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Loch Lomond

5,227 bytes added, 12:15, 26 September 2012
By Bus
[[Image:Loch Lomond.jpg|thumb|260px|View of Loch Lomond]]'''Loch Lomond''' is the second largest loch of Scotland, the largest body of fresh water in Britain and probably the most famous after [[Loch Ness]]. It is part of the [[Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park| '''Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park''']], Scotland's first national park. It is a beautiful region to take a break from the stressful modern life and to just relax. The southern end of the loch is quite flat, but the scenery soon become becomes more mountainous and distinctly wild by the time your you reach the north end. To the north-east lie the [[Trossachs]] with its both Loch Katerine Katrine and Loch Array.
==CitiesTowns and Villages==
and villages:*[[Balloch]] -- located at the southern end of Loch Lomond, it is the main town on the loch, and can get busy. The TIC / visitors centre called ''Loch Lomond Shores'' can help you plan your stay and provide you with close-area maps. Has a railway station.* [[Crianlarich]] - located about 12km beyond the northern head of Loch Lomond; the most signposted village in Scotland is a major junction for both road and rail, and is dominated by the dramatic peak of Ben More, which is one of its biggest attractions for walkers. *'''Luss''' -- a town without any attractions other than its beautiful appearance and cottages, which are still worth a visit. Once famous for its connection to the now defunct TV series ''Take The High Road''.*'''Rowardennan''' -- this village a tiny hamlet which is the last stop on the public road up the eastern shore, and makes a great base to explore [[Ben Lomond]]*'- Scotland's most southerly 'Drymen'Munro'' .*[[Drymen]] -- good base for the Conic Hill, also a nice pub (claimed to be the oldest in Scotland) and Buchanan castle.*[[TarbertTarbet]] -- a large village near the centre of the west shorewith railway station*[[Ardlui]]- a small hamlet at the northern tip of the loch, best known for its marina and hotel.
==Get in==
===By Car===
Loch Lomond itself has two routes that run up its shores. The main A82 Glasgow-Inverness trunk road runs up the West Bank, and is a good quality single carriageway as far at the village of Tarbet, but then becomes extremely twisty and windy for the northern third of the shore.
'''Note that from Summer 2012 onward, major roadworks at Pulpit Rock (just before Ardlui) will be ongoing for a period of 2 years. Severe delays may be encountered at this point during peak summer season'''
The East Bank is less accessible, the small villages of Drymen and Balmaha being the two main bases for exploring the Loch’s eastern shores. The road only goes as far as Rowardennan, and is barely double track beyond Balmaha, and accesses Ben Lomond as well as several campsites. For anywhere beyond Rowardennan, you will need to either walk or use a boat - some of the cruise companies do call at the key points on the East Bank that are north of where the road terminates.
====From Glasgow/Edinburgh====
The fastest route to the Loch by far is to follow the M8 motorway through Glasgow city centre, out the other side past Glasgow Airport and exit the motorway at Junction 30 for the Erskine Bridge. This road (the A898) crosses the River Clyde and then joins the A82 westward. From here, follow the signs for Dumbarton, which then lead on to Balloch - signs for "Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park" should guide you to the part of the Loch which are of interest. The exception to this if you are coming from the West End of Glasgow, then it is probably quicker to follow the urban part of the A82 through Kelvinside, Anniesland and onward through Clydebank and Old Kilpatrick. Just watch out for the speed cameras along this route!
For a more scenic and slower alternative (particularly if you are going to the eastern side of Loch Lomond), there are a vareity of routes that exit from the north of the city via Kirkintilloch or Bearsden/Milngavie and traverse the picturesque Campsie Fells with many pleasant villages along the way.
====From the South====
Follow the M74 motorway northbound all the way to its end until it joins the M8 just south of Glasgow city centre. From there follow the route via the Erskine Bridge as described above.
====From the North====
There are two options - from Central Scotland/Fife, the best route is to take the A811 from Stirling (following the signs to Erskine Bridge). This will eventually bring you out at Drymen and then Balloch. From the North West, follow the A82 southbound from Inverness/Fort William, or from the North East (starting at Perth), follow the A85. Both these routes converge on Crianlarich.
===By Train===
Local ScotRail [] operate local trains run frequently from [[BallochGlasgow]] 's Queen Street Station (Low Level) to [[GlasgowBalloch]]which is at the end of the line. The station in Balloch is easy to find and all the trains go to Glasgow. To get from Glasgow to Balloch, the trains leave about every half hour from the Low-level platforms at Queen Street station.
Several From [[Edinburgh]], take either the main 'Shuttle' service to Glasgow Queen Street (High Level), then go downstairs to Platform 8 to pick up the Balloch train described above. Alternatively, you can take the direct (4 but slower) train to Platform 8 directly on the Airdrie-Bathgate line that is bound for Helensburgh Central or 5?) Milngavie, and change to the Balloch service in exactly the same way - there is probably little difference in overall journey time. Several trains a day run daily up the [[West Highland Line]] between [[Glasgow]] and [[Oban]] or , [[Fort William]] and [[Mallaig]] which stop at [[TarbertTarbet]] and [[Ardlui]] on the north-west shoreas well as [[Crianlarich]] in the northern part of the park. These leave from the upper level of Glasgow's Queen Street station. The Caledonian Sleeper from [[London]] also runs up here - see the ScotRail website for further details.
===By Bus===
Buses run frequently between [[Balloch]] and [[Glasgow]].
