Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is undoubtedly home to some of Scotland’s prettiest landscapes.
As part of our year of travelling while we decide where to settle down more permanently, we spend a month living in the village of Doune, right on the doorstep of Loch Lomond national park. I loved staying in the little flat we booked there and seeing the hills and mountains, locah and trails all super close by.
Loch Lomond is the main thing to do in Loch Lomond nationa park and for good reason. As the largest lake in Britain, Loch Lomond, stretches for 39 kilometres and has many trails stemming of from it.
But Loch Lomond is just a small part of this larger UK national park, which encompasses an impressive range of landscapes, from rolling hills to dense forests, making it a paradise for adventurers and active travellers visiting Scotland.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Nationa Park is home to 21 munros, 2 forest parks, 22 lochs, and more than 50 designated special nature conservation sites. There’s just so much to explore!
Below, I’m sharing the top things to do in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park based on my time living nearby and other trips to this national park throughout the years.
From hiking up Ben Lomond to wild camping, chasing waterfalls and visiting the cute villages around the national park, there’s no shortage of adventures to be had.
Table of Contents
How to get to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Getting to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is relatively easy, whether you’re travelling from Glasgow or Edinburgh or further afield.
Driving to Loch Lomond
To drive from Edinburgh to Loch Lomond takes around 1.5 – 2 hours and from Glasgow to Loch Lomond takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If you’re coming from London, the drive is around 7-8 hours but can vary greatly depending on the traffic. From Manchester, expect your drive to Loch Lomond to take around 4.5 hours.
By public transport
For those who prefer public transport, the best option is to take a train to Glasgow, which is well-connected to other parts of the UK.
A great option for this if you’re coming from London is the Caledonian Sleeper Train which leaves London at night, arriving in Glasgow, Edinburgh, or further north, the following morning. I’ve ridden the Caledonian Sleeper twice now and it’s one of my favorurite ways to get to Scotland from the south!
From Glasgow, you can take the Glasgow-Balloch train or the Glasgow-Oban/Fort William train to reach Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park depending exactly one which part of the park you’re looking to explore.
You can book trains online in advance by using TheTrainline.com which makes it super easy to plan your journey ahead of time!
Flying to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
If you’re flying into Scotland, Glasgow Airport is the nearest airport to Loch Lomond though Edinburgh’s main airport tends to have better flight connections internationally and more options domestically too.
Neither city is that far from Loch Lomond and you can can rent a car or take a taxi to reach the national park.
Guided tours of Loch Lomond
Alternatively, you can join a guided tour that visits Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. There are plenty of small group tours available from both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Below, I’ve picked out some of the best that leave from either Edinburgh and Glasgow so you can choose depending one where you were staying before.
Guided tours to Loch Lomond from Glasgow:
Guided tours to Loch Lomond from Edinburgh:
How to get around Loch Lomond
The easiest way to get around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is by car as bus connections can be few and far between. If you’re sticking to the mains towns and villages in Loch Lomond National Park then buses should work for you, but if you wish to hike and cycle then a car will be far better.
Best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
1. Explore Loch Lomond’s best walks
If you’re looking to do some hikes and walks while exploring Loch Lomond, then you’re in luck, there are so many great walking trails to explore.
From Munros (hills over 1000 ft) to smaller, easier hills, there’s something for all abilities. While there are plenty of popular, busy trails, there are also plenty of lesser known spots that you can explore too.
Below is some more information on just some of the best walks in Loch Lomond.
Navigating while on the trail: You can find this hike on AllTrails which is my usual go-to for planning my hikes, navigating, checking trail conditions and, if hiking solo, making sure others know I’m safe. The OS Map app is one of the best hiking apps for trails in the UK and is just like having hundreds of OS maps in your pocket!
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Conic Hill is a great walk in Loch Lomond.
This short and easty hike gives you a great view of Loch Lomond in under 1 hour of walking.
As you make your way up to the top of Conic Hill, you’ll get amazing views and you might even get to see some Highland Coos along the way!
Ben A’an is one of the best easy walks in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. It’s a short hike with some absolutely amazing views from this miniature mountain!
From the top of Ben A’an, you’ll be able to see as far as the Arrochar Alps, and even towards Glasgow on a clear day.
The Cobbler, also known as Ben Arthur, is another great walk just outside of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in the Arrochar Alps.
This is a harder walk than the two above, but it’s well worth the climb. At the summit of The Cobbler, you’ll get incredible panoramic views that’ll make the effort more than worthwhile.
2. Take a boat ride on Loch Katrine
Loch Katrine is a beautiful 8 mile long lake that’s full of history and surrounded by stunning landscapes.
It’s named after the lawless Catterin family who once caused havoc in the surrounding areas and these days one of the most popular ways to explore the loch is to take a cruise on the historic SS Sir Walter Scott.
