Located in southern Scotland and one hour’s drive from Glasgow city, you’ll find Loch Lomond and the Trossachs region. It derives its name from Britain’s largest lake, the Loch Lomond, and the numerous Trossachs that dot the area.
Visitors to the region get to enjoy fishing, kayaking, cruising, and other water activities offered at the lake.
Those looking for scenic views can hike to the peak of Ben Lomond to enjoy the panoramic view of the Trossachs National Park and the stunning shores of Loch Lomond.
Lovers of sea life can visit the Loch Lomond SEA LIFE Aquarium, where they can enjoy the beautiful scenery of different fish species and sea creatures in their natural habitats.
In a nutshell, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs have plenty of fun things to do. This guide outlines the 11 best things to do in Loch Lomond and Trossachs to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Visit SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium
The SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium thrives in the Drumkinnon Tower, which is perched on the pristine shores of Loch Lomond, 30 minutes drive from Glasgow town.
When exploring the aquarium, you can view up to over 1500 sea creatures, including marine mammals, dead coral, seaweed, sea birds, and sea turtles, in seven distinct zones.
Also, the aquarium offers various touch tanks, where marine biologists and rock pooling enthusiasts in your crew can enjoy interacting with anemones, sea crabs, starfish, and other miniature creatures of the sea.
Take a tour through the featured tropical underwater tunnel to experience actual sea diving by interacting with rays, sharks, and other sea critters.
Want to learn more about sea life? Participate in one of the onsite learning programs to unveil some fascinating facts about Sir Bobby Robson Shark, blacktip shark, and other secrets of the sea.
After exploring the aquarium, you can climb to the tower’s rooftop terrace and enjoy a blend of the lake’s energetic breeze and scenic view.
Explore Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
With sparkling lochs, rolling mountains, Trossachs, and trail networks, the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park has something to offer to all visitors. The vast forest park rests in the Scottish Highlands and spans from east of Loch Lomond to the Strathyre Mountains.
Visitors to the forest park can make their first stop at the lodge forest visitor centre to enjoy treetop adventures, wildlife watching, and taking-breathtaking views of the forest and the land beyond.
Those who feel more energetic to delve deeper into the forest can set out to Loch Katrine’s place, where they can enjoy watching Katrine’s hairy cows and cruising on Sir Walter Scott’s steamship.
Authors and artists in your crew can follow Katrine’s Great Trossachs Art & Literature Trail to learn about the writers, poets, and artists whose creative work was inspired by the panoramic landscape of the place. The trail joins Inversnaid and Callander areas, which also have some sights to offer.
If you still have spare time to spend in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, take a scenic ride along the forest drive and enjoy the magnificent view of the Trossachs, exotic wildlife, and the three lochs, including loch Achray, Lochan Reoidhte, and Loch Drunkie.
You can also stop over one of these lochs to fish or watch the tactical ospreys as they fish.
You can dine and stay at MacDonald Forest Hills Hotel and Spa, Rob Roy Hotel, Loch Achray hotel, or any other featured hotel during the visit.
Unveil the Treasures in the Island of Inchmurrin
Inchmurrin is the largest island you’ll find in Loch Lomond. It is also the most prominent freshwater island in the United Kingdom. The island is famous for being a destination for the world’s aristocratic circles like Robert the Bruce, Mary, the Queen of Scots, and the Earl of Lennox.
Visiting the island gives you a chance to view the remains of the Lennox Castle on the southern end of the island.
Naturalists in your crew can enjoy the greenery landscape of the island and exotic wildlife like wallabies and ospreys as they walk along the island trails.
And, if swimming is your activity, you can beat the summer heat at one of the island’s beautiful beaches. The island is accessible by water.
Want to spend days on the island? You can find accommodation in areas like Balloch, Balmaha, Boturich, or any other accommodation you might find on the island.
Don’t leave the island without tasting the local cuisines at the Inchmurrin restaurant.
Hike Along the West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is a popular route for hikers and bikers, attracting up to 100,000 visitors in a year. The 145-kilometre trail stretches from Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, to Fort William in Lochaber, Scotland.
Hikers along the route get to enjoy the aerial view of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park from Britain’s highest peaks, Ben Nevis.
