Places to Visit in Scotland
- Loch Lomond
Owing much of its fame to the song "The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond" written in 1746 in a Carlisle jail by a homesick Jacobite>, Loch Lomond is a popular tourist attraction. 22.6 miles long, it is not the longest loch in Scotland (Lochs Awe and Ness are longer) but it is the largest expanse of fresh water in Britain. It is 5 miles wide at its broadest point and there are 30 islands, three of them inhabited. Ben Lomond, half way along its eastern side is just over 3,192 feet (973 metres) high and there are 30 islands on the loch.
Its proximity to Glasgow and the rest of central Scotland also makes it a popular spot for day trips. The road from Glasgow to the loch's southern edge is a good dual carriageway though on warm, sunny days it can still be very busy. The road along its western side has been straightened from its former meanderings but minor detours to lochside villages such as Luss (the location for the TV soap "Take the High Road" and illustrated here) are well worth it. There is an excellent restaurant in Luss with home baking - and a log fire on the chillier days. The roads from Tarbert winds beside the loch and the possibility of meeting a tour bus round the next corner slows the traffic considerably.
Many visitors to Loch Lomond never try the east side of the loch by Balmaha and up to Rowerdennan (the end of the road for vehicles though the "West Highland Way" is available for hill walkers). Balmaha is home to wind surfing clubs and there is a lot of boat traffic on the Loch including water skiing. There are also more varieties of fish in Loch Lomond than in any other loch in Scotland, including the "powan" a kind of fresh water herring, marooned in the loch after the last ice age.
Welcome to Loch Lomond> has information on tourist travel, boating resources, accomodation, fishing, maps and weather and the local Tourist Board also provides information on Loch Lomond> and West Dunbartonshire.
There is a Web site for the Maid of the Loch> which hopefully will sail again on Loch Lomond, providing cruises well up the length of the loch.
The 50,000 acres of scenic upland estates of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park> stretches to Loch Lomond and on another site there's a page of photographs> of the Bonnie Banks.
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