We spent a fantastic 5 days over Easter at the Millarochy Bay Loch Lomond Camping and Caravanning site and here is our review.
During May half term, we were lucky enough to spend a few days at the stunning Millarochy Bay Camping and Caravanning Club site on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. Since getting our Motorhome 18 months ago, we’ve done lots of exploring in England, but we realised that we have the whole of Scotland on our doorstep and have hardly seen any of it. With close family living in Balfron, 20 minutes south of Loch Lomond, we decided to head up north to hang out with the cousins and see a bit of what Scotland has to offer.
We were greeted by the warmest of welcomes from the site managers when we arrived, and given our pick of the available motorhome pitches. We chose a lochside pitch, literally yards away from the pebble shore and with breathtaking views of the loch, Ben Lomond mountain and the surrounding hills. To be honest though, most pitches would have had pretty amazing views as the pitches were well spaced out, and many of the caravan and tent pitches were on a slope at the back of the site. The site has 150 pitches but seemed much smaller – probably because it’s separated into two parts and you can’t see one from the other as they’re either side of the wash block.
The site is in a great location for exploring the eastern and southern sides of Loch Lomond and there was plenty for us to do without having to drive anywhere (a bonus with a motorhome!). The West Highland Way footpath goes practically through the campsite – we followed it a mile or so to the Scottish Forestry Society-owned Cashell Forest Park. There are 3 marked walks in the Park, from 30 minutes to 3 hours. A democratic process resulted in us choosing the 2 hour walk and, after a short hike uphill through the forest, we were rewarded with great views across Loch Lomond and some of its 30 or so islands.
Walking the other way from the campsite, along the beach and then through lovely lochside woodland for about 3km, we arrived at Balmaha, a tiny village on the shores of the loch with a popular restaurant and tea room. There’s a visitor centre here and there are a few boating companies offering cruises around the loch, and a scheduled ferry taking people to and from a few villages and some of the bigger islands. You can take a short ferry ride from Balmaha to Inchcailloch – a wooded island with a great beach, trails and campsites.
We walked from the car park at Balmaha up Conic Hill, a relatively steep walk of about 3 hours in total (up and down), with absolutely amazing views of Loch Lomond, the islands and Ben Lomond. We were lucky to have really good weather that day and spent a lovely hour sitting at the top, having our picnic and admiring the view. Ed’s brother – a keen walker who has conquered all the Munroes – went off to climb Ben Lomond the next day from Rowardennan, a 15 minute drive north of the campsite. It’s a pretty strenuous 5 hour walk for even an experienced hiker, so we decided the kids probably weren’t up for that (especially as the weather was due to turn). As it turned out, there was zero visibility at the top, so we probably made the right choice that day. We’ll have to come back and have another go!
We’d brought an inflatable kayak with us, and a couple of dinghies, so we had a lovely time pottering about on the loch. Mimi and I even had a swim – the water was pretty bracing even with a wetsuit on, but after the initial shock we spent 45 minutes swimming around while the others took turns in the kayak. We were the only people on the loch that day and it was so calm and serene. A fellow camper had brought a small sailing boat with him and was able to get it down onto the beach from the site via one of the slipways from the site. Another family had a stand-up paddleboard which looked like fun – and they also swam out to Inchcailloch one day, which apparently took about 25 minutes, and got the ferry back to Balmaha later. For those not equipped with watercraft, there is a watersports centre at Rowardennan, where you can hire stand-up paddleboards, boats, kayaks and pedalos.
The kids enjoyed riding their bikes around the site (and we could pretty much see them wherever they went) and there was a very small playground in the centre with a slide and some swings. The site facilities were good and the toilets and showers were very clean. The showers were really hot – fine for us but I wondered how I’d have washed a toddler! There are laundry facilities on site too, and a backpacker facility where walkers doing the West Highland Way can take shelter and cook meals. The site felt very quiet to us – I’ve seen other reviews that mention that the back of the site is adjacent to the road (which it is), but the road seemed very quiet to us and I doubt there would be much traffic at night certainly.
We absolutely loved this campsite and the location is second to none – not only for the stunning views but for the surrounding area for walking and watersports. We can’t wait to return.
NB Jane and her family were guests of the Camping and Caravanning Club, but all views and opinions are her own.
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