Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Campsites and Lodging at Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is one of Scotland's most iconic and popular camping destinations, located just north of Glasgow within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Offering stunning scenery, outdoor activities, and easy access to surrounding areas, it continues to draw campers year after year.


Holiday Parks for Families and Groups

A top family pick is the Loch Lomond Holiday Park located in the picturesque village of Luss set within 20 acres of grounds on the banks of Loch Lomond itself. The park offers pitches for tents and tourers and a variety of self-catering lodges. The lodges range from comfortable and cosy to more luxurious lodges decked out with hot tubs for a touch of affordable glamour. Over 100 pitches provide ample choice for suitable tent sites. Stop in the friendly reception to check live availability.


Top facilities include a lively bar & restaurant with a patio overlooking the marina, Jurassic-themed Grill takeaway food outlet, children’s play areas plus a mini market and launderette. Kids enjoy supervised activity programming and bouncing around the Jungle Zone soft play area while parents relax poolside at the seasonal Loch Lomond spa facility. Special weekly entertainment includes live performances, quiz nights and movie showings al fresco under the stars. The holiday park makes an ideal base to explore the wider Loch Lomond area. Walk south just 15 minutes to reach Balloch village's shops, cafes and iconic Loch Lomond Shores complex housing Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium. Families with dogs love the pet-friendly accommodations and proximity to Loch Lomond Dog Walks. Guests adore views of the loch, surrounding hills and vibrant sunsets from their private deck - perfect for BBQs and socialising on long summer evenings. Convenience marries sublime scenery at this family favorite holiday spot occupying an enviable waterfront lakeside location.


Intimate Campsites for Nature Lovers

For camping purists focused on escaping into nature, small secluded campsites allow getting even closer to Loch Lomond's splendour. Loch Lomond Camping features just 20 private waterfront wooded pitches right on the loch shore. Book well in advance to secure lakefrontage sites with uninterrupted views ideal for watching breathtaking sunrises with a steaming cup of coffee still tucked cosily in your sleeping bag. Opportunities for wild swimming, fishing, canoeing or simply sitting mesmerised by shimmering waters and rolling mist abound steps from your tent flap. Other hideaways like Duck Bay Loch Lomond offer an intimate setting with only 5 small tent pitches and limited facilities, but what's lacking in amenities gets made up for in crackling campfires under star-filled skies with only the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze. Nearby Ardoch provides a dozen basic grassy pitches scattered throughout the sheep farm with access to hot showers and electrical hookups. Don't expect organised entertainment or wifi signals at these tranquil sites where disconnecting from digital distractions makes for completely relaxing camping holidays bonding more with nature and your companions.


Lodges and Pods for Comfort

While tent camping reconnects us to simpler times, some aspects of roughing it lose appeal for travellers desiring more creature comforts. Thankfully visitors who prefer holidaying paired with a side of convenience love lodging options available at Loch Lomond. From budget-friendly camping pods to luxury lakeside lodges, alternatives exist to suit most preferences and budgets. Even those who generally shun "glamping" can't resist cosying up at camp without fully surrendering all modern comforts.


Thickly insulated timber lodges strategically placed lakeside or within secluded forest clusters offer wonderfully solid shelter against passing storms or midnight showers. Modern kitchenettes, electricity, en suite bathrooms and outright luxury touches in higher-end log homes provide satisfying amenities for easy self-catering far beyond basic tent camping. Family lodges often sleep 6 to 8 guests making the cost per person rate cheaper than multiple hotel rooms. Hot tubs on private furnished decks allow unwinding as the loch waters gently lap along the shoreline. Adults enjoy well-stocked mini bars while kids happily gather around oak dining tables for board games and movies on stormy evenings.


Camping pods offer flexibility at lower prices for couples or groups of around four at larger sites like Loch Lomond Holiday Park. Canvas-walled domed structures on raised wooden floors with electricity, heating and outdoor deck space provide cosy shelter. Nearby shower blocks supply all necessities like hot running water and hair dryers. Convenience while still maintaining delicious proximity to nature makes glamping-style pods a favourite among newbie adventurers or families with small children in tow. Guests wake to bird songs rather than aching backs from uneasy slumber. Below premium rates secure your pint-sized haven steps from Loch Lomond.


