Landscape Photo
Photographer: Brian Horisk/AdventureArt, Fife, Scotland

Route Filmstrip & Description

VValidated by Fieldfare

Balloch Castle Country Park is steeped in history and was the stronghold of one of Scotland's most powerful medieval families. Overall there are 7km of trails which are suitable for all abilities featuring woodlands, parklands, and walled gardens. The circular Southern Route, featured here, is approximately 3km in distance with plenty of rest points and with stunning views of Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond. For the most part the trail follows flat, well surfaced paths, although there is a steep climb up to the Castle from the Shore. Some visitors may therefore wish to access the parking areas from the North Lodge entrance

Surveyed by: Andy Johnson, September 2010 (Autumn)
Accessibility Rating: 3More Information
Distance: 3.0 km

Public Transport: No
Car Park: No
Steps: No
Barriers: No
Toilets: No

Full Profile

There is a  barrier on the approach to Balloch Castle Country Park, this measures 2000mm in height.

Path There is a barrier on the approach to Balloch Castle Country Park, this measures 2000mm in height.

There are lots of car parking spaces available in the Moss O Balloch car park, however no bays for disabled visitors were found in this area. An alternative is to enter the site via the South Lodge where visitors can access the disabled parking bays next to the Castle.

CarPark There are lots of car parking spaces available in the Moss O Balloch car park, however no bays for disabled visitors were found in this area. An alternative is to enter the site via the South Lodge where visitors can access the disabled parking bays next to the Castle.

A map board at the path entrance provides visitor information and orientation. This route follows the Southern Route (marked in yellow).

Direction A map board at the path entrance provides visitor information and orientation. This route follows the Southern Route (marked in yellow).

Close-up of the Southern Route (yellow line). Alternative parking at the Castle is available, and this may suit some visitors with easier access needs. Access to the castle parking area is via the North Lodge.

Information Close-up of the Southern Route (yellow line). Alternative parking at the Castle is available, and this may suit some visitors with easier access needs. Access to the castle parking area is via the North Lodge.

Boulders on the path entrance may restrict some visitors

Obstacle Boulders on the path entrance may restrict some visitors

Initially the path is laid in tarmac and is over 2 meters wide.

Surface Initially the path is laid in tarmac and is over 2 meters wide.

Cross this bridge and continue straight on.

Path Cross this bridge and continue straight on.

Cross the boardwalk and continue straight on.

Path Cross the boardwalk and continue straight on.

At the first T-junction turn left (as opposed to right on the sign featured here). This will take you down to the Shore Walk.

Direction At the first T-junction turn left (as opposed to right on the sign featured here). This will take you down to the Shore Walk.

Turn left here

Direction Turn left here

Having turned left, follow the line of lanterns as the path descends gently.

Direction Having turned left, follow the line of lanterns as the path descends gently.

Continue straight on until a footbridge appears.

Path Continue straight on until a footbridge appears.

Cross the bridge and turn right, with the Loch on your left hand side.

Direction Cross the bridge and turn right, with the Loch on your left hand side.

Follow the lower path to the left along the shore. A gentle uphill gradient (2% 1:50) persists for approximately 30 metres and there are opportunities to sit and rest at various points along this part of the trial.

Seat Follow the lower path to the left along the shore. A gentle uphill gradient (2% 1:50) persists for approximately 30 metres and there are opportunities to sit and rest at various points along this part of the trial.

The path surfacing along this section of the trail is in good condition and is over  2m wide.

Path The path surfacing along this section of the trail is in good condition and is over 2m wide.

Viewpoint along the Shore Walk.

View Viewpoint along the Shore Walk.

Rest areas are found frequently and are situated at pleasant viewpoints.

View Rest areas are found frequently and are situated at pleasant viewpoints.

Continue along the Shore Walk with the Loch on the left-hand side

Path Continue along the Shore Walk with the Loch on the left-hand side

Picnic benches have varying degrees of access.

Seat Picnic benches have varying degrees of access.

Views along the Shore Walk.

View Views along the Shore Walk.

The path, although wide and level, has some loose stone on the surface.

