Nestled on the western shore of the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Luss is an attractive small village in southern Scotland.
Often regarded as one of the prettiest Scottish villages, Luss is famous for quaint slate cottages with decorative hanging flower baskets and breathtaking panoramic views of Loch Lomond against the backdrop of mighty Ben Lomond.
Other popular attractions of Luss include a historic church and a beautiful small beach. Also, this is an excellent place for outdoor activities, water sports, cruises, and hiking.
There are plenty of incredible things to do here to make you fall in love with this village.
This lakeside village was once known as Clachan dhu, meaning dark village, due to its location beneath the looming hills.
In the 6th century, over 1500 years ago, Saint Kessog brought Christianity to this area. Legend has it that, when he martyred, a sweet herb covered his grave. The word herb is called ‘lus’ in Gaelic. Hence, giving the village its name Luss.
The village is easily accessible from Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. Also, it’s not too far from the Scottish Capital, Edinburgh. A day trip exploring Luss and the surrounding areas of the Loch Lomond is one of the most amazing things to do from Glasgow. Undoubtedly, this village is a must-visit stop on any road trip itinerary of Scotland.
This village was featured in the popular 80’s TV series Take the High Road.
If you are wondering how to spend a day in Luss, this travel guide has all the information you need – the main visitor attractions, day trip choices and how to get around this area using public transport and car.
Where is Luss
Perfectly positioned on the western side of Loch Lomond – the largest freshwater lake in Great Britain by surface area, Luss is situated about 9 miles from Balloch and about 10 miles from Tarbet. It is part of the Argyll and Bute council area.
With a population of fewer than five hundred residents, this picture-postcard village sits close to the A82 highway and is part of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
It takes only 45 minutes to reach Luss from Glasgow and around 50 minutes from Stirling by car. You can also visit this village on a day trip from Edinburgh. Also, the area is easily accessible by public transport too.
Is Luss Worth Visiting
Luss is definitely worth visiting. The breathtaking scenic beauty of this village has attracted visitors from all around the globe.
In fact, in recent years, almost 750,000 visitors come here annually, making this wee village one of the best attractions in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
Due to its close proximity to Glasgow, Luss is an ideal day trip destination from there.
From history lovers to avid hikers, photographers to wildlife enthusiasts – this pretty village has something for everyone. This village is a popular destination for several water adventures like kayaking, paddle-boarding, waterskiing and swimming.
Moreover, the 17 miles long West Loch Lomond Cycle Path from Balloch and Tarbet goes through this village.
Best Time to Visit Luss
The summer months, June to August, are a great time to visit Luss and the surrounding areas of Loch Lomond. The days are warm and relatively dry this time of year. Also, the longer daylight hours are perfect for outdoor adventures. Also, during the summer months, the small potted gardens along the village streets come to life.
Nonetheless, Scottish weather is unpredictable. Therefore you might catch all four seasons in a day. Also, it’s hard to avoid rain in Scotland altogether. So, it is better to come prepared.
Luss gets super busy in summer. So, if you want to avoid crowds, visit this scenic village in spring and autumn.
🏴 Best Things to Do in Luss, Loch Lomond 🏴
1. Enjoy Scenic Strolls at Luss Waterfront
As you walk along Pier Road admiring the lovely cute cottages, at the end of the road, you will find the beautiful Luss Pier and an adjacent sandy beach on the shore of Loch Lomond.
This small beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming in summer. You would see many daytrippers as well as locals chilling out with the stunning view of the loch and the surrounding mountains. It’s a perfect location for a great family day out. However, during high tide, the narrow strip of sand sometimes disappears.
If you are looking for a beach holiday, the village of Cullen on the Moray Firth coast might also interest you. It has a wide golden sandy beach.
On hot summer days, the scenic Luss waterfront teems with people waiting to catch ferries and cruises. You would often notice people diving into the water from the busy pier.
Take a stroll along the wooden pier to get a stunning view of the loch and the towering Ben Lomond. Also, looking back, admire the view of Luss and the mountains behind the village.
There is a small shop selling coffee and snacks on the pier. Also, in summer, you would find pop-up ice cream trucks with long queues. Nothing beats a cone of ice cream on a hot summer day.
2. Be Captivated by Charming Streets of Luss Village
One of the attractions of Luss is the row of quaint cottages lined perfectly with beautiful small gardens and floral displays. They look gorgeous in full bloom during the summer months.
Meander around the streets to discover its photogenic corners. We think this village is best enjoyed slowly, on foot. It is a perfect place to stroll lazily and map-less, just like another one of our favourite Scottish villages, Plockton.
Although there was a settlement here during medieval times, most of the current buildings were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
There used to be slate quarries and mills nearby, and the workers would live here in the cottages. Take a look inside the historic village church, an important religious pilgrimage site built in 1875.
You can follow the Luss Heritage Trail, an hour-long easy circular walk that will take you through the village, the river and the surrounding countryside. You will get an incredible view of the mountains behind the village and the picturesque Loch Lomond. Pick up the leaflet for this walk from the visitor centre.
