blog | 09 Feb 23

Boats, boots & 7.5 miles of the West Highland Way

The West Highland Way Rambler Cruise is the perfect way to experience a stretch of the famous West Highland Way, Britain's longest Footpath.  As it is only 7.5 miles, its perfect for a half day leisurely walk.
West Highland Rambler Cruise Loch Lomond
Departing from the pier in the morning from Tarbet, Loch Lomond you can sit back and enjoy the cruise to the eastern shore of the Loch. *There is also the option to do the walk the opposite way round, from Rowardennan to Inversnaid.
The Inversnaid Hotel, which boasts some of the best views of Loch Lomond, was commissioned by the Duke of Montrose in 1820 and was originally used as a hunting lodge but tourism was booming and it was soon converted into a hotel.
The area itself is a historically important location and has hosted clan warfare, Jacobite rebels and Highland clearances. The most infamous of locals was the cattle reiver and outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor who lived in nearby Glengyle.

Once off the boat at Inversnaid, take a turn to the right hand side of the Hotel and climb the steep steps to the top of the Arklet Falls.
A lovely place to stop and take photos looking out over the Loch and to the Haggis factory on the hill opposite.
Setting out on the 7.5 mile path you will walk through ancient oak woodland and scramble among boulders above remote Loch inlets.
This area is home to a wide range of wildlife, including the rare feral goat which roams the surrounding hillside. There are also a wide variety of rare birds in the area including Black Grouse, Pie Flycatcher, Redstart, Twite, Wood Warbler, Red Kite and the majestic Ospreys.

It wouldn't be the Bonnie Banks if we didn't have a High Road and a Low Road and you are given the option a couple of miles into your walk. At Ptarmigan Lodge you can either take the higher forestry road or you have the option to take the low Loch side road. Both beautiful routes but with possibly more Loch side picnic spots and views we tend to favour the low road.

If you are feeling a bit peckish on your walk some enterprising folk along the way have set up a wee Honesty Stop. With homemade tablet, energy bars, slices of orange its a great place to take a breather and if you have kids with you, to entice them on with treats.With no rubbish collection at this point of the Loch just remember to take everything with you when leaving.
There are a number of little beaches where you can take your time to stop for a picnic.

The return ferry back to Tarbet departs from the Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel . The Youth Hostel offers snacks, ice lollies, cold and hot drinks throughout the day. If you have a bit more time to relax after your walk then the Rowardennan Hotel offers lunch options.
This is a 15 minute walk from the jetty at the hostel so just remember to leave plenty of time for your walk back.
Our boat departs at the Rowardennan Youth Hostel jetty late afternoon with a 45 minute sailing back to Tarbet.

We recommend

• There are lots of ‘ups and downs’ on this walk and along rocky paths so good walking boots are recommended.
• This walk is family friendly (recommended for children aged 10+ who are able to walk 7.5 miles).

Check our timetable for the most up to date information.

Cruises you might like

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West Highland Way Rambler Cruise Loch Lomond

Explorer Cruises

West Highland Way Rambler - Northbound


Sail from Tarbet to Rowardennan and try a taster of the West Highland Way, one of Scotland's top, long distance walking routes running along the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. (Weekends only)



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Across the Loch

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CRUISES 2023 Boats have been painted, spruced up and are looking great for the start of the season. Our full schedule of cruises departing from Tarbet, Inversnaid, Rowardennan, Luss and Balmaha will start on Friday 31st March. We have 'Classic' 1hr and 90 min cruises departing from Luss, Tarbet and Balmaha and our popular 'Explorer' cruises which drop you at different locations around Loch Lomond, perfect to explore all the amazing walks we have on our doorstep. We look forward to welcoming you on board!

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☕️???????????????? Our Bonnie and Ben takeaway cafe has had a bit of a makeover! Soon to be selling bacon rolls, paninis and homemade soup in addition to our delicious coffees and hot drinks. Pop in and say hello! ????Tarbet Pier car park ⏰ Open daily from 8.30am.

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What a morning at Loch Lomond ????⛰????????

