Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Area Guide


Take in the stunning scenery of Loch Lomond (Gary Ellis/Unsplash)

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is one of Scotland’s two national parks. It was established in 2002 to help preserve the spectacular scenery of Loch Lomond and its surroundings, while also improving access to the countryside and its activities for visitors.

Despite being dwarfed by its Scottish cousin the Cairngorms National Park (which is around two and a half times its size), Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is still the UK’s fifth-largest national park, covering 720 square miles (1,865 square kilometres). In that space are 22 large lochs (and a whole lot of smaller ones), 21 Munros (mountains over 3000 feet), two forest parks and all sorts of outdoor activities.

Pitchup’s guide to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park gives you an introduction to this gorgeous part of Scotland, providing inspiration for hiking trails, wildlife spotting and climbing, among other activities. 

Where is Loch Lomond & The Trossachs?

Centred around Loch Lomond itself (the UK’s largest natural lake by surface area), Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park covers a large part of the southern section of Scotland’s Highlands. This is a very different place to Scotland’s other national park, the more northern Cairngorms National Park. Where the Cairngorms is wild and remote, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs has more settlements and amenities, making it a more approachable place for casual visitors.

Much of that is down to the park’s geography – its southern tip is only around a half-hour drive from Glasgow, and it’s estimated that around 50% of Scotland’s population lives within an hour’s drive of the park. Getting here is fairly straightforward, with A roads running most of the way around the outer edge of the park, a decent bus network and National Rail services to several stations.

What to do in Loch Lomond

Red squirrels are among the wildlife you might spot in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park (James Armes/Unsplash)

The stunning landscapes of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park make a wonderful setting for all sorts of outdoor activities, whether you’re after an easy walk, a leisurely lake cruise or something more action packed like mountain biking or windsurfing. Around the park are lots of places where you can spot wildlife, see waterfalls and simply soak up the views of lakes and mountains.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is for everyone, and easy access means that it’s a great destination for those taking their first steps with rural activities just as much as regular countryside visitors. There’s plenty here for families, along with a good number of accessible attractions and activities, so it’s simply a case of finding the day out that suits you the best.

Day tripping around the park is great, but if you really want to make the most of this gorgeous scenery, stay overnight at one of the many campsites in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Whether you pick a simple pitch, a glamping tent or a cosy cabin, you’ll be able to soak up the park’s views and fresh air from dawn to dusk – and then settle in for some of the stargazing that the area is known for.

Popular places in Loch Lomond

The main attraction in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is of course Loch Lomond itself, the largest natural lake in the UK (by surface area) and a stunningly beautiful place to visit. There are several ways to take it all in, including walks, boat trips, watersports and seaplane flights. Its popularity means Loch Lomond can get busy at times, so if you’re after a more peaceful experience, head to one of the park’s other lochs – Loch Katrine, Loch Eck and Loch Earn are all just as scenic, or you can follow the Three Lochs Forest Drive.

If mountains are more your thing, you’ll have several to take in – whether you’re planning to climb them or just admire the views. Ben Lomond, close to the loch, is the most well known, while Ben More, Stob Binnein and Ben Lui are the tallest in the park. For fabulous views with less of a climb, Conic Hill and Callander Crags are also popular places.

Alongside all of this are numerous waterfalls, forest walks, heritage attractions like Balloch Castle and animal parks like the Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium and Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre.