The Trossachs and Loch Lomond provide us with an easily accessible slice of Scotland highland scenery and a perfect short break.
The Trossachs National Park has the diversity to keep each member of the family unit happy during a short break to this beautiful part of Scotland.
The area is best known for the imposing Loch Lomond and the national park attracts visitors from all over the world. The Trossachs are located approximately thirty minutes from Glasgow and ninety minutes from Edinburgh which provides visitors with an accessible piece of paradise.
Loch Lomond is home to one of Britain’s largest expanses of fresh water and the dramatic mountain scenery surrounding the loch renders this area to be a perfect base for exploring the national park.
The Trossachs provide many options for a holiday itinerary to suit everyone and there are options for every budget. We decided to try a range of activities during our stay.
Connecting with the wilderness
Try starting your trip with a spot of adventure and wild camp high in the rugged mountains. We headed up The Cobbler with our tent and camped just beneath the summit.
Wild camping is legal in Scotland but participants must approach it sensibly and with respect for the countryside around them. We called in at the tourist information office to let them know that we would be leaving our car in the car park overnight so as not to cause alarm about our whereabouts or safety. We ensured that we had plenty of food and water with good sleeping bags to keep us warm. We chose a great little hidden area to pitch our tent which was sheltered us from the wind and most importantly provided us with a magnificent view over Loch Long. Waking up deep within the mountains completely alone to such a beautiful view is absolutely awe inspiring.
Stay in the heart of Loch Lomond
Head back down to civilization and a great contrast to the isolation of the mountains is the bustling tourist centre of Balloch. We checked into The Anchorage Bed and Breakfast which is fantastic value at between £25 to £45 per person per night. The accommodation is exceptionally clean and feels wonderfully luxurious following a night on the mountains.
Balloch offers a plethora of day time activities, perhaps for a boat cruise try: www.sweeney.uk.com and take in the beautiful scenery from your very own vantage point on the Loch. Or for the more energetic hire a canoe or a mountain bike and enjoy the freedom of exploring the area in your own terms. Try www.canyouexperience.com.
We discovered that rain does not stop play in Balloch; the Sea Life Center is absolutely fantastic, wind your way around the fantastic displays of marine animals from otters to sharks and learn about conservation and protection about some of the world’s most endangered species. A great hit with all ages, I dragged my unenthusiastic husband along and he enjoyed it more than anyone.
Following your close encounters with the local marine life a stroll along the lakeside will satisfy a shopaholics appetite at large indoor shopping centre which is adjacent to the promenade; complete with lovely coffee shops which will tempt you in even on the most glorious sunny day.
To round up your day in Balloch there are a few eateries to choose from. La Scarpetta is a bustling family friendly Italian restaurant a stone’s throw from the bed and breakfast where we enjoyed a beautiful meal and really enjoyable evening. The pizzas are freshly made and would not be out of place on the streets of the Trastevere in Rome.
Balloch does host a nightclub, Back Room is situated on the main street of the town though we were so tired from our previous days hike we did not have the energy for dancing.
The following day we chose a quick ascent up Ben Lomond to spend our final day in The Trossachs. This fabulous mountain is the most southerly Munroe and therefore very popular with walkers and tourists alike. The route is well marked and in fair weather would be suitable for most able bodied energetic tourists! Inexperienced walkers could pop in to one of the many tourist information offices around the area to ask for route guides and information tailored to their individual ability.
A wonderful respite following another tiring day on the hills would be to check in at The Inn at Inverbeg, located on the shore of Loch Lomond. The Inn is slightly more indulgent than the previous bed and breakfast. From this point you have the perfect opportunity to have a grand finale, courtesy of Loch Lomond Sea Planes (www.lochlomondseaplanes.com). Enjoy a couple of relaxing drinks in the historic surroundings of Cameron House (www.cameronhouse.co.uk). For those who fancy blowing the budget one could unwind and stay overnight within this splendid building, for those like myself a few drinks and a stroll around the ground prior to a sea plane adventure proves a great way to unwind after a long mountain hike.
Loch Lomond sea planes whisk passengers into the skies for a scenic tour of bonny Scotland. We chose to be flown around the Trossachs themselves however if you wish you can make your way out as far as the Isle of Mull. The bird’s eye view of this beautiful part of the world is really not to be missed and provides an experience which I can whole heartedly recommend. The champagne reception to follow is a great way to unwind following your ariel adventure!
Head back to your accommodation where there is a great fish restaurant and whisky bar to finish off your Scottish adventure.