Sunset on Loch Lomond
Photo by steven-kelly.co.uk. Loch Lomond is easily accessible from Glasgow - just half and hour's drive from the city to the town of Balloch on the southern tip of the loch.
I first visited Loch Lomond five years ago - it was a brief stop on the way to Fort William, having driven all the way from London. At sunset, with the sky already turning pink and purple, the lake was still and the hills and mountains in the distance were getting darker. It was just a quick stop but it was enough for me to know I loved this place.
There were 12 of us in three cars making our way north to start the Three Peaks Challenge whereby you have the unenviable task of hiking up the tallest mountain in Scotland, England and Wales within a time limit of 24 hours. I think we must have stopped at Loch Lomond somewhere on the A82. After parking the car (we picked up a car hire from North London and travelled by public transport to there to save us driving through central London traffic), we walked a long a pier going out into the water. The feeling of calm hits you as soon as you're out there. It was also a change from us being all pumped up from the Top Gear driving soundtrack we'd been listening to (hey, don't knock it - it's got some good tunes!)
Arch Bridge in Glasgow
So on a recent visit to Glasgow, I was determined to make it out there again. Sadly, I turned up at Glasgow Airport at 8am in the rain and didn't stop until the evening. The outlook for the next day wasn't all that promising either (I was on the wrong side of the north-south weather divide as the whole of England was basking in 25+ degree sunshine!). On the bright side, it did mean I got to check out Glasgow with my friend, discovering all sorts of curious things as well as eating really very well.
I'd decided to spend my second day in the city too and save the loch for another trip but the next morning, despite having a flight back to London at 1pm, I still had this niggling feeling that I wanted to see it so I did.
Boats in Balloch
I made my way up to Balloch, a small town on the southern tip of the loch, just a little more than half an hour's drive from Glasgow's city centre. I had about an hour to spend so I walked up a little towards the loch on the Balloch park side (you can do a loop around the park in about two hours). And as soon as I got to the shores, I felt that feeling of calm and quiet wash over me. It was about 9am so there wasn't very many people there - just a couple of people walking their dogs. To be fair, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is so huge, it probably hardly feels busy.
I walked past Balloch Castle and found a spot overlooking the loch and just enjoyed the quiet. I'm a big city girl at heart but this is definitely a feeling I miss. You just let the quiet wash over you and enjoy the views.
Enjoying the quiet
To find out more about visiting the loch and National Park, you can find information about activities you can do and facilities available on their website. Of course, you could just head up there and enjoy the quiet beauty like me.
Or wade in...
Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park
Fancy a trip to feel the quiet yourself? Depending on where you're coming from and how long you've got, we're bound to have a great deal car hire for you. With locations throughout the UK from London to Inverness, we've got car hire covered.