Loch Lomond and the Village of Luss

Map of the Area

The weather has been lovely and sunny so with a few days off work, we took the train to Balloch on the south side of Loch Lomond and cycled to the village of Luss. It was an easy-going day.

The area around Loch Lomond is spectacular and it attracts plenty of visitors from all over the world. I heard French, German and an oriental language, which may have been Japanese, as well as English, being spoken.

Loch Lomond 

Loch Lomond is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain by surface area.The loch also contains many islands, including Inchmurrin, the largest fresh-water island in the British Isles.The Loch is part of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park which was established in 2002.

Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond looking East

Crannogs

Loch Lomond has many small islands called ‘crannogs’. These were built by Iron Age people over 2500 years ago when wooden piles were placed in the loch to enable dwelling places to be built free from predators. They were accessed by a causeway.

In later periods rocks were added to the wooden structures to make an island and to allow dwelling places to be constructed with rocks. In the photograph below a crannog can be seen in behind the small boats.

Crannog
Cameron House Hotel
Cameron House Hotel and resort

The five-star Cameron House Hotel and Resort is situated on the banks of loch Lomond. It has an 18-hole Championship golf course, a luxury resort spa and a range of outdoor pursuits.
When we were there, a seaplane was taking visitors on a flight around the area. We watched the seaplane departing on another journey with a full complement of passengers.

Seaplane at Loch Lomond

We then continued on the cycle path to Luss. Although it is not compulsory to cycle on the cycle path, it is recommended, as it is adjacent to the busy A82 road. The cycle path is an old footpath and has quite a few blind bends in it so care has to be taken when riding along.

Queen’s Tree


Across from the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel in Luss is the Queen’s Tree. This was planted to commemorate HM Queen Elizabeth II, on 9 September 2015, overtaking her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria to become the longest reigning monarch in British history. The tree is a Red Oak (quercus robur), and its base is surrounded by an inscribed stone circle.

Queen’s Tree, Luss

Luss

One of the things visitors notice about Luss is the colourful displays of flowers in the village. Many of the villagers have good displays of flowers in front of their houses. Below shows some of the displays.



Luss Parish Church

The church in Luss, which was built in 1875, used to performs more marriages in Scotland than any other church. This was scaled down in 2013 at the request of the then minister who wanted to spend more time with the 750,000 visitors to the area. 

Luss Parish Church
Luss Parish Church Entrance
At the entrance to the church is a quote from the Psalm 122 v1 “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” When we were there, a coach load of French visitors were being shown round the church.
 
Luss Pier
 

Luss has a small pier from where many small ferries take visitors on trips around the loch. Visitors can visit many areas and islands on the loch including Rowardennan, Balloch and Balmaha and visit the islands including Inchmurrin and Inchcailloch.

Some of the ferries also have bike racks so it is possible to take a bicycle and continue with a tour in another area of the loch.

A Mute Swan and Cygnets at Luss Pier
Luss Heilan’ Coos
 
There were some Highland Cows in a field in Luss – a mother and two calves. These were very popular with the visitors and the cows were enjoying all the attention they were getting. As it was very warm, the cows were having a wee lie down.
Luss Heilan’ Coos

After a great day in Luss, we cycled back to Balloch to have some fish and chips in Palumbo’s cafe before making our way to the train station for the journey home.

Further Information

Luss

Luss (Visit Scotland)

Palumbo’s of Balloch

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Bluebells

When I was golfing last weekend I noticed some bluebells growing in the woodland adjacent to the course. As it was not very considerate to start taking photographs during a round of golf, I decided to go back at a later time to capture these lovely woodland flowers.

Bluebells are an indication of ancient woodland and are commonly found in many areas of the UK. They are protected in the UK under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

Below are some photographs of these lovely flowers. More images can be seen here.

White bluebell
Close-up of a bluebell
Wild Garlic
Bluebells
Bluebells

Some bluebells lack the blue pigment and are white in colour as can be seen above. There only a few of the white ones in the wood.

The white flowers above are Wild garlic. This has a strong odour but is a lovely flower and it can also be used in cooking. I have not tried it but some of my friends who love cooking tell me it adds flavour to many dishes.

Unexpected Visitors on the Golf Course

On my way back I walked through the golf course and was surprised to meet two women dressed all in black with niqab headwear walking on the fairway. I got a bit of a shock as it was quite an unexpected occurrence to see Muslim women on a golf course. 

They told me they were looking for the River Clyde and Strathclyde Park. I had to escort them off the course as they were in danger of being hit by golf balls and take them to the path which led to the river. They were very friendly and told me they had recently moved from Bangladesh.

I gave then some information about the area and pointed out some areas of interest before leaving them to enjoy the River Clyde and Strathclyde Park. 

It had been an eventful day! 

Feathered Winter Visitors

Since my last post I have been attending my archery classes and taking photographs for various people which has taken up a lot of my time. However, today was lovely and sunny and just perfect for a spot of digiscoping at the local bird pond. 

The winter visitors are here and we managed to get some nice photographs of many the birds. Even although the scope can stretch quite a distance, some of the birds were just a bit too far away to photograph them to a good standard.

Below are some of the photographs we took.

The Canada geese always photograph well because they are large birds and also seem to come closer to the water’s edge than the other birds. In the summer I posted some photographs of the young birds which were on the golf course. They have all grown up now.

Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Whooper Swans
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Whooper Swans

The Whooper swans above include two juveniles – their white beaks dull brown feathers identify them as immature.

Other birds on the pond were Great crested grebes, Tufted ducks, Gadwall, Black-headed gulls, and a Heron. It is a busy pond with plenty of birds to see.

There will not be too many sunny days this winter so it was very enjoyable today.

The Canada geese always photograph well because they are large birds and also seem to come closer to the water’s edge than the other birds. In the summer I posted some photographs of the young birds which were on the golf course. They have all grown up now and are difficult to spot.

The Whooper swans above include two juveniles – their white beaks dull brown feathers identify them as immature.Other birds on the pond were Great crested grebes, Tufted ducks, Gadwall, Black-headed gulls, and a Heron. It is a busy pond with plenty of birds to see. There will not be too many sunny days this winter so it was very enjoyable today.

We did pack up a bit early as there was a man lurking about in the trees watching us and we were a bit afraid he was intending to steal our equipment or attack us.