national park in Scotland
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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > Scotland > Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park straddles the two regions of the Scottish Highlands and the Central Belt of Scotland.

Loch Lomond with Ben Lomond in the background
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park UK relief location map


Scotland's first national park is north-west of Glasgow with train access at Balloch, Arrochar/Tarbet, Ardlui and Crainlarich. It is divided into four distinct areas:

View of Loch Lomond
  • Loch Lomond is the largest loch in Scotland, the largest body of fresh water in Britain and probably the most famous after Loch Ness. The southern end of the loch is quite flat, but the scenery soon becomes more mountainous and distinctly wild by the time you reach the north end.
  • The Trossachs[dead link], Loch Katrine and Loch Array are in the north-east
  • Argyll Forest
  • Breadalbane

Visitor centresEdit

There is one national park visitor centre:

Towns and villagesEdit

  • Arrochar
  • Callander
  • Crianlarich
  • Ardlui
  • Inverbeg
  • Balloch — located at the southern end of Loch Lomond, it is the main town on the loch, and can get busy. The Loch Lomond Shores TIC/visitors centre can help you plan your stay and provide you with close-area maps. Has a railway station.
  • Luss — a town without any attractions other than its beautiful appearance and cottages, which are still worth a visit.
  • Rowardennan — this village makes a great base to explore Ben Lomond.
  • Drymen — good base for the Conic Hill, also a nice pub (claimed to be the oldest in Scotland) and Buchanan castle.
  • Tarbet — a large village near the centre of the west shore with railway station



The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park was the first national park established in Scotland. It became fully operational on 19 July 2002 and was officially opened by Princess Anne on 24 July 2002.


The National Park encompasses around 720 sq miles (1,865 km2) of land including the Loch Lomond area and The Trossachs region.

Flora and faunaEdit


Get inEdit

By trainEdit

Loch Chon, in the Trossachs

ScotRail local trains run frequently from Glasgow's Queen Street Station low level to Balloch which is at the end of the line, taking about 50 minutes, with generally two trains per hour. The station in Balloch is easy to find.

Several trains run daily between Glasgow and Oban, Fort William and Mallaig which stop at Tarbet and Ardlui on the north-west shore and at Crainlarich 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.

Garelochhead, Arrochar/Tarbet, Ardlui, Crianlarich, Tyndrum are all on the West Highland Railway, which has around three trains per day from Glasgow Queen Street main level to Oban and Fort William.

By busEdit

Buses run frequently between Balloch and Glasgow.

The First Western bus service towards Balloch pick up passengers at the bus stop opposite McDonald's at Jamaica Street. A full day unlimited travel ticket costs about £4.

Several buses a day between Glasgow and Campbeltown, Oban or Fort William, traveling along the western shore (A82) of the Loch. These will stop at all bus stops north of Balloch, including Luss, Inverbeg, Tarbet and Ardlui.

By carEdit

  • From Oban follow the A85, which runs parallel to the train line, and you will enter the park from its north-western boundary. On this route you also pass by Kilchurn Castle at Lake Awe.
  • From Stirling follow the A84 and you will enter the park from its eastern boundary at Callander.

Fees and permitsEdit

No permit is required to enter the park or explore on foot, by bicycle or by road. Permits may be required for fishing, or some boat use.

Get aroundEdit

Map of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

An excellent reference tool for planning your journey is the travelinescotland website and journey planner for all bus, rail, coach, air and ferry services in Scotland. Also open 24 hours by phone on +44 871 200 22 33.

By busEdit

Buses run along Loch Lomand, but not that frequently. 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 carEdit

If you're driving, mind that the road along the northern part of Loch Lomond is pretty narrow for the traffic it has.

By boatEdit

Sightseeing trips by boat on Loch Lomond 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).

The steamship SS Sir Walter Scott offers cruises on Loch Katrine in the Trossachs. There are connecting buses from Callander and Stirling for some services.

By bikeEdit

To enjoy the nature, it is best to go by bike. There's a (relatively!) well-maintained and -signposted cycleway from Glasgow to Balloch called 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.


