Loch Lomond Trossachs - any advice

(24 Posts)
TooDamnSarky Mon 20-Jul-20 15:11:25

Considering a last minute self-catering trip to this area of scotland for mid August.
Any advice on where to stay?
Where is good for access to good cycling route for teens (they prefer paved/onroad to mountain biking)
Do the midges mean it is worth not being too close to one of the lochs?
Will any particular areas end up crazy busy?

OP’s posts: |
EstherMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Jul-20 21:17:32

Bumping this for you OP (while daydreaming about holidays!)

EhUp Mon 20-Jul-20 21:25:00

It might be worth seeing what is available for the week you want rather than setting your heart on a particular location as I'm guessing a lot of the nicest self catering places will be fully booked

Personally I would avoid Balloch & the official visitor centre as its usually hideously busy and the antithesis of the reason to visit that area IMHO (you want to avoid the crowds not seek them out!)

The east side of Loch Lomond is much quieter and more scenic than the west. If you don't mind a longer driver then Loch Fyne is fabulous, areas round Lochgilphead, Tayvallich & Crinan are really pretty. A wildlife boat trip is well worth paying for. You can cycle along the Crinan canal which is nice too.

LaTomatina Mon 20-Jul-20 21:36:30

Aberfoyle if you want to be in a small town the heart of the Trossachs. Can cycle out to Loch Lomond at Inversnaid and to Loch Katrine. Or, if they like a challenge, over the Duke's Pass to Kilmahog. Or along to the Lake of Menteith (Scotland's only Lake). There'll be a fair bit of traffic at this time of year (and probably tour buses if they're running again) but the scenery is lovely.

Alternatively Callandar is on a faster through road (easy reach of day trips to the Trossachs, the Highlands, Stirling, etc) and slightly larger town/less of a tourist backwater than Aberfoyle.

Or if you're not bothered about being in a town, check out the Braes O Balquidder for somewhere more rural.

TooDamnSarky Tue 21-Jul-20 10:05:13

thanks all EhUp was exactly right about things being booked up.
But I found a lovely looking over-budget place on Loch Lomond a few miles north of Ballloch. Hope it's not too busy.

Any more suggestions of cycle routes?
Happy to drive to the start of the route.
Looking to do about 20 miles ideally on quiet roads with a loch view smile

OP’s posts: |
garlictwist Wed 22-Jul-20 04:42:21

I don't think it's great for road cycling there, to be honest. Especially on the west side of the Lake there are just quite major roads and very few quiet ones. On the east, around Callander, there are lots of lovely more gravel routes to ride. You wouldn't need a mountain bike as it's not technical, just something with more substantial tyres. You can do a nice loop around the loch and through forests.

suggestionsplease1 Wed 22-Jul-20 05:40:32

The three lochs forest drive is lovely by bike, but not tarmacked so better for hybrids or mountain bikes.

You can do a loop around loch Ard, loch Chon and loch Katrine and back over Dukes Pass (steep but a lot of fun). Or make it longer to include loch Achray and Loch Venachar. Loch Venachar you get by on the South side of it as well, and there are tracks through that region, but best not for road bikes again.

TooDamnSarky Wed 22-Jul-20 14:21:04

That is super helpful. thanks.
The three lochs drive looks perfect for us.
Just need to persuade DH not to bring his road bike! The rest of us are on hybrids but he has a road bike and a (much less good) mountain bike.

OP’s posts: |
EasilyDelighted Wed 22-Jul-20 14:24:22

Date-wise, Scottish schools go back in mid August and things become quieter at that point, might be worth checking out.

TooDamnSarky Wed 22-Jul-20 15:13:29

thanks. perfect timing for us!

OP’s posts: |
maldivemoment Wed 22-Jul-20 15:17:06

I’m in this neck of the woods. The midges are fierce at the moment. Bring lots of repellent. They can easily ruin a holiday!

maldivemoment Wed 22-Jul-20 15:20:31

Also, depends where you’re coming from but, yes, parts of here are crazy busy. Especially the parts you’d like to visit. Lots of issues with folk parking on grass verges, etc meaning emergency vehicles can’t get passed. Also be aware the police have closed some very popular tourist spot car parks. Luss, Arrochar, Callander... They may be opening them up now though. Worth checking.?

qwerty222 Wed 22-Jul-20 15:22:01

I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said but second aberfoyle, balquidder, calendar etc. Loch venachar and Loch achray both lovely for walking and cycling. I would aim for this area of the trossachs as opposed to the areas around Loch Lomond personally.

maldivemoment Wed 22-Jul-20 15:25:52

This might be worth a look?


Holyrivolli Wed 22-Jul-20 15:27:54

I live a few miles north of Balloch. If you’re happy to share the link to the accommodation then I can advise of anything else you need to consider.

Holyrivolli Wed 22-Jul-20 15:30:46

These are a link to the cycle routes in the area


TooDamnSarky Wed 22-Jul-20 15:37:50

Thanks. I'm now trying to not get TOO excited in case the weather is rubbish and we don't get to do all the day trips that I have planned

OP’s posts: |
randomsabreuse Wed 22-Jul-20 15:39:37

I just came on to second the midge repellant recommendations. Smidge or Avon Skin so Soft are most recommended in the area.

EasilyDelighted Wed 22-Jul-20 15:41:40

We often visit that part of Scotland in August and for the most part the weather has been ok. We live in SE England and pack as if we were going away a month later down here, so pack for mid September weather at home.

suggestionsplease1 Wed 22-Jul-20 17:04:10

After many years wild camping in the highlands and islands of Scotland the only product I have ever found effective against midges is a high percentage DEET! (but some people don't like this as it's a pretty potent chemical)

When you're cycling the trick is to go faster than they fly anyway! Which unless you're cycling very slowly you should be able to do.

Enjoy OP, it's a beautiful part of the world.

KatherineParr4 Wed 22-Jul-20 19:02:53

I find Avon Skin so Soft to be very effective.

dementedma Wed 22-Jul-20 19:06:56

A very busy area, lots of midges. You can take your bikes on the steamship up Loch Katrine and then cycle back.

TooDamnSarky Fri 24-Jul-20 14:05:58

sadly the steamer is not running this year - boiler problems apparently

OP’s posts: |
treeeeemendous Sun 09-Aug-20 11:13:22

@TooDamnSarky did you do this trip? Looking to go later in the month and was after any tips!

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