Known by many as the Highlands in miniature, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs have been greatly loved and admired by poets and other visitors for hundreds of years.
Being the first national park designated in Scotland, there is also something extra special about the area, with its enchanting scenery of peaks, glens, forests and, of course, the dramatic and mysterious loch.
Culture vultures can embark on The Great Trossachs Art & Literature Trail, to experience the inspiration that William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott found here.
For cyclists, the Sea to Sea route snakes through the area, while walkers can conquer the numerous peaks, including Ben Lomond. Cosy pubs and cafés can be found in historic villages such as Drymen and Aberfoyle.
Places to stay in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
The best motorhome sites in Scotland all offer excellent locations and great facilities, allowing you to get the most out of your tour. If you’re heading to this area, you could stay at Milarrochy Bay C&CC Site, where you can wake up to views of Loch Lomond at this site near the West Highland Way.
Alternatively, Trossachs Holiday Park, on the south-east edge of the Trossachs, is a relaxing park that overlooks Campsie Fells.
What to do on Day 1
10am – Peak performance
Serious climbers will already know that the mighty Trossachs are home to no fewer than 21 Munros – Scottish peaks with a summit that is higher than 3000ft. But if your abilities are not quite up to scaling a mountain, you could instead explore the equally rewarding Conic Hill.
Beginning from Balmaha Car Park, you can follow a moderate 5km route on a densely forested footpath, which provides stunning views of the loch along the way. Retrace your steps at the peak, or follow the West Highland Way to the right, to form an enjoyable circular route.
You’ll follow the northern edge of the hill and come to the loch shore, eventually passing through Balmaha village.
1pm – Lunch break
Before heading back to the car park, stop off for an excellent lunch at the Oak Tree Inn, in Balmaha. This cosy gastropub is an understandably popular pit-stop for hikers, fusing both traditional and modern dishes in its hearty menu.
Finish your meal in style with delicious homemade ice cream from the St Mocha Coffee Shop, just next door.
3pm – Take to the water
At the foot of Loch Lomond is the pretty shoreside village of Balloch, often referred to as the gateway to the national park. From here, you can pick up a circular Island Discovery boat tour. The two-hour cruise weaves its way through the 22 islands and 27 islets of the magnificent loch, accompanied by an informative commentary from Scottish historian
Neil Oliver. Adult ticket: £24.
6pm – Traditional dining
A short drive north of Balloch is The Cruin, a lochside venue with breathtaking views of both water and mountains. This inviting restaurant serves an appealing mix of Scottish delicacies and traditional dishes with a twist.
What to do on Day 2
10am – Watch the birdie
Start the day peacefully with a trip to RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond. The reserve’s wetlands are home to hundreds of birds, including ospreys, wood warblers and pink-footed geese. Stroll ancient woodlands or lakeside paths, all the while watching for otters and red squirrels. The reserve is free to enter and there is a car park (down a single-track road with passing places).
1pm – Light bite
Just a 30-minute drive from the reserve is scenic Aberfoyle. With Loch Ard lying to the west, this charming village has a number of excellent shops, cafés and restaurants. Try The Station Coffee Shop for light bites, or the Aberfoyle Inn for a good choice of hearty pub grub.
3pm – On your bike
What better way could there be to take in the glorious sights of the Trossachs than on two wheels? But if you don’t have a bike of your own, you can rent one from the nearby Aberfoyle Bike Hire (from £15 for three hours).
There are several good routes starting at Loch Ard Forest Car Park, including the 4.5-mile Sculpture Trail, which traces the shores of Loch Ard, Lochan a’ Ghleannin and more. As you explore the woodland, keep an eye out for the many intriguing sculptures, and plentiful local wildlife.
6pm – Magical menu
After such an action-packed day, it’s time for dinner – stop off at the Faerie Tree Inn for a well-deserved meal. Although it’s not quite as mystical as it might first sound, this historical pub is cosy and traditional, with a seasonal menu of British, Scottish and international dishes – including haggis fritters!
Places to eat in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
- Cameron House: Afternoon tea, fine dining or a hearty lunch followed by a cocktail at this elegant country manor overlooking scenic Loch Lomond.
- The Clachan: One of Scotland’s oldest pubs, offering traditional meals, stone-baked pizza and Scottish favourites.
- The Slanj: Set in a former 18th-century church, serving international dishes, including Scottish fare – and a dog menu!
Lead image: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Wondering where else you can head to for a weekend getaway? Then head to our Best of British: Weekends Away section, for more great ideas!
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