How to Survive Cycling in Scotland

A trip to the shops in Scotland by bike is not as easy as in mainland Europe

One of the things you will notice once you move to Scotland is the fact that there are barely any bikes on the road. Fair enough, it’s raining a lot here, but that doesn’t usually keep people inside. Unfortunately, rain is not the biggest enemy of cyclists in Scotland. It’s the fact that roads are generally not made for anyone on a bike.

The infrastructure only includes a few cycle paths, which is especially a high risk on busy streets downtown. And on narrow countryside roads with big hedges on each side, it’s almost impossible to go for a nice cycle on the road without fearing that a car is going to hit you.

Indicators that the cycling situation is probably not the best, can also be seen in the road statistics. Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in accidents amongst cyclists in Scotland resulting in serious injuries. A survey showed that only 12 per cent have used their bike for at least 30 minutes in the last month. At the same time, Dutch residents use their bike for 25%  of all trips they make. Obviously, it’s not as rainy in the Netherlands and most of the roads are quite flat, but if you look at Finland, people are cycling even when the pavements are covered in snow.

If you don’t want to miss out on using your bike in Scotland, then here are a few hints that hopefully keep you from any serious injuries and improve your cycling experience.


1. Left, Left, Left

You are not in mainland Europe anymore, so you will need to keep left on the road. When you drive a car, then the position of the gears and wheel are a constant reminder of driving left. But when you are on the bike, everything looks the same which makes it even harder to fight the instinct of cycling on the right side. Especially with cars being able to park in any direction, you can’t always use them as a reminder.

Cycling on the left side also involves looking over your left shoulder and not the right. This can feel quite awkward at the beginning, so maybe practice on a quiet road first. And also practice intersections. After turning left, you might find yourself suddenly cycling on the right side again.  


2. Buy A Helmet

Try to forget about your look and buy a helmet. The roads here are not safe for cyclists and a helmet reduces the likelihood of serious head injuries significantly. Make sure that the helmet fits your head and watch out for the “BS EN 1078” marking. That means that your helmet meets the strict British and European safety requirements. Here is a guide that tells you which helmet is the best for what cycling activity.  


3. Don’t Trust Cycle Paths

Scottish cities are slowly integrating cycle paths in their infrastructure. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are safe, even if they are separated with a small stone fence from the rest of the road. Cars can suddenly drive onto the path or block it by parking on it.

Another threat comes from those on foot. Pedestrians are generally not used to bikes on pavements, so it happens every now and then that they suddenly walk on the cycle path without watching out for bikes. Try to cycle slowly when you see that the pavement is busy and always watch out for people that might jump in front of your bike. 


4. Don’t Trust Traffic Lights

Another thing that you shouldn’t trust is traffic lights. The only advantage they have compared to European traffic lights is the fact that cars can’t cross at the same time there is a green light for pedestrians or cyclists. So you can technically cross the street without the fear of a car suddenly bumping into you when you cross the street.

However, this is only the theory. You will notice that both cars and pedestrians stretch the rules of traffic lights a bit. Since Scottish traffic lights don’t let pedestrians and cars pass at the same time, it results in long waiting times. While Germans wouldn’t cross a red traffic light even if there is no car in sight, jaywalking is so normal in the UK that people don’t even know what the term means.

So, if you are on a bike, always slow down at green traffic lights and make sure that no car or pedestrian might knock you over.


5. Plan Your Route To Avoid Intersections

Since the streets in Scotland are generally not very safe for cyclists, always check roughly which route you want to follow before jumping on your bike. Planning routes makes cycling more complicated than it should be, but fewer intersections and quiet roads reduce the likelihood of an accident and also improve your experience on the bike.

If you plan a long cycle trip, watch out for blue signs. These signs are made for cyclists and show you more quiet routes.


