Loch Lomond is one of the most popular lakes in Scotland,very accessible and well connected with cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow. If you want to go a on a day trip either from Glasgow or Edinburgh by public transport then Loch Lomond is the perfect place for everyone.
Loch Lomond is the largest surface area lake of Great Britain, stretched 36.4km lengthwise and 1 an 8km wide. It is a sweet water lake surrounded by mountains Ben Lomond and the Munros. In this post we will provide a perfect day trip to Loch Lomond.
When to visit Loch Lomond?
The lake and the Trossach national park is open through out the year. The most popular season is Summer months, i.e. May to August. My recommendation will be April, when the weather is just perfect. The days are longer in April and brighter, also it is Spring, so wild flowers everywhere.
How to reach?
The lake is just 1hr driving from Glasgow and 2hr from Edinburgh. If you do not have car do not worry, you can reach this beautiful lake by train or by bus.
If you want to go by Bus, then you need to come to Buchanan Bus Station in Glasgow. There are regular buses to Luss Village which is on the bank of Loch Lomond.
If you wish to travel by train then the station you need to reach is called Balloch. Balloch is a hub of all the activities and transportation around Loch Lomond. You need to be mindful of the bus timings from Balloch as the frequency is less.
We prefer trains over bus, hence we took a train from Glasgow to Balloch.
Where to stay in Loch Lomond?
There are plenty of options to stay in Balloch and near about the lake in villages. We went on a day trip so we chose not to stay there but if you have time you can definitely stay near Loch.
Things to do in Loch Lomond
There is a lot you can do near Loch Lomond area, here is a list of activities which you can chose to add in your itinerary if you like.
- Village Walk – You can go for trails in Balloch by the lake, there are two trails to chose from in the town. You can take the castle route, we highly recommend it. Apart from exploring Balloch, you can take a bus to Luss village and explore the this beautiful small village.
- Hiking – There are many hiking trails and path that you can chose from which varies from 1hr to 7hrs, based on your expertise level you can chose any. You can refer to WalkingHighlands to plan your hiking rail. Most popular and great view point is Conic Hill.
- Boat Cruise – There are multiple boat cruise operator that takes travelers from Balloch to Luss and back. It is a perfect activity with family and the ferry terminal is just near the railway station.
- Visit Sea Life – If you have small children then the sea life aquarium is the best place to be.
- Camping – Loch lomond national park is known for its beautiful camping grounds. It doesn’t matter you have tent or campervan you have space allotted. All you have to do is get the permit for the wild camping here.
Day trip itinerary
We visited Balloch and Luss village on a day trip by public transport, so we will help you to plan the same.
Morning 8AM – Take the train to Ballloch from Glasgow Central Station. It will take just 1 hr to reach Balloch. You can chose to have breakfast on reaching Balloch at the near by Cafes or pick up some sandwiches from the Coop for a small picnic.
9.30AM – Start the Balloch Castle trail, if you have confusion on the path, please collect the map from the post office in front of the railway station. Have your picnic breakfast by the castle grounds or overlooking the loch. The trail is gorgeous and have many picnic benches to use. The whole trail will take 1-2hrs based on your speed.
11.30AM – Take a boat cruise to Inversnaid/ Luss/Tarbet Circular, which can be half day/ full day /90 mins or 60mins. I am considering that you will be back to Balloch by lunch time and you can enjoy lunch at the nearby Fish and Chips or restaurants options to chose from.
2.30 PM – This itinerary is suitable for all season, if you are visiting in winter then post lunch it will start getting dark and you can head back home. If you are visiting in summer the you have two options: you have kids then you can go see the Sea life Aquarium, otherwise take the afternoon bus to Luss village (in case you have not taken the boat tour).
3PM – Luss village is picturesque village, with beautiful houses and their fairy trail. I highly recommend you walk the trail and enjoy the scenery. Last bus leaves Luss 9:22PM in the night so you have plenty of time for dinner. I will though suggest have early dinner at cafe and take the second last bus at 6:45PM, back to Balloch. You can also chose to have dinner at boat house cafe Balloch.
9.30PM – Take the train back to Glasgow. Last train is at 10.40PM.
Please make sure you refer to google maps to check the train timings.