Loch Lomond is celebrated in literature, song and legend and it’s just a stone’s throw from Glasgow. Near, but emotionally quite a distance.
The largest body of fresh water in Scotland, Loch Lomond straddles the Highland border. The water changes as you drive north. The southern edge of Loch Lomond is broad and dotted with small islands. It is softly shaded by woods and Lowland meadows. However, north of the town of Luss, Loch Lomond narrows. It is here that it fills a deep trench that was gouged by glaciers during the Ice Age. Very theatrical of this Loch!
At the heart of Scotland’s first National Park, Loch Lomond is the embodiment of the startling beauty of a Highland landscape. A hidden gem for centuries, Sir Walter Scott first brought the lake, and other areas in the Trossachs, to the public’s attention in his poem, “Lady of the Lake.” Then, as now, visitors admire the park’s soft hills, islands, and seashore. There is both a Rob Roy and a Trossachs visitor center. The town of Callander is the place many people choose to use as a base to explore Lomond.
The lake was immortalized in a song that we hear from the time we are children. It was a ballad written by a local Jacobite soldier, and he was dying far from the home he loved. He sings that although he’ll reach home before his fellow soldiers who travel the high road, he’ll be getting home on the low road of his passing. Its haunting melody, and the words, are hard to shake.
Loch Lomond is 24 miles long, and stretches to the south just 18 miles from Glasgow. The loch is a water sports playground, and there are 38 small islands to explore–rent what you need for a great day of play at the infamous loch. (A canoe for leisurely exploration is perfection.)
If you love looking at Loch Lomond but have no desire to get in the water, there is still plenty for you to do. For starters, hit the Glengoyne distillery. The whisky reception room overlooks Loch Lomond and a waterfall. You may enjoy a tour and a visit to the heritage room for some shopping. If you want to keep shopping, head to Loch Lomond Shores. This is a curved sliver of shops with amazing views over the Loch. There’s also an aquarium for a close look at the sea life in Loch Lomond.
Don’t pass up a visit to Luss. It’s one of the prettiest villages in Central Scotland and it sits on one of the most scenic parts of Loch Lomond’s shores. It is has grassy hills and friendly people. How can you possibly miss!