Situated on top of the fault line that separates the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is a stunning national park that sees thousands of visitors yearly.
And it’s easy to understand why, a visit to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs has it all, beautiful rugged mountains, serene lochs, and rolling landscapes filled with some of Scotland’s most exciting natural wildlife.
Whether for a day or a week-long stay, taking the time to see the Trossachs National Park should be a priority for every traveller to Scotland.
The park is only 25 miles from Glasgow and 78 miles from Edinburgh, making it easy to fit this national park into a weekend trip.
If you want guidance on what to do when exploring Scotland’s great trails and more when you visit Loch Lomond National Park, then you’ve come to the right place. Read our complete guide for all the best things to do during your visit.
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About Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Spanning a sizeable 1,865 square kilometres, the beautiful Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park was the very first national park established by the Scottish Parliament, the second being the Cairngorms National Park.
One feature that makes this park special is that it lies on the Highland Boundary Fault, which divides the Highlands of Scotland from the Lowlands.
Guests can revel in the vast wilderness of rugged mountains, wild woodlands, and expansive lochs and rivers.
The Trossachs National Park Authority manages the area, which takes care of the numerous beautiful wildlife that makes their home here.
The Trossachs National Park is home to some of the most popular things to do for wilderness lovers. Everything from seeing Scotland’s most southernly Munro, Ben Lomond, or walking Scotland’s Six Great Trails is easily accessible when you visit this stunning national park.
Regions of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
The expansive Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park can be divided into four distinctive regions, each offering a gorgeous and unique look at Scotland’s scenery. Please take a look at our breakdown of the areas and what they have to offer for you!
Breadalbane offers visitors the Highlands experience, with rugged mountainous terrain that rises steeply from the ground. The area encompasses the northern part of the national park and is recognisable due to the snow-capped peaks during the year’s colder months.
The contrast of serene lochs to towering hills and Munros is staggering, especially when you journey to their summit and are treated to uninterrupted views of the national parks around you.
We recommend visiting the iconic ‘Faerie Hollow’ near Loch Lubnaig and the Falls of Dochart if you’re entering the park from Killian.
Travel to the Western side of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and you’ll be treated to the Cowal Peninsula, a region famed for its sea lochs, wildlife, and high hills.
Take a guided boat tour through the serene Loch Long, Loch Goil, and Loch Eck to enjoy unparalleled views of the Western part of Scotland.
And besides the picturesque lochside views, visitors can also enjoy experiencing some of the best attractions of the national park, including Argyll Forest, Benmore Botanical Garden, and Puck’s Glen (some of which we’ll talk about later in this article).
Loch Lomond is unlike anywhere else in Scotland, and it’s difficult not be remain awestruck as you navigate Britain’s most significant inland stretch of water.
As you explore the welcoming towns that site lochside, your views are framed against the mighty Ben Lomond, which towers in the distance to anyone who would challenge to climb it.
Not only are there plenty of opportunities for forest walking and fishing near the Loch Lomond shores, but the abundance of villages makes it easy to find fantastic food and drink and accommodation.
Whether you’re planning to scale Conic Hill, take a tour through the expansive lake, or indulge in the history of Loch Lomond, we highly recommend visiting.
The fourth and final central region within the Trossachs National Park is aptly known as The Trossachs. This region makes up the eastern side of the national park and vividly illustrates the progression from Lowlands to the Highlands.
In addition to beautiful natural landscapes, the Trossachs are home to plentiful historical artefacts and locations that allow you to immerse yourself in Scotland’s rich and detailed history.
Things to Do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
If you want a deeper dive into the best things to do during your visit to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve created a complete guide on the best attractions and sights to add to your to-do list when you come to the Trossachs National Park, Scotland’s national park that divides the Highlands and Lowlands.
Nature and Wildlife
Each part of the Trossachs National Park is home to its unique ecology and habitats, where Scotland’s native wildlife can flourish and thrive. If you want a closer look at the diversity that calls this beautiful national park their home, we recommend reading through curated experiences tailored to those who want to enjoy the great outdoors.
Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre
Situated near the Loch Lomond Shores, this iconic visitor centre allows guests to experience the diverse set of birdlife within Scotland unlike anywhere else. Home to various bird species, including owls, vultures, eagles, hawks, and many more!
A visit to Loch Lomond is only complete with a visit to the Bird of Prey Centre, especially if you book one of the centre’s experiences. You can go hunting with the eagles, take a hawk for a walk, or explore how these magnificent birds fly at the flying experiences.
The stunning Argyll Forest is one of the most popular destinations within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and we’re entirely unsurprised why! The large forest has a comprehensive series of footpaths that take you through lush woodlands, past lochs, and over picturesque glens.
Watch for the red squirrels that call this tranquil forest this home along your travels! Argyll Forest also claims to be Britain’s oldest forest park and one of the most beautiful forests in the national park.
Benmore Botanical Gardens
Covering a genuinely stunning 120 acres, the Benmore Botanical Gardens offers visitors the chance to see a vivid collection of world-famous plants. While these botanical gardens have a diverse range of native Scottish plants, there are plants from the Himalayas, China, and South America too!