This boat is a former steamship that was built in 1900 (though it now runs on biofuel!).
If you decide to ride the SS Sir Walter Scott, the boat will take you from Stronachlachar in the west to Trossachs Pier, where you can get off and explore the hills for even more great views if you decide to do so.
The tiny island at the eastern end of the lake is called Ellen’s Island, after the heroine in Walter Scott’s famous poem, Lady of the Lake.
3. Or cycle around Loch Katrine
If you’re looking for something more active than the boat ride, another great way to see Loch Katrine (and my favourite way to see the loch) is to ride the cycle path around the loch.
The circular Loch Katrine cycling route is around 13 miles long and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests.
4. Cool off in the water at the Falls of Falloch
When the weather is warm, there’s nothing better than cooling off at the pool at the bottom of the Falls of Falloch.
The falls are around 30-feet high and whether you decide to take a refreshing wild swim or not, they’re worth the first.
5. Go water skiing on Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond isn’t just worthwhile for the views from its banks, it’s also a great place to get your adrenaline pumping.
Loch Lomond Water Ski Club in Balloch offers waterskiing tuition for complete beginners up to those who are more experienced.
It’s a super fun way to explore the loch!
6. Explore the mystery of The Whangie
As you make your drive up from Glasgow, make time to stop off and explore the mystery of The Whangie, a unique rock formation in the Kilpatrick Hills.
The Whangie is a short and easy walk that’s great fun to explore and well worth the slight detour.
7. Walk the West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is a very popular long distance walking trail in Scotland that goes by Loch Lomond.
Walking some or all of this trail is a great way to experience some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland.
The trail starts in Milngavie near Glasgow and takes hikers all the way up to Fort William, passing through stunning glens and valleys and even taking in the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
Whether you’re hiking the whole trail or just a part of it, the West Highland Way is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
8. Go cycling on the West Loch Lomond cycle path
If you’re a keen biker, you can explore the beauty of Loch Lomond by renting a bike (or bringing your own) and riding the West Loch Lomond cycle path.
The Loch Lomond cycle path is 17-mile long and gives you amazing views of the pretty village of Luss, Loch Lomond, and Conic Hill which is a popular walk near the loch.
Be sure to pack a picnic as there are plenty of pretty picnic spots for a break along the way!
9. Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre
For a unique wildlife experience take a visit to the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre.
The centre is home to a wide variety of birds of prey, including owls and golden eagles. During your visit, you can get up close to the birds, and learn about the work the centre is doing to protect them.
There are daily falconry activities and daily shows which are well worth checking out.
10. Enjoy the woodland and rivers in and around the Trossachs
In case you haven’t realised already, it’s not all about Loch Lomond in this beautiful UK National Park. There are tonnes of forest trails and picturesque streams and rivers to explore too.
Check out the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park (more below) and Argyll Forest Park as well as the Devil’s Pulpit and scenic “Rest and Be Thankful” pass which are popular river areas.
11. Visit Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle is a one of the top things to do in Loch Lomond National Park if you’re looking to find out more about the area’s history.
This pretty castle, with its round corner towers and turreted conical roofs, was built in the mid-18th century on the foundations of a medieval fortress. The castle is the seat of the Dukes of Argyll and inside you’ll find old furnishings and tapestries, as well as family portraits by famous painters such as Gainsborough, Kneller, and Ramsay.
Besides the castle, there’s a gift shop, tea room, and the Inerary Jail and Maritime Experience which has another museum and a 3-masted schooner Arctic Penguin ship.
12. Visit Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Queen Elizabeth Forest Park is such a beautiful place to explore between Loch Lomond and Aberfoyle.
There are footpaths and bike trails and after you’re done exploring, head into the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre just outside of Aberfoyle and pop into their café to refuel.
13. See the wallabies on Inchconnachan
This thing to do in Loch Lomond National Park might surprise you!
There are some wallabies living on Inchconnachan, a small island on the loch. They were introduced to the island in the 1940s and have been living there, roaming freely, since then.
It’s such a fun thing to do when visiting Loch Lomond!
Besides the wallabies, Inchmurin Island is also home to the ruins of 8th Century Lennox Castle.
14. Sail aboard the Maid of the Loch
The Maid of the Loch is a historic paddle steamer and the only survivor from a long line of steamers once based on Loch Lomond.
Built in 1953, the 208-foot-long ship was the last of its kind to serve trainloads of tourists who would visit the area from near and far.
Now run by the non-profit Loch Lomond Steamship Company, the ship is being restored and on your visit, you can learn about its history and take one of the loch cruises on the paddle steamer to tour Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in style.
15. Chase waterfalls in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is home to many stunning waterfalls and finding them is one of the top things to do in Loch Lomond National Park.
Waterfalls have a special place in Gaelic tradition as they were believed to be where supernatural creatures would live and play.