6. Wear A Bright Jacket

If you decide to go for a ride on your bike, think about what jacket you want to wear. If you want cars to notice you, then a black jacket is not the best choice. The best jackets that increase the chance of other people seeing you are neon ones. You can get a so-called “hi-vis” jacket for just £25. They make other people see you but can also protect you from sudden rain. Check out this buying guide that compares different hi-vis jackets in various price categories. 


7. Buy A Bell And Use It

The easiest way to make pedestrians aware of your bike is by ringing the bell. You might have already noticed that people either don’t have a bell or don’t use it because they don’t want to offend anyone. But ringing the bell shouldn’t be interpreted as an affront because it ultimately saves pedestrians, and especially dog owners, from getting a fright when you suddenly pass them on a bike. And also makes it easier for you to pass.

It’s also a handy trick to pass sharp corners. If you don’t want to bump into other people or get hit by another cyclist, ring the bell a few times before you approach a corner. Obviously, you should still slow down, but at least you make people aware of you and your bike. 


8. Get A Lock. Or Two.

This isn’t necessarily related to safety on the roads, but if you don’t want to lose your bike in Scotland you will need a good lock. There is quite a high number of stolen bikes every year and the chances of finding a stolen bike are low. Even if you put your bike in the communal close, make sure you lock it appropriately, because everyone can access the close through the service button.

Once you have a bike, you can register it with the National Cycle Database. It helps to prevent bicycle thefts but the organisation also supports people in finding stolen bikes. 


Obviously, all the hints mentioned above won’t guarantee that you will never have an accident on your bike, but it decreases the likelihood. Fingers crossed that the infrastructure in Scotland will be improved in the foreseeable future and we can cycle more safely.

All About the (Fresh) Cheese: The Many Fresh Dairy Types Explained

Image by Диана Лаврова from Pixabay

Did you ever stand in front of the fridge in the supermarket and were overwhelmed by all the different types of dairy? Well, the choice in Scottish supermarket is sometimes even much smaller than in Continental ones. Here is a list of all the different fresh cheeses that are common in the Continental kitchen and how you can use them.


Soured Cream Products

Sour Cream

Let’s start with explaining what normal sour cream is before describing other soured cream products. Sour cream is made by adding a bacteria culture to normal cream so that it becomes thicker and get its sour flavour. Sour cream doesn’t quite like hot temperatures – once it’s too warm it flocculates quickly. That’s why it’s best to use sour cream for cold dishes such as dips.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Dips (nachos for example), tacos, salad dressings, desserts


Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraiche is similar to the classic sour cream but has a higher fat content and tastes less sour. It won’t flocculate once you cook it, so it’s great to use in hot dishes.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Sauce and soup thickener, Desserts, Dips, Topping (Flammkuchen for example)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAitDAOD32W/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link


Smetana

Smetana, also called Śmietana or Schmand, contains a little less fat than crème fraiche but won’t flocculate in heat, too. This type of dairy is very common in Central and Eastern Europe as Smetana is a perfect allrounder for the kitchen. It’s often used for desserts or sides because of its creaminess and mild flavour.

Interesting language fact: The German word for butterfly (“Schmetterling”) was inspired by the Slavic word Smetana as it was a common belief that butterflies like dairy. So they just called them “Smetana Creatures”. The same applies to the English language as people noticed that the insects were attracted to the churning of butter. Thus, they called them butterflies.

Where to find it:

Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Desserts, Spread, Cheesecake, Soups


Other Fresh Cheese Sorts

Quark

Quark is made from milk that was given lactic acid bacteria culture. Compared to other fresh cheese, its crumbly and not as creamy. It gets its consistency from the filtration process in which the quark is continuously stirred. Its high rations of protein and low-fat content makes quark a healthy snack that fills you up quickly.

Where to find it:

Morrisons, Lidl

Uses:

Spread (best with some chive), muesli, desserts, dip, cakes, pastries


Twaróg

If you translate Twaróg, it will come up as quark. Both products are very similar, but still have subtle differences. For example, some twaróg products can be higher in fat than quark which is naturally low in fat. Twaróg can also be firmer than quark, so you can slice it better and put it on sandwiches.

