Lifestyle Travel

Clockwise from main image: Luss; Ardlui ferry; View of Loch Lomond; Ardlui Hotel; Loch Lomond cruise


Whether you’re taking the high road or the low road, Loch Lomond is the perfect escape. Anna Millar and Claire Sawers select some of the more interesting stop-offs

BALLOCH This town, situated at the southern tip of Loch Lomond, is a 40-minute drive or train journey from Glasgow. On its doorstep is the glorious Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park (lochlomond-trossachs. org), which incorporates one of Scotland’s more famous stretches of water with the peaks and forested glens of the rugged Trossachs. An easy escape from the city, there are all sorts of opportunities for gentle shore-side walks, serious hill-walking, mountain-biking and watersports. Beyond the lovely array of cruise boats waiting to take you on a spin around the loch, attractions are plentiful in this bustling hub (see for up-to-date events listings). Balloch Castle Country Park has regular one-off activities for all the family, especially during the summer months; alternatively visitors can simply enjoy its lochside walks, walled garden and shop and visitor centre. Welcoming, too, is Loch Lomond Shores, a little centre of shops, eateries and the home of Loch Lomond Aquarium and Sealife Centre (, boasting the largest selection of sharks in Scotland and the first shark nursery in the country. The more active 102 THE LIST 2–9 Aug 2012

can walk or cycle to Balloch from Glasgow’s Bell Bridge, along the beautiful 20-mile Clyde and Loch Lomond cycleway. (AM) BALMAHA AND DRYMEN With its bluey hues, sandy bay and sheltered locale, Balmaha is a popular spot for watersports around the loch, while back on land golf fans can indulge in a round at the nearby Loch Lomond Golf Club. The eastern shore of the loch boasts impressive views of Ben Lomond, and the Ben Lomond Walkway, a jaunt on which offers you the chance to say you’ve walked a bit of the West Highland Way. Grab some lunch in Balmaha at the Oak Tree Inn pub (oak-tree- It has its own smokehouse and does a good pint of ale. Afterwards, head along the shore; there’s a well-marked footpath to the quiet village of Rowardennan and some great walks to be found at the heart of the Forest Park, north of Balmaha. Just three miles down the road in the other direction, you’ll find Drymen, historically known as the collection point for Rob Roy McGregor’s ‘black mail’ and which today has a great selection of