Ike visits Loch Lomond and the village of Luss

Ike is away with Geography Cat’s friend Jane. He, she, and friends visited Luss on the western shore of Loch Lomond. Luss is one of the most popular places in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Scotland, and it boosts fine views of Ben Lomond. There are waterbus and cruise options to and from Luss Pier and the adventurers decided to take the Cruise Loch Lomond’s 90 minute cruise on the loch.

Ike looks over Loch Lomond
Ike looking towards Luss Pier

The ferry was due to depart at 11.30 so they had time to walk around the village in the warm sunshine. There were a number of people in small boats on the water and some brave people were jumping off the pier into the cold water! Jane said this was a common practice in Luss.

Ike watches the action on the water from Luss Pier

Wallabies on  Inchconnachan Island

One of the islands on Loch Lomond, Inchconnachan, has a large colony of feral wallabies which were introduced in the 1940s by Fiona Bryde Colquhoun, later known as Lady Arran. Lady Arran once owned a backyard menagerie that included creatures like wallabies, llamas, and pigs. After the Second World War she moved her wallabies to her holiday home on Inchconnachan.

Lady Arran was also a celebrated power boater, and earned herself the nickname “the fastest granny on water.”

Ike looks over to Inchconnachan Island on the left

On the cruise Ike saw some beautiful scenery.

Inchmoan Island on the left

The ferry soon approached the island of Inchcailloch to drop off passengers but the time of the return journey was too late to them to catch the bus home so Ike and friends stayed on the ferry. Ike was disappointed not to have a picnic on the beach at Port Bawn.

Approaching Inchcailloch

Port Bawn, Inchcailloch
Jetty at Port Bawn, Inchcailloch

Port Bawn

After dropping off passengers at Port Bawn the ferry made the return journey back to Luss.

Ike looks over at Inchmoan (left) and Inchcruin (right)

Highland Boundary Fault

Ike was impressed by the scenery from the loch. The captain of the ferry announced when the ferry was passing over the Highland Boundary Fault. This is a major fault zone that traverses Scotland from Arran and Helensburgh on the west coast to Stonehaven in the east.

Ike noticed how much larger the hills of the Highlands were in comparison to those in the Lowlands.

Conic Hill

Conic Hill lies on actual fault line of the Highlands Boundary Fault. The actual fault line divides the Highlands from the Lowlands. To the south, the lands are hilly but noticeably flatter than the mountainous region to the north.

Conic Hill divides the Highlands and the Lowlands
Conic Hill
Lowland Hills
Ike looks over to the Arrochar Alps

Arrochar Alps

Ike looked over to a range of highland mountains which Jane said were known as the Arrochar Alps. These  are a group of mountains located around the head of Loch Long, Loch Fyne, and Loch Goil, near the villages of Arrochar and Lochgoilhead.

Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Laomainn, ‘Beacon Mountain’)is 974 metres (3,196 ft) high and is a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. It is situated on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and is the most southerly of the Munros. It is a very popular with hillwalkers.

Ike looks over to Ben Lomond

Luss Parish Church

There has been a Church on this site at Loch Lomond since the year 510 AD. Luss Church was founded by the Celtic Saint, MacKessog (a nick-name which means ‘little spear’). Archaeological works in preparation for the golf course on the banks of Loch Lomond discovered Christian remains which substantiate Luss’s claim to fifteen hundred years of continuous Christian presence here.

The present church was built in 1875 and underwent a major restoration programme in 2001.

Luss Parish Church

Vikings in Luss

In 1263 Haco, King of Norway decided to invade Loch Lomond, against the King of Scotland. He sailed from Bergen and arrived in the River Clyde. The Vikings invaded the lands on the west side of Loch Lomond and reduced the villages to ruin.

King Haco was defeated at Largs and forced to return to Norway with no hopes of a stronghold in Scotland. The Vikings invaded Loch Lomond but only settled for a short time. The Luss Viking Hogback grave proves that a Viking did stay behind.

Ike on the Viking Hogback gravestone

Hogback Stone

This historic monument from the 11th century has recently been conserved thanks to an Ancient Monument Grant from Historic Environment Scotland and a Built Heritage Repair Grant from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The Hogback stone is an important 11th century scheduled monument. It is thought that it could have been used to mark more than one grave in its time and may have been of Viking origin.

However, in recent years the condition of the stone had deteriorated with extensive biological growth obscuring the sculpted stone work. It was also in danger of being damaged by adjacent leaning gravestones. Mosses were removed from the stone exposing its fine carving and neighbouring, leaning gravestones carefully straightened. The stone was then raised onto a small plinth and surrounded with gravel.

Luss Village

Luss in one of the prettiest villages in Scotland and Ike was able to get a view of the pretty flowers and houses which were built in the 19th century.  Nothing has really changed in Luss from this time.

In 1748 the Laird of Luss allowed slate quarrying in Luss and the village grew as a result of the many quarry workers. The last quarry to be operated, Auchengaven, closed in 1955, and the areas they occupied are now covered and largely obscured by vegetation.

The blue, purple or grey Luss slates were in demand because they were thinner and lighter, and as they did not have to be carried over open sea they were not subject to tax, which made them cheaper. Many houses in Glasgow have Luss slate roofs.

Garden in Luss
Luss Village on the road leading to the pier

The Queen’s Tree

To celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history, the residents of Luss planted a tree on 9th September, 2015 to commemorate this historic event. Ike got his photo taken beside the tree.

The day out in Luss was coming to an end and Ike, Jane and friends made their way to the bus stop to catch the bus back to Glasgow. It had been a lovely day out on a warm sunny day.

Further Information

Luss is on the A82 road from Balloch to Tarbet. It is a 45 minute drive from Glasgow.

Public transport:

Rail travel from Glasgow Central/Glasgow Queen Street and may involve a change of trains at Partick Station but no platform changes are required at Partick.

Scottish Citylink buses from Buchanan Street Bus Station will drop passengers at the layby on the A82 at Luss. Booking is advised.

Cruises from Luss

Cruise Loch Lomond offer a number of different cruises from Luss Pier. Sweeney’s Cruises offer tours from nearby Balloch.