Where to find it:

Morrisons, Big Tescos, Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Sandwiches, cheesecake, pierogi, voreniki, spread (twarozek), desserts


Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese, also called Hüttenkäse, has a similar consistency like quark. It’s slightly crumbier then quark and is higher in fat and sugar. It’s very tasty if you add it to your muesli in the morning.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Salads, muesli, lasagne


Ricotta

This cheese is from Italy and is made from sheep, cow, goat, or Buffalo milk. It’s a bit drier than cottage cheese and crumblier but its flavour is very similar. It contains more fat and calories, and its production is a bit different from cottage cheese.

Where to find it:

Bigger supermarkets

Uses:

Lasagne, desserts, Pastiera, sauce thickener


Mascarpone

This creamy cheese has probably the highest percentage of fat with 80%. Once opened, you need to use it quickly cause it’s quite a perishable good.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Desserts (for example Tiramisu), risotto, cheesecake


Cheese that doesn’t contain cow milk

Bryndza

In case you are lactose intolerant, then bryndza is a good alternative to cottage cheese. It’s made from sheep milk and has a crumbly consistency as well as a salty flavour.

Where to find it:

Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Gratin, Polenta, Spread, Bryndzové halušky


Brousse du Rove

The name already suggests the origin of this cheese. It’s a French fresh cheese that was named after the village La Rove in southern France. The cheese is made from the milk of the Rove goats that have pretty long, twisted horns. The Brousse du Rove is very fine and creamy, and tastes quite mild.

Where to find:

Unfortunately, it quite hard to find the cheese in Scotland, but there are a few alternatives in fresh goats cheese. They might not be from the Rove goats, but the cheese is still tasty. It should be available in every supermarket.

Uses:

Salads, Quiches, Spread, Topping (honey and walnuts go very well with it)


Hopefully, this article shed some light on all the different types of fresh cheese. If there is a cheese or common recipe we missed out, please let us know in the comment section below.  

Fresh Food from Scottish Farmers During Lockdown

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

With the ongoing lockdown due to the Coronavirus, we are all currently stuck at home and can only go out for essential groceries or our daily exercise. That could mean that you can’t visit your favourite local farmer’s shop because it’s too far away, or because you to have to self-isolate.

The good news is: Scottish farmers and wholesalers have introduced delivery services to your door which is a great alternative to supermarkets. Especially during this crisis, its essential to support local businesses so that they still exist once this virus is over. We researched shops across Scotland that deliver veggie boxes and tried to cover as many areas as possible. Check out if there is an opportunity for you on the following list.


Seasonal Produce

Seasonal Produce is a wholesaler based in Glasgow whose mission it is to deliver quality produce to Scotland’s restaurants, cafés and caterers. With the Corona crisis, they introduced veggie boxes that they deliver to your door. They buy their produce from local farmers and try to recycle as much as they can. Plus, they engage with local communities such as the Woodlands Community.

You can choose between the normal £30 veggie box, or buy the vegan box instead that takes out the dairy and adds more fruits. They also offer 30 free-range eggs for £5 that are from the Corrie Mains farm. And if you need supply for your smoothie, you can also order 1kg of fresh seasonal berries for £10. And a wild mushroom pack for £5.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire


Urban Grocer

Urban Grocer is a family run business that started as a wholesaler in 1946, supplying fruits and vegetables from Scotland. Since then, they expanded their product range, including exotic fruits like dragon fruit, kumquat and more. The stock changes with each season, depending on which fruits and vegetables are available.

The medium fruits and veggie box costs £18, and the large one £24. You can also choose to only order fruit or veggies for the same price. Next to this, Urban Grocer also offers butchers, fish, and breakfast packs.

