Cashel near Balmaha on Loch Lomond - has anyone stayed there? Is it like 'the Gaza strip'??

(27 Posts)

We are considering a seasonal pitch but it is shock expensive and up a rather steep narrow road (which admittedly we'd only do once to get there and once to get out, but still <wibble>)

We did a recce today and it was gorgeous, stunning landscape, pitches right at the water (one as Canadian canoes, dontcha know grin) and the kind of remote I like while still supplying hot and cold running water. The Oak Tree pub in Balmaha was fab too, so what's not to like?
It was still closed today, some storm damage, we spoke to the manageress who was very forthcoming and helpful.

We are not experienced caravanners, b0ught our van last year (6 berth, twin axle), but took it out 8 times to different places including our summer holiday on the continent. All good fun.

Somebody mentioned Cashel is 'the Gaza strip of camping' and mentioned used needles and gear at the lochside, including on site dealing shock. Is this a stupid rumour? Please say it is <<puts arms protectively around innocent offspring>>

Any experiences would be greatly appreciated before we sign on the dotted line.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 17-Feb-13 22:41:19

Is Cashel that campsite at the very end of the road? I've stayed at the one a little bit closer to Balmaha, which is a camping and caravaning club site. I've been to the Cashel site, but only in the car to take the kids to the water's edge. I've never stayed the night there.

I think the sort of problem campers you're worried about do camp around Loch Lomond, but they don't pay to pitch. They just find a lovely spot and wild camp and trash it. I don't know if needles are a common problem, but noise and rubbish may be.

I would say that I wouldn't expect them to be staying in a paid site but perhaps they're somewhat nearby because it's at the end of the road?

The reviews on UK Campsite look generally good:

www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/reviews.asp?revid=1085

Thanks, Katy, yes, it is right at the end of the road. We had a lovely walk to the very end and DSs enjoyed throwing pebbles in the loch grin.

We looked at the one you are describing as well I think - starts with an 'S'? Can't think of the name just now...
Did you tow a van up that road, round that bend?

Cashel looked ok today, like I said some storm damage, road washed away, a bit sad being all empty etc. The manager lady sounded v encouraging and described exactly how/what would be sorted before the start of the season; JCBs will be involved, apparently.

Thanks for the link smile.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 17-Feb-13 23:41:43

I never towed a van. We camped in a tent.

Milrochy Bay or something is the name of the place a couple miles towards Balmaha.

Are you from the general area? I must warn you that the midges will be absolutely horrendous.

So I've heard.... We are about 1 hr away. By car. Might be longer with the van, mind.
I am in the process of stockpiling Avon's spray, what's it called, Soft and Something? Seems to work for the wee bastards.

I've never actually towed the van either, if you don't count moving it 10 yards. Once. I don't see myself starting to tow it either. The van is DH's baby grin.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 18-Feb-13 09:09:38

When the midges are bad, they are very, very bad. Avon Skin-so-Soft helps, but doesn't make a bad midge evening bearable. FWIW, the best product is stuff called Smidge, which you'll see sold at various places.

I used to live in Argyll (Inveraray) and I have a lot of experience with midges. If you're camping and they're bad, there's really nothing you can do but stay inside. Of course, if you have a nice caravan that you don't mind sitting inside, then it could be OK.

hillbilly Mon 18-Feb-13 12:26:30

Sorry to hijack, but do the midge repellents you mentioned Katy, also work for mozzies?

We were in Glenmore/Aviemore last August weekend and the midges were just unbefeckingbelievable shock. Yes, nice van, enough room and many DVDs were the solution at dawn. No sitting outside lakeside unfortunately... Ah well, the joys of holidaying in Scotland grin.
Smidge, you say?? <<adds to shoppping list>>

hillbilly, I'll have to let Katy answer that one I'm afraid, no idea.

I can't even swear grammatically correct: unbefeckinglievable.
'Tis emberrassing blush.

IsItAMonster Mon 18-Feb-13 17:55:14

We stayed there for a few nights a couple of years ago. it is so peaceful, we had a pitch at the waters edge and we and the dcs loved it.p

Can't vouch for the other patrons but we saw/heard no troube when we were there.

