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Visit Loch Lomond National Park and Ben Lomond from Glasgow (by bus)

Hello to everyone!

We are French, and we are going to Scotland this summer (August) to visit your country and we will go to Loch Lomond National Park, and more precisely at the parking of Rowardennan to make the hike of Ben Lomond.
We will leave Glasgow where we will stay, and we will only travel by public transport. 

Can you tell us what bus/train (or other) we have to take to get to that place? 

Thanks for your answer, we are very happy to come in Scotland ! 


  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @ArnaudFr69
    Thanks for your inquiry. Please use Traveline Scotland for your journey planning. I have done a search for you which has today's date - you just need to change the date and time of travel. It looks like you have to take a bus to Luss and then a boat across Loch Lomond. The road on the east side of  the Loch is not served by public transport. I hope this helps. Happy Munro climbing!!  :D
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hey @ArnaudFr69 a word of warning with the Luss schedule is that there is only 1 waterbus a day in the late afternoon which makes hiking Ben Lomond very difficult even with an overnight stay.

    All waterbus schedules (buy tickets on the boat):

    The correct answer to be able to make a Ben Lomond day trip from Glasgow is to take the morning bus (6:35) from Glasgow to Campbeltown (bus 926) and then the waterbus to Rowardennan, hike up and back by 4:45 PM, catch the waterbus back followed by a bus or train.

    Bus tickets:
    Train tickets:

    Feel free to ask any follow up questions, I consider myself a public transport expert for Scotland, the transport system is very infrequent compared to your home country of France so planning is of paramount importance.
    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)

  • SmidgeSmidge VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    There is no public transport from Balloch to Ben Lomond.

    Instead you need to catch a train or bus to Tarbet and from there catch the water bus across the loch to Rowardennan - details here

    The water bus leaves at 08.45 from Tarbet (arrives at Rowardennan at 10am) so you will need to be in Tarbet the night before or leave very early from Glasgow - check the train and bus times. The only one that will get you there is the 916 bus to tarbet which leaves at 6.50 am) 

    The water bus comes back at 16.45 - which is plenty of time to climb Ben Lomond. 
    Kate - Scotland / outdoor blogger at Love From Scotland
    Climbs hills, takes pictures. Likes remotes places.
    Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

  • ArnaudFr69ArnaudFr69 Member
    Hello to everyone!

    @VisitScotlandMuriel @Horizons @Smidge I thank you very much for your detailed and quickly reply, this will help us a lot, that's exactly what I wanted to know!

    Moreover @Smidge , I don't understand, do you think it’s too ambitious and impractical to do the Ben Lomond hike (that is to say, the hike from Rowardennan to the top of Ben Lomond) in this time slot, or not? 

    Thanks a lot for answering my questions with exactitude and for your time, we are looking forward to visiting your country!

  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited July 2017
    Hi @ArnaudFr69

    Ben Lomond takes around 5 hours to complete, 3 hours up and 2 hours down although if you are an experienced hill walker you will probably be a little quicker.  The Ben Lomond Hike ferry operated by Cruise Loch Lomond from Tarbet allows walkers plenty of time (around 7 hours) to complete the walk and you may even have some time left to enjoy a quick bite to eat or refreshment in Rowardennan.  

    If you are concerned about the timings of the bus and ferry, there are plenty of great walks in Loch Lomond area which are just as challenging and offer spectacular views.  An alternative would be to hop on the West Highland Line from Glasgow Queen Street Station to Arrochar and Tarbet Station at the top of Loch Long.   This option may offer a little more flexibility with time although it's still best to plan your day according to the train schedule.   The Scottish Citylink coaches for Oban and Campbletown also pass through Arrochar, with the bus stop being very close to the starting point for many routes.  Again, these may also offer more flexibility with time.   The Cobbler (Ben Arthur), Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime are all fantastic walks in the Arrochar Alps which offer amazing views looking down Loch Long and over to Loch Lomond in the east.

    Last weekend I hiked up The Cobbler on a very windy day and the views were awesome (although my picture doesn't do the view justice).  If you are looking for a good alternative walk with a similar challenge I would definitely recommend this walk. :)


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