17 Epic Things to Do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs

Within easy reach from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, it’s no wonder Loch Lomond easily tops the list of the best places to visit in Scotland. The pristine and unspoilt beauty of this freshwater Scottish loch leaves travellers spellbound.

It is the largest lake by surface area in Great Britain and is part of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, the first national park in Scotland, followed by the Cairngorms.

The Highland Boundary Fault Line cuts through this loch, separating the gentler terrain of lowlands and the mountainous landscape of the Scottish Highlands.

Loch Lomond

From picturesque villages and untamed wilderness to the rolling hills and vast lakes – there is so much to see and do in this part of Scotland.

Also, Loch Lomond is a popular destination for a day trip from Glasgow.

Best Things to Do in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

1. Enjoy a Leisurely Stroll in Luss

Nestled on the western shore, the quaint village of Luss is one of the best places to visit in Loch Lomond. For such a tiny village, there are plenty of wonderful things to do in Luss.

Wander along the streets to admire the neatly lined charming cottages adorning various colourful seasonal floral displays. Most of the current buildings were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries to accommodate workers from the nearby slate quarries and mills.

The village of Luss
Luss Pier

Walk to the Luss pier to catch one of the most gorgeous views of Loch Lomond and the imposing Ben Lomond.

On hot summer days, the scenic waterfront teems with people enjoying a picnic and sunbathing. Also, Luss is a hub for water sports and adventure activities.

Hike to the nearby Luss Hills to enjoy a superb panoramic view over Loch Lomond, the islands and the Arrochar Alps.

Another must-visit tourist attraction is the historic Luss Parish Church, an important religious site built in 1875.

2. Take a Scenic Boat Cruise

If this is your first visit to this loch, a great way to start knowing this area is by jumping onto a sightseeing cruise on its serene water. It is one of the main activities in Loch Lomond and should be part of your Glasgow Itinerary as it’s not too far from the loch.

Peacefully drifting across the calm water presents a great opportunity to admire the stunning islands, mountains and charming lakeside villages. Also, Loch Lomond is renowned for its rich wildlife. So, keep your eyes peeled out.

Boat tour on Loch Lomond
cruise loch lomond

There are many sorts of boat trip options, including circular boat trips, island cruises, and linear routes. Most of the boat trips depart from Luss and Balloch.

Many of these tours include live commentary on board. From your knowledgeable guide, you will learn about the intriguing local history and heritage of this area.

3. Climb the Mighty Ben Lomond

Located on the eastern bank of Loch Lomond, the mighty Ben Lomond is one of the most popular mountains in Scotland. It is Scotland’s most southerly Munro and is 974 metres high. A Munro is a mountain in Scotland with a height of over 3,000 feet.

It takes around 4.5 to 6 hours to walk Ben Lomond. The hike starts from the car park of Rowardennan, a tiny hamlet on Loch Lomond.

Ben Lomond

There are two paths to reach the summit. The tourist trail is the easiest one. Although the trail is lengthy, the hike is not very challenging. Experienced hikers, can enjoy the rough path through the Ptarmigan Ridge, which is much shorter but quite steep and rocky in places. 

Whichever path you choose, you will surely get an absolutely breathtaking view of Loch Lomond and its many islands. From the summit, there are stunning views in all directions. On a clear day, you can see Loch Katrine and the Trossachs, Loch Sloy and the Arrochar Alps.

4. See Loch Lomond’s Iconic View from Conic Hill

Climbing Conic Hill is one of the best activities in Loch Lomond. The peak rises to 361m, and the views from the summit are truly spectacular.

You can easily hike this hill on a day trip from Edinburgh.

The hike to Conic Hill starts from the car park in Balmaha and takes around 2-3 hours to complete. The path is well-built and easy to follow.

View over Loch Lomond from Conic Hill

The pathway goes through a forest, steadily climbing up. But very soon, you will come across a plateau from where you can admire the iconic panoramic view over Loch Lomond.

Also, Conic Hill sits on the Highland Boundary Fault, a geological feature separating the lowlands and highlands of Scotland.

Conic Hill
View from Conic Hill

From the top of Conic Hill, the change of scenery caused by the fault line is so evident. The islands across Loch Lomond and the ridge of Conic Hill are all on the fault line.

