was reportedly the first person tocomplete the first round of Munros in 1901 (reaching the summit of all 282 Munros). Some of his climbs were speculative however, and Ronald Burn in 1923 is looked upon by others as officially the first to achieve a round.
  • Sir Hugh Munro compiled the first ever full list of Munros (hence the name), the ‘Munro’s Tables’, in 1891.
  • Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK is arguably the most well-known of the Munros, standing at 4,411 ft (1,345 m).
  • The fastest round was carried out by Stephen Pyke in 2010 who managed to bag all the Munros in 39 days and 9 hours. He also didn’t use any forms of motorised transport and even cycled and kayaked between each of the Munros.
  • Remarkably, the youngest person who has completed a round of the Munros was 10 year old Ben Fleetwood, who finished the last of his Munros in August 2011.
  • 13 rounds of the 282 Munros is the current record which was achieved by Steven Fallon in 2006.

 

Tips for BeginnersHikers beginning a munro trek

 

For those setting off to bag their first Munro, there are some fantastic hiking tools readily available for you – from interactive maps to detailed guides, these tools will allow you to make the most of your time climbing the mountain and to help you enjoy it as much as possible.

 

Here are a few munro bagging tips to get you started:

  • Plan Ahead

Scotland’s fantastic climate is unpredictable. It may be the middle of summer but it’s possible that you may still experience four seasons in one day. Take plenty of snacks and water, check the weather forecast and plan your route, letting someone know where you are going.

  • Layers, Layers, Layers

Hiking is an arduous task and as you ascend and descend, temperatures can fluctuate – you are at the top of a mountain after all, and it is Scotland. By wearing layers, including a waterproof jacket, you can peel off and add back on as required.

  • These Boots are Made for Walking

Investing in a good pair of walking boots and breaking them in could help your feet last the journey and avoid the much dreaded blisters afterwards.

  • Are you Camera Ready?

When you finally make it to the top, you’ll want to capture the amazing views on offer so remember your camera or phone (and make sure it has plenty of battery) as you will want to remember the moment.

 

What other Munro bagging tips do you have for beginners?


Highland Cow

Weather in Loch Lomond Throughout the Year

Highland Coo-1

When our guests are planning their holiday to Loch Lomond, we understand that the weather is a very important factor to take into consideration. There are plenty of jokes about the weather in Scotland, but luckily most of them just aren’t true (honest!). So we’ve put together a post below which gives you an insight into the weather throughout the year here in Loch Lomond and when the best time is to take part in your favourite activity.

Lonely Planet states that it rarely gets too hot or too cold in the Loch Lomond area; we have four distinct seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, each with their own special character and charm (which you can sometimes experience all in one day!) As the saying goes, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’, so it pays to be prepared.

Spring

Spring sees the days starting to lengthen and the average temperatures rising from around 9° C in March to 14° C by mid-May. These months are usually amongst the driest of the year, with just 71mm of rain falling in March and 65mm in May, so they are the ideal time to get out and about and enjoy our stunning scenery.

There are numerous hiking trails to enjoy, or you can hire bikes. Try your hand at fishing or take a ferry trip to Inchcailloch island, part of the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve, which is carpeted with bluebells in April and May.

Summer

June, July and August are the warmest months of the year for Loch Lomond weather, with daytime highs reaching around 19° C and comfortably cool evenings with average temperatures of between 10 and 12° C. The summer is ideal for water sports, including water-skiing, kayaking and swimming and the long light evenings are perfect for whiling away the time fishing on the lochside or riverbank. The summer is also the season for festivals and Highland Games: the Loch Lomond Highland Games and the Luss Highland Gathering are both held in July.

Autumn

September, October and November see temperatures starting to drop back, from an average of 16°C in September to around 9°C in November, but the shortening days bring glowing light and golden and red leaf colours. Autumn is a very popular time of year to visit Loch Lomond, you can take a guided nature walk to spot rutting red deer or enjoy a cruise on the loch. Around half the days during autumn will see some rainfall, but even if the weather is wet there are plenty of fun things to do.

Why not visit one of our local whisky distilleries or enjoy a day trip to the Loch Lomond Sealife Aquarium?

Winter

With snowy mountainsides above the gleaming waters of the loch, the winter landscape around Loch Lomond is hard to beat. Average daytime temperatures range from 8°C in December to 6° C in February and rainfall amounts are around 250mm a month; this may sometimes fall as snow, especially at higher altitudes. In winter, the roads are quiet, so it is the perfect time to go for a cycle ride or car tour, then warm up over a pub lunch by a log fire.

If you are going climbing or planning a hill walk, or even if would just like to know what the weather in Loch Lomond will be like when you arrive, we would recommend checking the Met Office or BBC as these are generally the most reliable.