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Buying tickets for the Faerie Trial at Luss

We spent a great deal of time during our holiday visiting this beautiful village on the banks of Loch Lomond. Luss is Gaelic for herb and the village was so named after St Kessog. As Irish missionary to Scotland, he was martyred, and the legend is told that herbs grew on his grave. 

Luss Church
Luss Church

The village of Luss is characterised by the neat row of cottages that once belonged to the slate quarry workers that worked in the surrounding area. The appealing thatched cottages built by the Laird around the village have slate roofs, as timber was in short supply.  Now they are a popular tourist attraction, and the main street leads down to Luss pier.

Luss cottages
Luss cottages
Luss Pier
Luss Pier

This is the focal point of the village where there are ice cream vans and holiday makers taking advantage of water sport activities.  There are also beautiful views of the Luss Hills and Ben Lomond with their peaks reflecting on the water.  Luss church is away from the tourist track and has a quiet atmosphere as it sits overlooking the water. 

Jumping off the Luss pier
Jumping off the Luss pier
Paddle boarder passes Luss pier
Paddle boarder passes Luss’ lifeboat pier

A feature of Luss is the nearly developed Faerie trail which my granddaughters loved and takes in the nearby forest and river valley.  You buy your tickets from the Airstream trailer in the Luss overspill carpark before heading off into the forest and meeting the Faeries.  Luckily no Trolls can be seen as they are all in School learning how to behave. Luss is a delightful place to stay and is a perfect base for exploring Loch Lomond and its surroundings.

Here is more information on Luss and the Faerie Trial

All pictures were taken with the Fujifilm x100v


Ben Lomond

Many years back we visited Loch Lomond and our group climbed Ben Lomond. Not all of us made it to the summit and only Natasha, my middle daughter, was successful. Twenty years on, we were back. This time, Siân and I wanted to make it to the top and Natasha was keen to do the double. The weather was warm and sunny when we arrived at the base car park in Rowardennan on the east side of the Loch. It is directly on the opposite side to where we were staying but took a good 45 minutes to get there by car.

Boots together
Boots together

We set off in high spirits. Straight away, Natasha found the going difficult and I was worried for her. After her initial worries subsided, she got into a routine and was determined to carry on. As soon as we had come out of the forest, the views of Loch Lomond were beautiful and the higher you got, the more spectacular they became. As the pictures show the day was ideal for viewing the scenery as we moved towards the top.

Plenty of photo calls.
The official start of the Ben Lomond climb
There is much excitement at the start but there is still some serious walking to be done

The path has both step sections and then long parts which have a lower incline allowing some respite during the climb. There are several false dawns as you think you are reaching the top only to realise there is another part of the Munro to climb. The cloud lingered around the top but when we finally saw the Trig Pillar, we knew we had achieved our goal.

Natasha climbing Ben Lomond
Natasha is picking up the pace
Climbing Loch Lomond
Siân on a mission with that magnificent backdrop
Climbing Loch Lomond
A commanding view of the Loch
Climbing Loch Lomond
Higher and higher we go
Climbing Loch Lomond
Is this the final push?
Climbing Loch Lomond
We have reached the summit but the Trig does look a bit weather beaten.
Climbing Loch Lomond
Rob and Tash making the final ascent

For Rob and Jim this was their first Munro that they had bagged.  For Siân and I, we had finally done what we had not achieved during our last visit.  For Natasha it was a personal achievement especially considering how she felt at the beginning of the trek.  We took our pictures, had our lunch, and then set off down the trail.  It was quicker going down, but it also involved and stretched different muscles.  On the way down we met some rangers who were repairing the path and we remarked how fit they must be on their walk to work half-way up Ben Lomond.  They quickly replied that it did not worry them, and they will sign us up tomorrow for the work!  After 5 hours, we were back at the car, weary but very pleased with ourselves.  For me, it had been a great opportunity to photograph the day and I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Climbing Loch Lomond
Let the celebrations begin
Climbing Loch Lomond
Siân, the photographer and Natasha
Climbing Loch Lomond
Siân and Jim
Climbing Loch Lomond
The view of our holiday house, Stuckdarach
Climbing Loch Lomond
Going Down
Climbing Loch Lomond
The path back down the mountain

For more details of how to get to and climb Ben Lomond, then there are several good sites including “walkhighlands”and “Visit Scotland”that give a range of resources.


Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond

On the Bonnie, Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond so the song goes.  The shores and waters of the Loch provide wonderful photographic opportunities and I had the opportunity to visit further afield as well.  I cannot do justice to all the sights that are available and previous visits to the area means that the pictures and stories are more a personal taste of what you can expect around the park.

Last light on Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond
Last light Loch Lomond
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 10secs, ISO 160

The pier at the Duck Bay Restaurant has commanding views of Loch Lomond making it an ideal place for a long exposure picture. The light was fading and Ben Lomond on the right was still visible. Editing was simple with a little extra on the saturation to bring out the colour in the reflections.

Carrick Castle

Carrick Castle
Carrick Castle
Camera – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 13secs, ISO 100

When I saw pictures of this castle on the Internet then I knew that I had to go and see it.  Carrick castle is on the western shores of Loch Gail and it is a single track road to get there. I cajoled my daughter in taking me to the castle early the the morning.  The sun had risen, and the sky was cloudy.  I still enjoyed taking photographs of Carrick castle and this getting down low picture was my favourite one.

Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond
Looking down from the Summit of Ben Lomond
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 1/250secs, ISO 200

This was may favourite picture from the walk-up Ben Lomond and this was just as we were turning around going down the southern face.  The light escaping between the rocky crags provides an idea of the nature of the mountain.  When the going is good then the mountain looks inviting.  I have climbed a previous time when the going was not so good and such pictures were not possible.

Loch Long

View of Loch Long from Arrochar
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 1/250secs, ISO 320

Our holiday house was not far from Arrochar which is at the head of Loch Long.  We went for Sunday lunch at the Village Inn which was next to the shores.  I took several pictures on the sea loch shore and whilst the sun was high in the sky there was still the opportunity to find some nice reflections on the water. 

Helensburgh

Helensburgh
Helensburgh
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 1/250secs, ISO 320

The town nestled on the Clyde has such a history with the inventor of TV John Logie Baird and the interior of Hill House designed by Renee Macintosh.  However, its time as a seaside resort is long gone but the centre retains a certain charm and there is a thriving community there.  The large cruise ships come into Greenock which is on the other side of the Loch.

Much of the background was found by reading through the Loch Lomond and the Trossacks National Park site on Visit Scotland.


I just love going up to Scotland and the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are so different but rather wonderful in their own particular way. First stop was Glasgow and I was there for a conference in September. I stayed in the City for the week and then Sandy came to join me on the Saturday. The Conference was at the University of Glasgow which is very photogenic with its imposing Gothic structure overlooking the city. Some of the lecture theatres were also surreal such as the Kelvin Gallery which had a definite Steampunk feel to it. After the conference we went up to Loch Lomond to visit friends and even though it was misty, the magic of the scenery was there to see.

Grafitti greeting
Glasgow University
Steampunk lecture theatre
Glasgow Town Hall
Scottish Dancing
The weather was good on some of the days! (featured by BBD Scotland)
Early morning on the Clyde (featured by BBC Scotland)
The beauty of Loch Lomond