My family, our dog and I travelled from the North East to sunny Southern Scotland for the week last week, or should I say more specifically Loch Lomond in the village of Balmaha. It was my first time visiting this neck of the woods in Scotland and I’m already missing the beautiful views and stone cottages. I’m not missing my aching feet though I must say, from exploring and going on what were described as ‘short hill walks’ which turned out to be the very opposite! Lesson learned: always go prepared. There was however coffee shops involved too of course and a few dips in the hot tub which was such a treat. Lucky gal! Anyhow, I thought I would share a few snaps I took whilst I was there and a bit about our trip, including dog friendly eateries (which actually proved quite a struggle) that also had good menus for fussy vegetarians, being my older sister for when we didn’t cook at the lodge and the places we visited encase any of you are thinking of visiting!…
We stayed at the Water Front Lodges on the banks of Loch Lomond which was beau-ti-ful! Although it wasn’t as close to the Loch as we thought, from the photos below you can still see the view and it was only a short walk down! I don’t think I would have liked to be any closer either come to think of it as we had quite a bit of rain. The sun managed to appear towards the end of the trip though which was nice! We even witnessed a wedding going on as they also do wedding venus which I can imagine was so picturesque. (good job I wasn’t in the hot tub at that moment eh.) Oh we did have a power and water cut across Balmaha one evening mind which was fun as you can imagine as well as the boiler almost breaking but I suppose it added to the excitement?
Loch Lomond Waterfront Lodges
On Monday, which was our first full day, we had a walk down into the village which had a local shop, cafe, ice cream parlour etc and a part where you could walk down to see the boats on the Loch.
No surprises here when I say I ordered a hot choc! It was a lovely little cafe which we went to quite a few times but we were surrounded by wasps after the grub! I’m not sure if it was just the time of year but that was the only let down! I had many a family stare at me in a flap. In fact, we saw more wasps than midges! There was also the ‘Oak Tree Inn‘ pub which was next door but unfortunately they don’t accept dogs inside so we couldn’t end up trying it out due to the weather in the evenings so we had to travel further a field! We then walked further up and explored where I took these next snaps, the views were stunning! In the evening we ate at the ‘Queen Of The Loch‘ pub which accepted dogs but let’s just say we didn’t revisit. Over the course of the week we did find some lovely places to eat that accept dogs however which I will come onto later!
I think Tuesday was a bit of a wet day so in the morning we popped into the village again for a coffee and tried to make the most of it but in the afternoon we spent most of it in the lodge having a relax. Blooming shame!
When Wednesday came, we met up with some friends who live in Scotland which was nice at Stirling Castle. We then got some pub grub at ‘The Birds and Bees‘ pub. Wednesday night was the power cut night so we had to make do with pasta on the gas hob that night!
On Thursday, we decided to walk the dog up Conic Hill. Remember the ‘short hill walks’ ? I admit I am unfit but boy this was no hill honey. It was a TRECK and a half. If your not aware of the ‘hill’ , Conic Hill is a ‘sharp little summit’ which rises above and overlooks Balmaha. The view was nice I’ve got to admit when we made it to the, almost top. Looking back, it was a laugh and quite the experience. Luckily we escaped with only a bit of rain. On the evening, we went to ‘The Forth Inn’ pub in Aberfoyle which served the nicest food we had found all week!
On Friday, we got a half an hour ferry ride from Balmaha to Luss, a village on the west bank of Loch Lomond which houses just 800 people. Despite the shower before boarding the ferry, once we got to Luss the weather was glorious! We stopped for some lunch at ‘The Village Rest‘ cafe which accepts dogs inside and out. I’m so glad we stumbled across this cafe on the little Island, I’d definitely recommend! (They even had free WIFI.) We then had a look around the village (shown in the featured image of this post) which also had a beach where we got an ice cream later which Amber could have a swim in – she was in her element! The village itself was beautiful from the flowers to the cottages which were all done out so nicely. There are also four short walks you can do there which is great for dog walkers. All round, this was by far my favourite day.
Saturday was our last full day before leaving on Sunday morning so we made the most of it and drove to Callander in Stirling to have an early lunch. We couldn’t find any dog friendly places until we walked further up the town and came across a department store which also had a cafe on the second floor called ‘Cafe Circa’ which couldn’t have been more dog friendly! The food was also delishh. We then drove from the town to Bracklinn Falls car park where you can walk a circular route round which ends up at the Bracklinn Falls waterfall. This again was quite a walk, especially in the heat that got out so that’s something to bare in mind but it is do able, we were just again, unprepared. For the last evening out, we went to The Drymen Inn.
And that was our week in Loch Lomond! Let me know if you’ve ever been to this part or where your favourite place in Scotland is! Where would you love to visit?