There are quite a few shops, restaurants and cafes in this conservation village. If you are hungry, pop into The Village Rest, a cosy bistro, for some delicious traditional Scottish and international dishes.
3. Explore Loch Lomond on a Cruise
No visit to Luss is ever complete without a cruise to the scenic Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest inland lake. It is the best way to admire the lake and the surrounding awe-inspiring landscapes. Also, it is one of the best family-friendly fun things to do.
On these relaxing boat tours, you will get a chance to see numerous tiny islands on the Loch Lomond closely. Also, you will pass stately homes, castles and small villages along the shoreline. Nonetheless, you will get a cracking view of Luss from the water.
There are different types of cruises available, and they depart from the Luss Pier. The Sweeneys Cruise Company offers specific evenings, island discovery and various other boat tours.
You can take a water bus and sail from Balloch, Balmaha, Rowardennan and Tarbet to Luss. Also, we will recommend a visit to the magical island of Inchcailloch.
Most of these boats have live commentary on board. You will learn about the intriguing local history and heritage of this part of Scotland. Also, look out for a variety of wildlife around the lake.
4. Discover 1,500 Years of History at Luss Parish Church
Overlooking the vast stretch of Loch Lomond, Luss Parish Church is an important ancient religious and historical site. Only a few minutes’ walk from the loch-side pier, this church is one of the main tourist attractions of the village.
The church structure that we see today was built in 1875 and is dedicated to St Kessog, an Irish missionary who preached Christianity in Scotland. He also established a monastery on the nearby island of Inchtavannach, also known as Monk’s Isle, on the west of Loch Lomond.
But it is believed that there was a church here since 510 AD. Christianity came around this part of Loch Lomond almost over 1500 years ago, and throughout the centuries, Luss has been an important pilgrimage site in Scotland.
The church is open daily. You will find an effigy of Saint Kessog inside the church. Also, admire the beautiful stained glass windows and the timbered roof.
Another interesting thing here is the small adjacent church graveyard. You will find 11th century Viking hogback grave marker and several other medieval graves.
Also, this church is a popular place to get married. More than a hundred weddings happen here each year.
5. Experience the Outdoor Adventures and Thrills
Luss is a hub for water sports and an array of adventure activities. There are many hiking, cycling and fishing opportunities in this area. There are lots of outdoor activity centres and companies operating in this area.
If you are brave enough, take a refreshing plunge in the water of Loch Lomond. Swimming is particularly popular in summer, although the water might be a bit chilly.
For some adrenaline-pumping thrills, you can water-ski and ride wakeboards, inflatable ringos, banana boats and speed boats. Also, the peaceful water of Loch Lomond is perfect for kayaking, canoeing and paddle-boarding. You can visit the small islands over the loch.
For more thrilling adventures, drive a few hours to Fort William, known as the outdoor capital of the UK.
Luss is a popular stop in the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path from Balloch and Tarbet following the loch. Admire the magnificent views of Loch Lomond and its islands, Conic Hill and Ben Lomond.
6. Explore Inchcailloch Island
Leave behind the hustle and bustle of Luss, and sail in the scenic Loch Lomond to reach the enchanting island of Inchcailloch. You will land on the south side of the island near the beach of Port Bawn. This tiny island has rich wildlife and is part of the nature reserve.
The island’s name Inchcailloch means ‘Isle of the old woman’ in Gaelic. It refers to Saint Kentigerna, an Irish missionary who used to live here as a hermit in the 8th century.
There are remnants of an early church and an ancient burial ground. It has graves of ancestors of famous Rob Roy MacGregor.
There are three nature trails on the island. You can easily combine all of them in a loop and hike the entire island in a couple of hours.
The walk to the highest point of the island is our favourite. Marvel at the stunning view over the loch and the surrounding mountain ranges from the summit. It is one of the best in Scotland. Also, you can bring a picnic and chill by the small bay of Port Bawn.
Cruise Loch Lomond runs the ferry service from Luss, and it takes about 45 minutes to get to Inchcailloch.
7. Spend a Day Hiking the Luss Hills
The Luss Hills are located at the doorsteps of this village and are very popular with hillwalkers. There are several hills here. The highest among this hill range is Doune Hill. Other than that, there is Beinn Eich, Beinn Dubh and Mid Hill.
The short walk to Beinn Dubh above Glen Straddle makes a great day out in nature from Luss. Beinn Dubh is a Graham, a Scottish mountain between 2,000–2,500 feet.
This hike provides stunning panoramic views over Loch Lomond and its many tiny islands, Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps.
The walk starts and ends in Luss. The path mostly follows the grassy hills, Although there are some boggy sections.
You can either return the same way you came or continue round the other side of Glen Striddle. The entire circuit takes around 4-5 hours to complete and reaches the highest ascent at 725 metres. Waterproof and sturdy walking shoes are recommended for this walk.
For a longer walk, you can hike to Doune Hill and Beinn Eich, which is much more strenuous and requires careful navigation.
