Come Aboard the Maid of the Loch, Loch Lomond's Paddle Steamer. Tea room & souvenirs on board. Visitor displays and DVD shows; children's activities; majestic steam engine. Available for hire. Balloch Steam Slipway "In Steam" summer weekends.
Welcome to the Maid of the Loch, Loch Lomond's Paddle Steamer. A two star visitor attraction moored at Balloch Pier, the Maid has a tea room for teas, coffees, and soft drinks; hot and cold snacks; delicious home baking and lunch. Treat yourself to a coffee & cake while watching the boating activities around the ship and the ever-changing scenery of the "Bonnie Banks". There is plenty to do and see on board. A visitor facility tells the story of how this 555 ton paddle steamer got to Loch Lomond; there are audio displays; free children's quiz, soft toy trail, and "Fun With Flags" drawing activity. Come aboard and see the progress of restoration at work with our volunteers. And if you have some spare time, why not join the "crew"?
Maid of the Loch was built in 1953 and is a registered historic ship. All directors and volunteers give their time for free - we only have 3 paid staff. The Maid is owned by a charity whose main aim is to return her to steam operation again.
Loch Lomond Steamship Company has however, had continued support from the Scottish Government Capital Grant Regeneration Fund of £950,000 along with £50,000 from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.
This funding allowed major work to the engine and installation of a package boiler on the pier that provides enough steam pressure to move the pistons and subsequently the paddle wheels - so we are confident the engine functions after a long time lying dormant. The Queens Lounge and the Aft Deck Saloon were both refurbished to provide ideal spaces for all sorts of celebrations, performances, educational workshops etc. A lift was installed between the promenade deck and the main deck so everyone can enjoy “going down to see the engines” once more.
Currently (March 2020) we are working on a refurbishment of the Forward Dining Saloon which aims to improve this space and to reinstate the large mirror on the forward bulkhead. This is a £85,000 project funded by private individuals, The Headley Trust, EB Scotland and The Pilgrim Trust.
We still need about £4m to make the Maid shipshape again and fit for sailing well into the future on our lovely Loch Lomond.
Also visit the Balloch Steam Slipway, a Grade A listed building which was restored to full working condition in 2006. At the "In Steam" days throughout the summer, learn how a small steam boiler and engine can pull the Maid out of the water. Have a go at operating the steam whistle - kids just love it! Free entry; full access for the less-abled; car parking close by. Full details on the website at www.maidoftheloch.org
The Maid needs help - throw here a lifeline!
Due to the effects of COVID-19 Lochdown, the Paddle Steamer Maid of the Loch needs your help to get her through this season, therefore there is now a £3 admission charge to get on the ship and all fund go back into keeping her running.
Another way you can donate is by purchasing a 'ticket' for our new virtual cruise! By viewing archive photos and film from the 1950s interspersed with colourfulnscenic view of Loch Lomond, you can see what the first saikings on the Maid were like. All income raised from this will ve a vital boost for the charity during these challenging times. Click here to buy your ticket.
Our first In Steam weekend of 2020 will be on Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th August with the first engine room time slot beginning at 11.15am.