Things to do with kids at Appletree Cottage, Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
Very Local Easy Walks …
Walk up Duncryne Hill – about 10 minutes drive and 15 minutes to get up to the top. Fantastic views across Loch Lomond. Very satisfying brief walk.
Walk along old railway line over good high bridge over the River Endrick
When you’re here we can point out other good walks, local and otherwise.
There are also Nature Reserves nearby if that is of interest.
Buchanan Arms Hotel Swimming Pool and Spa - Day membership usually available, 5 mins drive, for wet weather cover.
(Appletree Cottage has Netflix if things get desperate.)
Sealife Centre in Balloch (buy tickets at the tourist office which are almost half the price of tickets on the door.) https://www.visitsealife.com/loch-lomond/
Tree Zone tree top adventure in Balloch (next Lomond Shores ) – about 20 minutes drive https://treezone.rezdy.com/catalog/46981/treezone-loch-lomond
A short stroll from the Sealife Centre (above) and the Maid of the Loch Paddle Steamer…
Maid of the Loch – paddle steamer http://www.maidoftheloch.org - open for tea and exploration within.
Sweeney’s Cruises on Loch Lomond https://www.sweeneyscruiseco.com
Various cruises commencing from Balloch, Balmaha and Luss
Medieval Castle on top of a rock with fantastic views over the Clyde Estuary
Lomond Shored Weekend Market
A weekend market at Loch Lomond shores during October
East Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine and Lake of Menteith - about 20-40 minutes away
Take the short passenger ferry from Balmaha boatyard across to Inchcailloch nature reserve. No cars or houses on this island but great exploring paths and nice beach at the far end. Picnic tables by the beach have a metal sheet on which to place your portable barbecue for an alfresco lunch. https://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/things-to-see/inchcailloch/
Back at Balmaha The Oak Tree is great for lunch with a good menu and nice atmosphere and excellent smoked salmon salads – and sometimes their own beers for grown ups! https://www.theoaktreeinn.co.uk/
North of Balmaha there are good beaches on the loch and paths through the woods.
Lake of Menteith – ferry from Port of Menteith to Inchmahome ruined priory on the island.
(open till 31 Oct) https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/inchmahome-priory/getting-there/ (about 25 mins drive)
Also see photos on our blog page at www.lomondappletree.co.uk
Loch Katrine Cruise – cruise up the loch to the lovely tea room at Stronachlacher and back again. Alternatively, hire a bike (at ferry point) and cycle back along the very quiet lochside road (about 40 mins drive)
Stronachlachar tearoom right on the loch is attractive and good for a light lunch https://www.thepiercafe.com/cafe-bistro-bar/
Alternatively a nice lunch for this day can be had at The Byre, Brig o’Turk which is about 10 mins from Loch Katrine Ferry base
Over by Stirling (which is about 35 mins drive)…
Blair Drummond Safari Park (open till 28th October) https://www.blairdrummond.com
Stirling Castle, Stirling – 35 minutes drive https://www.stirlingcastle.scot
National Wallace Monument, Causewayhead, Stirling – about 15 mins drive from the castle
Great views from the top on a nice day! : https://www.nationalwallacemonument.com
Pony Trekking and Segway Trekking http://www.castlerednocktrekking.com/prices_and_booking_info.html
(there are some pony trekking places closer to Appletree but the Segway looked interesting.
Excellent state of the art 3d holographic imagery is used to tell the story of this epic battle.
Very much aimed at kits as well as grown ups
Glasgow, good for wet weather cover and less than 45 minutes drive - or train
Lake of Menteith is Scotland’s only lake (everything else is a loch).
Wikipedia differs on this point citing a few other lakes – but all very small.
The word 'lake' in this case is supposed to have been a misinterpretation of 'Laich of Menteith' which means lowlands of Menteith.
There is no public jetty on the lake and so all boats have to be hired on site.
The shores are particularly good for bird spotting - especially in the early hours of the day.
After a few minutes boat ride we arrive at the small stone pier. Following a few notes about the island given by the somewhat bumptious skipper we are permitted to disembark.
The buildings are in a semi ruinous state but the remains and the surrounding grounds around them have been beautifully maintained and are in pristine condition. Information boards around the buildings give visitors a guide as to what the various sections were used for and some artistes reconstructions are interesting.
Among its many prominent visitors the priory was one of many hide-away places for Mary Queen of Scots as she sought to escape the clutches of Elizabeth 1st and her court.
Soon we are safely ashore and back in the car and heading back to Appletree Cottage, having had a thoroughly magical time on this mystical island.