Surface The path, although wide and level, has some loose stone on the surface.

Continue straight on with the Loch on the left.

Path Continue straight on with the Loch on the left.

Path

Path

One of the many splendid viewpoints along the trail.

View One of the many splendid viewpoints along the trail.

Picnic benches are placed at regular intervals along the shore, but some may be difficult to access.

Seat Picnic benches are placed at regular intervals along the shore, but some may be difficult to access.

Some picnic benches along the banks are accessed over rough ground.

Seat Some picnic benches along the banks are accessed over rough ground.

At this point, keep left and follow the path closest to the shore.

Path At this point, keep left and follow the path closest to the shore.

The path descends gently (3% 1:33) to the Slipway.

Path The path descends gently (3% 1:33) to the Slipway.

There are fabulous views along the Shore Walk. This one is situated close to the Slipway (as seen on the right hand side of the picture), where disabled toilets and refreshments are available.

View There are fabulous views along the Shore Walk. This one is situated close to the Slipway (as seen on the right hand side of the picture), where disabled toilets and refreshments are available.

Approach to the Slipway.

Path Approach to the Slipway.

The Slipway provides refreshments and disabled toilets.

Accessible toilets The Slipway provides refreshments and disabled toilets.

At this point, visitors have the option to continue along the Shore Walk, providing a linear walk or a longer circular walk. Just past the Slipway is a yellow and red  arrow on a waymark post. Turn right here to re-join the Southern Route and follow the path up the hill. This is a more direct circular walk to the Castle.

Direction At this point, visitors have the option to continue along the Shore Walk, providing a linear walk or a longer circular walk. Just past the Slipway is a yellow and red arrow on a waymark post. Turn right here to re-join the Southern Route and follow the path up the hill. This is a more direct circular walk to the Castle.

Although the width and surface of this path are good, the gradient is steep, measuring 9% (1:11) over a distance of approximately 20 metres. Visitors that use wheelchairs may require assistance at this point.

Gradient Although the width and surface of this path are good, the gradient is steep, measuring 9% (1:11) over a distance of approximately 20 metres. Visitors that use wheelchairs may require assistance at this point.

The path gradient levels out in parkland.

Path The path gradient levels out in parkland.

The path levels off as Balloch Castle comes into view. Follow the path round to your left.

Direction The path levels off as Balloch Castle comes into view. Follow the path round to your left.

The path surface remains in good condition.

Path The path surface remains in good condition.

View of Balloch Castle from below.

View View of Balloch Castle from below.

The path gradient gets steeper on the  section of the Southern Route leading up to the  Castle. The maximum gradient is 11% (1:9)over a distance of approximately 25 metres.

Gradient The path gradient gets steeper on the section of the Southern Route leading up to the Castle. The maximum gradient is 11% (1:9)over a distance of approximately 25 metres.

The sustained steep gradient may limit  some visitors from accessing the Castle grounds.

Gradient The sustained steep gradient may limit some visitors from accessing the Castle grounds.

There are five benches at the top of the steep rise. Wheelchair users may find that the block paving restricts access.

Surface There are five benches at the top of the steep rise. Wheelchair users may find that the block paving restricts access.

Viewpoint in the parkland.

View Viewpoint in the parkland.

At the top of the steep rise are several benches that offer amazing views of Loch Lomond!

View At the top of the steep rise are several benches that offer amazing views of Loch Lomond!

Continue past the benches and head towards the Castle.

Direction Continue past the benches and head towards the Castle.

The path gradient rises significantly (max.9% 1:11). This is the final uphill to the Castle and the highest point of the Country Park.

Gradient The path gradient rises significantly (max.9% 1:11). This is the final uphill to the Castle and the highest point of the Country Park.

Path

At this T-junction, go left.

Direction At this T-junction, go left.

Continue straight on. There is a gentle incline of approximately 3% (1:33)

Gradient Continue straight on. There is a gentle incline of approximately 3% (1:33)

There are plenty of rest areas on this section of the trail.

Seat There are plenty of rest areas on this section of the trail.

