Saturday 23 March 2024

Loch Lomond Park and Whinny Hill.

                                                  ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.

A drive to Balloch this time and a walk exploring Loch Lomond Country Park and Whinny Hill. Large car park in Balloch just off the main street at the entrance to the park.

 Whinny Hill walk, which is an extended add on to the park walk. I notice in some maps/booklets it's spelt Whinney Hill.


Heavy rain and storms the night before so the lower path beside the River Leven, where it meets Loch Lomond, was flooded. Still passable though.

Balloch Castle. Still lying empty and unused. You would think they would do something interesting and creative with it being a national park. Be careful what you wish for though.

Cameron House view across the loch.


Catkins on tree. A sign of spring.


Duck Bay Hotel/ Marina and a former Youth Hostel that doubled for the 'big house' in Scottish TV series Take the High Road. Now a private residence I think.



Stream on way up Whinny Hill.

 Alan and myself going up Whinny Hill. A walk of a few hours duration.

 A meadow section.


As we got higher a partial view of Loch Lomond and one island appeared. It's not a great viewpoint over the loch as there's too many trees in the way. The nearby Dumpling or Duncryne 142 metres above Gartocharn is  much better or Beinn Dubh above Luss if you want to see all the islands and loch spread out below your feet.This is a good walk though and Alan had not been up it yet.


Loch Lomond and Luss Hills.


Carved Acorn.


Woods at Whinny Hill.

 On the way back we visited the Walled Garden but being winter no flowers were out yet.

 Walled Garden.


A few large trees had been blown down in the recent storms. I've noticed for about 10 years now that the increasing wind strengths and unpredictable weather conditions are causing real havoc in parks across Scotland. Even mature trees 100 plus years old like this large beech tree are being uprooted every winter in gales or if the roots hold they are simply snapped in half ten feet up across the entire tree. If this keeps up parks and woodlands are going to look much thinner in future as it will take decades to replace the old stock even if replanted.



We returned to Balloch via the arrow straight main entrance.

Where a rook was enjoying a takeaway. Another good day out.

My recent infatuation with a popular USA singer songwriter's back catalogue is leading me in unexpected directions...underground in this case... and I'm happy to follow. Might be the Blackwall Tunnel in London....? Really like this version as well. The gift that keeps on giving for me. I also like a wee detective story. It's the Rotherhithe Tunnel in London. Mystery solved. 



Rosemary said...

That area was a great favourite of ours when we lived in Milngavie - picnics, walks, exploring, lots of memorable days spent there.

Anabel Marsh said...

We have done this walk too - unusual! Often your walks are ones I don’t know about.

Carol said...

It's true a lot more of our ancient and mature trees are being uprooted in the increasingly windy climate we have now - and very sad indeed. Maybe soon we'll have hardly any mature trees left in our landscapes and that will be truly tragic.

Love the carved acorn.

Upset to hear about the Youth Hostel, I thought it was still there. Presumably the only Loch Lomond Youth Hostel now is Rowardennan then?

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary, it's a nice area, especially in May/June when everything is alive and colourful again. Flowers and trees at their best.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Anabel, more coming up and one my mother did as a child in the 1920s that neither Alan or myself had ever thought to go until recently. Not that far away either.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol, Having just typed in "is Rowardennan youth hostel still open?" yes it is...
Felt very sad years ago when after a storm in Ayrshire a bunch of rooks lost 80 percent of their large nesting trees and you could see their shock and pain, just sitting static on fences without moving or flying slowly overhead in complete silence. They were visibly devastated by it as it had just happened the day before my visit.
One of my few regrets is that I didn't visit that large house when it was a youth hostel as I would have liked to see inside it but it was too close to Glasgow as all the ones I did stay in were a day's drive away usually. Too busy doing hills elsewhere.

Carol said...

That's really sad about the rooks - it must affect them a lot. I'm hoping it wasn't at nesting time when the storm occurred or they'd have lost their young and nests as well as the sites.

I'd have liked to have visited the big house youth hostel near Balloch - I can understand how you didn't as you don't really visit things for an overnight if they're in your own area.