Watersports and Activities on Loch Lomond

Camping along Loch Lomond offers scenic views and immediate shoreline access that enhances visitors’ ability to enjoy water-based activities. The namesake loch itself serves as the epicentre of recreation in the area. At over 70 square kilometres in size yet relatively narrow, Loch Lomond supplies ample space for watersports.


Motor Boating on the Open Waters

Motorboats adhere to strict 9 mph speed limits on Loch Lomond. Visitors can explore the loch's many islands and hidden coves by renting motorboats for fishing and leisurely touring. Stop for a picnic on remote forestry grounds or cast for line for pike, salmon and trout with the breathtaking views of Ben Lomond in the distance. For extra fun, tow skiers or inflatable rafts. Boat rental operators like Cruise Loch Lomond or Sweeney's Cruises supply proper lifejackets for all passengers. Their fleet ranges from modest 4-seater boats to more powerful options capable of pulling inflatables at permitted speeds. Pack refreshments for hour-long jaunts or book half or full-day chartered trips complete with onboard gourmet lunches catered by their chefs. Visitors staying outside Balmaha might consider getting picked up and dropped off by a water taxi to access trails. No previous boating experience required makes getting out on your luxury cruiser tempting indeed!


The ability to chart your course cruising the iconic loch spotting soaring ospreys, glimpsing shy red deer stopping streamside or playing your playlists over onboard speakers offers freedom and flexibility beyond scheduled tours. Take in panoramas of the loch and islands impossible to admire from shore. Find seclusion around one of the 22 named islands for a perfect afternoon. The memorable perspective granted from experiencing stunning Loch Lomond surrounded by glistening waters rather than glimpsing it from land makes time spent well worth any boating novice's time investment to master controls under watchful guidance.


Rowing, Canoeing and kayaking for Fitness

Recreational rowboats, canoes and kayaks cruise Loch Lomond at more nature-friendly and muscle-driven paces. For the athletically inclined, kayaking provides a satisfying upper body workout while taking in fresh mountain air and stunning waterscape. Most public and private campgrounds scattered around the loch permit launching personal non-motorised watercraft straight from their shorelines or docks. Several shops like Loch Lomond Leisure rent equipment near popular put-in spots like Balmaha, Luss and Inversnaid. Pack a picnic lunch and paddle over to one of the lovely islands for a secluded break surrounded by singing birds in the woodlands. Dip a paddle into clear water and search for fish, amphibians and elusive otters that call Loch Lomond home. Look for the unique Scottish Straight Mile marker while rowing north from Arden toward the tip of Inchmurrin Island. Test stamina by covering the length of the entire loch and back over 24 miles or take a more leisurely pace simply drifting along half-day trips. Either way, tranquil waters await exploration propelled solely by human exertion.


Paddleboarding for All Ages

Paddleboarding has taken off as one of the fastest-growing watersports in Scotland and beginners can easily master standing on the boards and propelling around the relatively calm waters stretching over 25 miles throughout iconic Loch Lomond. Even first-timers surprise themselves by balancing adeptly thanks largely to loch conditions ideal for new skills. Take a lesson then head off solo once confident. Fitness lovers delight in raising heart rates slicing through sparkling water under blue skies. Yoga practitioners move through balancing poses taking their practice onto water with boards specially tailored for stability. Fishing fans paddle out equipped to cast lines from optimal spots plus seated cooler storage means refreshments and catches travel safely ashore for meal prep fireside.


Knowledgeable instructors at Loch Lomond Leisure provide equipment and teach proper techniques for ages 5 and up. Children, youths and adults alike quickly gain confidence to set off on solo excursions or join groups for tours ideal for families, friends and partners. Paddle at your own pace for independent adventures or join a skill-building session to advance your abilities. Those based in southern areas might consider catching the Loch Lomond Paddle Bus operated by Nemisis for hassle-free transport of boards combined with route flexibility between select destinations.