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What a glorious autumnal photo of our boat at Balmaha. Thank you to @myscottishlifestyle for sharing this pic with us!

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Our scheduled cruises run till the end of October, we’d love to welcome you on board!

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INCHCAILLOCH ISLAND - HAVE YOU BEEN? ???? This is one of our favourite ‘Explorer cruises’, a 45 minute sailing from the pretty village of Luss, sailing past the islands of Loch Lomond and arriving at Port Bawn on Inchcailloch. With a fantastic beach and picnic spot it’s a great place to relax and take in the beauty of the loch. There are pathways that lead you round the island, ideal for families with little ones. Keep an eye out for fallow deer, woodpeckers, otter and osprey, we have even seen white deer here! ⛴ Daily sailings from Luss at 10.00am, 11.30am and 1.45pm Return boat departs at 12.00pm, 1.45pm and 3.15pm. ???? Tickets: £18.00 adult return, Child: £10.00, family £54.00 ???? Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead on Inchcailloch Island Go to: ???? Stirling Experience

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With the weather still warm we’re off to a good start in September! Our full schedule of cruises will run from September through to end of October ( weather permitting). So come and explore Loch Lomond, whether you enjoy our classic stay on board cruises, or hop off with our explorer cruises at Inversnaid, Balmaha, Luss, Rowardennan or Inchcailloch Island. ????????‍♀️????????‍♀️???? Remember we’re dog and bike friendly too! ????

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Glorious views of Loch Lomond today ☀️☀️☀️

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DID YOU KNOW that all our skippers give a live commentary on our cruises? So as well as taking you to the most amazing locations around the loch, they’ll tell you the history of the area, the wildlife you might spot and there might even be the odd wee joke or two thrown in! Here’s Skipper Archie showing us how it’s done.

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We welcomed @scotlands_stories on board with us last week and here’s their story of their time on Inchcailloch Island…..‘ How can I get a picture with this view of Loch Lomond?’ I hear you ask! Well, while everybody else is on the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond, you're going to need to get yourself to Inchcailloch, one of the 22 islands in the middle. Molly and I took the scenic journey by booking a trip with @cruiselochlomond which left from the wee village of Luss on the west bank. The trip took a wee tour around the loch with expert commentary on some of the other islands along the way. No wallabies to be seen, but the Ospreys were out and about! Inchcailloch has been on my bucketlist for a while and it didn't disappoint, especially on a day like this. It's not a huge island, but there's still stories to discover. Buried in the undergrowth, but easy to find, you'll come across a ruined church and a jumble of old gravestones. This is the church of St Kentigerna, the mother of St Fillan who allegedly established a little chapel on this site in the 8th century. Inchcailloch is said to be named after her, translating as the island of the old woman or cowled woman meaning a nun! Amazing to think this was once a parish church and locals would row across the loch every Sunday up until 1621, true dedication. If you can read through the moss then you'll find a lot of Macfarlanes and Macgregors buried here, including Rob Roy's uncle once the Macgregor Clan Chief. After a couple hours of wandering the forest tracks and climbing to the summit of this little hill for the panorama, we still had an hour before Cruise Loch Lomond came to get us. Plenty of time for a wee dip in the shallow bay at Port Brawn, much needed for both Molly and I to cool off. This was easily up there with one of the most enjoyable things I've done all year and hopefully it's convinced you to get out there the next time you're visiting Loch Lomond and explore! It can get busy so book ahead and you can look through a range of boat trips like this through the @stirlingalive website - I reckon Molly would agree that this summer, happiness is a bookable experience!

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MAGICAL ISLANDS This was Inchcailloch Island yesterday, a wee taste of the Mediterranean on Loch Lomond! Departures from Luss daily: 10.00am 11.30am 1.15pm Adults £18.00 Child £10.00 Departures daily. We recommend booking online over the busy summer period. * Leave plenty of time to park your car and to make your way to the Luss Pier. ????

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We hosted an incredible wedding on board yesterday at @thecruin for Fraser and Julie! A beautiful day for a lovely couple! Here’s our crew member Helle walking down the pier to greet the boats.