The First Group bus service towards Balloch picks up passengers at the bus stop opposite McDonalds at Jamaica Street. A full day unlimited travel ticket costs about 4 pounds. Several Citylink [] buses a day between [[Glasgow]] and [[Campbeltown]], [[Oban]] or [[Fort William]] and the [[Skye|Isle of Skye]], travel traveling along the western shore (A82)of the Loch. These will stop on request at most placesall bus stops and laybys north of Balloch, including '''Luss''', '''Inverbeg''', [[TarbertTarbet]] and [[Ardlui]]. See [ Scottish Citylink] Be advised that prices can be expensive if bought on the bus at the time of travel, for more detailsexample a single from Balloch Roundabout to Luss can cost £6+.
==Get around==
===By Bike===
To enjoy the nature, it is best to go by bike. There's a (relatively!) well-maintained and -signposted cycleway from Glasgow to Ballochcalled National Route 7. A good place to join it is Bells Bridge over the Clyde by the SECC(Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center). It's a fairly flat 20-25 miles.
===By Bus===
'''Buses''' run along the Loch, but not that frequentetly frequently (see above). You should check the departure-times first, as timetable are not usually available at the stops. The National Park Authority publishes a timetable of all the buses and ferries [] which may be available as a booklet locally.
===By car===
Sightseeing trips by boat run from ''Loch Lomond Shores'' near Balloch.
There is also a useful passenger ferry between '''Inverbeg''' (served by Citylink buses) and '''Rowardennan''' (at the foot of [[Ben Lomond]] mountain). Timetable information [ here].
*'''Loch Lomond Shores''', Balloch, 01389-722406. A gateway center for Loch Lomond with an information center, an educational cinema, shops and a view across the Loch. Lomond Shores Project: [ Lomond Shores Project].
*'''Balloch Castle Country Park''', Balloch. The first park in the national park with a castle you can visit. The '''castle''' itself only has two accessible rooms with only little information about the castle , but rather some educational informations about the national park. It was built in the early 20th century to replace the old castle located further down the hill, and only served as a manor house.
*'''Luss Village Paths''', Luss (''along the A82''). A beautiful town with four walks around town and a sandy '''beach'''. A map can be picked up at Balloch TIC or at the Luss Visitor Information.
*'''Cycling''' is probably the best outdoor activity besides hiking. The '''Lowland Highland Trail''', which is part of the National Cycle Network Route 7 starts from Balloch, going north to [[Drymen]], Aberfoyle, [[Callander]], Strathyre, Lochearnhead and Killin. Free leaflets with a map of the bike trail can be picked up at TICs along the trail. There is another cycle path along the western shores of Loch Lomond. Bikes can be hired at the '''Loch Lomond Shores''' (see above). *'''Hiking''' is also a good idea. You could for example go to Rowardennan and then hike up Scotland's second highest mountain, '''Ben Lomond'''. The long-distance [[West Highland Way]] also runs along the eastern shore on it's its way from [[Milingavie]] (near [[Glasgow]]) to [[Fort William]].
'''The Clachan Inn''' in [[Drymen ]] - Scotland's oldest registered licensed premises (1734) - nice pub with good food and friendly atmosphere.
There is a small pub, with outside terrace and nearby pier for boat moorings, on the island of Inchmurrin in the centre of the loch. A ferry is available from Midross, on the A82, to the island.
Cameron House Hotel has a marina bar with views over Loch Lomond.
*'''Loch Lomond Youth Hostel''', A82 (''opposite side of Duck Bay Marina''), 0870 004 1136. The hostel could be an attraction itself, as it is an impressive country house. £12.50-14.00/5.00-12.00 (Adult/Child). Opened March-October. SYHA information and booking: [ SYHA information and booking]*'''Rowardennan Youth Hostel''', Rowardennan, 0870 004 1148. Located at the banks of Loch Lomond, it can be used as a base to climb Ben Lomond. £10.50-12.00/5.00-9.00 (Adult/Child). Opened March-October. SYHA information and booking: [ SYHA information ]. ===Splurge=== *'''Cameron House on Loch Lomond''', A82, 01389 755565. Cameron House on Loch Lomond is a stunning five star Scottish Baronial Mansion on the banks of Loch Lomond perfectly located within Scotland's first national park. The resort also has four restaurants including the exquisite Michelin Star Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, the unrivalled Cameron Grill serving the finest local Beef and Salmon, the Loch side Boathouse with seafood from Loch Fyne and the relaxed Claret Jug, the best 19th hole in Scotland. The resort also features an 18-hole Championship golf course, a luxury resort spa with rooftop infinity pool and bookinga range of outdoor pursuits from champagne cruises on Loch Lomond to ranger rambles for our younger guests. []
==Get out==
*'''Dumbarton Castle''', [[Dumbarton ]] (''take the A82 south''), 01389 732167. It features a castle on top of a rock, overlooking the Firth of Clyde. It was an important royal refuge. [ Historic Scotland information]
*'''Buchanan Castle''', Drymen (''along the A811, enter through the gate of Buchanan Castle Golf Course''). A ruin of an beautiful castle, which cannot be entered (danger of falling apart). Sadly, it is not getting maintained or repaired, but is worth a peek.
*'''Inchmahome Priory''', Lake of Menteith (''along the A81''), 01877 385294. This is the only lake in Scotland. A An Augustinian monastery on an island, where Mary Stuart once hid from Henry the VIII. A ferry runs to the island, but is only operated in Summer. [ Historic Scotland information]
==External links==[ Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park]{{IsIn|Scottish_Highlands}}
[http[de:// Loch Lomond Shores]]
{{stub}}[[WikiPedia:Loch Lomond]]
[[de:Loch Lomond]][[WikiPedia:Loch Lomond]]{{outline}}

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