I agree though that at loch lomond you do get groups of teens camping by the loch. Can't really picture many hard core junkies being into freh air, camping and the great outdoors but you never know wink

IsItAMonster Mon 18-Feb-13 17:55:59

Oh, btw we were terrified of that sharp corner/ big hill but made it up fine

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 18-Feb-13 19:09:37

Hillbilly, I don't know. No mosquitos in Argyll to test it on. smile

DistantShip Mon 18-Feb-13 19:20:43

Have been to Millarochy Bay a few times and its slightly better than expected for midges if you're in a waterside pitch. Under the trees at the top of the hill is a very different microclimate where the wee bastard beasties swarm in thick clouds wink

thesoo Mon 18-Feb-13 19:31:49

There is some truth in what you say, but the situation should be improving. The East Side of Loch Lomond has traditionally attracted unruly groups of youths (and worse). The National Park are aware of this and have taken steps to address it. They have moved from seeing this anti-social behaviour as a bit of a joke - they once produced a map of the area in which they named the beach at Balmaha 'Giro Bay' - to taking a much more hardline approach. Camping is now banned by local bye law on the east side, this gives police the power to move people on. The anti social behaviour, the litter (yes, this includes syringes), broken glass etc should be much reduced.This should lead to less dealing too, although I have never witnessed this, just the odd gang of shirtless, intimidating drunken lads.
It is a truly beautiful spot. The only thing that would stop me would be the midges, they are relentless in the summer and can really ruin your day. There are some equally beautiful spots though, further east or north eg Loch Earn, where the midges don't bite so much..

thesoo Mon 18-Feb-13 19:34:46
Branleuse Mon 18-Feb-13 19:40:24

are there still spots for wild camping?
my dad used to take me to lock lomond camping every year.
hideous midges though some years

Piffpaffpoff Mon 18-Feb-13 19:54:57

Wild camping totally banned I think.

But big thumbs up for Smidge from me, I used it last year on the West Coast and it was actually amazing, hardly any bites at all, and it doesn't feel like you have an oil slick on your arm like SSS.

thesoo, thank you v much, that is so interesting. The situation you're describing is where the 'Gaza strip' remark must have come from - not quite the same, mind... hmm.

And another endorsement for Smidge too - good grin!

We are trying to stay within approx 1 hr's range from where we stay just to allow us to use a seasonal pitch a lot. We cannot leave home until 7pm at the very earliest on Friday nights and travel with 4 boys between 10 and 3. They don't tolerate extended travel v well - or maybe I don't, what between the whinging and the moaning and the weewee stops and the travelsickness and the bickering... <sigh>

bekind Fri 22-Feb-13 06:40:27

Go for it, there's plenty to see and do round there. If you haven't already done so get the post boat from Balmaha and go island hopping, or have a day on Inchchailloch, there's even a BBQ spot. There has been camping/mess trouble mainly on the east side of the Loch but the National park and the Police have done a decent job tackling it, and the problem was people wild camping rather than using the sites.
Smidge good. Skin so soft still worthwhile.

'Tis booked grin.
I am really looking forward to it and hope we'll use it lots.
We'll certainly look at going on a boat, and thanks for the tip for BBQ spot.
Now if it stopped snowing...

Just a quick update:

We brought the van up last weekend.
The steep hill coming out of Balmaha was fine and we had to only intimidate one oncoming car into reversing out of our way.

The site has been restored after some heavy damage in winter storms and looked great. We have a plot lochside, which is lovely, but OMG it was windy yesterday. I suppose being on the east side of the loch, the prevailing winds will usually blow in our direction. No awning set up yet - nobody else on site had one up either grin.
And wrt to my original concern/query: all is well, but thank you for reassuring me at the time.

We fed ducks and seagulls and, again, lots of stones where thrown in the loch - it might be filled right up by the time the season is over if DS4 has anything to do with it!

Happy camping/caravanning, everyone smile!

thefirstmrsrochester Mon 29-Apr-13 15:47:02

Never camped as cashell but have done battle with the midges of millarochy bay many a time, and will do again this summer. Will be sure to stock up on skin so soft and smidge. The Loch Lomond midges are truly vicious!

So I've heards, mrsrochester, so I've heard - maybe the fierce wind might help?? I know I am grasping at straws grin

Sunset was stunning though on Sat night smile

Moominsarehippos Mon 29-Apr-13 17:59:28

Midges! Midges! I am still itching from when we did the WHL about 12 years ago.

You really need the Avon moisturiser in the light blue bottle (I'm sure so done will know what it's called). It keeps the little buggers away.

Moominsarehippos Mon 29-Apr-13 17:59:52

So done = someone. Bloody autocorrect!

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