Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle, Scotland

Tour provided by Discover Scotland Tours

Glasgow was once the powerhouse of the British Empire. At its peak a quarter of the world’s ships were built here and its history goes back many hundreds of years. Its a fairly compact city that opens up to the beautiful Scottish countryside very quickly, making it a great base for a tour of the highlands and lowlands nearby. We took a tour with Discover Scotland Tours for a full day of exploring and learning about Scotland’s history.

The village of Luss

The first stop is on the banks of the Loch Lomond, one of many lochs in the area and the largest in Scotland. At 24 miles long and 5 miles across at its widest point, its a picturesque part of the world with golf courses aplenty and winding roads with breathtaking views. The small village of Luss has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its pretty rows of houses and scenic walk along the Loch’s shore. No matter what the weather this area of Scotland is quite breathtaking, with vistas for miles on a clear day and a mystical appeal on cloudy days. Be prepared for all weathers as it can change quickly thanks to the hills and mountains. Read more on Luss here.

Loch Lomond bout cruise

An optional extra on the tour by Sweeny Cruises was a 1 hour boat cruise on Loch Lomond itself. Its £8.50 each and starts at an embankment in Balloch on the river Leven. Once the boat has a decent number of passenger its sets off past pretty little boats and out in to Loch Lomond. There’s an audio narration to explain a few points along the way and it takes you as far as Inchmurrin, a private island famed for its ancient castle ruins and its more modern-day use as a nudist beach. It also sits on the fault line that created the mountains and hills all around. This is where the Highlands meet the lowlands. For more information on the cruises go here.

Stop for lunch in Aberfoyle

Our driver, Charlie entertains along the way with facts on every building, castle and folk story you’d ever want to know and stops for lunch at Aberfoyle. A pretty little town with a number of pubs and a large tourist centre. The perfect stop for lunch. The tourist centre is the most popular as the cars and buses park there but just a 2 minute walk away are a number of pubs including the large but cosy Couch House. They even have Haggis on the menu which is surprisingly tasty. A must on any visit to Scotland.

Stirling Castle

After lunch the next destination is the famous Stirling Castle, perched defiantly up on Castle Hill. This is where numerous Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned including Mary, Queen of Scots and her father King James the 5th who had a somewhat jinxed life. Some of the rooms have been redecorated exactly as they would have looked hundreds of years ago. An amazing display of colour and grandeur. Read more about it here.

Tickets are £13 for adults and £6.50 for children. If you’re visiting other destinations in scotland I recommend becoming a “Historic Scotland Member” for free entry, 20% off souvenirs and 10% of cafes at all participating venues. There are many all over scotland so its well worth it. Visit this page for membership information.

More info

Check out our video from the “Great British Road Trip” days 1 and 2.