Nestled on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, Balmaha offers a picturesque escape for camping enthusiasts. With a range of campsites available, there is something to suit everyone’s preference, whether it be a leisurely holiday on the lochside or an adventurous hike up Conic Hill. Balmaha’s stunning beauty and tranquil surroundings make it a haven for nature lovers, with numerous camping options around the village.
Among the popular campsites is Sallochy Campsite, located on the shores of Loch Lomond and open between March and October. Apart from its breathtaking views, the campsite is perfect for walkers on the West Highland Way, as well as those seeking a longer stay in the scenic surroundings. Alternatively, for a unique camping experience, Inchcailloch campsite on the tranquil southern tip of Inchcailloch island can be accessed from Balmaha via a short ferry journey.
With 34 campsites and caravan sites in the area, a visit to Balmaha promises the perfect outdoor getaway. Enjoy canoeing along the shoreline, exploring the scenic nature trails, or simply relaxing and taking in the awe-inspiring views at one of Balmaha’s many picturesque campsites.
Popular Campsites in Balmaha
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park offers an abundance of camping options, with numerous campsites to choose from. One of these is Cobleland Campsite in Gartmore, which is dog-friendly and situated by the riverside. Located within the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, it is just a short 5-minute drive away from Aberfoyle.
Cashel Camping Site
Cashel Camping Site is a popular campsite right on the shores of Loch Lomond. This well-maintained site offers stunning views of the surrounding area and has direct access to the West Highland Way, a famous long-distance walking route in Scotland. This location offers excellent opportunities for hiking and water-based activities, making it a fantastic camping destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Sallochy Camping Site
Located in the scenic village of Balmaha, Sallochy Camping Site is another great option for those looking to experience the natural beauty of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. With basic facilities and a focus on sustainable camping, this campsite provides you with a low-impact, environmentally friendly option. Attractions close to the site include Inchcailloch Island, which is accessed via a short ferry journey from Balmaha. The island offers a unique camping experience on its south tip, in Port Bawn.
Camping Facilities and Amenities
Balmaha campsites offer a range of on-site services to accommodate the needs of campers. Some campsites provide public composting toilets, although there is no drinking water supply available on-site. Campers are advised to bring their own drinking water or obtain it at nearby facilities such as MacFarlane’s Boatyard in Balmaha using their own containers.
There are picnic areas, visitor information and a play area located at the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Visitor Centre next to the car park. For those seeking a more luxurious stay, Balmaha campsites also include pet-friendly luxury lodges and options for free Wi-Fi.
Environmentally Friendly Practices
Campsites in Balmaha are committed to preserving the natural environment, with many following environmentally friendly practices. For example, some campsites are equipped with public composting toilets, reducing waste and minimising the impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Campers are encouraged to respect the environment during their stay and leave no trace behind.
Activities and Experiences
Balmaha campsites offer a wide range of activities and experiences for campers to enjoy and explore. The beautiful surroundings are ideal for hiking, with nearby attractions such as Conic Hill and the scenic Inchcailloch Island. Many campsites are within close proximity to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and Aberfoyle, perfect for enjoying outdoor pursuits and discovering the natural beauty of the area.
In addition, Balmaha Visitor Centre provides an excellent opportunity for campers to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife, while Balmaha Bunkhouse Activites caters to those looking for more adrenaline-fueled experiences.
Rules and Regulations
When camping in Balmaha, it is essential to follow responsible camping practices to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all campers and to protect the natural environment. Some basic responsible camping guidelines include:
- Set up your campsite in designated areas only.
- Keep noise levels to a minimum, especially during quiet hours.
- Dispose of waste properly and use appropriate sanitation facilities.
- Respect the privacy and property of other campers.
- Follow all posted rules and regulations specific to each campsite.
Fires and Barbecues
When it comes to fires and barbecues at Balmaha campsites, campers should adhere to the following stipulations:
- Use designated fire pits or barbecue grills provided by the campsite.
- Never leave a fire unattended and always put it out completely before leaving the area.
- Gather firewood responsibly; do not cut down trees or remove branches from living trees.
- Do not use accelerants, like petrol, to start or maintain fires.
- Ensure you have a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.
Many Balmaha campsites are pet-friendly, but it’s important to follow some basic pet etiquette to ensure the comfort and safety of all campers:
- Keep pets on a leash at all times, unless in designated off-leash areas.
- Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste in appropriate bins.
- Ensure pets are well-behaved and not disturbing other campers.
- Be aware of any specific pet restrictions at individual campsites, such as breed or size limits.
- Always have up-to-date identification and vaccination records for your pet.
How to Book and Pricing
To book a campsite in Balmaha, you have a few options:
- Online: Visit websites like Pitchup or TripAdvisor to find available campsites in Balmaha. You can browse through various options and book according to your requirements and preferences.
- Direct Booking: Some campsites may have their own official website or contact details. You can book your stay directly with them by phone or email.
- In-person: Arrive at the campsite and book your stay on arrival. However, this option might not guarantee availability, especially during peak season.
It is usually best to book in advance to secure your preferred dates and location.
Pricing for campsites in Balmaha can vary depending on factors such as location, facilities, and time of the year. Here are some examples of campsite pricing:
- West Highland Way Campsite: Located 10.9 miles from Balmaha, this pet-friendly campsite is open all year and offers tent pitches from around £10 per person per night.
Keep in mind that prices may change and it is always a good idea to check with the individual campsite or booking platform for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information.
Nearby Attractions and Activities
While enjoying your stay at Balmaha campsites, there are several nearby attractions and activities that you can explore.
The West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is a popular attraction for many campers. This long-distance footpath stretches for 96 miles (154 km) from Glasgow to Fort William. You can join a guided tour or explore the trail independently.
- Full Day Hiking Tour of West Highland Way
- Scenic views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
Conic Hill is a picturesque peak located just 1.5 miles from Milarrochy Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site. A hike up Conic Hill provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape, making it a must-see attraction during your stay.
- Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Balmaha
- Offers panoramic views of the surrounding area
Inchcailloch Island is a beautiful destination in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Accessible by boat or ferry, the island features an ancient churchyard, walking trails, and an abundance of wildlife.
- Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Gartocharn
- Accessible by boat or ferry