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A complete guide to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Scotland

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Scotland, it’s even a strong contender for the best places to visit in the UK.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is one of two National Parks in Scotland and one of 15 in the UK, and covers more than 1,865 km2 (720 sq mi) of stunning landscapes in the Scottish Highlands. It’s centred on Loch Lomond and the hills and glens of the Trossachs, and it’s also very close to Edinburgh and Glasgow if you fancy combining these cities with a National Park to make the ultimate Scotland road trip!

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park includes 22 lochs, 21 munros (a mountain in Scotland with a height over 3,000 feet (914.4 m)) including Ben Lomond, Ben Lui, Beinn Challuim, Ben More and Ben Vorlich, and 20 corbetts (peaks in Scotland that are between 2,500 and 3,000 feet (762.0 and 914.4 m) high with a prominence of at least 500 feet (152.4 m)), so it’s a great place to go walking in Scotland. If you’re the type of traveller that seeks long hiking trails, stunning waterside views, and plenty of adventure, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is going to be right up your street. The very British weather I’ve experienced there (rain), has not taken away from the beauty and fun I’ve had in this UK National Park. 

In this Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park travel guide I am going to share with you the best places to stay in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and my favourite adventures so far.

From seeing the famous Loch Lomond and doing watersports on it and hiking up Ben Lomond and the Trossachs, to wild camping in the Scottish Highlands and marvelling at the stunning waterfalls in Scotland or going on a Loch Lomond distillery tour, my time in Scotland has been nothing short of adventurous! 

Loch Lomond National Park, Scotland

With this Google Map, you can have all my tips and recommendations at the touch of your fingertips. These are all the things I wish I knew and spent a lot of time researching before my 4-week adventure. 

This Google Map Legend includes:

  • Best walks, hikes, viewpoints, beaches and activities
  • Lochs and waterfalls to visit
  • Road trip tips (campsites, laundrettes, lunch spots)
  • My favourite places for coffee, brunch and dinner
  • Things you must add to your bucket list!
  • Travel guide links within each location

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park: my complete guide

Where is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park?

If you came here wondering ‘where is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park’, ‘where is Loch Lomond’, or ‘what does a map of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park look like’ you’re in the right place.  Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is in western Scotland and straddles teh highland-lowland boundary.

To drive to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, it’s about 1.5 hours from Edinburgh, 45 minutes from Glasgow, 7-8 hours from London and the South East, or 4.5 hours from Leeds. If you’re using a Sat Nav, pop in the postcode of your accommodation or one of these car parks.

If you want to take public transport to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, you’re best bet is getting to Glasgow. There are rail and National Express links from all over the UK to Glasgow. From Glasgow you can take the Glasgow-Balloch train or Glasgow-Oban/Fort William train. Book your train tickets online on thetrainline.com. 

Scottish Natural Heritage has a free iPhone & Google Play (Android) app that provides an audio guide to a number of scenic train routes in Scotland including the route through the Park.

Check out this map of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to see where in Scotland it is:

The best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Map
By Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18727786

Where to stay in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park:

Where to stay Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park really depends on what type of accommodation you’re looking for, and where you want to be based.

For example, if you want to stay in a hostel in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Hostelling Scotland have 4 hostels within the National Park. These are the perfect option for budget accommodation with close access to various locations near Loch Lomond. Book your Hostelling Scotland stay here.

Check out booking.com or Airbnb for more hotels or apartments in the area, or get inspiration and recommendations directly from the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park website here.

Loch Lomond National Park, Scotland

There are also lots of campsites in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park for camping. Check out my camping packing list here. Wild camping with a tent is legal in most of Scotland, so this is the perfect place to be at one with nature. Find out more about wild camping in Loch Lomond here, and where you need a permit (only on 4% of the National Park space). 

If you’re camping in Scotland with a van, wild camping is not allowed but generally tolerated if you don’t outstay your welcome, camp repsonsibly, and away from no park zones and main roads. If it’s clear who owns the land, always ask permission and move on when required. Its important to exercise respect, responsibility, discretion and common sense. 

Find out more about responsible van life here. 

The best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park...

1. Spend some time at Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Great Britain.

It goes without saying that one of the top things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is to spend some time at Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Great Britain. 

Whether you want to enjoy a lackside picnic, go on a sightseeing cruise, witness the sunset or sunrise over the loch, go on a sightseeing cruise, enjoy a dip in the water, or try watersports on Loch Lomond such as kayaking, wakeboarding or paddleboarding, there are so many things to do on Loch Lomond that you’ll definitely find something that takes your fancy! 

