A fantastic day out on Loch Lomond on a beautiful day out from Appletree Cottage was a big winner.
The boat which had capacity for eight passengers was one supplied and crewed by Portnellan Farm, Gartocharn. - about 15 minutes drive from Appletree Cottage.
The boat is booked by the hour.. This gives great flexibility on where to go and explore on the many islands on the loch.
The boat was one of several available berthed by the long jetty at Portnellan. . Portnellan is reached by heading down Ross Loan by the primary school and turning right after about a mile into the drive down to Ross Priory. Just before you reach the priory .you turn left and continue for about another half mile.
Picnic on Inchcailloch
On this occasion the plan was to have a bit of speed boating to an excellent beach on Inchcailloch. This island is a nature reserve just off the east shore of the loch close to Balmaha. It can also be reached by a passenger ferry from Balmaha and is a great place for families to explore as there is no traffic, there are no roads - just paths across this pretty and now uninhabited island.
.The views across the loch are fantastic. There are twenty two islands and twenty seven islets on Loch Lomond. A few of the islands are inhabited, some just with a holiday house whilst others, having been inhabited in the past are now free of any habitation.
One island (Inchconnachan) is inhabited by Wallabies unusually. Introduced in the 1940s the wallaby population has grown to an estimated 60 animals.
Other islands, or rather islets are old Crannogs - early dwellings built out on the loch for defensive reasons. Soon we arrive at the west facing beach on Inchcailloch
Around the beach on Inchcailloch are a number of picnic tables each with a steel plate at one end for placing a disposable barbecue. The national park think of everything! The gentle sloping sandy bay is perfect for a dip in the warm summer.
There are many other beaches we could have visited on the loch. There is much to explore.
After an afternoon at the beach the speedboat collects us again and gives us another turn of speed on our return to Portnellan.
Another great day out from Appletree Cottage.
Well worth booking ahead as it is a very popular pastime.