Take the right hand fork, then right again, and head towards the car park.

Direction Take the right hand fork, then right again, and head towards the car park.

A long straight section of path leads back towards the Castle and the car park.

Path A long straight section of path leads back towards the Castle and the car park.

 

Path

Head towards the boulder set in the middle of the path and turn right towards the Castle grounds.

Direction Head towards the boulder set in the middle of the path and turn right towards the Castle grounds.

Turn right here.

Direction Turn right here.

Alternative parking is available for visitors who enter from the North Lodge. This car-park is situated behind the Castle .

CarPark Alternative parking is available for visitors who enter from the North Lodge. This car-park is situated behind the Castle .

There are several diasabled parking bays at the entrance to the Castle, although these do not have a cross-hatched zone.

Blue Badge parking bays There are several diasabled parking bays at the entrance to the Castle, although these do not have a cross-hatched zone.

Entrance to the toilets.

Toilets Entrance to the toilets.

Toilets are available at Balloch Casle, but note that the building may be closed when you visit.

Toilets Toilets are available at Balloch Casle, but note that the building may be closed when you visit.

Toilets at Balloch Castle.

Toilets Toilets at Balloch Castle.

Go around the side of the Castle for more stunning views.

Path Go around the side of the Castle for more stunning views.

There is numerous seating and interpretation on the Castle gounds, although some visitors may fiind that the  uneven terrain is restrictive.

Information There is numerous seating and interpretation on the Castle gounds, although some visitors may fiind that the uneven terrain is restrictive.

From the Castle, the path is much wider with a gentle ascent.

Path From the Castle, the path is much wider with a gentle ascent.

Follow the right-hand fork and continue towards the the Moss O Balloch car park

Direction Follow the right-hand fork and continue towards the the Moss O Balloch car park

There are many more seating opportunities along the way,

Seat There are many more seating opportunities along the way,

 

Path

 

Path

 

Path

There are many bench areas along the path as the gradient rises gently uphill

Seat There are many bench areas along the path as the gradient rises gently uphill

There are many benches along this section of the trail as the gradient rises gently uphill

Path There are many benches along this section of the trail as the gradient rises gently uphill

The path begins to follow a gentle descent at this point on the trail.

Path The path begins to follow a gentle descent at this point on the trail.

 

Path

Continue straight on and follow the  descending path.

Path Continue straight on and follow the descending path.

 

Path

 

Path

 

Path

 

Path

Look out for the waymark post (as featured on thhis photograph) and turn right.

Direction Look out for the waymark post (as featured on thhis photograph) and turn right.

Turn right here.

Direction Turn right here.

Continue along the path as it bears right

Path Continue along the path as it bears right

A gentle ascent of 4% (1:25) soon levels-off before descending once again

Path A gentle ascent of 4% (1:25) soon levels-off before descending once again

There are paths options here: turning right will take you toward the Walled Garden, but continue straight on if you want to complete the circular walk and return to the car park.

Direction There are paths options here: turning right will take you toward the Walled Garden, but continue straight on if you want to complete the circular walk and return to the car park.

As before, the path surfaces are in good condition all along the route.

Path As before, the path surfaces are in good condition all along the route.

 

Path

Take this left to complete the Northern circular walk, this leads back to the Moss o Balloch Car Park.

Direction Take this left to complete the Northern circular walk, this leads back to the Moss o Balloch Car Park.

Balloch Castle Country Park Phototrail

 

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Map Markers

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Accessibility Info Amenities Info Facilities Info Features Info Way Finding Info
Barrier
Clearance
Gate
Gradient
Obstacle
Seat
Step
Surface
Visibility
Width
Accessible toilets
Blue Badge parking bays
CarPark
Public Transport
Toilets
Bird Hide
Boating
Cafe
Fishing
Museum & Heritage
Shelter
Viewing Platform
Visitor Centre
Water  Sports Centre
Wildlife
Feature of Interest
Information
View
Direction
End
Path
Start

 

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Vertical Profile

This is an approximate vertical profile with samples taken at 100m intervals along the trail.

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