Loch Lomond: A UK getaway spot that offers speedboat pub tours and has a speedboat marina

KNOWN FOR being the gateway to The Highlands, Loch Lomond National Park is 720 sq. miles of Scotland at its best.

Expansive lochs, enchanting forests, sprawling glens and imposing mountains typify the country’s first national park, a mere 50-minute drive from central Glasgow.

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The Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond are 720-square-miles of Scotland at its bestCredit to VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins. All Rights Reserved.

This year Loch Lomond and The Trossachs celebrates its 20th anniversary since the official formation — so what better time to visit?

Stay

SET among more than 400 acres of gorgeous Scottish countryside, the 5H Cameron House is undoubtedly the national park’s most lavish resort.

Barack Obama was a recent guest here, and from minute one you’ll feel like a star too.

The five-star Cameron House hotel is undoubtedly the national park’s most lavish resort

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The five-star Cameron House hotel is undoubtedly the national park’s most lavish resortCredit: DOVETAIL PRESS

The welcoming concierge will park your car and have your luggage in the room before you’re checked in.

I work on a cruise ship, we never have a day off but I get to travel for free
Parkdean Resorts has kid-friendly breaks from less than £5pp a night

You can also opt for one the more luxurious suites like Obama’s.

Hunter wellies to wear during your stay and complimentary pre-dinner canapes are fine touches that add to the glamour. Several restaurants, including fine- dining spot Tamburrini & Wishart and a cosy sports pub, pepper the resort, all using local seasonal ingredients.

Your personal guest experience manager will arrange for you to enjoy resort activities such as a cinema, waterside falconry, and 4×4 offroad driving.

There’s also a leisure club with a rooftop infinity pool.

Cycle and walk routes

SCOTLAND’S most southerly munro — that’s a mountain at least 3,000ft high — is Ben Lomond.

This hill walk, which is well-known and well-travelled, takes about five hours to complete. It can also be climbed and lowered depending on your level of ability.

The Loch Lomond National Park memorial sculpture by Doug Cocker

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Doug Cocker’s memorial sculpture in Loch Lomond National ParkCredit: VisitScotland/ Kenny Lam

There’s a car park at Rowardennan Pier, but arrive early.

If hills aren’t your thing, there are plenty of flatter routes for all abilities too, from casual ambles through the pretty conservation villages of Luss and Killin, to pacy rambles towards the old railway line at Glen Ogle.

The West Highland Way and Rob Roy Circular, starting in Drymen, also provides a brief introduction to two of Scotland’s most popular long-distance walking routes.

Cycling holidays are possible in Loch Lomond or The Trossachs.

Cycle Luss is a company that rents bikes. You can add a charcuterie picnic to your ride.

The West Loch Lomond Cycle Path runs for around 17 miles between Balloch and Tarbet, following the water’s edge for epic views across to Ben Lomond and beyond.

The Three Lochs Forest Drive is another popular spot for cyclists, which is part of the NCN7 National Cycle Route.

By car, follow directions for the Duke’s Pass and head up the snaking hillside towards this seven-mile waymarked route.

By bike, follow the NCN7 Lochs & Glens Way through the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre in Aberfoyle.

Here, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of Loch Drunkie, Loch Achray and Lochan Reòidhte.

There are plenty to choose from, including camping spots.

Boat tours

AT Loch Lomond Leisure, groups can book a speedboat pub tour for up to four hours — ideal for stag and hen parties.

Departing from Luss Pier, you’ll dock at waterside pubs in Inverbeg, Inversnaid and Rowardennan.

Chefs Paul Tamburrini and Martin Wishart

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Martin Wishart and Paul Tamburrini are chefsCredit: DOVETAIL PRESS

Judging by the giggling groups often seen zooming over the loch, you’ll have a great time.

It costs £360 per boat, for up to ten people.

But there’s no real need for speed.

In the Trossachs, Loch Katrine — once a holiday site for Queen Victoria — offers slower-paced cruises.

Tours give the best views of the mountain Ben Venue, Queen Victoria’s Royal Cottage, the popular Primrose Hill and beyond.

Loch Katrine, the source of Glasgow’s water, is also home to the famed century-old Walter Scott Steamship, which it is hoped will be back sailing later this year.

Watersports

THE national park is home to 22 lochs, including Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest inland body of water, and Loch Long, whose two arms complete the park’s three sea lochs.

With its calm waters, Loch Lomond is a great place to learn paddling and kayaking.

Loch Lomond is ideal for watersports

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Loch Lomond is a great place to do watersportsCredit: VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins

You will also find several wooded island.

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You should keep an eye out on Inchconnachan’s wallabies, but not on Inchmurrin’s nudists.

Portnellan Farm offers kayaking and paddling rentals.portnellanfarm.co.uk/activities/).

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