They also offer a wide range of other products, including dairy from Graham’s Family Dairy, pasta and soups.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Glasgow, Edinburgh


Black Isle Veg Boxes

We also researched farmers and wholesalers in the North of Scotland and came across Black Isle Veg Boxes. They are located in the middle of Black Isle, near Killen, and specialised in growing leafy greens and other vegetables. Their organic certified land is also the home to mutton, lambs, and rugs, which are all home bred.

You can choose between four different veggie boxes that contain lots of different organic vegetables that are grown by the farm itself or by other local growers.

The smallest veggie box for one person is £8, the regular one (with or without potatoes) is £12, and the large one is £18. There is also a box full of spring salads and greens, for £8.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Black Isle, Inverness, Beauly, Muir, Conon, Dingwall, Strathpeffer, Evanton & places in between


Pillars of Hercules

Pillars of Hercules is a farm located close to Falkland, with St. Andrew and Perth being the closest cities. The farm produces various food and made it its mission to run organic principles so that the impact on the environment is kept at a minimum.

For £15 a week, you can order a veggie box that is full of organically grown produce. For £2, you can add 12 eggs to your box, for £7 a fruit selection bag, and for £7 an additional veg selection bag.

Once the lockdown is lifted, it’s worth paying the farm a visit. They have a beautiful farm shop, a café, a campsite, a cute holiday bothy, and even host different events.

Website: Click here

Delivers to: Fife, Loch Leven


Farmers and wholesalers who cannot take new customers right now

Due to Coronavirus, a lot of farmers and wholesalers faced an increased demand in veggie boxes. Unfortunately, a lot of them cannot accept new customers for now. Once the lockdown is lifted, you might be able to order veggie boxes from them again. That’s why we created a list of all of the businesses that cannot take new customers just now but might be worth keeping an eye on. Some of them offer waiting lists, so if there is no other business in your area but them, it might be worth signing up.


Knockfarrel Produce; Highlands

Website: Click here


Natural Vegetable Company, Inverness

Website: Click here


Macleod Organics, Highlands

Website: Click here


East Coast Organics Farm Shop

Website: Click here

Shop is re-opened


Bridgefoot Organic Co-operative, Aberdeenshire

Website: Click here

With ease of lockdown, they are now taking new orders again (but response time might be slower than usual): Place an order


Vital Veg, Aberdeenshire

Website: Click here


Your Local Farm, Slamannan, Central Scotland

Website: Click here


Grow Wild Organics, Central Belt East

Website: Click here


Bellfield Organics, Five

Website: Click here


Locavore CIC, Glasgow

Website: Click here

Waiting list: Sign up here

You can still order from their online shop and create your own veggie boxes.


Roots and Fruits, Glasgow

Website: Click here

Waiting list: Sign up here


Hopefully, you could find a farmer or wholesaler on this list that delivers veggie boxes to your area. If there is none on the list so far, check if you have a local veggie shop that have introduced deliveries recently. For example, the family-run grocery shop Ashby’s Fruit and Veggie Supplies in Partick, Glasgow, has recently started to deliver veggie boxes. Let us know if there is a farmer or wholesaler that we have missed out, and we’ll add it to our list.

5 Scottish Quirks You Won’t Find in Mainland Europe

View over Glasgow’s city centre. Image by Pirkko Seitsenpiste from Pixabay

Every country has its own habits that can be totally different than the ones you know from your home country. Here is a list of some of the Scottish quirks that you will notice, even if you only visit Scotland for a short amount of time.


1. Deep Frying a Pizza

When you visit a Fish and Chips shop, you will come across a speciality from the Scottish kitchen. And no, it’s not the fish. Next to pizza, pies and other rather unusual menu additions, you will find some unidentifiable fried food in the display. This can be anything from fried Mars Bars, fried pizzas, fried pickles, to fried sausages. There is nothing Scots can’t and won’t deep fry.

Make sure you have a strong stomach before you try any of this. For beginners, a fried Mars Bar might be the best deep-fried thing to start. It doesn’t have as much fat as a deep-fried pizza, and can eventually even taste good.