Inchmahome Priory
Glen Ogle Viaduct
  • Queen Elizabeth Forest Park (From Glasgow follow signs on M8 for Aberfoyle. From Stirling/Callander follow A81 to Aberfoyle via Dukes Pass).
  • Breadalbane Folklore Centre, Killin (Easily reached from Aberfeldy and Kenmore (via the A827 along the shores of Loch Tay), and from Crianlarich and Lochearnhead (via the A85 and A827)). April to October 10AM - 5PM. Overlooks The Falls of Dochart at the western end of Killin. Discover the story of Scotland's 'High Country'. Adult £2.75, Child (5-16) £1.80.
  • 1 The Falls of Dochart, Killin.
  • 2 Glen Ogle Viaduct (Between Lochearnhead and Killin). A hiking trail starting in Lochearnhead is described on walkhighlands.
  • 3 Inchmahome Priory, Lake of Menteith (along the A81), +44 1877 385294. Nov-Mar closed. An Augustinian monastery on an island, where Mary Stuart once hid from Henry VIII. A ferry runs to the island, but is only operated in summer. Lake of Menteith is one of the very few lakes in Scotland referred to as "lake" and not as "loch".
  • 4 Falls of Falloch (North of Loch Lommond on the A82 and the West Highland Way).
  • 5 Benmore Botanic Gardens. See Dunoon.
  • 6 Kilmun Arboretum.
Panoramic view north from Ben Lomond; Loch Lomond is on the left
  • 7 Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch. See Balloch.
  • Balloch Castle Country Park, Balloch. See Balloch.
  • 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.


  • Hiking is also a good idea. The long-distance West Highland Way also runs along the eastern shore on its way from Milngavie (near Glasgow) to Fort William.
    • Hike the West Highland Way. The West Highland Way walking path journeys through some of the finest scenery that Scotland has to offer. Traveling from Glasgow (Milngavie) to Fort William, it crosses the National Park and runs the length of the eastern shore of Loch Lomond.
    • 1 Conic Hill (Close to Balmaha). 361 m high.
    • 2 Puck's Glen. Walk Highlands has a detailed hiking trail description for this valley.
    • Detailed hiking trails in this area can be found on the Walk Highlands webpage.
  • 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.
    • Bike the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path. This is a 16.5-mile route between Balloch and Tarbet. Bikes can be hired at the Loch Lomond Shores
  • Fishing. You must have a permit or permission.
  • 3 Ben Lomond. A very popular climb. A majority of walkers arrive by road on the eastern side of the loch. By public transport your best option is to head to either Tarbet or Luss on the western side and then take the ferry over Loch Lomond to Rowardennan. You have to be early to catch the ferry to Rowardennan as there is only one morning service, so if you want to do Ben Lomond as a day walk this is a must. The ferry costs £11.50 return and takes approximately half an hour each way. There are two routes going up Ben Lomond. The main track which 95% of people take is from the end of the public road a few hundred metres to the south where the main carpark it located. The less taken track is in much better condition are far more peaceful and scenic. It starts a few hundred metres north of the hostel along a private road. You can go up and down the same way or make a circuit of it. From the hostel or carpark taking either route to the summit will take approximately 4.5 hours (3.5 if you're fast). Relax at the hostel grounds before taking the ferry back across. Ben Lomond is 974-m high.
  • Highland Gatherings and Games are held at various villages during a summer weekend. Pipe bands, caber-tossing, field & track events and so on; often combined with Agricultural Shows. For instance Kinlochard Highland Gathering is held in mid-July (next event Fri 12 - Sun 14 July 2019); see also entries for Balloch.


Balloch is the only significant shopping centre within the park with the Lomond Shores shopping centre right on the lochside, and other shops in the town. Callander has a supermarket and several other shops. Most villages in the park have a single shop for basics and some also have specialist outlets of interest to visitors.




As well as in the towns and villages listed above:

  • 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.


Unusually for Scotland, wild camping is banned in four areas: West Loch Lomond; East Loch Lomond; Trossachs West and Trossachs North. This is an extension in 2017 of the existing ban on camping at East Loch Lomond. These bylaws were introduced following excessive litter and noise in these areas. Wild camping is permitted in other areas of the park.



  • 2 Briar Cottages, Lochearnhead, FK19 8PU (M9 Stirling J10, A84 to Lochearnhead, A85), +44 1567 830443, . Briar cottages offer 2 holiday cottages for self catering on the banks of Loch Earn including 1 luxury cottage for 4 plus 1 pet friendly cottage for 3 guests and 2 pets in the village of Lochearnhead Perthshire.

Stay safeEdit

Go nextEdit

The following communities are located nearby:

  • Doune — features Doune Castle, a 14th-century castle with a great view over the landscape, which was used to portray most of the castles in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Dunoon — has the Benmore Botanic Gardens.
  • Inveraray — see the Kilchurn Castle which is about 20 km north of Inveraray, at Loch Awe.
  • Dumbarton — features Dumbarton Castle on top of a rock, overlooking the Firth of Clyde. It was an important royal refuge; take the A82 south.
  • Helensburgh
  • Milngavie
This park travel guide to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.