All Around Loch Lomond
4th November 2021
Our most famous loch is on everybody’s bucket list, but how can you make the most of your time visiting Loch Lomond?
“By yon Bonnie Banks…..”
The loch itself is of course utterly resplendent, and there are several spots where you can visit the loch for great views. But this is also an area full of leafy green forest, tumbling waterfalls and peaceful beaches. If you are staying near to Loch Lomond, there are lots of brilliant things to do in the local area.
On the shores of Loch Lomond, surrounded by magnificent hills, you will find one of the quaintest wee towns in all of Scotland - Luss. As you wander through the streets you will come across rows of 18th century cottages with colourful floral displays adorning the walls. The most notable building is the parish church which houses elegant stained-glass windows and is surrounded by an ancient churchyard with graves dating back as far as the 7th century. The most interesting relic is an 11th century Viking ‘Hogback Stone’ which is a bow shaped stone designed to resemble a traditional Viking home. Images of grand Norse buildings have been carved into the stone to honour the warrior who lies beneath.
The story of the name ‘Luss’ also has great historical significance. 1,500 years ago Luss was called ‘Clachan Dhu meaning ‘the dark village’ due to its location at the foot of a range of towering peaks. Around this time St Kessog, a missionary from Ireland, travelled to Loch Lomond to spread the word of Christianity. He loved the area and settled there. St Kessog is said to have come to an unfortunate end, as he was murdered by local pagans who disapproved of his teachings, making him a martyr for the church. The locals embalmed his body in herbs before burying him. From St Kessog’s grave, those herbs began to grow and covered his resting place in sweet scented flowers. In memory of St Kessog, the name Luss meaning ‘herb’ in Gaelic, was given to the village.
Once you step foot in this picturesque village, you will understand why Luss has been given the status of ‘conservation village’. There are four walking trails around the village taking you through the sites, with Luss Pier being the highlight. The Pier, which has welcomed cruises since 1850, provides some of the best views in the area.
Cruise you say? There are a number of companies running boat trips on the loch leaving from Luss, Tarbert and Balloch. These cruises will help you explore the best sites and hidden secrets of the Loch. Cruise Loch Lomond have a great variety of trips on offer.
If you are travelling with children, be sure to take a stroll along the enchanting Loch Lomond Faerie Trail. Children are giving a booklet full of questions, they’ll find the answers on trail markers throughout the woodland route. The Fairie Trail runs special events during Hallowe’en and at Christmas time.
We visit Luss on a number of our tours including our 10 Day Grand Tour.
If you love art, you must take a trip to Inverbeg Gallery, international renowned, it is one of the largest commercial art galleries in Scotland. If you would like to take a piece of Scotland home with you, browse prints from local artists and hang a picture of our bonnie, bonnie banks on your walls at home.
Three Lochs Forest Drive
One of the most relaxing drives in Scotland, The Three Lochs Forest Drive takes you on a tour of Lochan Reòidhte, Loch Drunkie and Loch Achray (although as a bonus you’ll likely pass Loch Venachar too!). This 7 mile winding road displays some of the best woodland scenery in Scotland, and when you park up to admire the view, you’ll hear the sounds of a variety of birds chirping in the trees. You might even be lucky enough to spot some deer or a red squirrel.
A few miles, and a few lochs along from Loch Lomond, you’ll find Inveraray, a town which is always very popular with our guests. It is quite distinct from the other towns in the area, due to its Georgian architecture. The town was established by the Duke of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell in the 18th century, and Inveraray Castle was built around the same time. The castle is lived in by the Campbells to this day and unlike the rest of the town, this beautiful building boasts a mixture of Baroque and Gothic architecture. The castle is surrounded by well kept, gardens, best visited between April and June when the vibrant Rhododendrons and Azaleas are in full bloom.
We visit Inveraray Castle on Day 1 of our 10 Day Malt Whisky and Castles Trail.
Another great Inveraray attraction is Inveraray Jail which tells the history of the town with a certain morbid humour! The tour of the jail starts with the Torture, Death and Damnation exhibit and includes a Courtroom where you can listen to real excepts from historic trials. This is another great day out for the kids, but adults will find it fascinating too.
Scotland’s best wee hills!
"By yon Bonnie Braes"
I’ve met so many people over the years who have moved to Scotland because of the walking opportunities, and Loch Lomond is surrounded by great trails. Two very popular hikes in the area are Conic Hill and Ben A’an, but our favourite is Dun Na Cuaiche which starts from Inveraray Castle. The walk takes you through a beautiful forest on a good path, before rising above the trees, to a splendid viewpoint looking out over Loch Fyne. Just below the summit of Dun Na Cuaiche, you will find an old watchtower built in 1756. It’s location, not quite on the summit, is deliberate as it can be seen from the town below. It looks impressive on a clear night, silhouetted against a starry sky. We visit this spot on our ‘7 Day Best of Scotland with Walking’ tour.
If you prefer low level walks, take a visit to the murky and atmospheric Puck’s Glen, one of the most popular trails in the Trossachs. Or visit the Falls of Falloch a short walk ending in a waterfall, best seen after it has been raining!
Rest and Be Thankful Viewpoint
On the way to Inveraray is a viewpoint which we pass on almost all of our tours; the Rest and Be Thankful is a sight to behold! I challenge you to drive past this breathtaking glen without stopping to take in the wonderful views. I love to sit for a while on the little bench, and appreciate the beauty of the country I call home.
“And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye”
After this viewpoint, you leave behind our beloved Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and head into the Scottish Highlands. So we will end this blog here, but if you’d like to read more about what’s next on your route north through Scotland, check out our 36 hour itinerary for the magical Glencoe.
If you’d like to book a tour visiting the sites around the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, get in touch with our team and we would be happy to build your perfect itinerary.Recent articles