Loch Lomond National Park, Scotland-6

2. Take on one of the many walks and hikes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

There are so many walks and hikes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park… it really is one of the best places to go walking in Scotland and even in the UK. with breathtaking views of Loch Lomond, stunning panoramas and magical woodland, it’s enjoyable come rain or shine! Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park includes 22 lochs, 21 munros (a mountain in Scotland with a height over 3,000 feet (914.4 m)) including Ben Lomond, Ben Lui, Beinn Challuim, Ben More and Ben Vorlich, and 20 corbetts (peaks in Scotland that are between 2,500 and 3,000 feet (762.0 and 914.4 m) high with a prominence of at least 500 feet (152.4 m)), so it’s a great place to go walking in Scotland

There are loads of walks and hikes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park for you to try, no matter whether you’re a beginner hiker or if you’re looking for a bigger challenge. (If you’re a beginner hiker, check out my hiking top tips here!).

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is also home to a variety of landscapes, so whether you want hills or woodland, waterfalls or a Loch route, there’s something for you here. With so much on offer, it’s no surprise that walking and hiking are some of the best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Some of the best places for hikes Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park include: 

  • Ben Lomond
  • Conic Hill
  • Callander Crags
  • Glen Ogle trail
  • Ben More
  • Rob Roy way
  • The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) 

Check out some of the best walks and hikes in the UK here.

Loch Lomond National Park, Scotland

3. Enjoy the woodland and rivers in and around the Trossachs.

Scotland is home to some stunning areas of nature, and woodland is certainly something that is aplenty in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. From the woodlach in teh hills of the Trossachs to the forests in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and the Argyll Forest Park, as well as stunning river areas such as the famous Devil’s Pulpit or the scenic ‘Rest and be Thankful’ pass, there are lots of places to visit in Loch Lomond for a breath of fresh woodland air.

4. Go chasing waterfalls in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

One of the best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park has got to be seeing the waterfalls. They’re absolutely gorgeous! Furthermore, waterfalls hold a special place in Gaelic tradition, often being places where supernatural creatures were located, even though it it said that evil spirits couldn’t cross running water.

There are so many stunning waterfalls here, go and chase them all! It can be hard to choose. My personal favourite waterfalls in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park include:

  • Falls of Falloch (pictured below)
  • Falls of Dochart
  • Inversnaid Falls
  • Bracklinn Falls
  • Falls of Edinample
  • Falls of Leny
  • Beinglas Falls
  • Puck’s Glen
Loch Lomond National Park, Scotland

5. Go wild camping in Loch Lomond for a night.

If you love the solitude of a ‘wild camping’ experience and a night under the stars, there are plenty of great places to go wild camping in Loch Lomond. As part of Scotland’s access legislation, the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, you are allowed to camp on most unenclosed land. This type of camping is lightweight, done in small numbers and only for two or three nights in any one place.

However, due to overuse, areas of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is subject to wild camping byelaws. This means that camping is only permitted within campsites or with a camping permit. This only covers certain parts of the park between March and September. 

One of the best things to do in Loch Lomond is to check the permissions of the place you want to go wild camping in Loch Lomond, pitch up a tent, and enjoy being at one with nature.

Note that the rules are different if you want to camp with a campervan – you should have permission to park or a permit. 

See more about responsible van life here. 

Get the ultimate camping packing checklist here. 

Loch Lomond National Park, Scotland

6. Visit the wallabies on Inchconnachan.

A small island in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park has residents you might not expect… wallabies! The troupe of marsupials was introduced to Inchconnachan in the 1940s, where they’ve roamed freely since. While they aren’t the locals favourites, one of the best things to do in Loch Lomond as a tourist is to visit this troupe of furry friends! 

If you want to see the wallabies in their natural habitat, plan a trip to Australia! Check out Australia on my blog here. 

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7. Explore the cute towns and villages in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

If you’re looking for places to visit or places to stay in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, make sure you don’t miss out on the cute villages and market towns. Soak up a bit of Scottish culture as you wander around the streets, grab a cup of tea or a pub lunch, and chat to some of the locals.

The best market towns and villages in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs to visit include…

Luss

This is perhaps one of the most famous places to visit in Loch Lomond. This picturesque village is popular with locals and tourists alike. Located on the west side of Loch Lomond, the village cottages come alive in summer with elaborate flower displays. If you’re lucky, you can even catch the northern lights over Luss Pier! I’d also recommend the 90-minute circle island cruise that departs from Luss. 

