Autumn view over Loch Lomond from Conic Hill, on the West Highland Way near Balmaha
View of Conic Hill from the road between Drymen and Balmaha
View of Loch Lomond from Balmaha, on the West Highland Way
Balmaha
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Balmaha is guarded by a dinosaur. The dinosaur is disguised as a hill - Conic Hill. It sits above the tiny village of Balmaha, offering great views out over Loch Lomond and all its little islands. If you look closely at Conic Hill from any angle, you'll see the big rounded humped back of the beast. And if you stand on its back looking down at Balmaha and Loch Lomond you'll see the humped neck dribble down into the waters of Loch Lomond as if for a drink. Those little islands are not what they first appear to be. Watch closely and they will move.
The view from the top of Conic Hill is wonderful. It's got to be one of the best views from a small hill in all of Scotland. We're talking some seriously scenic stuff here. I think it's the islands that do it, that and their position in the loch. Each island has a name. There's Inchmurrin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch all making up the strange dinosaur-like neck of the beast, and others like Inchlonaig, Inchmoan and Clairinsh, the latter looking strangely like a fish on the map. Inchcailloch was the burial-place of the MacGregors.
There's not a great deal to Balmaha: some boats, a superb inn, a Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park visitor centre, and that's about it. But it's all you need. Walkers on the West Highland Way who stop at Balmaha will pretty much find themselves utterly captivated by the scenery, the loch, and that giant snoozing beast.
LOCH LOMOND FROM CONIC HILL
CONIC HILL FROM THE ROAD
LOCH LOMOND FROM BALMAHA
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How to
GET THERE
You can get a bus to Balmaha from Balloch, which has a railway station connected to Glasgow Queen Street low level station.
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