From the massive Redwoods that adorn the front entrance to the Riot of Rhododendrons, we highly recommend you visit this stellar nature centre while within the park.
Falls of Dochart
While in Killian, you can visit the fantastic Falls of Dochart from the town’s bridge. Serving as an entrance to the national park, Killian is a splendid town to start your journey from, but not before you look at these white waterfalls near the Western end of Loch Tay.
This fall’s beauty is only rivalled by its accessibility, so don’t miss out on this stunning natural hot spot when you arrive at the Trossachs.
Explore a 200-year-old wilds restoration project in the Trossachs National Park by stopping by and exploring Glen Finglas. This expansive national park lies at the centre of the Trossachs and is not to be missed if you love to appreciate the natural beauty of Scotland’s great trails.
The estate truly has something for everyone to enjoy, from the diverse selection of wildlife that calls it their home, historical stories of the places and people that once existed here, and nine distinct routes your whole family can enjoy a walk through.
Argaty Red Kites
If you’re a fan of Scottish wildlife, then we highly recommend visiting the Argaty Red Kites! This upland national park visitor centre is a rewilding estate for some of the most adorable animals you can imagine – beavers, red squirrels, and the iconic red kites!
This beautiful estate has been operational since 1916, and their help in conserving and rewilding has undeniably affected the populations of these local critters. Take an afternoon to see the red kite feeding and stop and enjoy the wildlife in their hides.
RSPB Loch Lomond
Avid birders should make a point to stop by the RSPB Loch Lomond along their journey through the national park for a bird-watching experience you will remember! This reserve is a stone’s throw away from Loch Lomond and offers birders the chance to navigate forests and swampland to spot a stunning selection of birds, including warblers, ospreys, and skeins of geese.
As you explore Loch Lomond, take advantage of this opportunity to join other birders – talk about birds of a feather!
There’s more to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park than just the abundance of wildlife and nature! If you want to spend your time visiting Scotland’s first national park being more active, and seeing what outdoor activities you can do, then don’t worry; we’ve outlined some of the best ones here.
Whether or not you’re a fan of nature trails, the spectacular views you’re treated to when traversing Loch Lomond, the Trossachs National Park, and the outer region is undeniable. We highly recommend you walk or hike at least one of the hundreds of routes that span and snake through the National Park’s lochs, hills, and rivers.
The West Highland Way and Loch Katrine are some of the most popular that you will want to take advantage of, especially the latter if you’re a fan of the hit show ‘Outlander’. Other primary hiking paths include the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, situated at the Southern end of the national park.
Climbers will also be elated to know of the large variety of challenges you undertake while visiting the Trossachs National Park. The park has 21 Munros, including the famous Ben Lomond, and several bouldering challenges to tackle too!
Whether you’re a casual hiker or a Munro bagger, this national park will be right up your alley.
As with many of Scotland’s most famous natural parks, wild camping (that’s camping in an area that is not a designated campsite) is allowed. While some visitors will prefer the much more comfortable glamping, a specific enrichment comes from setting up your camp in a spot of your choosing.
There’s an avid camping community within the Trossachs National Park, and Inchcailloch islet is one of the most popular campsites for wild campers. All you need to do to access this thriving island is to access it via boat, Luss, or Balmaha (which has an incredible visitor centre).
If you plan to camp, we recommend looking up the guidelines and restrictions you must adhere to. Irresponsible campers will be fined and prosecuted.
Aerial Adventure Course
If you want an adventure with friends and family, we highly recommend you check out the Treezone Aerial Adventure! This aerial adventure course has everything you could ever want, from balance beams, zip wires, tight ropes, scramble nets, and much more!
This is a fantastic place to take your children, although remember that they must be above 7 and at least 1.1 metres tall.
What makes this experience unforgettable, aside from the fun and sometimes challenging navigation of gap jumps and white knuckle bridges, is the incredible views you receive from being amongst the trees like the red squirrels of the national park.
This adventure course, near Loch Lomond, will interest children and adults alike!
Want to navigate Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park uniquely and memorably? Pony trekking is simultaneously one of the cutest and most fun ways to traverse hiking trails through the wilderness.
A popular spot for pony trekking is at Balloch, Loch Lomond, where you can see the expansive Loch in all its glory atop one of the cuddly and furry steeds. Cameron House is another popular destination for pony trekking, and you will have an unparalleled experience the next time you visit.
Boat Trips & Water Sports
There’s plenty to see on land during your journey through the Loch Lomond area, but there’s an entire world to visit from the waters – this is my voyage Scotland, after all!
Cruise through the numerous lochs within the national park, and we bet you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the stunning sights within.
Various cruise services will not hesitate to share their love of the surroundings with you as you streak through the Loch’s waters. Some popular loch cruises take you through the iconic Loch Lomond, around Ben Lomond, Inversnaid, Loch Luss, and Loch Tay.