Balloch

Balloch is a quaint village with a stunning country park, and so it’s one of the best places to go walking in Loch Lomond. It’s also a great base if you’re looking for a place to stay. With B&Bs, restaurants, cafes and pubs a plenty, as well as local shops, there’s plenty to do in the town after a day of walking. Don’t miss the local farmer’s market, or a day at Balloch Castle. 

Callander

Callander is a bustling tourist townon the River Teith, and it’ll give you your first taste of the Highlands. With views of wooded crags, plenty of cycle paths around the local area, and the famous Callander’s Pass (the gateway between the Highlands and the Lowlands), there is plenty to do here.

Killin

Killin is a small village at the Falls of Dochart, a spectacular series of rapids, at the western end of Loch Tay, where the Rivers Lochay and Dochart join. The area is valued for its historic and cultural associations; a well-preserved prehistoric stone circle known as Killin Stone Circle can be seen in the grounds of Killin House.

8. Go cycling on the West Loch Lomond cycle path.

If you enjoy cycling, one of the best things to do in Loch Lomond is to rent a bike and enjoy the West Loch Lomond cycle path. This is an easy, 17-mile linear route on which you can enjoy stunning views of Luss, Loch Lomond, the islands, Conic Hill and Ben Lomond. There are many picturesque loch-side picnic spots and refreshments available in the villages.

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9. Spend some time on or around many of the other lochs in the National Park.

Loch Lomond is the name, but it’s not the only loch you should visit in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park! 

Loch Goil is a sea loch that has a lovely country road along its banks between the loch and Carrick Castle. Then there’s the stunning Loch Katrine, one which you can take a steamship cruise for a perspective of the National Park from the water. Loch Ard boasts stunning views of the sunset over Ben Lomond. And the snowcapped mountain look stunning over Loch Voil in winter. 

And that’s just to mention a few! There are 22 lochs in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park just waiting to be explored. 

10. Enjoy a tipple on a Loch Lomond distillery tour.

Scotland is famous for its whiskey, and one of the best things to do in Loch Lomond is to visit the local distillery and to have a tour and try it for yourself. There are many places to go on a Loch Lomond distillery tour near the National Park, where you can learn about how to make Scotch whiskey and then try the famous drink at the end. Some Loch Lomond distillery tours even allow you to make your own blend of whiskey. 

Some places that you can go on a Loch Lomond distillery tour near the National Park include: 

  • Loch Lomond distillery
  • Glengoyne Distillery
  • Deanston Distillery
  • Auchentoshan Distillery
  • Glenturret Distillery

If you want to go on a Loch Lomond distillery tour, but you’re not into whiskey, try the Trossachs distillery for gin or the Loch Lomond brewery for beer and ale. 

11. Try your hand at climbing or bouldering in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

One of the best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is to try your hand at climbing or bouldering. For those wishing to give climbing a try, lessons from a qualified instructor will help you, but for the experienced climber, there are plenty of options for bouldering, multi pitch traditional routes, bolted sport climbing and winter classics.

Some of the best places to go climbing in Loch Lomond include: The Arrochar Alps, Glen Croe, The Cowal, Ben A’an, Ben Lui and Glen Ogle.

Loch Lomond National Park, Scotland-6

12. Look at the stars.

While you’re in Scotland, head to Loch Lomond to look at the stars. Just imagine… lying back on the sand, listening to the water on the loch and watching the wonders of the night sky with the naked eye. You can see even more if you have a telescope or a pair of binoculars.

Scotland has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe. Dark skies are found in rural areas that are free of urban light pollution. From a city centre you can only see fewer than 100 stars with the naked eye, but under a dark sky you can see over 1,000, and you can even see the Milky Way!

One of the best things to do near Loch Lomond is to appreciate the dark skies and snuggle up under the stars! RSPB Loch Lomond, the Stirling Astronomical Society and Callander’s Landscapes often run dark skies events alongside experts if you want to learn more about astronomy.

Check out how to improve your travel photography in this blog post. 

13. Road trip in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

I absolutely love a road trip, so my personal favourite from all these things to do in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is to hit the road! Enjoy the stunning views as you drive, and stop of when and where you fancy. 

Whether you want to drive on the A28 up the west ide of Loch Lomond, or take on the Three Lochs Forest Drive, there will be beautiful views of lochs and mountains, plenty of opportunities to stop, hike, camp and enjoy the outdoors, as well as towns and villages in Loch Lomond to explore. 

See how to plan your Scotland road trip here.

The best places to visit in Scotland

What are your favourite things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park?

Where are your favourite places to visit in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park? Anything you’d add?

Love as always and happy adventuring,

Mollie.

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A complete guide to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Scotland
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