2. No Sockets in the Bathroom

Probably one of the most annoying things of Scottish flats is the fact that you won’t find any sockets in the bathroom. Due to strict health and safety regulations, you will occasionally only find a special socket for shavers.

If you are used to drying your hair in front of the bathroom mirror, or want to plug in your fancy electrical toothbrush, then you will need to rearrange that. Even if your sink is 10 meters from your shower or bathtub, you won’t be allowed to install any sockets in your bathroom.


3.Restaurant Quality Pub Food 

You probably don’t associate Continental pubs with high quality food but with a standard kitchen, football, beer, and rather older customers who sit there on a regular basis. This is the complete opposite in Scotland. Of course, here are a lot of “old men pubs”, too, but these pubs are usually much friendlier than the Continental ones.

Another difference is the fact that the food in Scottish pubs can be really good. It’s completely normal to go to a pub for food and not just to have a pint. Next to simple traditional Scottish food, you can also find menus that come close to the ones you find in actual restaurants. For example, The Bell Jar in Glasgow’s Southside has a menu that includes fancy dishes such as a “Mediterrean Fish Stew with Mussels, Prawns and Haddock”.


4. The Unconditional Love For Spray Tan

Living in the North comes unfortunately with a low amount of sun hours, resulting in pale skin and low Vitamin D. Thus, when Scots get the opportunity to tan, they will. Even when that means sunbathing at 10 degrees. Or using spray tan.

In case you were wondering how it can be that you are paler than anyone else in summer, then it’s probably because everyone else is cheating. There is a huge selection of different spray tans in beauty retailers such as Boots that can be a bit overwhelming for Continentals with absolutely no clue.

If you reached the point that you don’t want to be the only Snow White at parties anymore, you can think of giving the spray tan a chance. But be warned: It can turn you into a carrot.


5. Summer Clothes During Arctic Temperatures

Scottish weather can be quite cold and rainy most of the time, this is no big secret. Once it’s windy, it’s usually time for Continentals to put on a scarf and waterproof jacket. That is the moment when you can tell from 200 meters away that someone is from mainland Europe. Even in an ice-cold winter, you will see people running around in shorts. Or in short dresses, tackling the snow on heels without any goose bumps. 


While some of the Scottish quirks are easy to adapt once you are here, others such as leaving the jacket at home for a pub crawl can be a bit more challenging. You will come across more interesting habits the longer you are in Scotland, and will be able to add some other things to the list above. Although you’re not too far away from mainland Europe, you will be surprised how many things are handled a bit differently in Scotland.

Best Mountains To Climb In Scotland – The Buachaille

View of the Buachaille and the probably most photographed cottage in Scotland. Photo: Cameron Swanson

One of the most beautiful things in Scotland are the mountains that are spread all over the country, which makes for some fantastic scenery. The road through Glencoe is especially famous for its breath-taking views of the mountains.

This blog series will guide you through the best mountains in Scotland and how difficult they are to approach. There will be another series differentiating between mountains for beginners and more advanced, but this one will purely focus on the most beautiful mountains of Scotland.

Let’s start with the Buachaille, which you might recognise for the Lagangarbh cottage that is sitting right in front of it.


Where Is The Mountain And What Makes It So Special?

The actual name of the Buachaille is “Buachaille Etive Mòr” and is located at the head of the Glen Etive, which is right in the middle of the Highlands, close to Glencoe. The view of the mountain valley was featured in Skyfall when Bond takes M up to his family home, stopping on the A82 with the Buachaille on the left.

When there is no fog blocking the view of the mountain, you can see its beautiful pyramid shape. Especially with snow on the top, it’s spectacular to look at.


How Difficult Is The Mountain To Climb?

While you already get an incredible view if you just take a small walk off the road, you will probably get one of the best views of the Highlands from top of the Buachaille. Unfortunately, this mountain is not for beginners. If you don’t have any experience in hiking, then you should definitely not approach the climb without a guide, and maybe try an easier mountain first.

