20 Locations To Stay

Loch Long

Loch Long

If you’re planning a trip to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and are looking for a place to base yourself here are 20 options to choose from! These consist of a selection of towns and villages, located all across the National Park. For each one there is a brief introduction, map and photograph. For all there are many good accommodation options not just in within the locations, but nearby too.

I’ve also suggested a few places to see and do nearby, these are either in the town or village, or are within 30 minutes drive. Please click on any of the links to read more details in our other guides. We like to keep our guides updated, so if you have any suggestions for this one please do get in touch. (Note the 20 aren’t ranked in anyway).

1) Gartocharn, Loch Lomond

 

This small village is home to one of the two RSPB reserves in Loch Lomond. There is an excellent Visitor Centre on the reserve with some new trails. See more of the Gartocharn Reserve by walking along Aber Shore.

Looking away from the loch you will see a small hill rising up, this is The Dumling. The short walk to the top of it is rewarded with excellent views of Loch Lomond. Nearby Balloch is home to the iconic paddle streamer Maid of the Loch, Loch Lomond Shores and Balloch Castle Country Park.

Take a cruise on Loch Lomond from Balloch with Sweeney’s Cruises.

Around 10-15 minutes away is the village of Drymen. This is the gateway to the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, visit Balmaha, The Tom Weir Statue, Milarrochy Bay, Rowardennan and of course Ben Lomond.

Gartocharn, Loch Lomond

Gartocharn, Loch Lomond

2) Balloch, Loch Lomond

 

Balloch is the gateway to the National Park, home to the last serving steamship on Loch Lomond the Maid of the Loch, also Loch Lomond Shores with its shopping and experiences, including mini-golf, water sports and a Bird of Prey centre. There is is also Balloch Castle Country Park the only country park in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs.

Luss can be accessed by road along the A82 and by boat with Sweeney’s Cruises. Long established Sweeney’s Cruises run a number of cruise services from Balloch, narrated by TV historian Neil Oliver.

It’s around 30 minutes to the RSPB reserve at Gartocharn with its new Visitor Centre. Walk from the village to Aber Shore, plus get a good view looking up Loch Lomond from The Dumpling.

Maid of the Loch, Balloch

Maid of the Loch, Balloch

3) Luss, Loch Lomond

 

There is beautiful conservation village is on the western shores of Loch Lomond. There are many places to eat, including Luss Smokehouse, as well as a collection of cute gift shops. During July the annual Luss Highland Games are staged. Kids will enjoy the new Loch Lomond Fairie Trail.

From Luss Pier you can take a boat to Balloch, Rowardennan, Balmaha or Inchcailloch Island. Head north on the A82to see more places of interest including Tarbet, Firkin Point, Ardlui and Inverugulas

Luss, Loch Lomond

Luss, Loch Lomond

4) Arrochar & Tarbet - Argyll Forest/Loch Lomond

 

Arrochar on Loch Long, along with nearby Tarbet on Loch Lomond are ideal places to base yourself. Pretty villages with a good community spirit and plenty of places to eat and drink. There is excellent countryside nearby, including Ardgartan with its cycling trails. The Cobbler, part of the Arrochar Alps, is a Corbett and renowned for a distinctive summit that has excellent views.

There are boat trips available from Tarbet, operated by Cruise Loch Lomond, including the weekly cruise to the RSPB reserve at Inversnaid. A bit further up the A82 (or by boat) is Inveruglas and the Falls of Falloch.

Arrochar, Loch Long

Arrochar, Loch Long

5) Lochgoilhead, Argyll Forest

 

Beautifully tucked away as the name suggest at the head of Loch Goil Lochgoilhead has a good holiday atmosphere thanks to the Drimsynie Estate Holiday Village. Hire a boat from Loch Goil Cruisers, or call in at their excellent new Boat Shed Cafe. Visit Cormonachan Woodlands to see beautiful red squirrels from a hide. At the end of the road you’ll find Carrick Castle you can venture on by foot and to Ardentinny.