Some of the best waterfalls in Loch Lomond are:
- The Falls of Falloch
- Falls of Dochart
- Falls of Edinample
- Inversnaid Falls
- Falls of Leny
- Bracklinn Falls (pictured above)
- Puck’s Glen
16. Walk the Rob Roy Way
The Rob Roy Way is a long distance walking trail that takes you through some of the prettiest scenery in Scotland as you cross the border between Central Scotland and the Highlands.
The route follows the paths once used by the infamous outlaw, Rob Roy who you can learn more about at the Rob Roy Visitor Centre.
17. Or just visit the Rob Roy Visitor Centre
The Rob Roy Visitor Centre in Callander gives you a chance to learn about the infamous outlaw, Rob Roy.
While Rob Roy is widely regarded as a heroic clan leader, he is also known as a cattle thief and blackmailer. On your visit to the centre, you can learn about his exploits and watch films about Rob Roy and the Trossachs.
18. Cycle the Glen Ogle trail
Another great cycling route in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is the Glen Ogle trail.
The trail follows an old railway line that goes north from Loch Lomond and gives riders amazing views of hills surrounding the loch.
19. Take a scenic drive on Duke’s Pass
Drive along Duke’s Pass, one of the most beautiful routes in the region, and take in the stunning views in this area.
From Loch Katrine, you’ll follow a winding road where you might struggle to keep your eyes ahead rather than out at the views! Luckily, there are places to pull off and admire the views.
20. Climb a munro or three!
There are 22 munros in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and these mountains over 1000ft offer some of the best hikes in Loch Lomond National Park.
21. Take a distillery tour
You can’t visit Scotland and not partake in a dram of whisky!
There are several distilleries in Loch Lomond National Park where you can take a tour to learn more about the process of making whisky, as well as enjoy a tasting. Some distillery tours even allow you to make your own blend of whiskey.
22. Or try a brewery tours
If you’re not a whisky lover, then check out Balmaha Brewing Co. for a beer or cider brewed at the Oak Tree Inn.
There’s also Loch Lomond Brewery, a family-run brewery. You can find their beers throughout the surrounding area if you can’t make it to the brewery itself.
23. Experience TreeZone Aerial Adventure Course
For the ultimate adventure, visit TreeZone Aerial Adventure Course in Alexandria. At this fun adventure near Loch Lomond, you’ll climb high into the treetops and take on ziplines, hanging platforms, tightropes, white-knuckle bridges, and more!
If you want more, there’s also a GoApe course near Aberfoyle.
24. Go climbing or bouldering in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is also a great place for climbing and bouldering.
You’ll find multi-pitch traditional routes, bolted sport climbing, winter classics and bouldering.
25. Explore Loch Lomond Shores
Loch Lomond Shores is the newest attraction on the loch, only a 30-minute drive from Glasgow.
Constructed of local stone to blend in with the stunning scenery around it, Loch Lomond Shores has plenty of fun things to do if you want to do something different during your stay.
There’s plenty of shopping, outdoor markets, a Christmas market, bike and boat rentals, archery experiences and more. There’s also a beach area by the lakeside and picnic sites with BBQ facilities to use.
Make your visit to Loch Lomond Shores even more enjoyable with a boat cruise on the lake!
26. Enjoy stargazing
Scotland has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe and Loch Lomond is such a good place to enjoy stargazing.
Simply head out away from the towns and villages, and cosy under the night sky
On a clear night, you can see the Milky Way and sometimes even the Northern Lights in winter!
RSPB Loch Lomond, the Stirling Astronomical Society, and Callander’s Landscapes often run dark skies events alongside experts for those who want to learn more about astronomy.
Best places to see in Loch Lomond National Park
Luss is a super cute village on the shores of Loch Lomond that we stayed at for a night during one of my trips to the area.
With picturesque houses, a sandy shoreline, cobbled streets, and several small shops, Luss is worth stopping off at to stretch your legs during your trip to Loch Lomond National Park.
There’s also a super cute fairy house trail in the woods where you can find lots of different fairy houses! The Loch Lomond faerie trail is a great walk to do before you set off and explore other areas of the park.
They’ve also got a Faerie Tale Farm where you can meet goats, alpacas, donkeys, sheep and highland cows!
You need tickets for the Faerie Trail and Faerie Tale Farm which you can get here, kids under 2 are free.
You can also take a boat cruise from Luss which is well worth doing when you visit the village.
The town of Callander is west of the loch and is a popular route into the National Park and one of the best places to visit in Loch Lomond.
Callander has loads of shops, cafes and restaurants and I highly recommend stopping off at Mohr Bread for a sandwich — they’re so good!
One of the best things to do in Callander is Bracklinn Falls and the Bracklinn Falls Bridge. It’s an easy trail through the woods just uphill from the town and well worth walking out to.