The peak is at 1110m, and you will need to go through some rough ground as well as climbing over several peaks before reaching the top. According to different reviews, it can take about a full day to climb, especially if sudden fog is developing.


What Is The Best Route?

There are two routes that lead to the top of the Buachaille. The one that starts from the street in the front of the mountain is quite steep and challenging, and only for very experienced mountaineers.

If you hike along the back, you can climb up a much smoother route that leads to the top. Check out the recommended route by walkhighlands:

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/buachailleetivemor.shtml


How Do You Get There?

There is only one road leading to the mountain, so it’s impossible to miss the Buachaille. Follow the A82, and once you pass the tiny lochs after Loch Tulla, watch out for either the Glencoe Mountain Resort or The Kingshouse Hotel. You can park your car there and start your hike.

If you want to go by public transport, you can take the bus that goes to Fort William or Skye and hop off at The Kingshouse.


Climbing the Buachaille involves some mountaineering skills, but will reward you with a spectacular view. Let us know about your experiences in the comment section below.

Places In Glasgow That Sell Good Bread

Photo by Bruno Thethe from Pexels

When you move to Scotland, you will discover sooner or later that it can be quite challenging to find a good loaf of bread. Baked goods in Scotland are usually the opposite of crunchy – scones or rolls are often very soft and need to be toasted first. While Edinburgh has quite a few different bakeries, there is not yet a single one in Glasgow city centre. If you don’t want to miss out on good bread, then here is a list of places where you can find relatively decent loafs in Glasgow.


Roots and Fruits, West End and Finnieston

If you miss the local farmer shops from home, then Roots and Fruits is probably the closest you can get in Glasgow. Most of the fruits are laying unpacked in wooden boxes and the store is full with lots of other Continental gems.

Most importantly, you can get lots of different loaves of bread there. They are a bit pricey, but you’ll find lots of different sourdoughs (including a rye one) and other breads that are worth the price. They are delivered by the Freedom Bakery which is a social enterprise that offers employment opportunities for former prisoners.


Locavore CIC, Southside

Another good alternative for farmer shops is Locavore CIC in the Southside. If you walk along Victoria Road you will find the shop that also has a small café inside. Right at the back, once you pass the seasonal food that is grown at different sites around Glasgow, you will find their selection of bread that is either from Different Breid or Freedom Bakery.

The shop is also a good choice if you want to refill your shampoo bottles, or stock up jars of dried goods. They have various fill-up stations for different goods and groceries.


Aldi and Lidl

Although it sounds unusual to include low budget supermarkets on a list of good bakeries, Aldi and Lidl are a good choice to buy standard rolls and bread if you want to live on a budget and don’t have one of the fancier local shops around the corner. Even the small Lidl close to Glasgow Central has different breads and rolls, including Kaisersemmel. Since Aldi has refurbished its store on High Street, it also offers a small bakery with all the basics you need.


Cottonrake Bakery, West End

You have the best chances for good bread if you live in the West End of Glasgow. It has probably the highest density of shops with Continental gems, including bread. For example, you will find excellent fresh bread at the Cottonrake Bakery. Every morning at 8am, they sell different whole, sourdough, and rye breads. And Croissants, Pain au Chocolats, Almond Croissants & Cinnamon Buns. You’re welcome.


Sweet Jane Bakehouse, Dennistoun

Good news for those who live in the East End: A new bakery called Sweet Jane opened in March on Duke Street. Unfortunately, it was only open for about one week before the Coronavirus Lockdown started. Luckily, you can still order all of its products online, including all sorts of bread.


Café- Bakehouse Singl-end, Merchant City

If you live in Glasgow city centre and don’t want to travel to far for fresh bread, you can visit the Singl-end in the Merchant City. Next to a great selection of cake, they sell a few different loaves of bread. It’s not a huge selection, but the ones they have are very nice. The café itself is a bit hidden, you will find it on John Street next to Osteria.

