Posted in Travel, places to visit, mini-adventures

The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond – a wee Scottish break: Part Three

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond was the highlight of our short break and on Sunday we had the full day to discover Luss and Balloch, which sit next to the lake. Loch Lomond is the entry point to The Trossochs National Park and not that far from the urban metropolis of Glasgow (roughly one hour and 20 minutes by car). Saying that, when you’re at Loch Lomond, thoughts of city life are very far away indeed.

And if you’re ever asked what’s the largest loch in Scotland, Great Britain even, the answer is Loch Lomond (27.5 square miles). This is handy to know if you’re taking part in a pub quiz. It also crosses the Highland Boundary Fault, a geological zone which divides Scotland into the lowlands and the highlands. So many interesting facts about such a beautiful lake!

The village of Luss was simply idyllic with old fashioned cottages, cafes and shops. These cosy little homes were actually built for slate quarry and cotton mill workers of the 1700s and 1800s.

Our path from the large car park outside the village took us to the water’s edge where we could see the pier. The views of Loch Lomond were absolutely stunning, the mountain of Ben Lomond can be seen from the shore.

Judging by the numbers of people enjoying the loch, it’s a popular place and no surprise.

We had a delicious cream scone and pot of tea at a lovely little cafe, served by a waiter wearing a kilt, and explored the little parish church.

One fact I didn’t know until later was that the Scottish soap Take the High Road was filmed here in the 1980s and 1990s. I used to watch it as a teenager with my parents many years ago. I’m happy to find that episodes are now on YouTube so I can rewatch episodes when I feel nostalgic.

River Luss

We strolled along the beautiful river and came across a charming faery trail for children. Luss is home to faeries and their homes can be seen here. I didn’t come across any faeries today but maybe given more time, who knows? 🙂

The Faery Trail

I was asked by blogger The Electric Contrarian if Loch Lomond had its own distinctive critter living in the waters? Nessie of Loch Ness is famous but she’s not the only unusual inhabitant possibly living in Scotland. According to Wikipedia, there are possible monsters lurking in several of these lochs. The website says: “Two descriptions exist, one of a plesiosaur, the other of a large crocodilian, unique of Scottish lake monsters.” Is there a large crocodile living in Loch Lomond? Or an ancient plesiosaur (a large extinct marine reptile with a long neck and small head, a bit like how we imagine Nessie!) Whatever the case, on this occasion I’m afraid I didn’t see Lomo the Loch Lomond Monster, but again, maybe next time? 🙂

Balloch is a recreational wonderland for families with a Sea Life Aquarium, boat trips, stalls, a shopping complex, among other facilities. There were plenty of woodland trails dotted around and an aerial Go Ape type adventure which my godchildren may have loved but wasn’t really my thing, or my mum’s for that matter. Sculptures were placed around the trails too.

Maid of the Loch

We saw the Maid of the Loch, the Clyde-built steamship my mum went on a school trip many years ago. It’s actually open to visitors to look around but looked closed when we were there, maybe because of Covid. The Maid was built in 1953 and was the last paddle steamer built in the United Kingdom.

That was our last excursion and the following day, after our little three-day trip, we headed home. After the last year, I feel less like taking little breaks for granted. We don’t know what’s around the corner and so, when the little things feel good in life, I like to make the most of it.


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10 thoughts on “The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond – a wee Scottish break: Part Three

  1. These are beautiful photos Clare – very scenic so no wonder you enjoyed your time away, even brief as it was … baby steps is perfect and not to go any farther or any longer right now. Three days is perfect. I liked the Maid of the Loch excursion too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Three days in Scotland was ideal. ☺ Both Mum and I felt relaxed about the coach trip. I think baby steps is a good idea, that way we keep relatively safe, build up confidence about going to places again and feel relaxed enough to enjoy ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t gone anywhere in many years and I am being very careful here, not in any crowded situations. Our stats in the States and in Michigan are bad and now we have the newest virus (Mu virus). Oh great – something else to worry about. You are on the right track to go slowly and build confidence. I look at every trip out of the house that is not walk-related, as worrisome. If it is not COVID to worry about, we have so many people with road rage – you go at or slightly below the speed limit and they shoot you, plus people taking shots at vehicles randomly on the expressway. I prefer surface streets anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

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