After the hike, be sure to ramble around the pretty hamlet of Balmaha. Watch out for the statue of Tom Weir, a Scottish climber, author and broadcaster. You can also catch a ferry from Balmaha to visit Inchcailloch Island.

5. Picnic in Balloch Castle Country Park

Stretching over 200 acres, Balloch Castle Country Park is the only country park in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. It is a lovely place for a day out with family. 

There are several nature trails, woodlands and gardens. Wander around the park to visit the Fairy Glen, Chinese Garden, Pleasure Grounds, Quarry Pond, Kitchen Garden and Secret Garden. You will get a fantastic view over Loch Lomond. Also, this is a perfect spot for a picnic by the lake.

Balloch Castle
Balloch Castle Country Park

In Scotland, you are never too far away from a castle. At the heart of the country park, you will find the elegant Balloch Castle. The Tudor Gothic mansion was built in the early 19th century as a family home for John Buchanan of Ardoch, a Glasgow-based merchant. 

In 1980, this area was recognised as a country park. It has hosted the Loch Lomond Highland Games previously. Also, musical events featuring artists like Runrig, REM and Oasis took place here.

6. Seek Out the Thrills of Outdoor Activities

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. There are numerous hiking trails and cycle paths around the national park for all fitness levels. 

For beginner cyclists, the scenic west Loch Lomond cycle path is perfect. The linear route starts from Balloch and runs north along the loch to Tarbet. Experienced mountain bikers will enjoy exploring the Three Great Glens cycle route.

Outdoor Activities in Loch Lomond

If you are ready to get wet and wild, take a refreshing plunge into the water of this loch. On a hot summer day, it is hard to resist a dip in the lake.

Also, paddle boarding, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking are very popular activities. You can even sail to the tiny islands over Loch Lomond.

For golf lovers, there are many golf clubs around the park, including Aberfoyle Golf Club and Callander Golf Club.

7. Take in Breathtaking Views from Ben A’an

The hike to Ben A’an is one of our favourites in Scotland. You can easily visit Ben A’an on a day trip from Glasgow. It takes just over an hour to drive here from Glasgow.

Located at the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Ben A’an is often described as a mountain in miniature. It is only 340 metres high, and the hike takes about 3-4 hours to finish.

Ben Aan

The trail starts just across the road from the car park. The path is well-trodden and well-maintained. It goes through the edge of a woodland. After some time, you will notice the rocky summit of Ben A’an poking behind the trees. Continue the steep ascend until you see the first glimpse of Loch Katrine. 

From the summit, you will get the iconic view of Loch Katrine, Ben Venue and the Arrochar Alps. Although the hike is quite short, the view is extremely rewarding.

So, if you are visiting Loch Lomond, don’t forget to add this wee hill to your itinerary.

8. Unleash Your Inner Explorer at Inchcailloch Island

There are around 23 islands and several tiny islets in the vast stretch of Loch Lomond. 

Among them, Inchcailloch Island is the most accessible one. There are frequent ferry services from both Balmaha and Luss during the summer months. 

This island has a rich wildlife and is part of the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. Inchcailloch means isle of the old woman in Gaelic, which refers to Saint Kentigerna, an Irish missionary who used to live here in the 8th century.

View from Inchcailloch Island

After landing, you can find the information board showing all the nature trails around the island. You can hike the entire island in a couple of hours.

Follow the path that goes to the highest point of the island. From the summit, you will get a spectacular view of Loch Lomond and the surrounding landscapes.

Also, visit the ruined church dedicated to Saint Kentigerna and the ancient burial ground. It has graves of ancestors of the famous Scottish outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. 

9. Admire the Picturesque Views from The Cobbler

Easy access from Glasgow makes this mountain very popular with day-trippers. Also known as Ben Arthur, this rocky summit resembles a cobbler leaning over at work. Hence the name. It’s one of the most climbed hills in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

This mountain has three summits. There are two routes to the top. The easiest is through the rear, where you climb a set of steps to the top. Adventurous walkers would choose to walk up the front face, which requires some scrambling.

Ben Arthur

The hard work is soon forgotten as you gaze over the outstanding view. You can see the Loch Long, Loch Lomond and other surrounding mountains of the Highlands.

