Scotland on Sunday Travel, Do Not Disturb
The clue’s in the name, The Inn on Loch Lomond, was just what we were looking for. Off the A82 right on the shores of the famous loch, with rooms, a bar and a restaurant, this four star AA accredited hotel has everything you need from a comfortable base when you’re out exploring in one Scotland’s most beautiful playgrounds.
Sitting three miles north of the village of Luss, there are amazing vistas across the water to Ben Lomond and it is just over half an hour’s drive from Glasgow Airport.
This white painted roadside inn has been serving up hospitality to visitors since 1814 and the roaring fire in the entranceway as the mist hung over the loch was a signal of the warm welcome awaiting. Flagstone floors, exposed stone walls, cowhide sofas and leather chairs invited visitors to sit back and enjoy the laid-back ambience and the views.
Budget or boutique?
Somewhere in between, with four stars.
Our executive double room had a comfortable king size bed and was large and modern with a floor to ceiling window overlooking the loch and those amazing views. Fawn tartan and terracotta tones made for a cosy ambience with a Scottish touch and the white suite and charcoal tiles in the en-suite bathroom were spotless.
A hair dryer, TVs, kettle with tea, coffee and biscuits, and free wi-fi, kept everyone happy and a desk and easy chair made it a comfortable place to relax.
Rooms are easily converted to twins. A short walk from the main building right on the loch side is a beach house with four-poster beds and chaise longues, with views out to the jetty, loch and mountains.
Wining and dining
Mr C’s Fish and Whisky Bar/Restaurant focuses on both, and as well as fishy delicacies like Shetland mussels and a seasonal fish of the day, it offers hearty portions of filling pub grub, served up by amiable staff in a relaxed atmosphere.
Breakfast was a buffet with cereals, fruit, pastries and hot sausages and beans, with staff on hand to take orders for how you like your eggs, setting us up for a day outdoors.
The evening menu, served between 5pm-9pm, covered all of the tried and tested favourites for hungry teenagers and young adults, including burgers (beef, venison, chicken or chickpea falafel all at £13.95) and steaks with the trimmings (£19.95). Desserts included warm sticky toffee pudding (£5.95) and chocolate brownies (£5.50). There’s a children’s menu too. Food can also be ordered to take away.
Worth getting out of bed for
One of the reasons for our trip was to visit Go Ape at Aberfoyle (0333 920 5416, www.goape.co.uk, adults, £33; 10-15s, £25) 40 minutes’ drive away. High in the trees of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park the Tree Top Adventure features two of Britain’s longest zip wires and two to three hours in the trees on Tarzan swings, crossings, ladders and walkways. Under-16s must be over 10 and 4ft7 and have a participating adult with them.
We also walked along the lochside perfecting our stone skimming, and when the hurricane that coincided with our visit made a boat trip impossible, we headed for the 16-metre heated swimming pool, steam room and Jacuzzi at sister hotel The Lodge on Loch Lomond, three miles south at Luss.
Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium (www.visitsealife.com, £13.95 adults/£9.95 child or book online to save 30%) in Balloch was also a big hit with the kids.
An 11am checkout gave us time to enjoy breakfast before hitting the road, and being able to use the swimming pool and spa The Lodge on Loch Lomond is a real boon, especially if you’ve overdone the sticky toffee pudding.
Welcoming and warm, with hearty meals and comfortable beds, right on the waterfront, the Inn on Loch Lomond makes a great base for exploring one of the country’s top beauty spots.
Room rates start from £154 per room per night bed & breakfast, Sunday to Thursday, and from £174-£194 Friday/Saturday. The Inn on Loch Lomond, Inverbeg, Argyll G83 8PD (01436 860678, www.innonlochlomond.co.uk)
Go Ape Aberfoyle, prices 16 and over, £33; 10 to 15, £25 (0333 920 5416, www.goape.co.uk)