Cruises & Seaplanes for Easy Wildlife Spotting

Several operators provide delightful boat tours ranging from leisurely scenic cruises to waterskiing adventures. Take the award-winning Raptor Cruise for excellent opportunities to spot the Sea Eagle, ospreys and red deer while a local ranger fills you in on the area's history and tales of clans long past. Sail away without steering or navigation duties aboard 19th century styled Victorian steamer The Maid of The Loch, watching wooded shores and islets drift by from the promenade deck. For the ultimate bird's eye view, Loch Lomond Seaplanes gives you the rare opportunity to soar the length of the loch and take in unmatched aerial sightseeing. Pick clear days and book front-row seating next to the pilot for optimal views capturing Ben Lomond's full majesty. Spot your campsite and islands only reachable by water from breathtaking vantage points high above the iconic landmarks.

Surrounding Natural Areas and Villages to Explore

Beyond the loch itself lies an abundance of other scenic natural areas and quaint villages to explore within the 720 square miles of captivating landscapes protected by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.


Outdoor Adventures in the National Park

Beyond boating, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park invites visitors to challenge themselves conquering the outdoors across 720 protected square miles of captivating landscapes. Tackle one of the demanding Munros, sweeping ridges over 3000 ft topping breathtaking vistas. Cycle wooded glens and foothills along the John Muir Way or rugged terrain of the 10.5-mile Three Lochs Way route accessible from the holiday park at Drymen. Footpaths like the West Highland Way stretching 96 miles to Fort William allow multi-day treks through remote backcountry.


After working up your appetites take on the treetop obstacle courses at Go Ape Forest Adventures tailored for various ages and abilities. Test your head for heights clipped safely above the verdant canopy on zip wires shooting over 400 meters at 30 mph for an adrenaline rush. Family groups thrill at the Forest Full of Fun ropes challenge navigating wobbly bridges and log ladders together. Schedule time afterwards to wander kid-friendly enchanted trails like The Gruffalo Walk deep in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park bringing beloved storybooks to life creatively with wood carvings and play structures.


Must-See Highland Villages

Beyond satisfying outdoor escapes the national park shelters beloved villages worth exploring once muscles tire. Quirky Luss claims fame as one of Scotland’s prettiest towns with its charming stone cottages reflected in the loch and winding lanes leading down to the pier clutching ice creams. Legend tells 7th century saint Fruin brought Christianity here and Luss still holds quaint church services beside the site of a miraculous spring. Wander narrow alleyways little changed from medieval times when Vikings raided these shores. Seafaring town Helensburgh showcases magnificent Victorian architecture dotted along the lively promenade looking out across the Firth of Clyde. Quaint streetside cafes serve warming bowls of Cullen skink fish stew perfect after blustery sailing excursions. Pop into boutique shops and galleries off the main strip to find unique handmade Scottish wares. Neighboring Rhu Marina provides front-row seats to watch sleek yachts and small sailboats ply the sheltered waters out to nearby isles making this a top basecamp to start loch-side explorations.


Historic Castles, Ruins and Battlefield Sites

History buffs find no shortage of centuries-old structures intact or crumbling across the region. Step back in time while exploring remnants dotted about the countryside that chronicle tales of kings and clans occupying the land over the last 1000 years. Inveraray Castle remains home to the Duke of Argyll and offers sumptuous State Rooms to tour along with lush gardens. Kids love climbing the jail's steps searching claustrophobic prison rooms. Or wander lonely but picturesque abandoned strongholds like Castle Campbell that once sheltered nobility and defended against English armies during the Wars of Independence as far back as 1308 when Robert the Bruce strode here. Experience the power and chaos of the devastating 1314 Battle of Bannockburn fought over 700 years ago close by Stirling Castle, Scotland’s largest fortress dating from the 1100's. Interpretive 3D battle scene dioramas vividly showcase history still alive today.


With endless options across a dramatically diverse landscape, Loch Lomond gives visitors ample incentives to get out and explore beyond their campsite. Discover hidden corners, climb an untamed peak, delve into centuries of history or simply meander a mossy trail through sublime scenery. Ample rewarding sights await to ignite your curiosity, stir your spirit and revitalise your passion for this magnificent country. Just choose your activity, pack a picnic lunch and head off to create your very own adventure!

little village near loch lomond

mountain view near loch lomond

Food, Drink and Nightlife while Camping

Like most camping holidays, Loch Lomond offers ample opportunities to try delicious local food and drink. Area pubs dish up hearty traditional fare of fish and chips or cullen skink stew plus regional specialties like smoked salmon, venison and haggis. Sweet tooth delight in ever-popular sticky toffee pudding or freshly baked shortbread to accompany their tea or coffee.