Balloch is at the south end of Loch Lomond and has everything you’ll need before a camping or hiking adventure in the Trossachs it’s a great place to join a scenic boat cruise of Loch Lomond too.
If you have time to stick around, check out Balloch Castle and country park, a Gothic-style castle located next to the banks of the loch.
North of Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, Killin is a beautiful town which is a popular place for people to stay if they’re spending a few nigts in the park.
Where to stay near Loch Lomond
There are lots of Loch Lomond hotels, lodges and places to stay in Loch Lomond. Below I’ve picked out some of those that get the best reviews.
Drimsynie Estate Hotel
Drimsynie Estate hotel has stunning views of Loch Goil, and the Argyllshire mountains.
Guests of this hotel get free gold, swimming and can enjoy the leisure facilities which include a sauna, steam room and hot tub.
Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa
Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa is the perfect palce to stay if you’re looking for a peaceful retreat with great views.
The hotel looks out onto Loch Fyne anda has an awardwinning restaurant that’s famous for its delicious seafood dishes and selection of over 25 different whiskies.
The hotel also has a swimming pool, a sauna, an outdoor hot tub, and a spa offering a variety of treatments.
Cameron House on Loch Lomond
Cameron House on Loch Lomond is the place to stay if you’re looking for a luxury hotel on Loch Lomond.
This 5-star hotel has incredible views of the loch, a championship golf course, rooftop infinity pool, exclusive spa, and four restaurants.
There’s also the Celtic Warrior, the hotel’s own motor cruiser boat, which offers daily loch excursions.
I stayed here once on a trip to Scotland adn it was one of the best hotel experiences I’ve had!
The Lodge on Loch Lomond
The Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel is situated in the scenic village of Luss, in the heart of Loch Lomond National Park.
If you stay here you can use the hotel’s spa and enjoy waterfront views and there’s even a private beach.
Where to stay in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Camping at Loch Lomond
Camping at Loch Lomond is a great way to experience the peace and beauty of the national park.
There are lots of campgrounds throughout the park for tents and RVs and campers.
Do check camping regulations ahead of your trip as there are some restrictions in place and some campgrounds will need booking in advance.
To camp in certain areas of the park, regardless of the type of camping, you may need to obtain a permit, depending on the time of year, such as around the lakefront from March to September.
If you want to camp by a loch in Scotland, you could also stay at one of these Loch Ness campsites.
Wild camping in Loch Lomond National Park
Scotland’s Right to Roam – Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
In Scotland, you can go on to most land to enjoy the outdoors – as long as you behave responsibly, care for the environment and respect the interests of others. You can learn more about the Scotland Outdoor Access Code, and what it means for your activities here.
As part of Scotland’s access legislation, you’re allowed to camp on most unenclosed land. However, due to overuse, some areas of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park are subject to wild camping bylaws.
This means that camping in some areas is only permitted within campsites or with a camping permit between March and September. Check permissions before setting up a tent, and note that different rules apply for camping with a campervan – you should have permission to park or a permit.
FAQs about visiting Loch Lomond National Park UK
When is the best time to visit Loch Lomond Scotland?
The best time to visit Loch Lomond National Park is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is generally warm and sunny, and the days are longer. This is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.
However, if you prefer fewer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) or autumn (September-October) when the weather is still pleasant, and there are fewer tourists around.
Winter can be a beautiful time to visit, with snow-capped mountains and frosty landscapes, but it’s important to note that many attractions and facilities may be closed or have limited hours during this time.
Ultimately, the best time to visit will depend on your preferences and what activities you plan to do while in the park.
Where is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park?
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is located in western Scotland and straddles the Scottish highlands and lowland boundary.
What can you do in Loch Lomond for a day?
You can head to the loch itself and explore the banks or take a boat trip on the loch. Or, head to Loch Katrine and take a cycle ride. Alternatively, go for a hike on some of the hills around the national park.
Final thoughts on what to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park offer a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests.
From hiking and cycling to distillery tours and stargazing, there is plenty to see and a wide range of things to do in Loch Lomond.
The scenic villages of Luss, Callander, Balloch, and Killin are also worth exploring, each offering unique Loch Lomond activities, attractions, and experiences.
If you’re looking for more National Parks in Scotland to explore, be sure to check out this guide to the best things to do in Cairngorms National Park. I’ve also got a guide on the best things to do in Aviemore, including where to stay in Aviemore and these Cairngorms National Park hikes.
Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Hannah
Hannah started That Adventurer after graduating back in 2013 and has documented all of her adventures since then. From backpacking South America to city breaks in Europe, a 3 month road trip across the USA in a self-converted van and 6 years living in Canada, you’ll find posts on all of this.
Hannah specialises in active travel and on That Adventurer you’ll find hiking, walking, biking, skiing and all sorts of active travel guides to allow you to see a destination in an adventurous way.