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Loch Lomond Walks

Considering a day trip from Glasgow to Loch Lomond to do some hiking.
We would train to Balloch, and our first thought was to take the bus to Luss for a look around, ferry to Balmaha and hike Conic Hill, then bus to Drymen for a bit and back to Balloch for the return to Glasgow. 
Since it appears the walk would take approximately 2 hours, i'm wondering if it would be better to do this trip in reverse and hike earlier in the day?
Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    The Luss-Balmaha waterbus starts operation in May so I'm hoping you're visiting in summer. The best schedule IMO would be to catch the 8:30 AM bus towards Oban from the Buchanan street station to reach Luss by 9:30. A brisk walk and photos later, you can catch the 1st waterbus out at 9:50 AM. If you'd like to spend a bit more of the morning hours in Luss then the earliest bus from Glasgow leaves at 6:50 AM (towards Uig). This way, you touch Balloch only once. Hope this helps.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @Rob! As @Horizons says, the water bus which operates between Luss and Balmaha is a seasonal service and you can find the timetable here
    Another option would be to take a morning train from Glasgow Queen Street (Monday to Saturday or from Glasgow Central on a Sunday) to Balloch Central and take the 309 bus for Balmaha.  Get off the bus at Drymen and follow the 7.5 miles/12 km section of the West Highland Way which passes through Garadhban Forest and then onto the Conic Hill.  This usually takes around 3.5 hours.  I always prefer starting from either Drymen or Milton of Buchanan (which lies between Drymen and Balmaha -missing out the forest taking around 2.5 to 3 hours) because you are walking towards the amazing view of Loch Lomond! :) Then when you reach Balmaha,  enjoy a well deserved refreshment or bite to eat at the Oak Tree Inn before taking the bus back to Balloch.  If you still have enough time, your day ticket for the Balmaha bus is also valid on the 305 bus to Luss so you could squeeze in a short visit to Luss if you plan your day well. :)

  • RobRob Member ✭✭
    Hello Horizons,
    Am I correct in thinking that the 926 bus from Glasgow, Buchanan station to Balloch travels out on the Great Western Rd?
    I ask because our accommodations will be near Byres Rd and the Kersland Street stop on Great Western Rd., and it might be more convenient to get on the bus at that point. But i'm uncertain how to acquire tickets if we're not departing from a main station.
    Thanks in advance,

  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @Rob
    It's great to hear that you are planning to visit Balloch! :) The Scottish Citylink services for Oban, Fort William and Campbeltown all stop on Great Western Road at Kersland Street and these would take you to Balloch.  You can purchase your tickets in advance on the Scottish Citylink website  and you can also buy them from the driver on the bus.  It may be worth mentioning that the Citylink coach does not go into the village of Balloch, but will drop you off on the main A82 - around a 20-25 minute walk into the village centre.

    Another option would be to make your way to Partick train station where there are trains to Balloch every 30 minutes.  Balloch iCentre is across the road from the train station and you would be able to pick up some free maps and information about the area! :)
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