If you live in Glasgow city centre and don’t want to travel to far for fresh bread, you can visit the Singl-end in the Merchant City. Next to a great selection of cake, they sell a few different loaves of bread. It’s not a huge selection, but the ones they have are very nice. The café itself is a bit hidden, you will find it on John Street next to Osteria.


If you were searching for places in Glasgow that sell good bread, then this list of shops might have been the inspiration you needed. Especially when you’ve just moved to the city, it might be quite helpful to know these places since a Google search for bakeries just brings up a lot of pastries and cake shops. Once we find more places that offer good bread, we will give an update on that.

Loch Lomond Roundtrip: Best Spots to Stop

View on Loch Lomond from Luss

The first loch tourists think of when they hear Scotland is usually Loch Ness. Its mysterious monster Nessie rose to fame in 1934 when the London physician Robert Kenneth Wilson supposedly took a picture of it. Each year, the loch attracts thousands of visitors to look out for a creature in the lake. Even though loch Ness has its own charm and spots you shouldn’t miss, there are also other lochs in Scotland which ooze with stunning nature.

One of these is certainly Loch Lomond. The 39km long loch starts at Balloch and reaches far into to the Highlands. If this is your first time going to Loch Lomond, here comes a list of spots you shouldn’t miss out on.


Luss

If you start your roundtrip from Glasgow, then your first stop at Loch Lomond is about 30-40 minutes away. Luss is a cute village on the west bank of the loch with a great view over the water. From its beach you can hop on a boat tour across the Loch if you want. But to be fair, the view from the beach is already quite nice and hard to beat.

You might find Luss a bit too busy since it has a huge parking spot that also busses can use. If you find it too crowded, you can try Firkin Point where you will be rewarded with a quieter viewpoint over the loch. Watch out for it on Google Maps because the exit is quite hidden.


Drovers Inn

After your first stop(s) at Loch Lomond, it’s probably time for lunch. One of the pubs on your way around the loch is called Drovers Inn. It opened in 1705 and its interior hasn’t change much ever since. If you’re lucky and it’s not too busy, you might catch a seat right next to the old fireplace. The pub has a good selection of traditional food, including Haggis, Neeps & Tatties (also available in a vegetarian version).


Killin – Falls of Dochart

After having lunch at the pub, you will find yourself driving through the Highlands. Before you start driving South again, it’s worth doing a little detour to the Falls of Dochart that are just before the little town of Killin. In order to find a parking space, you will need to drive over the tiny stone bridge that crosses over the waterfalls. The bridge is very thin, so you might end up driving backwards because only one direction at a time is possible.

Once you have your car parked, you can take a walk back across the bridge and climb along the stones next to the scenic waterfalls.


Doune Castle

For those of you who are Game of Thrones, Outlander, or Monthy Phyton fans, you shouldn’t miss out stopping by Doune Castle. To be fair, the courtyard of the castle looks a bit disappointing without all the film animations, but the castle rooms are worth the visit. Especially the Great Hall is in good state and you will quickly recognise the location in which the scene “Knights of the Round Table at Camelot” was directed for the Holy Grail movie.


Balmaha

After Doune Castle, you can check if you can make it to a last stop at Loch Lomond to see the sunset. Balmaha is a relatively quiet village on the loch with parking spaces without charge.

From the car park, you can climb up Conic Hill to get an amazing view over the loch. That might not be on your list after a long round trip, but is definitely worth to do another time.


Balloch

In case you find Balmaha too much of a detour, you can stop at Balloch on your way back. The village is right at the bottom of Loch Lomond and the carpark right next to the castle is great for a stop. From Balloch, it’s only a 30 minutes’ drive back to Glasgow.


Everyone probably has their own favourite spots at Loch Lomond, and once you’ve been there for the first time, you will probably prefer to spend your day at just one spot. But for those who visit the loch for the first and want to see as much as possible in one day, then this roundtrip might be great for you!