If you are brave enough, climb up the rocky pinnacle of Cobbler, which is infamously called ‘threading the eye of the needle’.

After the hike, wander around the tranquil village of Arrochar and Loch Long.

10. Take a Steamboat Cruise on Loch Katrine

Immortalised in Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’, Loch Katrine sits at the heart of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Its serene beauty has been attracting visitors since the Victorian times. As a result, this place is often considered the birthplace of Scottish tourism.

Literary geniuses such as William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott were inspired by Loch Katrine. Also, the famous outlaw and Scottish folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor, was born around this area.

Loch Katrine

Enjoy the stunning lochside views and landscapes from the deck of a century-old steamship. Boat cruises depart throughout the day. You can take your bike on board and cycle back to Trossachs Pier.

Also, there are various hiking trails around the loch. You can walk or cycle to Brenachoile Point. It is a popular picnic spot. Also, Brenachoile Point appeared in the popular TV series Outlander.

Hike to the nearby Primrose Hill for a brilliant view of Ben Venue, Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps.

11. Enjoy a Nature Break at Killin

Located at the northeastern edge of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Killin is one of the prettiest villages in Scotland. Surrounded by rugged mountains, rivers and lochs, Killin is a picturesque place to visit. It is also a great base for various outdoor activities.

One of the main attractions of this village is the dramatic Falls of Dochart, a series of cascading waterfalls. Visitors often scramble on the rocks around the falls. You will get a spectacular view of the waterfall from the nearby bridge.

killin
Hikes around loch Lomond

This area was once a stronghold of MacNab Clan. Their ancient burial ground is by the River Dochart, just below the waterfalls. A short walk from the village centre will take you to the ruined Finlarig Castle.

There are several walking trails around Killin. We loved the hike to Sròn a’Chlachain. Although the hill is shorter in height, the climb is pretty steep. But you will be greeted with an astounding view of Killin and Loch Tay.

12. Hike the West Highland Way along Loch Lomond

This 98-mile-long walking trail starts at Milngavie on the outskirts of Glasgow and ends at Fort William in the western Scottish Highlands. It is the first official long-distance trail in Scotland. 

Avid walkers visiting Loch Lomond will love a walk along the West Highland Way, one of the most famous walking routes in Scotland. Also, along the way, you will discover some of the most epic sceneries this country has to offer.

West Highland Way

It typically takes 7-8 days to hike the entire trail. However, it can be walked in parts separately.

West Highland Way passes through the eastern banks of Loch Lomond. The track goes through the villages of Drymen, Balmaha, Rowardennan and Inversnaid.

Around 25 miles of stretch of West Highland Way goes along the Loch Lomond. You can walk the section from Dryman to Rowardennan and Rowardennan to Inverarnan. Needless to say, the view is phenomenal.

13. Visit the Tranquil Falls of Falloch

Tucked away on the north of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, the Falls of Falloch is a very photogenic waterfall. It is a popular rest stop for travellers road-tripping on the A82, which runs from Glasgow to Inverness via Fort William.

From the car park, it’s a brief walk through the tree-lined path. There are picnic benches to rest and enjoy the stunning view of the waterfall.

From here, River Falloch passes through Glen Falloch and joins Loch Lomond at Ardlui. The waterfall is 30ft high and a marvellous sight to behold.

The deep pool under the falls is perfect for a wee summer dip. It is a popular spot for wild swimming in Scotland.

Also, don’t forget to visit the Woven Sound installation to get a unique perspective of the Falls of Falloch. Constructed from steel rods by John Kennedy, it shows extracts from poet Dorothy Wordsworth’s diary.

14. Discover SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium

Loch Lomond is home to a wealth of marine life. You can see a glimpse of them with other sea creatures from around the world at this visitor attraction.

Come rain or shine, it is a great place to visit with your family. Located on the southern shore of the loch in Balloch, this is one of the best kid-friendly tourist attractions in Loch Lomond.

It has over 5,000 underwater creatures with seven themed zones. They have the largest collection of sharks in Scotland. Kids will love spending time at the interactive Rockpool. Head to the observation deck for a stunning view of the loch and the surrounding mountains. Also, they host many enjoyable events all year round.