From Appletree Self Catering Cottage to Luss
From Appletree Cottage we drive to Croftamie then along the A811 to Balloch. We travel straight through Balloch and up onto the A82 towards Crianlarich. After another fifteen minutes we see a turn off to Luss on the right. Shortly after this on the left is a single track road signposted Glenn Luss. We turn into this single track road and park on the right - just opposite the Faerie Trail experience (A fairy forest trail for younger children, website at: https://www.lochlomondfaerietrail.com)
Close to where we parked (no charge) and on the same side of the road is the beginning of a path to Ben Dubh with a signpost pointing the way.
In the picture below the small island just off Luss is Fraoch Eilean. Tradition has it that if you caused trouble you could end up on Fraoch island. In one map of 1792 plan of Dunbartsontshire Fraoch Eilean is marked as "Luss Prison"
All in all a fantastic and relatively easy peaceful walk with fantastic views throughout – and now back to Appletree Cottage with plans for a return trip another day!
Strathendrick Golf Club near Appletree Cottage
Appletree Self Catering Holiday Cottage, in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park
Nearly every review has referred to the warm comfortable spaciousness of the house which was especially built (in 2016) for holiday rentals for eight people..
Many guest in their reviews refer to the stunning views whilst others mention the fact that all bedrooms are en-suite and well appointed. The underfloor heating, wood burning stove and private patio are also a big hit.
Visitors to Appletree Self Catering Cottage have been fascinating and interesting - and from all over the world - America, Aisia, Australia and Europe. Many Scots and English choose Appletree Cottage for their get-away holiday. We enjoy meeting and welcoming our guests on arrival. We give a quick tour of the cottage, showing where everything is and how things like the oven and microwave work, answering any queries about local interests, places to eat, shop etc. before leaving our guests in privacy and to their own devices.
Appletree Vacation Rental Cottage is off a quiet single track road in the south (and most popular) end of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Superbly located for exploring the beauties of the west of Scotland there's a huge number of activities on the doorstep and close by. Despite this the area is not crowded and easy to get around.
Please see the Out and About tab on our website for a list of some of the many things to do within easy reach of Appletree Cottage, Loch Lomond.
Appletree Self Catering Cottage can be booked directly at our website (www.lomondappletree.co.uk), via Airbnb or Owners Direct or Tripadvisor.
And we still have a few dates left in May and over the summer if you hurry!
The following is from the Show's website: www.drymenshow.com
"Drymen Show is a fun filled family day out on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond
On the day there is a wide range of entertainment and educational attractions representing the best of our local farming and rural communities.
There will be judging of some of the finest livestock including: Clydesdale Horses, Highland Ponies, Light Horses, Cattle and Sheep.
There will also be numerous other attractions including a fun fair, helicopter rides, trade stands, main ring attractions and pet and craft tents.
We also have classes and competitions to see in our rural and school tents, including our very own "Drymen Show Bake Off" .
Come along and join us for a fabulous family day out"
June 2 Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games
(about 30 mins drive from Appletree Holiday Cottage, Loch Lomond)
The show's website is www.helensburghandlomondgames.co.uk from which the following is taken:
"The Helensburgh & Lomond Highland Games are run by local people on a voluntary basis who give up their time to put on a spectacular event of traditional sport and dance. Helensburgh Highland Games go back to the 1889, but the more modern version was started in 2008. Although in its infancy, it is already establishing itself as a popular local event for both local people and visitors to the area. In 2011, it even featured on the BBC's flagship evening programme, The One Show.
Traditionally Games linked to a Scottish Clan but Helensburgh is unique in being linked to two local Clans; the Colquhoun's and MacAulay's (whose tartan adorns the bottom of this website) and who's Clan Chiefs alternate the duties of Games Chieftain. Included in the games are the Heavies competition with events such as Tossing the Caber. The Heavies competition is now becoming a regular for the best Heavies in the UK There is also Highland Dancing and Athletics. The wonderful part is that both young and old alike can take part and because of the handicapping system for some races, different age groups can race against each other. The main events are open to all comers and have prize money for those taking part"
(about 30 minutes drive from Appletree Self Catering Cottage, Loch Lomond)
"The Bearsden & Milngavie Highland Games has 42 years of history behind it. What started as a small fundraising event in 1974 has developed into the biggest single day out in East Dunbartonshire. This family orientated event is immensely popular with the local community of Milngavie, Bearsden and the surrounding areas. We also attract visitors from all over the world.
THE EVENT IS FREE TO THE PUBLIC
Included in the menu of events throughout the day are all the usual traditional Highland Games events; Wrestling, Pipe Bands, Heavies, Arm Wrestling and Scottish Dancing. On top of that we have the Haggis Hurling World Championship. And great family events like Jellympic Games and Water Wars. There are fairground rides, bouncy castles and shows; on-site catering and beverage, as well as exhibitors and trade stalls.
