Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Why we love Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Love to escape the crowds? You’ve come to the right place: though it’s less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow, this national park is so vast, and so wild, that you’ll feel blissfully far from the masses. While the shores of Loch Lomond – Britain’s largest lake – can be busy in summer, there are pristine woods to explore, mountains to climb, and plenty of quieter waters to paddle, swim, kayak and cruise.
Indeed, the national park’s landscape is more of a ‘waterscape’: the long shape of Loch Lomond forms a natural divide within its boundaries, with the Arrochar Alps to the east, and the Trossachs to the west – a region of forest-filled braes (hillsides) and picturesque shores, including lochs Katrine, Achray and Chon. For strong-legged hikers and cyclists, the national park’s 21 munros (peaks above 914.4m/3,000ft) are irresistible, though there are lots of gentler trails to enjoy.
Here’s how to have your own big adventure in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Broaden your horizons
To immerse yourself in the national park’s beauty, head to the water. Whether you’re cruising Loch Katrine on the Sir Walter Scott steamship, or exploring Loch Lomond’s tranquil islets by powerboat, this is a soul-soothing, mind-clearing setting. Look out for special themed voyages for bird watching, hiking or sunset cocktails
Head to the hills
To ‘bag’ a munro is to climb it, and there are plenty of peaks to choose from: scale the southerly slopes of Ben Lomond (974m/3,195ft), conquer Ben Vorlich (985m/3,231ft), or test your stamina on Ben More – the highest munro, at 1,174m (3,851ft). For an even bigger challenge, hit the West Highland Way: this 96-mile (154km) route weaves right through the national park.
Follow a fresh trail
A treat for walkers, cyclists and road trippers alike, the Three Lochs Forest Drive offers seven miles (11.5km) of peaceful waterways and woodlands – with a wheelchair-accessible route too. Look out for red squirrels, roe deer and ospreys, and don’t forget to bring a picnic. With a permit, camping is also permitted here.
Go wild on the water
Wild swimmers, you’ll love Loch Lomond & The Trossachs: there are plenty of spots for invigorating dips, but the clear waters of the Lake of Menteith and Loch Chon are local favourites. Paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and sail boats can be hired throughout the national park, while wakeboarding at Loch Lomond is a must for thrill-seekers.
Hang out in Scotland’s Alps
Whether you’re a budding Spiderman or a rock-climbing rookie, head to the Arrochar Alps – the peaks to the west of Loch Lomond – to scale crowd-free outcrops, summits and boulders. There are guided trips and routes for all abilities, while local activity centres offer ziplining, gorge walking, abseiling and more.
Learn a new skill
Trying a new hobby, sport or skill will enrich your holiday – so challenge yourself to do something unexpected. Maybe you’ll join a wildlife photography workshop, swing for one of the national park’s golf courses, or explore the constellations on an astronomy tour. To get your adrenaline pumping, there’s water skiing, river tubing and horse riding too.
Things to do in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Featured things to do
Craving adventure? Hire a kayak from Loch Lomond Leisure, and paddle to the isle of Inchconnachan – which, believe it or not, is home to wild wallabies.Learn more about watersports at Loch Lomond Leisure
Bikes are welcome on the Waterbus service, putting the hidden beaches and tranquil picnic spots around lochs Lomond and Katrine within easy reach.Learn more about Waterbus and bike itineraries
September’s Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival is full of gourmet joys – from venison burgers and traditional haggis, to local whisky and chocolate.Learn more about Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival
Chills and thrills
With snow-capped peaks, frosty walks around the Trossachs, and fireside lunches in cosy pubs, the coldest season is a real heart-warmer.Learn more about winter in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Places to stay in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
The national park may be wild, but it’s home to some seriously swish hotels. Overlooking the lochs you’ll find historic retreats with fine dining, spas, golf and watersports.
You don’t need a big budget to stay on the waterside: there are cute cottages, forest lodges and glamping cabins dotting the shores of Loch Lomond and beyond.
Love the great outdoors? Ignite your sense of adventure on a wild camping trip. It’s legal throughout Scotland, but you’ll need to buy a permit (online) for the national park.
Getting to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
The national park is just north of Glasgow and Edinburgh, whose airports are its closest international hubs – around 40 and 90 minutes’ drive respectively. If you’re travelling from England, journey times are long (London is seven hours 30 minutes’ drive away), so consider rail or coach services instead: the direct train from London to Glasgow takes four hours 30 minutes, or there’s an overnight service to Arrochar & Tarbet.
From trains and buses to cruises and the Waterbus, there’s a multitude of ways to get around on public transport. For hikers, many munros are even accessible without a car – so you can relax and enjoy the scenery as you travel. For the latest timetables and routes for buses and trains, use the National Park Journey Planner app.
The Waterbus, a scheduled boat service, runs throughout Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine – putting their walks and attractions within easy reach.
The southern stretch of the West Highland Line (from Glasgow) runs right through the National Park, and links up with the Waterbus at Arrochar & Tarbet.
If you’re hiring a car, consider an electric vehicle: there are EV charging points throughout the national park, including on the banks of Loch Lomond.
Want to know more?
You’ll find insider tips and the latest travel update on the national park’s official website.