Fine Dining at Eateries Around the Loch

While casual pub grub satisfies basic cravings, visitors can also indulge in exquisite meals at some of Scotland's finest restaurants hidden around the loch. Boathouse at Cameron House offers a Michelin-starred menu paired with over 400 superb wines. Dine waterside on expertly crafted cuisine of seared scallops, local lamb and North Atlantic lobster washed down with a premier vintage. Historic 300-year-old Oak Tree Inn built from one magnificent oak tree plates up equally impressive cuisine using the freshest local fare. Nearby Creelers of Luss tantalises tastebuds with their divine plates described by one diner as simply "food from the heavens". Cosy fireside tables strewn with embroidered tartan blankets provide a rustic ambience to further enhance the heavenly courses of seared pigeon or roast Gressingham duck.


Lively Historic Inns and Country Pubs

By day explore the ruins of medieval keeps and castles scattered throughout the rugged landscape. Then by night revel in the lively ambience of historic inns and country pubs where lairds and warriors may have warmed themselves centuries before over a hearty meal by the glowing hearth.


Drovers Inn near Arrochar dates back over 300 years when weary cattlemen rested their heads here after months of driving herds to market along now vanished Highland drover roads. Today nightly music echoes off atmospheric stone interior walls surrounded by cosy dining nooks and curiosities collected over the centuries. Sip hand-pulled ales named after Rob Roy's fearsome sons nestled in the old stable bar while waiting for thick lamb stews. Nearby meal stops and accommodation include family-run stayovers like the quaint Tarbet Hotel or Duck Bay Marina featuring their popular Boathouse Pub bustling with sailing and water sports enthusiasts.


Further south The Inn on Loch Lomond's history stretches back to the 1700's providing respite for travelers through the centuries including Rob Roy himself. Now the traditional inn charms guests with real ales and 200+ malts in the rustic Pub Bar known for fantastic live traditional music sessions. Locals mingle with tourists as fiddles strike up reels hinting at the Highlander rebel spirit lurking in these parts. Warm your soul by the roaring fire then retire to spacious lodging rooms filled with tartan touches.


Local Breweries, Distilleries and Markets

In addition to regional pub offerings visitors can sample award-winning craft brews from local small producers like the boutique Loch Lomond Brewery. Visit their facility tasting room just south of Luss Village to learn secrets behind beloved brews like their crisp West Highland Way Wheat Beer and malty Southern Summit Ale using glacier-fed loch water lending a uniquely fresh flavour. After aftersampling award winning small batches ales stock up on bottles or cans to enjoy sunset picnics or tent-side.


Scotch aficionados make a beeline for tours available at the revived 19th-century Loch Lomond distillery in Alexandria. Passionate distillers produce an exceptional range of Highland single malts and other spirits including unique handcrafted gins using locally foraged botanicals. Don't miss the weekly Farmers and Makers Market at Luss Pier to browse stalls brimming with baked goods, fruit wines, Scottish cheeses and preserves sourced from area growers and artisans.


Tastebuds rejoice with Loch Lomond's vibrant culinary scene matching the picturesque landscapes. Talented chefs creatively transform Scotland's bounty from lush pastures, rich seas and foraged delights into memorable cuisine to rival the world's greatest destinations. Foodies and drink connoisseurs shouldn't resist the temptation to book tables at restaurants with critical acclaim or bellies up to historic bar tops well worn by thirsty souls over the past centuries. Delicious incentives abound to treat one's palette along the bonnie banks!

Accessing Glasgow and Edinburgh

The convenience of Loch Lomond’s location allows easy access into and out of Glasgow plus other fantastic Scottish destinations. Scotland’s largest and most vibrant city, Glasgow sits less than an hour's drive south of Loch Lomond. Must-see attractions include the Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Cathedral dating from the 12th century and the famous School of Art designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Catch a musical or theatre performance, shop the Style Mile, or tour cultural heritage sites from the city’s glory days. By day or night, Glasgow brims with cosmopolitan energy.