(Dukes pass and Aberfoyle are about 20 minutes drive from Appletree Self Catering Cottage Loch Lomond)
the following is from the website:
"The Trossachs Ton offers the mighty Double Duke; two ascents of the Duke's Pass on the Champion route. It's one of the best ride outs in Scotland in an area of outstanding beauty with mountains and forests, making this bike ride such a pleasure despite the hills.
Starting out from Stirling with a choice of two distances, the Classic 75 mile route offers a nice ride with Crow Road and a single Duke pass whilst the Champion route at 106 miles is ideal if you’re an experienced sportive rider.
Expect a great day in the saddle raising funds to help sick and disabled babies and children on this cycling event with first class support throughout the day.
(a bit further away this one - 2 hours drive from Appletree Cottage, Loch Lomond. However, you could take the train from Helensburgh Upper to Oban along the very scenic West Highland Railway for a great day out.
Helensburgh Upper is about 30 minutes from Appletree Self Catering Cottage Loch Lomond - see previous blog)
"Join us on 24 June 2018 for a fun filled day out
Staged in the town of Oban at Mossfield Park, the games are locally called The People’s Games.
The games has all the favourite elements of a good Scottish Highland Games including caber tossing, hammer throwing and tug o’war - action you’d expect from a top event. You can even take part in the track and field events or just relax and enjoy the Highland Dancing Competition or Pipe Band Display.
(about 30 minutes drive from Appletree Holiday Cottage, Loch Lomond)
(about 15 minutes drive from Appletree Self Catering Cottage, Loch Lomond)
"Loch Lomond Highland Games are a traditional Scottish Highland Games situated in the village of Balloch at the southern end of Loch LomondThe games were started in 1967 by a group of local business men with an outlay of £500 to promote tourism in the Balloch area and now has prize money of over £15,000.
We are now a Private Limited Company and this year obtained Scottish Charity status.
The games are now one of the top three Highland Games in Scotland hosting the Scottish Highland Games Association World Heavyweight Championship and the 80 metre Scotttish Sprint Championship.
This did not include a further 350 competitors competing in other events throughout the day such as pipng, athletics, wrestling, cycling, dancing and all the usual heavyweight events.
So join us for a great day out on the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.
- Adult £5.00
- Juvenile £3.00
- Family (2 Adults & 3 Juveniles) £13.00
- Over 60's £3.00"
(about 1 hour drive from Appletree Self Catering Cottage, Loch Lomond)
The following is copied from the website:
"World Caber Championships
The games start with a pipe band parade at 10.45am from Inveraray Town Centre. Admission prices are Adults £8, Seniors £5, Children £3 and a Family Ticket £20 available on the day at the gate. Free parking is available at the games. Well behaved dogs on leads are allowed on the field. The games are well sign posted from Inveraray.
We look forward to welcoming you to the grounds of Inveraray Castle, the venue of the Inveraray Highland Games. The Games celebrate our rich culture and heritage with field and track events, piping, highland dancing competitions and heavy events including the world championships for tossing the caber. You will also find a good selection of local Scottish food and drink stands as well many trade and charity stalls. Trade and Catering enquiries can be sent to email@example.com. There is also childrens entertainment including fair rides."
Highland dancing consists of three dances; the Highland Fling is said to mimic Red Deer on the hill, the Sword Dance and the Seann Triubhas which is a celebratory dance for the reintroduction of the kilt after its proscription in 1746.
PipingBagpipe music has come to symbolise the highland games and Scotland itself. As well as the solo piping competition which runs the whole day, pipe bands play many crowd-pleasing favourites. The piping competition takes most of the day.
Heavy & Light Events
The heavy events are the highlight of any highland games and the Caber World Championship will be contested again this year at Inveraray. Other events include the hammer throw, weight throw, weight over the bar and the stone putt. Light events include running, cycling, long jump, high jump and wrestling. The heavy and light events take most of the day.
Inveraray & district is where you will find the very best of Scotland. It is the traditional county town of Argyll and ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, who founded the town in 1745, alongside his new dwelling, Inveraray Castle. There is lots to do and see in Inveraray, the gateway to the Highlands and Islands. It offers access to national parks, mountains, glorious gardens and beautiful islands."
(about 40 minutes drive from Appletree Holiday Cottage Loch Lomond)
the following is taken from the website:
"Imagine the scene: Colourful pipe bands, elegant highland dancers, huge strongmen tossing the caber. A multitude of other events, stalls and entertainments spread out in a picturesque and historic setting. Bridge of Allan is one of Scotland’s premier Highland Games, attracting crowds of between 8,000 and 10,000 people. The games field nestles between Stirling Castle – Scotland’s grandest historic attraction, the beautiful Ochil Hills and the National Wallace Monument, made famous by the blockbuster movie, Braveheart.
The games themselves offer a packed programme of traditional cultural and sporting events. Crowd-pleasing heavyweight competitions, almost two hundred highland dancers and more than a thousand pipers are just some of the highlights of the day.