The other attractions you can find along the west highland way along this route include:
Ballachulish Slate Quarry
Ballachulish Slate Quarry rests on the shores of Loch Leven near Glencoe. The quarry is known for producing slate roof tiles in the 18th century and later converted into a picturesque attraction site.
Visiting it will take you to the roots of Scottish industrial history, including production technologies and the means of transportation used during the period.
Also called the white spout, the Steall Waterfall is the second largest waterfall in England, with a single drop of 120 metres. Visit the waterfall to enjoy the greenery of the surroundings, the soothing breeze, and the white waters’ burbling sounds that can help you break away from the day’s stress.
The other golden gems along the west highland way include the Ben Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Devil’s Staircase, Mugdock Country Park, and Lairig Mor, each of which features numerous activities for their visitors.
The journey can take you up to five days. And, given that other trails connect to the main route, the chances are high that you may easily get lost on the way. We recommend you take a map to navigate the trail, eateries, and accommodation centres easily.
Get the Adrenaline Going At the Treeline Aerial Adventure Course
Located along the shores of Loch Lomond Lake, near the holly bank, is the Treeline. It boasts zip wires, scramble nets, changing platforms, white knuckle bridges, tight ropes, gap jumps, and other aerial adventure amenities to offer a fantastic experience to visitors looking for an adrenaline adventure.
The area offers two aerial adventure courses, The Buzzard and The Treecreeper.
Visiting this amusement area will allow you to test your creativity, courage, team-working, and problem-solving abilities as you move along one of these challenging courses. The challenging bit of the aerial adventure course ends when you reach the featured 65 metres zip line, which is the only way to get out of the adventure course.
You must slide down the zip line to the finishing end to make one round and enjoy the panoramic view of the lush forests and other attractions in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Sample and Buy Local Produce at the Farmer’s Market
If you love agriculture, visit the farmer’s market in Balloch, along the shores of Loch Lomond, to sample and buy the local produce.
Loch Lomond hosts a farmer’s market every month on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. During the event, farmers bring their fresh produce, artistic products, and other valuable items to the market to sell to the tourists and the natives.
You can utilise this opportunity to sample the local food and buy the local artefacts for gifting your special person when you get back home.
Examples of foods you can find in the market include fresh-baked bread, macarons, honey, pudding, Scones, cheeses, chutneys, seafood, fresh waffles, churros, bratwurst, coffee, tea, and many others.
Visit Loch Lomond Birds of Prey Centre
The Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre nestles on the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, close to the Loch Lomond shores visitor complex.
Visiting the centre gives you a chance to come up close with more than 30 birds of prey.
Your kids will enjoy watching the eagles and hawks takeoff, ascend and soar in the sky and then swoop back to the centre. It’s also thrilling to see how the birds manage their swooping speed before perching.
The flying show takes place twice a day, and a single show lasts for approximately 40 minutes.
Besides the eagles and hawks, other raptors in the falconry include buzzards, owls, kestrels, and falcons.
The area staff will introduce the birds and educate you about their character and how they are adapted to overcome the challenges in their daily life. The centre is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily from April to September.
However, the opening times may vary in October and March. So, you should consult with the customer care team before planning your visit.
For lunch or afternoon tea, you can head to Cafe Zest from the falconry, less than 200 metres away.
Climb Conic Hill
Conic Hill is one of the iconic attractions along the west highland way. It sits at the eastern end of Loch Lomond, on the Highland Boundary Fault Line.
Visitors to the place can start their excursion at Balmaha village and climb along the west highland way. The climbing trail is relatively smooth, except for the rocky end along which the climbers must scramble to reach the summit.
Those who make it to the summit get to enjoy the picturesque view of Loch Lomond, its pristine shores, islands, rolling hills, and woodlands.
You can visit The Clachan Inn Drymen from the hill, located 5.5 kilometres from Conic Hill, for dinner and nightlife. The inn is open daily from noon.
Want to explore the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park on two wheels? The region offers numerous biking trails to get you covered. All you need is to hire a bike to start a scenic journey along:
The Aberfoyle to Callander Route
The Aberfoyle-Callander Route extends only 21 kilometres. Its terrain features a tough climb from Aberfoyle to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, from where it descends to Loch Achray. From Loch Achray, the route stretches along Loch Venachar through the great Trossachs forest to Kilmahog, where it diverts to route A84, leading to Callander.