15. Get Active in Callander

Often referred to as the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, Callander is a small town near Stirling. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and woodlands of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Callander is a perfect base for exploring this area. You can get here by public transport from the historic city of Stirling.

The Main Street is lined with various souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes. Also, this pretty town was featured in the original Doctor Findlay’s Casebook television series.

Callander

There are plenty of hiking and cycling opportunities here. Take a short hike to the beautiful Bracklinn Falls. This peaceful nature trail is suitable for all visitors. The nearby Callander Crags hike is more challenging. But from the top, you will get a sweeping view of the town, Loch Venachar, Ben Ledi and the Highland Boundary Fault.

The Rob Roy Way passes through this town. It is a long-distance walking trail from Drymen to Pitlochry.

16. Take a Distillery Tour

A visit to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park would be incomplete without experiencing a distillery tour of Scotland’s most popular produce, Whisky.

There are several local distilleries and breweries around Loch Lomond. But only a handful of them offer guided tours. 

The closest one from the park is the Glengoyne Distillery. Founded in 1833, this is a single-malt whisky distillery. Take a guided tour to learn more about this place and the process of whisky making. You will get to know about the history of this distillery, how it has grown and

how its famous whiskey is produced. At the end of the tour, you will have a tasting session.

Also, you can take a tour of the Auchentoshan Distillery and Deanston Distillery. Both of them lie in close proximity to the park.

If you love beer and ale, then Loch Lomond Brewery is worth a visit. This family-run microbrewery is located in Alexandria.

17. Visit Rest and be Thankful Viewpoint and Inveraray

Located 803 ft above sea level on A83, Rest and Be Thankful is a popular viewpoint on the western boundary of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. It divides the scenic Glen Kinglas from Glen Croe.

From this viewpoint, you can see the old military road engineered by General Wade in the mid-18th century. There is a stone marker bearing the words Rest and Be Thankful and showing the history of this place.

The name was given by travellers, who would climb the steep hill and be thankful that they made it to the top.

Continue on A83 to visit the historic town of Inveraray. Visit the fairytale-like Inveraray Castle, hike to Dun Na Cuaiche viewpoint, stroll along the shore of serene Loch Fyne and sample some delicious fish & chips.

Map of the Attractions in Loch Lomond

Here is a map of all the amazing places around the national park mentioned in this article. Click on the link to save the Google Map on your phone, which you can use later. It also works offline.

How to Reach Loch Lomond

Car – From Glasgow, it takes around 40 minutes via A82 to get to Balloch through Dumbarton. If you are coming from Edinburgh, drive along M8 and join A82 at Old Kilpatrick.

It takes around an hour and a half to reach the shores of Loch Lomond from the capital city. To reach Balloch from Stirling, follow A811 via Drymen.

Train – The train line to Balloch runs from Glasgow. So, if you are visiting Loch Lomond from Edinburgh, you will need to go to Glasgow first, which is very easy to reach by public transport. 

There are frequent train services leaving from Glasgow Queen Street Low Level towards Balloch, and the journey takes around 50 minutes.

If you are going to Luss or Balmaha, catch a local bus operated by McColl’s, from just outside the Balloch train station.

Bus – The bus for Loch Lomond leaves from Buchanan bus station in Glasgow and is run by Citylink. Bus stops at Balloch, Luss, Tarbet and other places on the shore of the loch.

It takes around 50 minutes by bus to reach Luss from Glasgow. If you are visiting here in the peak of summer, book your bus tickets online well in advance.

How to Get Around Loch Lomond

Driving is probably the best way to explore this national park. It would give you more flexibility and save time. But if you are visiting here without a car, there are plenty of public transport options, depending on which part of the park you intend to visit. 

Local bus services around Loch Lomond are run by McColl’s. Catch bus number 305 to visit Luss from Balloch. Bus number 309 would take you from Balloch to Balmaha. 

Another fun way to travel to different places across Loch Lomond is by ferry. You can board a waterbus to reach Inveruglas, Inversnaid, Tarbet, Rowardennan, Luss, Balmaha and Balloch.

Over the years, we have visited this picturesque part of Scotland many times, and each time, we found something new to do or explore. 

We hope this guide was helpful in planning your own adventure around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

Love, Moumita & Sankha.

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