Things to Do

Things to do near Loch Lomond

There are so many things do to near Loch Lomond and in the Trossachs that narrowing down to just a few can be tricky! Ballat Smithy Cottage sits near the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, and on the edge of a national park. Whilst it will feel like you have left civilisation behind when you stay with us, you’re actually only half an hour from the nearest city of Stirling. This means one day you can be up a mountain, and the next you’re shopping for new clothes.

Here are a few of our favourite Loch Lomond attractions.

What’s on Loch Lomond

If you are looking for water-based activities, then Loch Lomond has it all. You could spend the day fishing the waters for salmon, trout and pike. Make sure you get yourself a fishing permit first, or try one of the many local fisheries like that on the Lake of Menteith.

If you’d like to spend time on the water, book a spot on a cruise! You can see the islands dotted around the loch. You can also Cruise Loch Katrine on the Sir Walter Scott, or sail down the Clyde on the P.S. Waverley.

And if you want something a bot more adrenaline-fuelled like cliff jumping, then you can do that too with Go Country Adventure on nearby Loch Ard.

Exploring the Trossachs

If you’re looking to get a good stretch of your legs, then this is the place to be. There are walks to suit everyone, high or low level, long or short, easy or strenuous. Walk by the banks of the Endrick Water or Loch Lomond, Queen Elizabeth Forest, Country Parks, Nature Reserves. Many sections of the West Highland Way and the John Muir Way coast to coast route are easily reached. The Three Lochs Way, with its specatcular views, is close by, and the lovely Rob Roy Way begins near here in Drymen.

For hillwalkers there are ‘easy’ hills such as Ben An, to more difficult such as Ben Lomond, The Cobbler or the mountains of Perthshire. Walk Highlands has comprehensive information.

This is also a great place to climb on two wheels and take to the road. The cottage has a secure storage area for bikes, or they can be hired in Drymen and Aberfoyle. There are numerous very good routes in the Queen Elizabeth Forest, around Callander and from Drymen to Balloch and Aberfoyle.

If you’d rather take to four legs, then there are several British Horse Society and TRSS Approved Trekking and Riding Centres within travelling distance of the cottage. Please ask for details at the cottage.

Discover Scotland’s Wildlife

Have you ever seen a capercaille? Or a red squirrel? Or eagles soar over your head? This is all possible here. There are several Scottish Wildlife Trust and RSPB reserves in the area. Loch Lomond is internationally important with many rare species. For example you might find kingfishers on the Endrick, ospreys on Loch Lomond and the Lake of Menteith and ptarmigan on the high tops. Capercaillie and red squirrels can be seen at Aberfoyle. You might even see eagles, pine marten, otters and bluebells in spring. Take your binoculars though – they are very good at hiding!

Golfing and sports near Loch Lomond

There are the world famous Championship courses at St. Andrews and Gleneagles, and many smaller local courses, for example at Aberfoyle, Balfron, Buchanan, Strathendrick, Callander, Stirling. 

South of St Andrews are the lovely links courses at Crail, which are highly recommend.

For something a bit more speedy, you could have a go on four wheels at Knockhill Motorsports. Live out your dreams of being Super Mario on their karts, or James Bond in a supercar. This is a must-visit for every petrolhead!

History, art & culture

Central Scotland is steeped in history going back all the way to the dinosaurs! At nearby Victoria Park in Glasgow, you can visit a fossilized forest that last grew over 300 million years ago. More recently, history has included everything from Robert Burns to Rob Roy and Charles Rennie Mackintosh to the Adam brothers. Visit Edinburgh and Stirling Castles; National Trust properties; Glasgow and Edinburgh museums and art galleries; music festivals, theatres and concerts.

Anything else?

There’s still plenty to keep you coming back for more!