The Scottish countryside offers some of the most beautiful and romantic getaway opportunities for couples, and one of the country’s best-kept secrets is Loch Lomond. Whether you’re looking for a destination vacation or just a quick weekend getaway, there are few places in Scotland that offer as much potential for relaxation and recreation.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is one of the first national parks established by Scottish Parliament, and it’s the fourth largest national park in the British Isles. With 1,865 square kilometers of mountains, forests and lochs, it offers a beautiful and quiet getaway haven for anyone looking to experience Scotland’s natural beauty.
From enjoying wildlife and breathtaking scenery to hiking and outdoor activities, The Trossachs National Park provides plenty of options for couples heeding the call of adventure. But you don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to enjoy what the area has to offer.
How to Get There
Located a half-hour north of Glasgow, Loch Lomond is easily accessible by car or bus. Train service from Edinburgh to Balloch will put you within easy access of a bus connection to The Trossachs, and the West Highland Line passes through the park for even easier access.
If you’d rather fly, there is one commercial seaplane service in the UK that can deliver you to the area: Loch Lomond Seaplanes, which provide a variety of excursion packages for travellers. If you’d like to start your getaway with a breathtaking aerial view of Scotland’s west coast, a sea plane tour will deliver you in style.
No matter how you plan to get there, you’ll want to take some time to familiarize yourself with the area’s accommodations and activities before you arrive. Having a plan in place can help you be sure you and your sweetheart have an enchanting getaway that gets off without a hitch.
Things to Do
A primary attraction to this area is, of course, the national park itself. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park are home to many munros and “wee hills” that are perfect for casual hikers. These gentle slopes provide stunning views of the sea and surrounding landscape and are accessible to anyone with a sturdy pair of shoes and the stamina to walk for a couple of hours.
The national park also hosts a number of opportunities for camping, whether you’re looking for a campsite with amenities or want a permit for camping in the many forested areas around Loch Lomond. Wild camping offers adventure and solitude for small groups, but campsites are far more accessible and attractive for casual weekend excursions.
While you enjoy the outdoors, you might see a variety of local wildlife, like the majestic red deer, squirrels, martens, and numerous species of birds. If you’re interested in Scottish wildlife, you should absolutely make some time to visit the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre, which is home to 25 different species and provides opportunities for education and sponsorship.
Here are a few of our other recommendations for couple excursions:
- Get a dose of history by visiting the iconic Dumbarton Castle, which once served as the seat of power for the Kingdom of Strathclyde and hosted royalty throughout the middle ages.
- Board a Loch Lomond cruise vessel to explore the dramatic fjords and island gems.
- Enjoy outdoor adventure activities like zip-lining at Go Ape, or water and target sports with Action Adventure Activities, an award-winning outdoor activity company.
Of course, outdoor adventures are far from the only thing the area has to offer. If you’re looking for a quieter sort of weekend getaway, there is still plenty to enjoy from local shops, eateries and accommodations.
One of Scotland’s most popular and best-known products is whisky, and there is no shortage of whisky and gin distilleries in the areas surrounding The Trossachs. In Killearn, there’s Glengoyne Distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Take your sweetheart on a whisky and chocolate matching tour for the full experience.
If you’d rather enjoy a classic pub experience, it’s hard to go wrong with the Drovers Inn, established in 1705. This inn and public house provides traditional Scottish pub food, live music every weekend and plenty of local color. The whole property is also dog-friendly, so there’s no need to keep your fur-kid at home if you don’t want to.
If you want to soak up the sights while enjoying a diverse menu, be sure to stop by the Duck Bay Marina. The outdoor patio is right on the water, providing a stunning view of Loch Lomond, and you can take your pick of menu items ranging from traditional Scottish dishes to international fare. If that’s a bit too heavy, you can enjoy fresh sandwiches, cakes and scones for afternoon tea at the nearby Bobby’s cafe.
Looking for quality surf-and-turf? Stop by the Cattle and Creel in Helensburgh, near Gare Loch. Not only is the steakhouse known for its stunning view of the Clyde, it offers some of the best locally sourced seafood anywhere in the area. Be sure to try the Tarbert langoustines and Loch Fyne oysters for an authentic taste of the Scottish coast.
Looking for a reprieve from the outdoors? Why not take your sweetheart on a shopping expedition instead! Antartex Village, Alexandria is a retail village offering all the best-known Scottish clothing brands, hand-blown artisan glass, fine malt whiskies, take-away foods and plenty of souvenirs. If you get tired of shopping, you can stop right there in the Village restaurant for coffee and cakes.
You might also enjoy a stroll through Mansfield Studios, a contemporary craft gallery highlighting the work of designers and makers throughout Scotland. From lambswool accessories to traditional crafts and jewelry, there is plenty to see and buy.
Loch Lomond Shores also offers plenty of shopping and sight-seeing opportunities. Choose from a selection of leading retailer brands as you stroll the scenic waterside shopping district, then finish off with a snack at any one of several cafes. On the first and third Sunday of each month, there’s also a farmer’s market offering fresh locally grown seasonal produce, cheese, baked goods and more.
Places to Stay
When you’re planning a romantic weekend holiday, where you stay is just as important as what you do. The right accommodations can transform a trip into the countryside into a truly magical escape.
If you’re looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the area without the hassle of camping, self-catering holiday cottages along the Argyll Coast might provide exactly what you’re looking for. A number of chalets, caravans and cottages are available for short-term rentals, and they come with fully stocked kitchens ready for your use. Ellary and Castle Sween estates are nestled between Caolisport and Lochs Sween and afford breathtaking views of Scotland’s West Coast as well as outdoor excursions within easy walking distance.
If you’d rather be pampered a bit, why not book a room at the Lochearnhead Hotel, a family-run bed-and-breakfast with a stunning view over Loch Earn and the verdant countryside around it? With its cozy size, free breakfast, and family atmosphere, the Lochearnhead Hotel is one of the best couples destinations in the area.
For an experience that’s truly different, try a taste of farming life by booking your stay at Anberg Farmstay in Kippen Stirling, Stirlingshire. You can holiday in a cottage situated on a working family farm. Not only is the surrounding countryside beautiful, but you can get a close-up look at rural farm life. If you’d like you can even help feed the animals.
There are many more hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, cottages and campgrounds throughout the area, so you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your holiday plans. You can peruse our listings and recommendations here to find the dream destination for your weekend getaway.