8. Climb the Mighty Ben Lomond
You can catch a ferry from Luss Pier to visit the remote Rowardennan on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. This isolated small village sits in the shadow of the imposing Ben Lomond. It is a base for hikers walking the West Highland Way and climbing the Ben Lomond.
With only a handful of accommodation choices, this is a tranquil place to relax and unwind.
Ben Lomond is a popular mountain for hikers and is one of the easiest Munros to trek in Scotland. It sits proudly at 974 metres in height, overlooking Loch Lomond and is the most southerly of the Munros. Allow 4-6 hours to complete this walk.
You can follow the tourist trail, which is lengthy but goes up gradually at the top. The trail path is well made and easy to follow.
Alternatively, the walk through the Ptarmigan ridge is relatively shorter but quite steep in places. You will get an excellent bird’s eye view of Loch Lomond and its islands from the summit.
9. Visit the Historic Town of Inveraray
If you are in this area, don’t miss a visit to the nearby town of Inveraray, a lovely historic town on the western banks of Loch Fyne. From Luss, Inveraray is just 31 miles away.
The town was established by the powerful 3rd Duke of Argyll in the mid 18th century, replacing an earlier small settlement. Inveraray was one of the first planned towns in Scotland and was a royal burgh.
One of the main tourist attractions of this town is the fairytale-like Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the chief of Clan Campbell. The historical drama series Downton Abbey was filmed here. While here, take a tour of this turreted castle to learn about its fascinating past.
Hike the nearby Dun Na Cuaiche viewpoint for the most amazing uninterrupted views over Loch Fyne and the surrounding areas.
Also, Inveraray Jail, a historic 19th-century prison and courtroom turned living museum, is one of the best family-friendly attractions in the town.
How to Reach: It takes only 45 minutes to drive Inveraray from Luss, along the Loch Lomond, passing through the Rest and be Thankful mountain pass.
Citylink bus 926 and 976.
10. Walk Loch Lomond Faerie Trail
The Loch Lomond Faerie Trail is a mile-long woodland walking trail decorated with beautiful carvings and decorations. If you are travelling with young kids, this will be very enjoyable for them.
Well, Luss is so pretty you can’t blame if the fairies, trolls and other mythical creatures would fancy living here.
You can buy the tickets from the silver airstream trailer in the car park.
It takes around two hours to complete this walk and costs £4 per adult and £5 per child.
Map of the Attractions in and around Luss
Here is a map of all the best attractions to visit and the best things to do in this picturesque village. Click on the link to save the Google map on your phone. You can also use the map offline. We have also marked the best places to eat.
How to Reach Luss by Car
The easiest and fastest way to get to Luss is by car. This pretty lochside village sits close to the A82 on the western shore of Loch Lomond. A82, a major road in Scotland, runs from Glasgow to Inverness through Fort William.
Luss is around 28 miles away from Glasgow and 78 miles from Edinburgh.
From Glasgow, drive to the Great Eastern Road or M8 towards Balloch to join A82.
From Edinburgh, follow motorway M9 towards Stirling. Take the turn on A811 and follow the road signposted towards Balloch. At Balloch, join the A82. It takes around an hour and twenty minutes to reach Luss from Edinburgh.
If you are coming from Oban, drive through A85 and join the A83 at Inveraray. At Tarbet, turn onto A82, near the head of Loch Lomond.
There are two car parks close to this village – Luss South and Old Toll House. Both of them are paid parking. Here is a rough estimate of time and driving distance from nearby cities and towns of Scotland.
- From Glasgow 45 minutes / 26 miles
- From Stirling 50 minutes / 38 miles
- From Inveraray 45 minutes / 32 miles
- From Edinburgh 1 hour 45 minutes / 76 miles
- From Dundee 2 hours / 90 miles
How to Reach Luss by Public Transports
Getting here using public transport is super easy and convenient. You can use a direct bus, or a combination of bus and train, to reach Luss.
This pretty village is served by buses operated by Scottish Citylink and the local Garelochhead Coaches.
From Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station, a direct bus to Luss takes about 56 minutes to reach. Get down at the bust stop on A82 near this village. From there, it takes around 10 minutes to walk to the pier.
For the best price, buy your tickets online from Citylink’s official website. An advance day-return ticket from Glasgow costs £14.70 per adult.
Alternatively, you can hop on a ScotRail train service from Glasgow Queen Street to Balloch, a bustling village on the southern edge of Loch Lomond. A return train ticket for an adult cost around £6.50. From Balloch, catch a local bus service 305, which takes only 14 minutes to reach Luss.
For a more scenic journey, take a water bus or a cruise from Balloch, with a stop at this village.
Luss is a must-visit destination on any Loch Lomond trip, with tons of awesome things to do that everybody can enjoy. We highly recommend spending a day or two here. You surely would not be disappointed!
We hope this comprehensive guide to Luss has inspired you!
To fuel your travel inspiration further, check out some of our other Scotland travel guides.
Love, Moumita & Sankha