The village of Balloch in West Dunbartonshire is a popular destination for those in the West of Scotland and beyond. It lies on the southern tip of Loch Lomond, the largest lake in the United Kingdom.
It is widely regarded to be an excellent destination for those travelling with dogs! We took a summer evening trip with Chase and Lewis to see if Balloch is worth the hype.
Getting to Balloch
It’s easy to reach Balloch by public transport. If you live in Glasgow or the surrounding area, you can get there with a short train ride.
There is a train to Balloch every half hour from Glasgow Queen Street. It goes from the low level at platform number eight and takes 40 minutes. The train journey offers pleasant scenery. You’ll enjoy good views of the Erskine Bridge, Bowling Basin and the River Leven.
In the Village of Balloch
The village of Balloch is a quaint place, filled with guest houses, gift shops and pubs. Most of the main points of interest are confined to the main street, Balloch Road. You can also find some attractions, shops and eateries at Loch Lomond Shores, a shopping centre with excellent views of the water.
Immediately across from the station, you’ll find Balloch Visitor Centre, where you can pick up more information about the village if you wish. If you take a right turn, you’ll cross a small bridge over the River Leven where you can see a range of boats in the water.
It’s a very charming place to be. In good weather, you’ll find lots of day trippers and tourists. You can expect to see plenty of dogs too, although most of the puppers we saw were under good control.
Chase was so excited to be in Balloch that he was pulling hard on his lead. Lewis was a little more relaxed, taking in the views and ambling along. As usual, lots of people wanted to come and meet the lads who were all too happy to get a scratch behind the ears.
Things to do With Dogs in Balloch
Balloch offers a range of dog-friendly activities. One of the most popular things to do is taking a cruise out onto Loch Lomond. Sweeney’s Cruise Co welcomes well-behaved dogs onboard at no extra charge. They offer a variety of different cruise types offering visitors the chance to see different parts of the Loch and its surroundings.
If you’re looking for good walks in the area, head into Balloch Castle Country Park. A mix of grassy hills, woodland trails and lakeside beaches provide something for every visitor to love! Our lads loved paddling in the water and Lewis even enjoyed a drink right from the lake!
You can also take a stroll around the ornate Balloch Castle or wander the paths in the walled garden. There is so much to see and experience in the park, it’s well worth a visit on its own. Be aware that there are always lots of dogs in the park and many will be off-lead.
Places to Eat With Dogs in Balloch
Many of Balloch’s restaurants, pubs and cafes throw their doors open to four-legged friends. Take a walk down Balloch Road and you’ll see so many different options.
We chose to eat at Scoops of Balloch, which we were pleased to find was still open late into the evening. As soon as we entered, a staff member came out with fresh water for the lads which went down very well on this warm night. Dog-friendly ice cream was advertised but sadly they had run out. Us humans had toasties and ice creams which were very well-priced.
Other dog-friendly spots include:
- The Tullie Inn have a special dog menu including burgers and fish and chips
- The Loch Lomond Hotel & welcomes dogs onto the outdoor decking and in the bar
- The Balloch House, a comfortable pub with leather armchairs and a beer garden
- Café Zest, a modern, friendly café in the Loch Lomond Shores development
- The Dog House, a small pub with a kitchen
There were plenty of food trucks around too, so you could easily grab a bite on the go if you don’t feel like sitting down. There is a Co-Op supermarket near the village bus terminal if you’re looking for a few conveniences. We stopped for milk and cucumbers to keep the lads hydrated.
Stay in Balloch
If you want to stay a little longer in Balloch, you’ll enjoy plenty of options, including:
- Gowanlea Guest House, a small, cosy place in the heart of the village
- The Balloch House Hotel, a grand hotel offering luxury service
- Sunnyside B & B, a welcoming spot with affordable rooms
Camping is another popular activity in Balloch. Lomond Woods Holiday Park offers tent and caravan camping for dog owners.
Balloch is an ideal destination for those traveling with dogs. It makes pets so welcome and there is plenty to do. Its easy access means you can easily visit for a short trip. In the warmer months, you can even enjoy Balloch in the evening after work!
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