Loch Lomond, at 27.5 square miles and containing 37 islands, is the UK’s largest inland body of water. It is a varied body of water, quite distinctly consisting of two parts. In the south, it is wide and dotted with islands, with boats and watercraft jetting around in the summer months, with villages on the banks of the loch and low-lying hills lying behind them. In the north, it is narrow and wild, almost devoid of boats and strangely mysterious, with only the odd cottage on the loch bank, and dramatic mountains rising almost direct from the loch side. Loch Lomond is truly a loch of character.
There are excellent fishing opportunities all around Loch Lomond. The lochside is easily accessible through the length of its western and southeastern sides – things are a bit trickier on its northeastern shores. You require a permit to fish from the shore or a boat. A whole array of species are waiting for your line: trout, salmon, Arctic char and pike are just a few of those to be found in the Loch.
If you fancy sailing in Loch Lomond, you will find the northern half to be much quieter than the southern half. The southern half is broad and there is a lot of boating activity around Millarochy Bay in particular. The northern half is narrower with mountains on both sides and sees little boating traffic.
Loch tours are available with Loch Lomond Cruises running from Tarbet to the remote hotel at beautiful Inversnaid. It is a perfect place to sail over to for tea, boasting peace, tranquility and excellent views of the Arrochar Alps.
There are a number of interesting villages on Loch Lomond’s shores. Luss is very picturesque and sits on the western shore of Loch Lomond and was the location for the filming of Scottish soap opera Take The High Road. Balmaha sits on the southeastern shore of the Loch, and there is a modest hill behind the village called the Conic Hill which offers extensive views of the Loch, and is in fact directly on the geological fault line separating the Highlands from the Lowlands. Rowardennan is accessible by a single-track road running north from Balmaha. It has a youth hostel and is the main route of ascent for Ben Lomond. Balloch sits at the southern end of the Loch and is home to the Maid of the Loch, a paddle steamer currently undergoing restoration, and also to Loch Lomond Shores, which offers some retail therapy if you find yourself wanting some!
Hillwalking opportunities lie all around Loch Lomond. On the eastern side of the Loch is Ben Lomond (3,195 ft.), which is usually climbed from Rowardennan. The views from Ben Lomond are simply breathtaking: on a clear day, you’ll see as far north as Glen Coe, as far west as the islands of Arran, as far south as Glasgow, and east over the beautiful Trossachs and Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. The Arrochar Alps (containing The Cobbler, Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime, Ben Vane and Ben Vorlich) are a stone’s throw from Loch Lomond, and at the northern end of the loch is Beinn Chabhair.