Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park itinerary

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is an area of stunning natural beauty with a diverse landscape. From the banks of Loch Lomond, the largest stretch of fresh water in mainland Britain, to the forests and mountains that provide excellent opportunities to explore the great outdoors, there are many ways to enjoy this beautiful part of Scotland.

The following four-day itinerary picks out a selection of highlights.

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  • A couple fish from a small rowing boat on the calm waters of Loch Lomond
    Fishing on Loch Lomond
  • A cyclist on the shores of Loch Goil
    Loch Goil
  • Puck's Glen, a woodland walk on the Cowal Peninsula, Argyll
    Puck's Glen, Cowal Peninsula
  • The S.S. Sir Walter Scott sailing at teh east end of Loch Katrine in the Trossachs
    The S.S. Sir Walter Scott sailing at Loch Katrine in the Trossachs
  • Shoppers at Loch Lomond Shores
    Shoppers at Loch Lomond Shores

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkOne of the best ways to experience Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is by foot and throughout the park there is an excellent choice of waymarked paths to enjoy.

Head to the south western fringes of the park and the Cowal Peninsula where you’ll find the magical Puck’s Glen. This stunning area forms part of the Argyll Forest Park and legend has it that fairies once lived here. Starting from the Forestry Commission car park at Benmore, follow the two mile trail through the glen and soak up the enchanted kingdom-like atmosphere. The path leads through dense trees up a steep and narrow gorge complete with rock pools and waterfalls.

From the glen, take the short journey north to Benmore Botanic Garden where you can wander through the impressive collections of rhododendrons and exotic plants from south east Asia and beyond. Visitors to the garden enter through an avenue of giant redwoods which were planted in 1863.

There are many other areas of Argyll Forest Park worth exploring, with many beautiful woodland walks which can be enjoyed at your own pace. From the woodland circuit of Kilmun Arboretum where you will wander through an area which features over 160 different tree species, to the waymarked paths at Glenbranter which are suitable for both walkers and cyclists, there are plenty routes to choose. Look out for the stunning carpets of bluebells in Glenbranter in early springtime.Looking over Loch Long to the peak of Ben Arthur

Another beautiful forest walk, which is accessible for wheelchairs, is along the banks of Loch Long at Ardentinny. After the walk, relax on the loch side beach, one of only a few on the Cowal coastline.

If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, put on your hiking boots and head for the northern part of Argyll Forest Park and Ben Arthur, one of Scotland’s most popular mountains. Affectionately known as The Cobbler, Ben Arthur provides a great day of walking with a combination of stepped hill paths and steeper sections towards the top, as well as spectacular views across the Arrochar Alps.

Find more information about Argyll Forest Park from the Forestry Commission.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkThere are lots of ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, whether you’re on land or water.

An excellent starting point for your second day in the region is the Loch Lomond Shores retail park at Balloch in the south of the National Park. It features a wide range of restaurants and shopping opportunities from brand names to boutique businesses.

The complex is also home to the Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium where you’ll find sharks and all manner of other underwater creatures including tropical stingrays. Look out for the packed programme of family-friendly events.

If you’re feeling active, why not ride the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path? Hire a bike from Balloch and follow the 17 mile waymarked route to Tarbet. The route is also popular with walkers and horse riders.

Another great way to experience all that Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has to offer is by getting out on the water. The loch is popular with watersports enthusiasts with canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and water skiing all available.

Or you could see the National Park in a whole new light aboard a seaplane. Admire the views across the Ben Lomond and beyond to the Arrochar Alps before stopping off at a loch side restaurant such as Martin Wishart’s Michelin-star eatery at Cameron House.An aerial view over Inchmurrin island in Loch Lomond

Back out on the water; explore the loch side villages of Luss, Tarbet, Balmaha, Rowardennan aboard the water bus, which is a great way to discover this area.

Loch Lomond is also home to a number of islands such as Incailloch and the largest, Inchmurrin, the only one on which you can stay. While on the island you can visit the remains of the 14th century Lennox Castle.

For more information about the National Park, drop into the visitor centre at Balmaha where the exhibitions provide an excellent gateway to the park. Rangers are also on hand to give advice and answer questions, as well as lead a number of guided tours of the area.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkLoch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park provides the perfect mix of scenery, wildlife and activities.

Ben Lui, in the north west of the park is a designated National Nature Reserve and is a popular with naturalists and hill walkers. Look out for the range of alpine plants and an array of mosses and lichen which are supported by the rich mountainous terrain.

After your walk in the mountains, take the short drive to Crianlarich where you relax in the tearooms of Crianlarich Railway Station which lies on the famous West Highland line. Soak up the unrivalled views across to Cruach Ardrain, a Munro which rises to 1,046 m.

Further west, stop off at the watersports centre at Lochhearnhead where you can enjoy everything from kayaking to water zorbing. From Lochearnhead, follow the picturesque Glen Ogle Trail by foot or on two wheels. The trail is just over six miles long and ends in the pretty village of Killin in the heart of the Breadalbane area of the National Park.

Follow the Killin Heritage Trail which includes sites such as the McNab burial ground, resting place of seven clan chiefs, and the beautiful Falls of Dochart which can be admired from the village’s bridge.

Continue the heritage connections by heading south to Balquhidder where Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor is buried or you could try following part of the long distance Rob Roy Way which stretches from Drymen to Pitlochry. It follows the tracks and paths used by him during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkStart your final day in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park with a visit to the town of Callander and stop by the many independent shops and quaint cafes and restaurants.

There is also a lovely walk to the Bracklin Falls which can be accessed from the centre of town. The circular route leads you to a wooden footbridge with wonderful views of the rushing water below before going through the woodland and countryside surrounding Callander.

Head south west to the Lake of Menteith and try your hand at fly fishing. Or hire a boat and sail to the Inchahome island on the lake which boasts an impressive Augustinian monastery.

Continue west to the town of Aberfoyle and enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled adventure at Go Ape! which includes tree-top trails and zip wires. Another local attraction which guarantees fun for all the family is the Scottish Wool Centre complete with daily outdoor animal shows. Enjoy a dog and duck show, miniature horses, sample Scottish food and drink in the Ben Lomond restaurant and peruse the array of luxury cashmere clothing on sale.

The vast landscape of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is also an area bursting with wildlife. At the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Visitor Centre, south of Aberfoyle, you can get up close to a range of species such as red squirrels and pine martens which can be observed from the CCTV cameras across the site. You could also follow the 25 mile Bird of Prey Trail to see if you can spot everything from ospreys to golden eagles.

Travel north from Aberfoyle and discover some spectacular scenery along the Three Lochs Forest Drive which stretches from the Duke’s Pass through the Achray Forest. It one of the area’s most beautiful landscapes and includes an area of wetland where greylags and wigeons are often spotted.

No visit to this part of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park would be complete without visiting Loch Katrine. This 13 km fresh water loch has long been an inspiration to artists and writers, from Sir Walter Scott to William Wordsworth. Come and experience the loch for yourself and enjoy a sale aboard the SS Sir Walter Scott steam boat or hire an electric bike from Katrinewheelz and explore the shores on two wheels.

Why not follow one of the many other trails in the area?