From Balmaha to Milarrochy Bay: A Walk for All Ages
Scotlandhour Twitter chat founder Douglas Baird shares one of his favourite Loch Lomond walks and days out with us in this guest blog.
Douglas says, "As a family we love Loch Lomond and we thought we’d share one of our favourite walks which is easy and enjoyable for all the family".
Our walk begins from the Oaktree Inn, Balmaha. The Oak Tree Inn is a lovely country pub with rooms which has great food and beer – just perfect to chill out after a long walk. (We return here later for refreshments after our walk along the Bonnie Banks). Moving on from The Oak Tree we pass a charming small cottage: Passfoot Cottage started out as a toll house in the 18th Century and it’s now a bed and breakfast, situated next to the Balmaha Boatyard.
We continue to the boatyard, where you can take the famous mail boat ovr to the Island of Inchcailloch - a great day trip and another personal family favourite. Balmaha Boat Yard was founded in the 1860's and is still run by the MacFarlane family today.
Our walk then leads us along a narrow path, which in Spring is surrounded by yellow Broom. We cross a steel grid bridge (it always makes us smile when we see small people carrying large dogs across the bridge). It’s here that great views across the Loch begin. The weather we experienced was not perfect but it was dry. On a sunny day, though, you can see the top of popular mountain Ben Lomond: the most Southernly Munro, and the nearest one to Glasgow. (A Munro is a mountain over 3000ft).
The nice thing about this walk is that it also offers the opportunity to walk along the beach, where our grand-daughter has great fun throwing stones into the water. The beaches on the east shore are popular camping spots. As we walk through the woods we stop to talk to a bird watcher - a very knowledgeable guy. As well as the chance to spot wildlife, in Spring these woods have a lovely covering of Bluebells.
We now join the West Highland Way, a long distance path, 96 miles long, running from Milngavie, just north of Glasgow to Fort William in the highlands, with an element of hill walking in the route. It’s estimated that over 30,000 walkers walk the entire route every year.
After a short while, we arrive at Milarrochy Bay: a lovely spot with great views across the loch and a popular spot for boating with a campsite at the north end of the bay. Milarrochy is also a popular spot for photographers – almost everyone likes to photograph the lone tree with the mountains in the background. Unfortunately for us on this particular day, the weather spoiled our view of the mountains.
After a short rest make our way back to Balmaha along the same route from which we set out. It’s an easy walk with great views across the loch and fun day out for all the family which we’d recommend.
Our last stop is back at The Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha, for some much needed refreshment and a chat before the short drive home.
Visit Douglas Baird’s Great Travel Images website and explore his love for Loch Lomond. Follow Doublas on Twitter @bairdtravels