A new route has started today, 6th July 2016, on the fantastic Loch Lomond Waterbus service, opening up new opportunities for visitors exploring the islands and surroundings of the world-famous loch – and joining up island visits with walking and cycling trips.
The new Waterbus route will go between Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch to Inchmurrin and then on to Inchcailloch, giving people the opportunity to explore two of Loch Lomond’s most popular islands.
Furthermore the Inchmurrin service includes a morning tea/coffee and scone, or soup and a sandwich at lunchtime, depending on what time you sail.
This new route will be run by Clyde Cruises, who join Cruise Loch Lomond, Sweeney’s Cruises and SS Sir Walter Scott in offering Waterbus services across the National Park.
Situated only 50 minutes by train from Glasgow, Balloch is the southern gateway to the National Park and the Waterbus not only provides a great way to see Loch Lomond, it is a good strategic choice for those who are looking to visit the surrounding area. People can also travel from Glasgow directly to Arrochar/Tarbet train station and after a short 10 minute walk to Tarbet pier, will be able to explore the most northern parts of Loch Lomond by Waterbus – right to Inveruglas, wht its fabulous artwork cum viewpoint down the loch, An Ceann Mor. Both of these routes are an excellent choice for walkers and cyclists.
The service between the Ardlui Hotel and Ardleish Farm on the eastern shores, running from 9am to either 6pm or 7pm daily, seven days a week from April to October provides access to points along the West Highland Way making it a great option for those wishing to walk or cycle part of the long distance route.
In addition, there’s increased frequency of the service between the picture postcard lochside village of Luss on the west shore and Balmaha on the east side, providing more opportunities to explore Conic Hill and the Millennium Trail, both very popular walks.
For those wanting to explore beyond Loch Lomond the Waterbus to Inversnaid and from there a walk or cycle [on hilly terrain] to Stronachlachar is a further option. From there is the choice of a sail on beautiful Loch Katrine – made famous by Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake – or a cycle, on relatively flat terrain – around the north of the loch.
Mairi Bell, head of tourism for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park says: ‘We are thrilled to be opening this new Waterbus route today, giving people even more options for exploring the Loch and creating great days out in the National Park. This route from Balloch is just a few minutes’ walk from the train and makes it easier than ever for visitors to leave their car at home and visit Loch Lomond.
‘We’ve seen a rise in people wanting to take in the spectacular scenery of the National Park by foot, by bike, by boat, or by a combination of the three. The new route will help visitors to join up their journeys and experience a wide range of activities that allow them to make the most of their visit.’
These routes also offer all of us who know the loch best from inside a car on the A82 the possibility of taking to he water in a variety of convenient directions – and on return trips – to get to know this celebrated water we sort of take for granted as it ought to be experienced.
Further information on attractions and activities in the National Park including walks, cycle routes and Waterbus services is on the Park’s website here.