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Nature at its best
Winter Inspiration

There are many reasons to consider planning a holiday to Scotland during the Winter months, in fact there are many who would argue that it is the best time of year to come.  Apart from the fact that it is very often cheaper, the roads and the more popular destinations are less crowded and the scenery is spectacular with snow-capped peaks and dramatic sunsets.  

Photographers visit the sea lochs area all year long but winter is particularly popular.  With the shorter days comes softer light, deeper shadows and fantastic sunsets.   The weather may not be predictable but then again when is it?  The  Loch Lomond National Park, has fresh water 22 lochs which are surrounded by trees and mountains and are particularly picturesque in the winter, particularly when covered in snow or frost, with their shapes are reflected in the loch waters.  

Loch Long, in front of the hotel, is one of the deepest  sealochs in the area.  It often provides a dramatic backdrop to any seascape composition.  

And of course there are plenty of walking and cycling routes along the loch shores where you can relax and admire the scenery.  What other encouragement do you need to visit and make your own visual record?

Loch Lomond

Winter Cruises

Cruise Loch Lomond can help you access some of the most awe-inspiring places in The National Park – hidden islands, remote peaks and ancient forests and weather permitting have a winter programme too. A 1 hour circular cruise departs from Tarbet Pier. Tickets can be purchased via their website at www.cruiselochlomond.co.uk or through their office by calling 01301 702356. Adult £12/Child £7.50. /Family (2+2) £35.


Sweeney's Cruises will offer you a one-hour circular tour of Loch Lomond's South basin with views of the magnificent Ben Lomond and a number of Loch Lomond's stately homes and castles along the shoreline. Cruises run from November to March at 10:15, 11:30, 13:30* ( *Monday, Tuesday, Thursday).  Call their offices or book online via their website.

Hill House Scotland

Visit Glasgow

The largest city in Scotland is Glasgow, and in winter it is a wonderful place to visit when its cold or wet. 

Museum in Scotland are free and Glasgow has a some world class exhibitiosn for you to choose from such as  the world-famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, the Riverside Museum and the Scotland Street School. If you are still feeling chilling then you can also pop into the Glasgow Botanic Gardens greenhouses!

Glasgow also has some fabulous restaurants and coffee shops.  The West End and Byres Road (which is just across the road from the Botanic Gardens), offers you an excellent range and choice of food including the renowned Ubiquitous Chip in Ashton Lane.  Knockderry House is only an hour from the city by car and if going by train you can get a direct journey from Helensburgh Central.

 

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Winter Walking and Wildlife

If walking is your passion then Ben Lomond, one of Scotland’s most iconic Munros, looks all the more spectacular when the peak is cloaked in snow, however care should be taken and this should only be attempted by seasoned mountaineers with appropriate equipment, as summit conditions can be dangerous.  There are some very good low level walks in the area such as upn our own Peaton Hill or through the Rosneath wood.  The Three Lochs Way is a particular favourite, especially over the hills from Cardross to Balloch as it provides some amazing panoramic views.

Whilst out and about it is worth keeping an eye out for the local wildlife and birdlife.  If up in the mountains you might be lucky enough to spot a Ptarmigan or Artic Hare, both of which dwell on high mountain tops and change their plumage/fur to white for better winter camouflage. On the lower slopes Buzzards and other birds of prey can be spied. and at this time of year, you’re likely to spot red deer as they move to lower grazing. Finally there is every chance you might catch a glimpse of our native red squirrels.  These shy creatures are at last becoming more abundant in our local area, although they are less active during the colder months.

Sea Kayaking

Winter Activities

For those who prefer getting around the wider area why not consider a 4x4 Tour in a  Land Rover Defender?  Full and half day tours are available, allowing you to sit back and enjoy a wonderful tour of the area whilst your kilted Adventure Guide does the driving.  Exhilarating off road driving experiences are also offered for those keen to get in behind the wheel.

If an adrenalin rush is what your are after then, local company, In Your Element offers amazing outdoor activity experiences across the entire area, including archery, guided canoeiing and walking trips, gorge walking, mountain bike hire, abseiling and sea kyaking - just to name a few.  They also offer a whole range of group and corporate activities.  Perfect for this time of year when there are less visitors to the area.