Loch Lomond and Rob Roy's Bath tub (aka Falloch Falls)
Another beautiful day at Appletree Self Catering Cottage and we decide to drive up Loch Lomond to Glen Falloch and visit the Glen Falloch Falls which are also known locally as “Rob Roy’s Bath Tub”
From Appletree we drove along the A811 towards through Balloch up to the roundabout with the A82. This took us up the western shore of Loch Lomond with some spectacular views across the water towards Ben Lomond.
At the village of Tarbet the road splits. Straight ahead is the A81 to Arrochar and Inveraray. We stayed on the A82 by turning right towards Ardlui and Crianlarich.
Although still double track this road has quite a lot of bends in it until we reached Inveruglas Visitor Centre and its large car park on the right-hand side of the road. Immediately before arriving at this point it is worth a look out on the left-hand side of the road for the four giant pipes carrying the water from Loch Sloy on the other side of the hill (Ben Vorlich) to the turbine power station beside the main road. For a great walk to Loch Sloy from Arrochar see our previous blog with pictures from August 2017
Further along the road we came to Ardlui, the last village before the head of the loch. It has a railway station, a hotel and a marina as well as a handful of houses. About thee miles after Ardlui we passed the Drovers’ Inn at Inverarnan. Worth a look inside, this ancient hostelry is just what it says on the tin. It provided a welcome rest for the drovers who were taking their cattle and sheep to the markets in the south to be sold. The walk up Ben Glas beside the waterfall is also worth a visit, but that was for an other day. After the Drovers Inn we began to look out for signs to the Falls of Falloch on the right hand side of the road. The sign leads us to a small car park where we leave the car and follow the track north through a pretty birch wood with the fast flowing River Falloch down on our right hand side.
Soon the path arrives at the edge of a huge almost circular pool with a high waterfall flowing into it. The deep peaty pool is about 21 meters (70 feet) across. This is what is known locally as Rob Roy’s bath tub. Whether Rob Roy actually bathed in this pool or not is unknown. It is however the most idyllic spot and popular with walkers and visitors in the summer when swimmers brave the cool waters.
Paths on either side of the pool lead to plunge points where wild swimmers can jump off the top of a cliff into the water. It must be noted however that there are strong currents in the pool, especially around the waterfall and the point at which the water leaves the pool to follow the River Falloch. More information about swimming in Rob Roy’s Bath tub along with information and warnings of certain aspects of the site can be found here: www.walkhighlands.co.uk/news/lets-keep-scotlands-outdoors-special/
Who was Rob Roy?
To those not already in the know, Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734) was a Scottish outlaw and cattleman who later became a folk hero. He took part in the eventually unsuccessful Jacobite rising of 1689 to support King James II of Scotland who had fled to France. More about Rob Roy can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Roy_MacGregor
For those on foot, not wishing to divest and take the plunge, a steel viewing platform has been built out over one side of the pool to enable visitors to see the site safely.
After some time at the bath tub we followed the River Falloch for a bit looking at the other smaller pools until we returned to the car park and were heading back down the road enjoying the views of Loch Lomond.
Nearly back home, we decided to have a quick refreshment at the excellent Clachan Inn in Drymen (https://www.clachaninndrymen.co.uk) which is only five minutes from Appletree Cottage. It is said that this ancient inn, the oldest licensed pub in Scotland, was once managed by Rob Roy’s sister.