Balloch Castle Country Park

[Balloch Castle - undergoing repairs in June 2016]

Balloch Castle Country Park lies just to the north of Balloch town centre, a planned landscape centred around 19th century Balloch Castle. Technically the park is (just) south of the Highland Boundary Fault and therefore in the Lowlands, but there are hints of Highland grandeur in the views across the loch from the shoreline paths. There's quite a lot to see here, and seeking out the various bits and pieces (walled garden, Chinese garden, Fairy Glen and Loch Lomond itself to name a few) is more complicated than you might expect due to the aimlessly meandering paths (who designed these?!). The expanse of open grassland in the middle of the park used to be grazed by sheep and cattle... nowadays, as the park leaflet helpfully informs you, "you're more likely to see a lawnmower". Charming.

[Walled garden]

Name: Balloch Castle Country Park ★★☆☆
Location (car park): North side of Balloch, G.R.: NS 391823 ///trappings.autumn.union
Open: Always
Cost: Free
Anything else? A scenic path along the east bank of the River Leven makes access on foot easy from Balloch railway station. Park map here.

[Fairy Glen, at the northern edge of the park]

[Inside the walled garden]

[Gardens near the castle]

[View from the shore of Loch Lomond]

[River Leven at the south end of the park]

[Swans on the River Leven]

[River Leven]

[Juvenile mandarin duck on the River Leven (August 2017)]

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