OverviewBen Lomond stands at 3195feet/974metres and is peak number 184 in the Munro heights table. Located within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and situated on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond itself, the peak is the southern most Munro in Scotland. Due to it's proximity to Glasgow, Ben Lomond is probably one of the busiest mountains in Scotland. A fair weathered weekend can easily have in excess of 200 people scaling its bulky slopes. The translation of its name from Gaelic means Beacon Hill.
Ben Lomond, Luss & The Trossachs
In the eighteenth century, having scaled Ben Lomond, John Stodd described it as 'a stupendous precipice of 2,000ft, exciting a degree of surprise arising almost in terror'. Also in the same century Colonel Thornton celebrated his ascent with a lunch that consisted of ptarmigan, moor-cock, smoked ham, and reindeer tongue that was then washed down with champagne that had been cooled in the snow. I think I just had sandwiches, a bar of chocolate and some juice but, hey I enjoyed it the same.
The summit is a fairly short, level topped ridge that offers fantastic views if you are fortunate enough to get a clear day. Views onto Loch Lomond, Loch Sloy reservoir/dam lodged in between the Arrochar Alps and beyond to the Crianlarich Hills with Ben More very distinct at the end of this range to name but a few of the sights to sit and admire.
Ben Lomond should take roughly 5 to 7 hours to complete depending on your chosen route of ascent/descent.
Getting ThereFrom Glasgow take the A82 Loch Lomond road until reaching the Balloch roundabout (the one with the metal ducks). Turn right onto the A811 and continue along this road until reaching Drymen. From there take the A837 to Balmaha and continue onwards to reach Rowardennan (care should be taken on this road as it is very narrow and not in the best of conditions).
Prestwick International Airport
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Scottish City Link
Red TapeThere is no red tape in Scotland due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which incorporated the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This code, which commenced on the 9th of February 2005, has established statutory rights of access to land and inland water for outdoor recreation.
The Land Reform(Scotland) Act 2003
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The following aspects should be taken into consideration when you are in the Scottish countryside;
- Seek local advice in regard to deer stalking or grouse shooting activities
- Ensure that all gates are closed behind you
- During the lambing season (March to May) ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead
- Please refrain from feeding or annoying any animals
- Limited parking space is available at the start of many routes, please ensure that you are not blocking a road and/or entrance
- Parking is provided at the start of some routes by the local farmers, it is polite to ask if you can use this facility
- Try to refrain from crossing fields with animals and/or crops if an alternative route is available
- Ensure that you treat the local environment with care by leaving it as you found it and by taking any litter home with you
- Any camp fires should be carefully watched and only used away from dense forest areas
AccommodationThe best place to base yourself for climbing Ben Lomond is Rowardennan, however due to its proximity to Glasgow, there is a wide variety of accommodation available in the city and surrounding areas.
Oak Tree Inn
Buchanan Arms Hotel & Spa
Rowardennan Hotel Bunkhouse
Hostels & Campsites
Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel
Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland and can be done in various locations close to Ben Lomond. This is due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 that was mentioned earlier.
Here are some of the basic rules that should be adopted when wild camping;
- The larger the group, the harder it is to keep impacts to a minimum. Keep groups small.
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible.
- Remember that noise travels from tents disturbing wildlife as well as humans.
- Enjoy the freedom of wild camping without leaving a trace of your passage. Protect our country's outstanding scenery and wildlife as well as the wilderness experience.
- Camping on the same spot harms vegetation. Aim to move frequently and do not stay for any longer than 3 nights in the same place.
- Lighting fires poses a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass. A high risk of fire can exist at any time of year, and not just in times of drought.
- Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Take extra care when camping near burns and lochs, and try to avoid camping immediately beside them.
- Always find a spot at least 30 metres from fresh/running water when going to the toilet.
- Bury excrement in a small hole (not under boulders). A trowel or ice axe can be used to lift a flap of turf.
- Remove all litter (even other peoples!) Think ahead and only carry in what you are prepared to carry out.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland provides an invaluable leaflet providing a full breakdown of the dos and don'ts of wild camping in Scotland. Wild Camping, A guide to good practice.
Please note that wild camping is now restricted on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond due to misuse/overuse in the area. Please see the following link
East Loch Lomond Camping Byelaws
Mountain/Weather conditionsBen Lomond is accessible all year round however, as you can get four seasons in one day in Scotland, care should be taken at all times.
West Highlands Mountain Forecast
Books & Maps
The Southern Highlands by Donald Bennet
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names by Peter Drummond
The Munros (SMC Hillwalkers guide) edited by Donald Bennet & Rab Anderson
Cicerone Guide - Central and Southern Scottish Highlands – backpacking guide by Graham Uney
Walking Loch Lomond & The Trossachs by Ronald Turnbull
The Munros by Cameron McNeish
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names by Peter Drummond
Ski Mountaineering in Scotland by Donald Bennet & Bill Wallace
OS Map Explorer 364 - Loch Lomond North
OS Map Landranger - Loch Lomond & Inveraray
Ben Lomond Superwalker Map
Walk the Highlands
The Scottish Mountaineering Club