Attractions to see along the route include the breathtaking view of the lush woodlands and numerous lochs and ridges of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. Other attractions include the pointed peaks of Ben A’an, Kilmahog settlement, Leny Falls, and the bustling town of Callander, among others.
Glasgow to Loch Lomond Route
The Glasgow-Loch Lomond Trail begins at Argyle Street Station in Glasgow and then stretches to Clydebank through the Clyde walkway. The trail extends to Dumbarton via the Clyde Canal from the Clyde Bank. From Dumbarton, you can reach Balloch through the River Leven Trail.
The other biking trails you can explore in Loch Lomond and Trossachs include:
- Glen Finglas Loop
- Ben Lomond Loop
- Loch Katrine
- West Loch Lomond Cycle Path
- Loch Lomond Circular
Each of the above trails features beautiful spots for viewing and activities for persons of all ages.
Sample Loch Lomond Gin
The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park feature gin distilleries where your crew’s boozers can go for gin sampling. Examples of these distilleries include:
Glasgow Distillery is on route 8 along the Deanside road, Glasgow. Visitors to the distillery get the chance to taste the spirit gin, vodka, and whisky. Make sure you pick a take-home drink after sampling.
The Trossachs Distillery is famous for producing the award-winning McQueen’s Gin, citron gin, colour-changing gin, black cherry and vanilla gin, blackcurrant and raspberry gin, five chilli gin, and the highland dry gin.
All the above gins are available for sampling. However, you can only taste all of them if you are strong enough to leave the distillery after swallowing the seven tots.
The other distilleries within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs region include Glengoyne Distillery, Deanston Distillery, and the Auchentoshan Distillery, and each is worth a visit.
Visit the Inveraray Castle
The Inveraray Castle rests peacefully in Argyll County, about 97 kilometres to the north of west Glasgow in western Scotland.
Touring the castle introduces you to a vast estate surrounded by green trees and beautiful gardens, which are worth a memorable snap with your family.
It also allows you to view the architectural skills of Roger Morris, who designed the castle, and Robert Mylne, who decorated it.
The castle is currently home to Ian, the Duke of Argyll. It was once home to the chief of the Campbell clan.
On the walls of this armoury hall, you can find weapons like swords, pikes, and muskets, which the Campbell clan could use to fight against Jacobites at Culloden.
Other interior features include:
- A glimpse into grand state dining and the extravagant Campbell decor.
- The haunted MacArthur Room, known for its ghostly experiences
- A victorian kitchen with wooden furniture and drawers
Want to learn more about the castle? The area guides will take you through various attractions inside the castle and their significance today.
From the castle, head to the Castle Gardens to enjoy the beautiful scenery of exotic flowers as you hike along the farm trails.
The other areas to explore near the castle include the town of Inveraray, the Inveraray Jail Museum, Loch Fyne Views, and the Inveraray War Memorial.
Frequently Asked Questions About Loch Lomond and Trossachs
Below are answers to various questions that travelling enthusiasts have asked about the loch Lomond and Trossachs, Glasgow, Scotland.
Is Loch Lomond worth visiting?
Yes. With beautiful attractions like the SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium, the Loch Lomond National Park, the Farmer’s Market, Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, restaurants, accommodations, and numerous walking and biking trails, Loch Lomond is worth your time and money.
All you need is to check with the local covid19 and other legal regulations for compliance to avoid frustrations during your visit.
How long will it take to drive around Loch Lomond?
It depends on your driving speed. The driving route (A82) features 27 kilometres of smooth terrain to allow uninterrupted rides.
How long should I stay at Loch Lomond?
It depends on the number of activities on your to-do list. Anecdotes from frequent visitors in the region indicate that two to three nights might be enough to explore the major attractions in the area.
We recommend you research the available activities and write a checklist of your favourites to manage your time well.
So, What Are the Best Things To Do in the Trossachs and Loch Lomond?
It all depends on individual preferences. Some of the top things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs include biking along scenic nature trails, visiting the Birds of Prey Centre, and exploring the impressive Inveraray Castle.
Whichever activity you choose from our list of things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, you’re in for a breathtaking adventure!