Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, is quite simply THE place for exciting adventures, epic hill climbs, tasting a dram and soo much more. So it might not strike you as the most obvious choice for something to do with the family and your brood of youngsters.
Well as a local daddy with 4 kids from ages 1 to 12, and lets face it I am a 40 year old kid myself, I can testify personally to the delights that our wonderful National Park and surrounds have to offer everyone from quiet indoor days to hillside adventures. The Trossachs was built for family fun that is very true. If, however, you have stumbled here NOT being on the look out for a family friendly trip fear not we have you covered too there are a mountain of ideas on these pages for you too!
The key is to know where to start, and that is where your local experts and guides here at trossachs.co.uk come in to help you. Below is a guide to just some of the options you. Obviously through the pages of this website you will find a myriad of different possibilities or if you have some specific requirements or thoughts that you want help with we are always here to help guide you. As well be sure to keep in touch with us on Facebook for some further inspiration at https://www.facebook.com/thetrossachs.
The Trossachs & Loch Lomond Family Friendly Low Down
So where first, well in my experience your home from home is a critical choice to be able to be centrally located, and critically have the space that your family needs. For me that is a world of nappies, a fridge for milk, plugs for mobiles, wifi and the wardrobe!! There is a host of accommodation choices and styles from caravan to log cabin or hotel. Ultimately it is about compiling your list of must haves and combining that with the style of accommodation you want. I have focused on the more non-traditional types of places to stay as generally speaking if you are seeking a more regular hotel stay then the chances are you already have a decent idea of at least some of your options. Often much harder to find are lodges, quiet inns, camp sites and such like.
Family Friendly Accomodation
The Tullie Inn is an award winning family friendly inn located in Balloch on the shores of Loch Lomond. With great family rooms available that appreciate the needs of a family holiday as well as the wishes of parents to also be able to spoil themselves with a delectable afternoon tea perhaps?
A fabulous alternative to the hotel stay is a woodland log cabin, especially if you are off for an outdoors adventure break, the surroundings keep the atmosphere you are here to explore but offers the space you need for kit, bicycles and people in an effortless way. At Lomond Woods Holiday Park there are even options to stay with a hot tub to reenergise you after a long active day.
Balloch & The Loch Lomond Shores
While in the Balloch area, you just have to visit the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre. It is an incredibly good value way to educate and entertain everyone in the family for at least part of the day and if pre booked can even offer you a one on one handling experience with some of these majestic birds. The location is at Loch Lomond Shores which is a decent sized shopping mall with a great layout looking out over Loch Lomond, so there is great parking (or walkable from the Balloch centre) for free and there is a great chance you will venture here any way for some shopping for clothes, essentials and gifts (or to the monthly market). Even if not shopping there are some great eating options, all the essentials of baby change etc you might need and critically for the holder of many tiny hands there is easy and attractive walking by the shores of Loch Lomond and lots of space to keep everyone together. Just a short amble (or push for the smallest of visitors) is the pretty Balloch town centre with great eating a well stocked CO-OP. You will want to head this direction as the boarding point for Sweeneys Loch Lomond Cruises
You will obviously need to be of certain ages or heights for certain activities and adventures, but there is more to offer than you might think for an intrepid youngster. In fact the area is just fabulous at bringing typically adults only or more dangerous activities to families in a fun and safe way. For those 10 and over Go Ape in Aberfoyle cannot be missed, a tree top adventure course and zip line obstacle course will both challenge your fitness and nerves. Personally I found it was a great way to even build confidence in my youngest. It is safe to say that watching me struggle, panic and scream like a banshee took her mind off her own fears! Action Adventure Activities in Aberfoyle meanwhile hosts guests from 12 years and above for a host of adventures from 4*4 driving and quads to archery and team building activities. They will even put on a BBQ and snacks for your family.
Loch Lomond, the clue is in the title right! At some point you just have to take to the water. Loch Katrine is home to the beautiful SS Sir Walter Scott. This steam ship has been cruising the loch for over a Century now! It is home to a wealth of history, should you wish to learn it, a wonderful way to relax taking in the scenery for a few hours or even as a passenger ferry for you and your bikes.
The Great Outdoors
If you are lucky enough to enjoy some of our world renowned summers days (no really we do get some glorious sunny days alongside the obligatory rain) then a picnic is going to feature in you itinerary so head to the local markets to stock up or some delectable bakeries to cater for you. Mhor Bread is an essential stop . This has been a bakery site for over a century but now part of the Monachyle Mhor hotel ownership for over a decade. My top tip is to get some Meringues!!
Now that you have your picnic sorted it is time to put in at least a little effort to get to the perfect spot to enjoy your treats in perfect serenity! Again this will depend on the age and ability of you and your little ones but there is really things to do for all abilities and ages, but planning is key. Scotland is beautiful and very very safe in the main, but a beautiful day can quickly turn. So if you are on a gentle lowland stroll remember to bring extra layers and something waterproof, but if you take to the hills be sure to tell someone else the plan, dress sensibly and know the forecast before you go (ideally talk with one of many local guides first). You can find some more information on a small selection of our better known walking and hiking routes but with soo much to cover it is also worth speaking to anyone you can when you are out and about from the restaurant manager to your accommodation provider, there is always a fantastic local hidden gem that can be just as rewarding as climbing Ben Nevis. If 2 wheels is more your family thing then we have the routes and advice for you in our cycling guide too. Much like walking the key is to be prepared. Hi Vis, helmet and lights are a must as well as a plan of your route and the appreciation that what looks like the quietest of country roads may actually be a primary route for all traffic.
A short drive in the rough direction of Oban lays Inverary Jail with a picturesque location at a small harbour there’s plenty to do around here to fill a full day but I think my highlight would be a wander around watching the real life portrayals of a 19th century jail. You can even dish out some punishments to Daddy!! As you are now by the seaside a trip to the sweet shop and an ice cream are a must, it’s Scottish Law….Honest! In seriousness though there is a fabulous little old world icecream and sweetie shop that just brings backs floods of memories. Naturally there is pub food and the like to be had as well but, it is your holidays afterall!