Getting Around Loch Lomond
Car Rental: for car hire check out Arnold Clark if you're looking for car or van rental for your Loch Lomond trip.
The south end of Loch Lomond is only 20 miles from the centre of Glasgow by road and even Ardlui at the north end of the loch is under 50 miles from the city centre. The quickest and easiest route is to take the M8 west out of Glasgow to cross over the Erskine Bridge and follow the A82 dual carriageway to Balloch. After Balloch, the upgraded A82 runs along the full length of the west shore of Loch Lomond to its most northern point before continuing onwards to Oban, Fort William and beyond.
The M8 and the Erskine Bridge link into Scotland's main motorway network giving short journeys from Edinburgh and the east coast, and from the north of England via the M74 and the newly opened link road to the M8 and Glasgow city centre.
The 32 miles of the A811 link Stirling and Balloch and offer an alternative trunk road route from the east. This route is ideal for visiting Drymen, Balmaha and the east side of the loch. It also links into the main A809 route north from Glasgow to Drymen via Bearsden and Milngavie.
Further west, Helensburgh is less than 30 miles from Glasgow city centre and links into the main A82 via the A814, which continues north along the shores of the Gareloch and Loch Long to Arrochar. From here it only a couple of miles across to Tarbet on Loch Lomond and the main A82. This is an ideal circular day trip route for seeing a large part of our area including some of its most colourful Spring and Autumn landscapes.
The Loch Lomond area is served by regular and comfortable suburban rail services from Glasgow Queen Street to both Balloch and Helensburgh Lower. Many of these services run through to North Lanarkshire and West Lothian giving fast and easy access to our area from many parts of Scotland.
Both Balloch and Helensburgh Lower are less than an hour's train ride from Glasgow Queen Street and enjoy half hourly services for much of the day. The services also stop at local stations such as Alexandria, Cardross, Craigendoran and Dumbarton, enabling relaxed visits to the many indoor and outdoor attractions in these towns and villages. Don't miss the Scottish Maritime Museum at Dumbarton.
The world famous West Highland Line runs through our area on its way from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. Recognised as one of the world's most scenic railways, it stops at Dumbarton, Helensburgh Upper, Garelochhead, Arrochar & Tarbet and Ardlui on its way north, providing good access to the western and northern parts of the Love Loch Lomond area. There are up to six trains a day in both directions and timetables are ideal for traveling north in the morning and enjoying a day in our great outdoors, before catching an early evening train back to the city.
Full details of all routes. timetables and ticket offers can be accessed at www.scotrail.co.uk.
A wide range of local bus services also run throughout all parts of the Love Loch Lomond area. Full details of timetables etc. are easily accessed on the Strathclyde Passenger Transport website at www.spt.co.uk.
Key routes include the 302 service from Helensburgh to Luss and Arrochar; the 305 from Alexandria and Balloch to Luss; the 306 from Alexandria to Helensburgh; the 309 from Alexandria and Balloch to Drymen and Balmaha; and the 316 from Helensburgh to Garelochhead and the Rosneath peninsula.
As examples, there are half hourly services from Helensburgh railway station to the Rosneath peninsula most days from 9am to 6pm with services running up to 11pm, and up to 10 buses a day between Balloch and Drymen and Balmaha making day visits easy, flexible and great value.
A large part of the Loch Lomond area comprises lochs and river estuaries and travel by water is a great way to visit us and explore our area.
Extensive Water Bus services operate on Loch Lomond well into Autumn, linking villages such as Balloch, Balmaha, Luss, Rowardennan and Tarbet as well as some of the loch's islands. Full details of services and timetables can be found at www.lochlomond-trossachs.org.
A fun way to travel to our area is on the passenger ferry service across the Clyde estuary that links Gourock, Kilcreggan and Helensburgh. It's a 15 minute crossing from Gourock to Kilcreggan and 25 minutes from Kilcreggan to Helensburgh. Services from Gourock link into trains from Glasgow Central Station and there are up to a dozen crossings a day, making the ferry a handy link for anyone planning to explore the Rosneath peninsula. Full details of timetables and tickets can be found at www.spt.co.uk/ferry/about.aspx.
You can fly to Loch Lomond and not just via Glasgow International Airport, which is only a 20 minute journey away.
Award winning Loch Lomond Seaplanes operate two bases on the loch at Luss and Cameron House and offer scenic flights over our area and beyond from their city centre base on the River Clyde next to Glasgow Science Centre.
National Lochs and Glens Cycle Route
What better way to travel to Loch Lomond than along the first stage of the National Lochs and Glens Cycle Route from Glasgow to Inverness? The route begins opposite the SECC in the centre of Glasgow and follows disused railway lines and canal and riverside paths for the 30km to Balloch Castle Country Park at the south of Loch Lomond. En route you'll cycle alongside the Forth & Clyde Canal and the River Leven. There are over twelve adjacent railway stations if you can't manage the full distance. Find route details at Cycle Scotland.
West Loch Lomond Cycle Path
This popular route starts next to Balloch Railway Station at the south of Loch Lomond and runs north along the loch for 27km to Tarbet, where you can catch another train back to Glasgow and the central belt. The path is level, purpose built and traffic free for most of the way with only two short sections on minor roads. You'll find bike racks, toilets and refreshments along the path as you visit picturesque lochside spots like Luss and Firkin Point. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority produce a detailed leaflet for the cycle path, which is available locally or can be downloaded at www.lochlomond-trossachs.org.