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This Summer around Balloch

Hello,
My wife and I want to visit Scotland, rather Balloch and Loch Lomond, from the 7th to the 21st of July and our "home base" will be Balloch.
As it is our first Scotland vacation, of course we have some questions:
How "warm" should our clothes be?
We want to do small hikes every day. Also like in places that can be reached by bus (we have no car). Are there places that can be easily reached by bus and then hike on site (3-4 hours)?
Are the Highland Games (July 14) recommended?
Where are the best photomotive around Balloch?
Are there picturesque castles around Balloch or from there by bus to reach?
I have much more questions....but  :-)

Comments

  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @Horizons Is your best bet to ask about hiking destinations and castles by public transport!
    Lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist for The Bright SkiesTwitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube.
  • ArtravelistArtravelist Member ✭✭
    Hi @Hamlet , you can easily visit Balloch Castle Country Park in the local area. There are some nice walks around there and you can see the castle building. You can also explore the loch with the waterbus and ferry services. It's a great experience to visit a Highland Games if you get the opportunity. You can find out more about the programme at http://www.llhgb.com/html/programme.html
    Be an artravelist with me at artravelist.com
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    How "warm" should our clothes be?
    Really depends on where you're visiting us from. I personally recommend atleast 1 outer layer of clothing that is wind and water proof and shoes that have good grip and water resistant as it can get rainy and windy without notice. Temperatures in July will be around the 12-20C range.
    We want to do small hikes every day. Also like in places that can be reached by bus (we have no car). Are there places that can be easily reached by bus and then hike on site (3-4 hours)?
    I have a few suggestions but I would highly recommend taking 3-4 days out from the middle of your trip to be based in another part of Scotland. Balloch is not really a massive public transport hub but its proximity to Glasgow Central (and the direct train) helps. You should also note that public transport is not the most frequent so be at bus stops 5 minutes before the scheduled time, missing a bus or a train can add an hour to your waiting time so staying disciplined helps.

    Top tip: Find out how far the Citylink bus stop (ID: Lower Stoneymollan Road) is from your accommodation at the earliest convenience as that will be your most convenient link to the rest of Scotland

    Conic Hill should be the 1st hike you do, it's easy, popular and a 30 minute direct bus ride from Balloch (bus 309). It has some superb views of Loch Lomond. Here's a post of my visit to this area.

    Refer to the WalkHighlands page for South and East Loch Lomond for a list of walks in this area. Actually, if doing hikes is a primary motivator for the trip, I suggest setting aside 30 minutes to explore and get comfortable with the WalkHighlands website.

    Other suggestions for nearby hikes: all the ones behind Luss, the village is a must visit as well (bus 305 from central Balloch), The Cobbler (takes an hour of travel each way by bus 926 but is one of the best hikes in Scotland), Ben Lomond (using the bus and the waterbus from Tarbet, might be worth staying overnight in the hostel).

    Suggestions for farther daytrip hikes and castles: Stirling Castle (2 trains, change at Glasgow), Edinburgh Castle (same as before), Linlithgow Palace (same as before), Inveraray castle (direct bus 926), Bidean Nam Bian aka Glencoe's 3 sisters (direct bus 914/916, stay overnight if possible).

    Suggestions for even farther locations where a night stay is mandatory: Isle of Skye (do not miss going here, stay for 2-3 nights, book them asap, direct bus 916), Isle of Arran (2 trains and 1 ferry to Brodick, it has a castle, the Goatfell hike and some of Scotland's best icecream, if staying 2 nights then visit Lochranza but 1 night is good too).

    Do not hesitate to ask any specific questions. My blog (also linked below) should have the answers to all of your questions but I'm happy to answer specifics in this thread. To reduce the cost of travel, I strongly encourage checking out the Two Together railcard (you'll easily cover the £30 cost in 2 weeks if you do some of the trips above) and a 8/16 days Citylink Explorer pass for the duration of your trip.

    P.S. Do visit the Highland Games for an experience like no other, here's a pic from one that I attended. I hope you like pipe bands!


    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 EdinburghSkyeMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

  • HamletHamlet Member ✭✭
    Thank you...
     :) 
  • HamletHamlet Member ✭✭
    I hope you like pipe bands!

    Of course we like. Who will not?

    To reduce the cost of travel...

    Thank you for this tipps. That is what I have looking for, because we will arrive by train from edinburgh-galsgow-balloch but the Timetables are not yet available for July. And most of our tours we want to take by bus (example from Balloch to Rest and be thankful).

    Ome specific question: We will stay at a self catering accommodation. Sometimes in Germany you must take towels and bedsheets with you when you book such hollyday apartment. What is the principle in scotland? Bedsheets and towels included? (Normaly I have only one towel with me, like Arthur Dent) :-)

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    I have always been given bedsheets and towels across my UK travel so I think you should be fine there. Best to email the owner / host to confirm.
    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 EdinburghSkyeMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

  • HamletHamlet Member ✭✭
    Hello
    and thanks.
    Yes I will ask the owner. I think there will be no problem.
    Another question for daily life:
    In Germany we have a deposit-system on bottles (Lemonade, Beer, Sparkling Water etc). Is there such a system in the UK/Scottland?
    And what about splitting Garbage (Plastik to Plastik, Organic to Organic)?
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @Hamlet Scotland is pretty good about recycling, we recycle glass bottles so am not aware of a bottle deposit a la Germany. I have used Glass, paper and cardboard / packing recycling and note that Balloch has recycling points as well as described here
    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 EdinburghSkyeMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

  • HamletHamlet Member ✭✭
    Hello
    Did Someone visit Devil's Pulpit?
    I plan to take the bus (line 309) to the Stop "Drymen Bridge" and then walk over the the village croftamie to the Devil's Pulpit.
    How long does the walk take?

    Devil's Pulpit ...
    ... I read that the steps to the "cave" are very slippery. Is it possible to walk down barefoot to have a better stand? Or are hiking boots also suitable for the underground?
    And is it possible to go barefoot in the water?
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    I haven't by bus so can't specifically comment (I've been to Puck's Glen which I think is somewhat similar wrt topology) but I know @DMWScotland has and she has a lovely blogpost about it.
    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 EdinburghSkyeMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

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