Hotels in Balloch
A pretty village on the south-west shores of one of Scotland's most famous lochs, Balloch is surrounded by the spectacular countryside of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
There are a huge number of things to do here, especially if you love the outdoors. Book one of our Balloch hotels and get exploring.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
With the peaceful, island-filled loch shimmering in the middle of a stunning landscape of mountains, glens, rivers and woodlands, this 720m2 national park is a beautiful place to explore. There's so much to do here both on land and on the water – walking, mountain climbing, horse-riding, mountain biking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, waterskiing, fishing and more. Wildlife watching is another popular activity – look out for otters, capercaillie, ospreys, water voles, black grouse, deer and red squirrels. The park is also home to rare freshwater pearl mussels, and is the only place in Scotland where you'll find the powan, a protected species of whitefish in serious decline.
Balloch Country Park
Within the national park you'll find the 200-acre Balloch Country Park, which has views over Loch Lomond. There are guided walks and nature trails around the park, which has walled gardens, a Chinese garden, a kitchen garden, picnic lawns, woodland and some impressive azaleas and rhododendrons. There's also a play area. Unfortunately Balloch Castle, the category A listed country house built along with the park in the early 19th century, is now ruined and on the Buildings at risk Register for Scotland. The park has hosted concerts by Oasis and REM, which both drew more than 80,000 people, and is the venue for the annual Loch Lomond Highland Games.
SEA LIFE Loch Lomond
The SEA LIFE Loch Lomond aquarium is home to more than 5,000 creatures, including Scotland's largest collection of sharks and the country's only giant green sea turtle. There's also a family of otters, seahorses, octopuses, rays, jellyfish, blue lobsters, moray eels, clownfish, porcupine puffer fish, trigger fish and the brilliantly named tasselled wobbegongs. Many of the animals are endangered species, have been rescued from the wild or have been bred as part of a conservation project. There's a rock pool where kids can touch starfish and crabs, and daily opportunities to see the animals being fed and hear talks about them.
The Loch Lomond Birds of Prey Centre is home to more than 30 birds of prey, including owls, kestrels, buzzards, hawks, falcons and eagles. It is open every day from 09:30 to 18:00 from March to October, and from 10:00 to 16:30 the rest of the time, except Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Loch Lomond Golf Club's 7,100-yard parkland course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, has lovely views of the Highlands. There's also a spa here within the walled garden.
You can watch glassblowers at work at the family run Icefire Glass studio, where glass is fashioned into everything from dolphins and unicorns to perfume bottles and thistles. If you're impressed, there's a shop where you can buy the products. The workshop is part of the Antartex Village shopping centre, a former sheepskin factory now home to shops selling clothing, whisky, shortbread, sweets, jams, gifts and more.
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