Known as the gateway to the Highlands, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park spans 720 square miles of Scotland at its best.
Vast lochs, enchanting forests, sprawling glens and towering mountains characterize the country’s first national park, just 50 minutes’ drive from central Glasgow.
This year Loch Lomond and The Trossachs celebrates its 20th anniversary since formal formation – so what better time to visit?
SET amongst over 400 acres of stunning Scottish countryside, 5H Cameron House is arguably the most lavish resort in the National Park.
Barack Obama was a recent guest here, and from the first minute you’ll feel like a star too.
The welcoming concierge will park your car and deposit your luggage in the room before you check in.
And if you opt for one of the opulent suites, as Obama did, the mini-bar is complementary and includes a full-size bottle of Glenmorangie single malt whisky.
Finer touches such as Hunter wellies for use during your stay and pre-dinner canapes served in your room only add to the glamour. Several restaurants, including the gourmet restaurant Tamburrini & Wishart and a cozy sports pub, spice up the resort, all using local, seasonal ingredients.
Resort activities include a cinema, waterfront falconry and 4×4 off-road driving, all organized by your personal Guest Experience Manager.
There’s also a leisure club with a rooftop infinity pool.
Walks and cycle paths
The southernmost munro in SCOTLAND – it is a mountain at least 3,000 feet high – is Ben Lomond.
This well traveled hike is a fairly steady climb and takes around five hours to ascend and descend, depending on your ability.
There is parking at Rowardennan Pier, but get there early.
If hills aren’t your thing, there are also plenty of flatter routes for all abilities, from relaxed walks through the pretty conservation villages of Luss and Killin, to leisurely hikes to the old railway line at Glen Ogle.
The West Highland Way and Rob Roy Circular from Drymen also offer a brief introduction to two of Scotland’s most popular long-distance walking routes.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are also suitable for cycling holidays.
Rent bikes from Cycle Luss (cycleluss.com) and add a picnic lunch of charcuterie to enjoy along the way.
The West Loch Lomond Cycle Path runs for around 17 miles between Balloch and Tarbet, following the waters edge for epic views over Ben Lomond and beyond.
Another popular spot with cyclists is Three Lochs Forest Drive, part of the NCN7 National Cycle Route.
By car, follow the signs for Duke’s Pass and up the winding hill to this seven-mile marked route.
By bike, follow the NCN7 Lochs & Glens Way through the Lodge Forest Visitor Center in Aberfoyle.
Here you will enjoy stunning views of Loch Drunkie, Loch Achray and Lochan Reòidhte.
There are plenty of places to stop and camping spots too.
At Loch Lomond Leisure, groups can book a speedboat trip of up to four hours to a pub, ideal for stag and hen parties.
Departing from Luss Pier, you’ll dock at waterfront pubs in Inverbeg, Inversnaid and Rowardennan.
Judging by the groups of giggles often seen flying over the loch, you’ll have a great time.
It costs £360 per boat, for a maximum of ten people.
But there’s no real need for speed.
In the Trossachs, Loch Katrine, once a vacation spot for Queen Victoria, offers slower cruises.
Tours offer the best views of Ben Venue Mountain, Queen Victoria’s Royal Cottage, the famous Primrose Hill and beyond.
Loch Katrine, Glasgow’s water source, is also home to the famous century-old Walter Scott Steamship, which it is hoped will return later this year.
THE national park is home to 22 lochs, including Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest inland body of water, and Loch Long, whose two arms complete the park’s three sea lochs.
Loch Lomond, with its often calm waters, is ideal for beginner paddleboarders and kayakers.
It also has several wooded islands.
The vile mum GUILTY of killing her 7-year-old son, left to die in the garden when he was out of breath
We had to rebuild our wall because our neighbour’s vines are taking over
Keep an eye out for Inchconnachan wallabies, but maybe not Inchmurrin nudists.
Paddle boards and kayaks can be hired from Portnellan Farm (portnellanfarm.co.uk/activities/).