Heading away form Loch Goil, take time to visit the Lauder Memorial at Inveroaden. Further on towards Dunoon is Benmore Botanical Garden and Puck’s Glen.

Lochgoilhead

Lochgoilhead

6) Ardentinny, Argyll Forest

 

Ardentinny is in the Argyll Forest on the Cowal Peninsula. There are facilities for camping by the beach here, nearby is the renovated Victorian Glenfinart Walled Garden. Other places to visit nearby include Blairmore, Benmore Botanic Garden, Puck’s Glen and Kilmun Arboretum.

Ardentinny, Loch Long

Ardentinny, Loch Long

7) Blairmore, Argyll Forest

 

On the banks of Loch Long the small community of Blairmore have restored the villages Victorian Pier and created excellent gardens and outdoor spaces opposite it . A short drive along the loch side is Ardentinny where you will find Glenfinart Walled Garden. Other places to visit nearby include Benmore Botanic Garden, Puck’s Glen and Kilmun Arboretum.

Blairmore, Loch Long

Blairmore, Loch Long

8) Kilmun, Argyll Forest

 

Right on the edge of the National Park and close to Dunoon is the village of Kilmun, with its excellent arboretum. Close by and worth a visit is Blairmore and at Ardentinny the Glenfinart Walled Garden. Other places to visit nearby include Benmore Botanic Garden and Puck’s Glen.

Kilmun, Cowal

Kilmun, Cowal

9) Drymen, Loch Lomond

 

Drymen is a popular first night stop on the West Highland Way. The heart of the village is its pretty square, with pubs serving good food and drink. On Thursdays during the summer enjoy Bagpiping in the Square, organised by the local community.

This is the gateway to East Loch Lomond, head to Balmaha for The Tom Weir Statue, Milarrochy Bay, Rowardennan and of course Ben Lomond. If you’re walking you’ll enjoy the stunning trip over Conic Hill.

Drymen, Loch Lomond

Drymen, Loch Lomond

10) Balmaha, Loch Lomond

 

Balmaha is one of the most beautiful villages in the National Park. The Tom Weir Statue is much photographed at Weir’s Rest. There is also the Millennium Walk and path way of the West Highland Way if you’re walking, or driving your journey will take you to Milarrochy Bay and ultimately Rowardennan at the end of the road. This is where you can climb Ben Lomond.

The car park at Balmaha has an excellent National Park Visitor Centre, at the back of the car park is the path to walk up Conic Hill. Enjoy wonderful views of Loch Lomond and its islands from the hill. The closest island is Inchcailloch, you can get there by a water taxi from Balmaha Boatyard. Cruise Loch Lomond have cruises from Balmaha around the islands. Along with Sweeney’s Cruises they also have a water bus service connecting Balmaha with Luss.

Balmaha, Loch Lomond

Balmaha, Loch Lomond

11) Rowardennan, Loch Lomond

 

At Rowardennan visit the memorial to those that lost their lives during the two world wars. The whole park is intact dedicated to honour their sacrifice. You can climb Ben Lomond from here, or continue your walk along the West Highland Way. Cruise Loch Lomond run a water bus service to Luss and Tarbet, from the Youth Hostel.

Close by is Balmaha with the Tom Weir Statue and Conic Hill. You can visit one of Loch Lomond’s prettiest islands Inchcailloch, with a water taxi from Balmaha Boatyard.

Rowardennan-4018.jpg

12) Aberfoyle, Trossachs

 

This village is the gateway to the Trossachs and enjoying the beginning of a resurgence with new shops and cafes opening. An ideal base that is also on the National Number 7 Cycle Route. Just outside of the village is the Lodge Visitor Centre, with Go Ape! The road alongside Loch Ard takes you through some beautiful scenery. The next loch along is Loch Chon, with a new campsite. Continue along the road to visit Inversnaid or Stronachlachar.

