Unreal scenes at Loch Lomond

© User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is an adventurer’s 720 sq. mile playground.

Less than one hour from Glasgow Central Station and home to water sports, mountaineering, walking, cycling and wild camping – all set on a backdrop of some of the UK’s most beautiful peaks, lochs and islands – anyone craving a real, rugged Scottish experience should immediately add Loch Lomond to their itinerary.

Caledonian Sleeper has made it easy for you by providing some of the best off-the-beaten track adventures that turn your journey of a night time into an experience of a lifetime.

Hillwalking

One of Scotland’s most popular Munros (mountains over 3000ft), Ben Lomond towers above the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. Those who reach the top – which takes between 3-5 hours – are rewarded with panoramic views of the national park below.

Walkers can also zig-zag their way up popular Ben Arthur– also known as The Cobbler - which lies on the banks of the neighbouring Loch Long. Not quite a Munro but a peak with plenty of personality, The Cobbler’s distinctive rocky outcrops are a scenic photographer’s dream.

Scottish walking checklist: A good pair of walking boots, a map, compass and raincoat, and remember to always check weather conditions and let someone know the details of your walk.

Scenic views

In the north of the park, you’ll find the Falls of Falloch waterfall and local beauty spot. The recently installed Woven Sound sculpture provides a different viewpoint for the falls, which are only a short walk down a well-maintained path.  

The timber pyramid-shaped An Ceann Mòr (Gaelic for Large Headland) in Inveruglas is the final installation of the first phase of the Scottish Scenic Routes project, which also includes Woven Sound. The perfect spot to reflect among views of the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond.

Arguably, the best view of the loch is from above, and this is possible without donning your walking boots thanks to Loch Lomond Seaplanes. The small passenger planes take off and land on top of the loch, transforming from speedboat to plane and back again, taking guests for a stunning journey over the west of Scotland.

Adventure activities

Of the 50 tiny islands nestled across Loch Lomond, the most beautiful has to be Inchcailloch. Accessed by boat from Balmaha, here you can camp underneath the stars while admiring the expansive stretches of water that surround you.

Wild swimming is gaining popularity in Scotland, with the invigorating waters said to cleanse and refresh the soul. Sallochy – reached by winding trails through Oakwood forests – is one of Loch Lomond’s most picturesque and easily reached wild swimming spots.

If you want to explore the lochs but stay dry, there are a number of cruise touring options around the park. Cruise Loch Lomond runs tours departing from all around Loch Lomond that vary in length and style. On Loch Katrine, hop aboard the 118-year-old Steamship Sir Walter Scott – the very last of its kind still running in Scotland.

For something more exhilarating, wakeboarding and wakesurfing activities are available in Ardlui on the shores of Loch Lomond. Here, you can also paddleboard – time to get practicing your balancing skills!

Bonus tip

The Loch Lomond island of Inchconnachan is home to a red-necked species of wallaby, brought over in the 1940s. There is no passenger boat available to visit the island, so to visit hire either a speedboat or kayaks to make the journey.

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