You can also enjoy running, cycling and wrestling, browse among trade stands and craft stalls and enjoy a wee refreshment or two as you go. For the young ones there’s more thrills to enjoy in the popular funfair, adjoining the Games field.
Whether you live in Scotland and you’re looking for a fascinating day out or you’re visiting on holiday, you can’t fail to be impressed by such a concentration of traditional Scottish events and entertainment. The climax of the day – the massed pipe bands – is one of the most inspiring and emotional sights of Scotland.
Bridge of Allan Highland Games is run to professional standards by dedicated local volunteers. We look forward to meeting you in August!
(about 45 minutes travel from Appletree Vacation Rental Cottage, Loch Lomond)
"Scotland is the perfect stage for events and as a long-standing supporter of the Worlds, EventScotland looks forward to welcoming spectators and performers back to Glasgow next year for another exciting year of the Championships."
As well as the best Pipe Bands in the world, the event also hosts Highland Games, Highland Dancing and a great showcase of Scottish food and drink.
This year, the Worlds, as they are affectionately known, are part of the celebrations for Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. The World Pipe Band Championships are being supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland's Events Directorate."
(about 35 minutes drive from Appletree Holiday Cottage Loch Lomond)
the following is taken from the website:
"Stirling Highland Games is one of the City of Stirling’s signature annual events welcoming visitors from around the world to central Scotland to see our traditional Highland games competitions.
Our games field is located behind Stirling Sports Village and offers spectacular views over to the Wallace Monument, Cambuskenneth Abbey and Stirling Castle. We have a full programme of traditional Highland games competitions on offer including Running, Youth Running, Cycling, Highland Dancing, Heavyweights, long jump and triple jump. We will also showcase several Piping Performances throughout the day.
We look forward to welcoming you on Saturday 18th August 2018 and have made sure there is plenty to see, do and taste. Our Traders Village will showcase a delicious range of food and coffee servers, craft and whisky stalls and activities to take part in. We also have an onsite bar so you can enjoy refreshments throughout the day whilst enjoying Games Day with friends.
Tickets can be bought at the gate on the day or at a discount in advance through our online shop.
(about 2 hours drive from Appletree Self Catering Cottage Loch Lomond. Or you could take the train from Helensburgh Upper (30 mins from Appletree Cottage) to Oban along the very scenic and famous West Highland Line - see previous blog for more information)
the following is taken from the website:
"Welcome to the Agyllshire Gathering’s Oban Games website. You will find all the latest news here about the next Oban Games which is on Thursday 23 August 2018
Exhilarating, flamboyant and colourful, Highland gatherings provided an opportunity to renew clan contacts, declare loyalties and settle scores. However they were also politically significant with chiefs and chieftains meeting to discuss important issues of the day.
Today, they enable the clans to get together to socialise and entertain their friends. At Oban, we are fortunate that our President, The Duke of Argyll, is there on the day to preside over events and present prizes. In addition, several other clan chiefs are always to be seen enjoying the fun."
(About 15 minutes drive from Appletree Self Catering Lodge, Loch Lomond)
the following is taken from the website:
If you’re keen to try an open water swim, but don’t know where to start, then why not have a go at our brand new Great Scottish Swim250 event?
What is it?
250 metres (the equivalent of 10 lengths of a standard 25 metre pool) of open water swimming/splashing/doggy-paddling in the beautiful waters of Loch Lomond.
When: Saturday 25 August 2018
Where: Loch Lomond, Scotland
Who: Anyone aged 8 years old and over, suitable for all abilities
How much: £20 per entry (junior), £15 per entry (individual)
Great Scottish Swim250 is the ideal event for new or nervous swimmers, families, and children aged 8 and over, where you can literally test the water and get a feel for swimming in the great outdoors.
Wetsuits are compulsory and every child aged 12 and under must be accompanied by one adult (per child). Anyone aged 18+ years old is classified as an adult.
For children aged 8 - 12 years old the entry payment is £20, which includes the entry of one adult per child. For anyone aged 13 years old and over the entry is £15 per entry.
Places are limited for this fun, family-focussed event so make sure you secure yours today!
Please note: Entries are now closed for the Scottish Swim 250 - Junior aged 8-12.
When we arrived at Oban in the late morning we walked round onto the Railway Pier which is adjacent to the railway station and found the famous green seafood shack.
The choice and quality of the seafood is amazing. Lobsters, crabs, crayfish, prawns, scallops and much more. Whilst we were waiting for our order we noticed a Japanese group who had ordered lobster and crayfish. They were kind enough to allow us to photograph their choice!
Oban is only a couple of hours away from Appletree Holiday Cottage Loch Lomond but has much to offer - especially for enthusiasts of fish and seafood!