Travel east for just over an hour to explore Edinburgh, Scotland’s historic capital. Meander along the Royal Mile and narrow closes branching off filled with quirky shops, pubs and cafes. Hike up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the city below including iconic Edinburgh Castle. Learn of Scotland’s turbulent history while wandering past tenement flat architecture in the Old Town. And no visit ends without sampling regional delicacies or whiskeys in one of the Grassmarket’s lively restaurants.


For avid hikers already smitten with the area, the 96-mile West Highland Way connects Loch Lomond to Fort William stretching through more remote and rugged scenery. Following old military roads, farm tracks and purpose-built paths the route takes generally between 6 to 9 days to complete. Campsites situated along the way allow trekkers to determine their own pace while soaking up vistas only accessible on foot.


Getting to Loch Lomond

Transport connections make getting to Loch Lomond straightforward and convenient. Multiple travel options allow visitors to choose the most suitable way to access the area.


Driving for Flexibility and Scenic Routes

Visitors journeying via car enter a robust network of well-signed roads that make navigating straightforward with a base map or offline navigation app. Driving allows fully customized routes, pulling roadside anytime inspiration strikes to take photos or let the kids run around. However, drivers should take care when travelling sinuous lochside routes where wildlife often strays into roadways unexpectedly. These thoroughfares encircling the water reward motorists with some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery visible through the windscreen. Pause along forest-lined Loch Ard to capture playful otters, lunch at Arrochar's picturesque Three Villages with unforgettable vistas across the loch or pull off to photograph fiery highland sunsets over the islands from secluded laybys. Let the music of your road trip playlist accompany miles of breathtaking highland scenery. Driving grants flexibility limited only by the number of days at your disposal.


Public Transportation for Hassle-Free Travel

Travellers can take advantage of regular public transportation by rail or bus to reach Loch Lomond without the responsibility of driving. Direct trains run regularly from Glasgow Queen Street Station to Alexandria and towns nearby. The commute averages under an hour. Connecting First Bus service goes to campsites and villages along the loch every 30-60 minutes daily, taking 50 minutes from Buchannan Station. This quick easy option allows car-free airport transfers or daytrips from the city.


Guided Coach Tours for Carefree Experiences

For visitors focused solely on effortless sightseeing, booking seats on guided tour coaches proves worthwhile. Knowledgeable drivers handle navigation and showcase key attractions. On-board guides narrate details about Scottish history, current events and lore while answering questions. Stops allow for capturing iconic photos and buying local wares. Multi-day tour packages often incorporate meals and admission fees. Simply climb aboard, sit back and soak up Captivating views through panoramic windows. Popular picks like Rabbie's Trail Burners delve into the rich heritage of lands clan chieftains fought bitterly over. Experience Scotland's authentic heart firsthand minus logistical worries.


Tips For Navigating Loch Lomond Areas

Whether self-driving, riding public transit or in tour groups, visitors should come equipped with offline maps and apps with area downloads as some remote parts lack reliable network connections. Dress in layers and wear suitable walking shoes since coaches often drop off in campsite carparks requiring hiking your gear to pitch sites. Finally, look into booking return transfers from Glasgow ahead if relying solely on buses and trains.


Over the many decades, Loch Lomond has rightfully claimed its status as one of the top locations for camping holidays in Scotland and the UK. Natural beauty harmonises effortlessly with history and culture to produce an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. While the loch may attract summer crowds, serenity resumes each evening as vibrant sunsets paint the sky and then fade into inky darkness illuminated solely by a million twinkling stars. Whether nestled within a secluded forest campground, parked waterside at a scenic layby spot or lodged safely within one of the holiday park’s luxury rentals, Loch Lomond offers adventures to last a lifetime. Memories forged while camping here gain their own space within one’s mind and heart to reminisce over until the yearning to return grows strong once more. For a certain percentage of yearly visitors, that return happens the very next chance without hesitation. The rest simply add Loch Lomond camping to their future travel plans, for somewhere its wooded glens, rippling loch and age-old villages await to welcome them back.


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