The Duke’s Pass is another spectacular road, take a detour onto the Three Lochs Drive, more camping pitches here with another new site at Loch Achray. At Loch Katrine there are two boats for cruises, one of which is the long-serving Sir Walter Scott steamship. The town of Callander is nearby, lots to see and do on the Trossachs Trial.

Timber Jill Statue, Aberfoyle

Timber Jill Statue, Aberfoyle

13) Stronachlachar, Trossachs

 

Stronachlachar can only be reached by spectacular loch-side journeys! Either by Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine (which it is on), or Loch Ard and Loch Chon. Take the steamship one way and cycle the other along side Loch Katrine. Enjoy the opportunity to visit the lochs and see the birthplace of Rob Roy MacGregor.

A mention for the excellent cafe at the Pier in Stronachlachar, which serves excellent food.

Stronachlachar-6086.jpg

14) Callander, Trossachs

 

There are some excellent festivals in Callander, including Summerfest each year. Visit the beautiful Bracklinn Falls, just off of the main street.

Visit Loch Katrine and sail on the Sir Walter Scott steamship. Head north by bike or car to Loch Lubnaig where you will find the start of the award winning BLiSS Trail. Download the app to help guide you to the points of interest along the trail.

Callander, Trossachs

Callander, Trossachs

15) Strathyre, Trossachs

 

Head south to visit Callander, Loch Lubnaig and Loch Katrine, or continue north along the BLiSS Trail. Download the app to help guide you to the points of interest along the trail.

The National Number 7 Cycle route also goes through the village of Strathyre. At Balquhidder you can see Rob Roy’s Grave.

Strathyre-1754.jpg

16) Balquhidder, Breadalbane

 

At Balquhidder Church you can see Rob Roy’s Grave. The famous Monachyle Mhor boutique hotel is further down the road that runs alongside Loch Voil. Between Loch Voil and Loch Doine there is the mirror box viewing platform.

Located at Balquhidder you can easily visit Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin and St Fillans.

Balquhidder Church

Balquhidder Church

17) Lochearnhead, Breadalbane

 

The road alongside Loch Earn continues towards Perthshire and out of the National Park at the pretty village of St. Fillans, with more features of the BLiSS Trail along the route. The National Number 7 Cycle route goes across the Glen Ogle Viaduct, if you’re cycling on it you can’t see the wonder of its construction.

There are Highland Games each year at Lochearnhead and nearby Killin. Also at Killin are the Falls of Dochart, that run through the village.

Lochearnhead

Lochearnhead

18) Killin - Breadalbane

 

The highlight of Killin are the Falls of Dochart that dramatically run through the village. There are also Highland Games held each year. Loch Tay is close to Killin, along with the Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve.

Killin-3392.jpg

19) Crianlarich & Tyndrum - Breadalbane

 

At Crianlarich the A82 meets the A85. You are in an ideal position to access Killin, Oban, Fort William and Loch Lomond. There are also train stations at Crianlarich and Tyndrum, both of which are on the West Highland Way. If you’re feeling adventurous you can climb Ben More.

Tyndrum-1719.jpg

20) Ardlui

 

Loch Lomond Wakeboard are based at The Ardlui Hotel. There is also a marina at this northern end of Loch Lomond. On the other side of the loch is the West Highland Way path, which is connected to Ardlui by a ferry. The A82 runs through Ardlui completing its journey alongside the western shores of Loch Lomond before heading on towards Glen Coe.

Loch Lomond Wakeboard, Ardlui

Loch Lomond Wakeboard, Ardlui

We haven’t listed any accommodation providers/options on this page, for those details please go to our Stay page.

We have covered every part of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs in this article, showing that each one has many nearby places of interest (there are many more not listed!). It proves that you could pick any of these 20 as an ideal place to base yourself to explore the National Park.

Let us know in the comments your favourite place to stay in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs.

About...

This article and accompanying photographs are by Paul Saunders for See Loch Lomond. Visit Paul’s other websites, Paul Saunders Marketing & Paul Saunders Photography, for his marketing, photography & video services in Loch Lomond and beyond.

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