South & West Loch Lomond
This popular part of Loch Lomond follows the A82 alongside its western shores. Not forgetting the southern end of the loch with Gartocharn and Balloch, the latter being home to the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer and Loch Lomond Shores. Along the west side of the loch you'll find the villages of Luss, Tarbet, Inveruglas and Ardlui.
Watch the video (below the map) for a short highlights package of the many points of interest in South and West Loch Lomond.
VIDEO - Explore Loch Lomond
VIDEO - Sweeney's Cruises
Much of the southern end of Loch Lomond is less accessible than the western, or eastern banks. Just outside Gartocharn is one of the two Loch Lomond RSPB reserves, with a newly opened pond dipping experience for children. Nearby Aber Shore is also popular for bird watching, look out for Osprey in the summer and geese in the winter.
Duncryne Hill, better known as The Dumpling is a short distance away and whilst not being very high, provides excellent views across Loch Lomond.
Balloch has been described as the gateway to Loch Lomond, it’s the section that is closest to Glasgow. Balloch can be reached by train, Sweeney's Cruises are just across the road from the station allowing easy access to the loch (see video above).
Balloch is also home to Loch Lomond Shores, a mix of shopping and leisure. From the top of Drumkinnon Tower at Loch Lomond Shores, there are good views towards Ben Lomond, with the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer in the foreground. Loch Lomond Shores also has adventure golf, water-sports, a bird of prey centre, Jenners department store and a tree top climbing adventure.
Balloch Castle Country Park also has good with views of the loch. Cameron House Hotel is not far away, sadly the grand hotel itself is currently closed due to a fire in 2017, however the lodges, marina and Boat House restaurant are open. The Loch Lomond Sea Plane is based here and takes-off and lands its pleasure flights on the nearby part of the loch.
The Maid Of The Loch
The Maid of the Loch is the last of a long line of paddle steamer that served Loch Lomond, she is berthed at Balloch, close to Loch Lomond Shores.
The Maid's story is a real rollercoaster, from her golden years of service to times of neglect before the charity that now own her was able to rescue the historic vessel. A team of volunteers and professionals at the charity have been working tirelessly to restore her, aiming to raise the necessary funds that will allow her to return to service, sailing again on Loch Lomond.
This is an expensive process, but thanks to Crowdfunding appeals and the potential of funds from Heritage Lottery the dream could become a reality.
West Loch Lomond
Head north along the western shores of Loch Lomond and you will find some real gems. One of the best ways to explore is by bike, along the West Lomond Cycle Path. This pathway connects Balloch with Tarbert.
Further up the A82, at the Arden Roundabout you can park your car and catch a ferry to Inchmurrin Loch Lomond’s largest island.
Luss is a beautiful conservation village, with lots of restaurants and a pier with water bus connections to Balmaha. Shore Cottage is the oldest dwelling in the village and home now to the Clans Shop. A new Loch Lomond Faerie Trail has opened, pick up a list of clues from Loch Lomond Adventures in Luss Car Park and follow the directions and enjoy the interaction on the trail.
From Luss Pier you can take a cruise, boat tickets are available from the St Mocha kiosk on the pier. During summer months you can enjoy Loch Lomond roasted coffee and home made ice cream at the St Mocha kiosk.
At Tarbet there is a break in the road with the option of continuing along the A82 (along the western banks), or heading on the A83 towards the Argyll Forest. From Tarbet Pier Cruise Loch Lomond run a series of cruises and water bus services around the loch.
Built into the rock is the Loch Sloy hydroelectric station, opened in 1950. A more recent addition is ‘An Ceann Mòr’ a pyamid shaped observation structure.
Ardlui is home to a hotel, marina and holiday park. Loch Lomond Wakeboard offer adrenalin filled adventures on the loch from their base at The Ardlui Hotel. Ardlui is one of the Loch Lomond village that stage a Highland Games event each year.