But there’s more to the water than just boat cruises. This national park is also famed for its wide variety of water sports, including water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and many more!
Put the pedal to the metal by cycling through this historic national park instead of walking or driving. With cycling, you can traverse from the Eastern shore of Loch Lomond to the Western coast in no time at all and be active along the way.
If you’re looking for some of the most famous cycling routes in the area, we highly recommend trying either the Rob Roy Loop, The Banks of Loch Eck, the Loch Ard Loop, or the West Lomond Cycle Path.
These are all reasonably easy cycling paths and make for lovely trips out with the family! Mountain biking is also easily accessible throughout the national park.
And if you’ve arrived without a bike, don’t worry! There are plenty of bike rentals to rent from. We recommend picking up a local travel guide to see what’s best for you while there.
So far, our suggestions for outdoor activities have included plenty of fun and exciting choices. Still, we’d be remiss not to mention the avid golfing community that comes to the Trossachs and Loch Lomond to golf – Scotland is the home of golf, after all!
Choose from some of the best-kept courses to tee off from, with stunning views of the abundant natural landscape around you. We recommend checking out the Killian Golf Club, Callander Golf Club, and the Aberfoyle Golf Club.
There’s also the Jurrasic Parrr (with three r’s) Adventure Golf Club if you want a casual mini golfing afternoon with family or friends.
Food and Drink
Amongst the nature, ruined castles, and idyllic villages sits a wealth of excellent food and drink for visitors. But what’s best to try when your stomach is rumbling and you want something to quench your thirst?
Thankfully, the abundant choice makes catering to everyone’s taste easy! And whether it’s fish, meats, or well-prepared cheeses and fruit, we bet you’ll find something to sate your appetite.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park have a strong community that prides itself on fresh produce, and we recommend checking out the Loch Lomond Shores Farmer Market and France Farm – two prominent markets.
You can sit down at a welcoming tavern in the pretty village of your choice or take some fresh meat and cheese along your next hiking trail; it’s up to you!
We’d also be remiss, not to mention the fantastic distilleries you can visit within the national park, with must-stop places including Glengoyne, Auchentoshan, and Deanston. These offer guided tours of their distilleries, where you can watch scintillating whiskies come to life right in front of your eyes.
If you’ve spent time in Scotland, you’ll know the country is full of unique and fascinating historical landmarks and cultural heritage. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are no exception, and a wealth of detailed and historical information is waiting to be uncovered when you visit.
The stone circles you can find throughout this national park are genuinely astounding! Dating back centuries to Neolithic Scotland, these fascinating looks reveal an age of rituals, wonder, and mystery to each person that visits.
Adding Killian Stone Circle, Kinnell Stone Circle, and much more to your list of things to do is well worth it!
Rob Roy Gravestone
Rob Roy MacGregor, the famed Scottish outlaw who was pardoned, was said to have been buried within Loch Lomond. Stories of Rob Roy are likely a combination of reality and legend, but stopping by their grave is another milestone to add to your list of things to do.
The Great Trossachs Art & Literature Trail
The mighty Munros and hills of the Trossachs National Park are awe-inspiring, and Scotland’s great writers, artists, and musicians certainly think so too!
The Art and Literature Trail is a unique path that follows in the footsteps of great writers and artists like Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, and many more. We recommend you look up these famed artists’ magnificent artworks and pieces as you follow the trails, seeing the world as they did so long ago!
Home to Britain’s most extended cairn chamber, the Auchernlaich Cairn is a stunning look into Neolithic history, with an ambience of mystery and intrigue prevailing as you see and navigate around the cairn’s intricately carved chambers.
Along with the standing stones, this massive cairn will amaze lovers of historic sites.
Just north of Balloch, you can find Balloch Castle and Balloch Castle Country Park, Loch Lomond’s only country park!
Unfortunately, the castle is derelict, but the country park has many great activities. The park regularly features concerts and musical artists, drawing over 80,000 people to the venue!
Ensure to check if any events are going on when you plan to visit!
On the fringes of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park sits Dumbarton Castle, a stunning 18th-century castle with immaculate Georgian architecture on a volcanic plug.
Visiting this beautiful castle is well worth it and can easily fit into your holiday schedule – when you enter or exit the park.
There are so many great accommodation options within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and there’s bound to be something for you, no matter your budget or taste. Everything from luxurious hotels to wild camping is available at this prestigious park if you know where to go.
If you prize luxury for your stay, we highly recommend pursuing the wide selection of luxury hotels and accommodations within the national park. Accommodations like Luxury Lodges and the MacDonald Forest Hills Hotel are some of the most highly recommended lodgings you can stay at.
There are plenty of options for self-catering accommodation – especially if you’re open to using sites like Booking.com for your accommodation needs.
And if you want breakfast included with your accommodation, you’ll be surprised at the wide variety of B&Bs you can stay at — for example, the Loaninghead B&B, Shandon Farmhouse B&B, or the Queen of the Loch.Thinking Of Booking A Trip? Check Out Our Top Accommodation Options In Loch Lomond