A weekend in Loch Lomond: Where to stay, where to eat and what to do

Ellie Ross
Here's what to do if you fancy a weekend in Loch Lomand. [Photo: Visit Scotland]

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Straddling the Highland border, Loch Lomond is a brooding, island-dotted lake flanked by towering mountains, thick woodland and low-lying meadows.

As mainland Britain’s largest lake, it’s home to an array of watersports, from kayaking and canoeing to fishing. Outdoor lovers are well-catered for an active weekend here, with a number of great hiking routes right on the doorstep and cycling trails tracing the shoreline.

Foodies will enjoy the excellent array of restaurants and cafes serving up the best Scottish fare, from locally-caught fish to hearty steaks. The pretty villages of Balloch and Luss are perfect for exploring with their narrow lanes of slate cottages festooned with rambling roses and fascinating medieval history.

READ MORE: A weekend in Edinburgh: Where to stay, where to eat and what to do

Loch Lomond: Fun facts

  • It is Great Britain’s largest lake by surface area, measuring 22.6 miles long and between 0.62–4.97 miles wide.

  • It’s home to 22 islands and 27 islets. These include Inchcailloch, which translates as the “island of the old women” in reference to a nunnery that was founded here.

  • The loch features in a well-known folk song: “Oh, ye'll tak the high road, and I'll tak the low road, And I'll be in Scotland afore ye; But me and my true love will never meet again, On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.”

Here’s our guide to the best places to stay and eat, and what to do while you’re in Loch Lomond – no matter your budget.

Where to stay

If you’re on a budget

Book in at Mhor 84. Located slap-bang in the middle of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs area, it’s a no-frills motel with a great restaurant, bar and cafe. Rooms are clean and simply furnished, with whitewashed walls and colourful throws. Some rooms have views out towards the loch, and family rooms are available. Rooms from £90 per night.

Book the hotel here

The stunning surroundings at Mhor 84. [Photo: Mhor 84]

If you’re looking for luxury

Standing proudly in the picturesque village of Luss, Loch Lomond Arms Hotel is an award-winning country pub with smart bedrooms featuring four-poster beds and Scottish woollen blankets. For a fancier stay, book the suite, which has its own terrace overlooking Luss Water. The hotel dates back to the 17th century when it was a coaching inn, but it’s been revamped with modern touches. Rooms from £195.

Book the hotel here

The tranquil Loch Lomond Arms Hotel that looks over Luss Water. [Photo: Loch Lomond Arms Hotel]

Where to eat

If you’re on a budget

Fruin Farm focuses on locally-sourced produce, from morning until night. Menu highlights include smoked haddock and mussel kedgeree and braised mutton shoulder. Located in the beautiful Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, it’s a working farm so you can eat and then go for a walk with an alpaca or head off on a llama trek. Try the set menu, where two courses cost £24.

Eat locally-sourced produce at Fruin Farm in Trossachs National Park. [Photo: Fruin Farm]

If you’re looking for luxury

For some fine dining fare that showcases the best of local produce, book a table at Monachyle Mhor. Most of the ingredients are taken from the restaurant’s own farm and kitchen garden, with venison from the surrounding hills. This is modern Scottish food at its best – think scallops with samphire and bisque to start and banana and peanut parfait with caramel popcorn for dessert. Dinner menu costs £65 per person. Another great choice for a plush dinner is the award-winning restaurant at Roman Camp Hotel, known for its afternoon teas.

The fine dining at Monachyle Mhor [Photo: Monachyle Mhor]

What to do

If you’re on a budget

Head out to explore Luss, a pretty conservation village on the western shore of Loch Lomond. History buffs will enjoy learning about the medieval settlement that once stood here, and the slate heritage dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Step inside the 19th century parish church with its ceiling made from Scots pine rafters and beautiful Victorian stained-glass windows.

The sandy beach at luss which is located on the west side of loch lomond. The loch Lomond hotel and lodges is visible beyond. [Photo: Visit Scotland]

If you’re looking for luxury

Grab a paddle and explore the loch by kayak. There are a number of companies offering guided kayaking tours of Loch Lomond, including Loch Lomond Leisure, with prices from £40 for two-hour tours. For something more leisurely, how about a cruise? Loch Katrine has two ships that take you through the water to admire the amazing landscape which changes from season to season.

Kayaker on Loch Lomond. [Photo: Visit Scotland]

How to get there

Glasgow, with its international and domestic airport, is only half an hour away by road. To arrive in style, you could fly straight onto the water with Loch Lomond Seaplanes, who also connects Glasgow with Loch Lomond. The Loch Lomond area is well served by regular rail services. The most frequent links Glasgow Queen Street to Balloch and Helensburgh Central.

Getting around in Loch Lomond by public transport is easy. Bus 309 runs from Balloch to Drymen and Balmaha, while bus 305 heads to Luss. Bus 207 links Balloch with Loch Lomond Shores and Alexandria. From mid-March to October, the Loch Lomond Water Buses criss-cross the lake.

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