Best Places to Visit in Scotland: Balloch and Loch Lomond

Three Highland Cows standing in water to cool off on a hot summer day.

Balloch: The Gateway to Loch Lomond

Just 25 miles from Glasgow, the little village of Balloch is one of the best places to visit in Scotland!

Situated at the southern tip of the famously bonny Loch Lomond, the small town lies in a lovely pastoral region where fat ponies graze behind crumbling stone walls and mists hang low in the sky, obscuring the mighty Ben Lomond in the distance. The area is vibrantly green and eternally damp, and lies within the boundaries of the Trossachs National Park (a.k.a. Rob Roy country).

Lonely tree loch lomond - one of the best places to visit in scotland

During your stay in Balloch, you can do as much or as little as you like, but no matter what you decide, you’ll find it’s almost impossible not to relax and recharge in such a charming country location.

Where to Eat

1. Balloch House

Balloch House serves up delicious pub classics, including a fantastic Open Chicken Pie stuffed with chicken breast, ham and leeks in a smoked Applewood cheddar sauce – a very satisfying lunch enjoyed fireside with a refreshing pint of ale. (Easily the best meal I ate in Scotland!)

2. The Stables

Popular with the locals, The Stables is the place for authentic Scottish food. Start with the ‘Taste of Scotland’ sharing platter with haggis croquettes, oak smoked salmon, Cullen skink, chicken liver & whiskey paté, and oatcakes then treat yourself to a bowl of fresh Scottish mussels. The sticky toffee pudding with custard is the perfect way to end your feast.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Where to Stay

Stay at one of Cameron House’s luxury self-catering lodges on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Cameron House Loch Lomond offers a variety of detached, semi-detached and terraced luxury lodges. From one bedroom bungalows, perfect for single or couples, to larger four bedroom lodges which accommodate up to 8 people, there is a lodge type to suit every group size.

Cameron House Lodges in Loch Lomond

What to Do

Not surprisingly, many of the activities in Balloch are centered on the loch. Pleasure cruises offer daily sightseeing tours of Great Britain’s largest freshwater lake. Relax aboard the Queen of the Lochs and take in spectacular views of the magnificent Ben Lomond and the Highland boundary fault line.

If fishing is your thing, you’ll find plenty of private charters that provide exceptional angling opportunities. Water sports are also available including sailing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, and water skiing. Canoes, pedal boats, and bikes can be rented at Loch Lomond Shores.

Golf, horseback riding, hiking, archery, and hawking are also options.

And if you time it right, you can take in the Loch Lomond Highland Games, one of the top three Highland Games events in the country attracting as many as 15,000 visitors each year.

The Spa at Cameron House, Loch Lomond, ScotlandThe Spa at Cameron House

If relaxing at a world-class spa is your idea of heaven, you won’t be disappointed with The Spa at Cameron House, Loch Lomond’s best hotel spa for two years in a row.

With 17 wet and dry treatment rooms, a breathtaking rooftop terrace with an infinity pool, an assortment of thermal experiences and an aromatherapy steam room this is truly an unforgettable destination spa.

Balloch Castle Country Park - one of the best places to visit in Scotland!Balloch Country Park

Walking trails hug the shores of Loch Lomond, as does the lush 200-acre woodland known as Balloch Country Park. In addition to its beautiful parkland, ornamental gardens, and pathways, Balloch Country Park is the home of the historic and derelict Balloch Castle.

If the weather is fine, pack a lunch. Balloch Country Park might just be the prettiest picnic spot on the planet!

Glass of Famous Grouse whiskey with bottle in the backgroundThings to Do Nearby

For those who appreciate a good scotch, The Famous Grouse Experience at The Glenturret Distillery is just 50 miles away in Crieff.

History buffs (and Braveheart fans) may enjoy a visit to Stirling Castle and the nearby William Wallace monument, only 30 miles from Balloch.

Getting There

Getting to Balloch couldn’t be easier! Trains between Glasgow and Balloch run frequently and cost about $12 each way. Or, if you prefer, you can rent a car, or go for the splurge and take a private taxi for about $60.

Balloch Map

Balloch Fast Facts

Population – About 6,000
Currency – British Pound (GBP)
Time Zone – GMT (summer DMT)
Nearest Airport – Glasgow International

Packing Essentials

Belted QuiltPatch Raincoat MICHAEL Michael Kors Charcoal

Delicious Scottish cuisine, luxury accommodations and amenities, and a plethora of things to do earn Balloch a well-deserved spot on our list of the best places to visit in Scotland.

More great places to visit in Scotland:

The Highlands

Scottish Borders

The Hebrides

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  • I am a mom of 2 who travels a lot for work (I work in the event/conference/tradeshow industry). I grew up  and currently live in Northern California.