Staycation: Loch Lomond Holiday Park, Argyll & Bute, Scotland
by Fiona Gibson
Fiona Gibson finds the perfect peaceful retreat in a breathtaking little corner of Scotland
Where is it?
It’s hard to believe that this stunning spot is a mere hour’s drive north from Glasgow. On the west shore of Loch Lomond, close to the village of Inveruglas, the setting of the Loch Lomond Holiday Park is nothing short of wonderful.
What’s the accommodation like?
In the peaceful, prettily landscaped park, our luxury lodge features a bright, airy living room, a well-stocked kitchen, a cosy bedroom and vast bathroom with a fabulous shower and a full-sized bath (blissful after a day’s walking). Star of the show is the deck with its hot tub and fabulous views over the loch and mountains. First thing, we’re sipping our morning coffees here. Last thing at night, we’re immersed in the bubbling water beneath the twinkling stars.
What did you eat and drink?
In nearby Arrochar we stumble upon Cu Mara, and tuck into their excellent takeaway pizzas from a bench overlooking Loch Long. For drinks and hearty Scottish fare, try The Drovers Inn. Over 300 years old, it claims to be one of the most haunted hotels in Britain. A little further afield – around 45 minutes’ drive from the holiday park – we enjoy a dinner at Inver on the shores of Loch Fyne. This unique restaurant combines a magical setting with incredibly innovative cooking using locally sourced ingredients. Their Queen of Scots cocktail, which includes vermouth infused with locally foraged meadowsweet, is not to be missed.
What is there to do?
There are numerous local walks plus boat trips on Loch Lomond from Luss, Tarbet and Inveruglas (all minutes away from the holiday park). You can easily while away an afternoon at Luss, a stunning lochside conservation village, with pretty cottages built for workers at the slate quarries nearby. Loch Long and Loch Fyne, which offer fishing and walking, are a short drive away. Or grab a coffee and slice of delicious carrot cake at The Den at Inveruglas and simply watch the boats bob by.
Loch Lomond has more than 30 islands. The largest, Inchmurrin, is reminiscent of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five adventures as we climb aboard the ferry that will take us to the restaurant there. (You can book the ferry when you make a restaurant reservation: visit inchmurrin-lochlomond.com/restaurant). With a population of just six, the island is blissfully peaceful, and we enjoy a post-lunch stroll before the ferryman whisks us back across the water again. All that’s missing is a cave of smugglers’ treasure on this truly magical day.
Sainsbury’s magazine insider tip
For last-minute supplies, pop into the Tarbet Village Shop – a tiny store housed in a repurposed shipping container that’s mere minutes from the holiday park. They offer all-day cooked breakfasts too. You’ll find it next to Slanj restaurant (which is in a converted church).