Luss Travel Guide

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Luss Things to Do

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    Loch Lomond

    by ettiewyn Written Jul 29, 2012

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    After Loch Ness, Loch Lomond is maybe the most famous loch in Scotland, due to the much loved song of the same name (see Favourite tip).
    Loch Lomond is Scotland's longest freshwater loch, it is 39km long and up to 8km wide. It is part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and there are several towns along its shore which are popular tourist destinations. Luss is only one small place among these. I would for sure like to visit this area again and maybe do a cruise on the loch.

    Luss is very much dominated by its long beach bordering the loch, this is a lovely area to have a stroll, with great views across the water and the hills around Loch Lomond.

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    National Park Centre

    by ettiewyn Updated Jul 29, 2012

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    As Luss is located within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, it is home to one of the park's visitors centres. Here you can get information about the park and the activities you can do there. There is also a cafe and free toilets for visitors.
    The centre is located close to the northern end of the beach, close to the large car park.

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    Walk through the small town

    by ettiewyn Written Jul 29, 2012

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    As I spent so much time on the banks of the loch watching the rainbow, I did not have much time left for the town of Luss itself. This was ok, though, because there is not that much to see there - there are many pretty houses and cottages, mostly rented out to tourists in the summer, but they all look quite similar and uniform. What I liked very much was the backdrop of the surrounding hills - they were looking quite red in the light of the setting sun, and this was very picturesque!
    I just walked through the village until I got back to the car park.
    My guide book mentions that there is a nice parish church, but I did not check it out.

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    A wonderful rainbow

    by ettiewyn Written Jul 29, 2012

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    Fondest memory: When we went to the beach in Luss, we suddenly saw a wonderful rainbow emerging slowly... The colours became more colourful from second to second, growing ever more strong and intense. It was fascinating, almost all of our group were just standing there in silence, watching fascinated and of course taking pictures. I really held my breath. The whole scenery was wonderful: The light of the setting sun, the large rainbow, the blue water of Loch Lomond and a little boat being located just at the right spot to complete the scene... Just perfect.

    This rainbow was not only special because of its beauty, but for another reason: Just one day before I went to Luss, one of my more distant relatives had died. I was quite sad because although I had not met the elderly man often, I had always liked him. I am a spiritual person, and it was nice to see a rainbow exactly at this time, and to be able to tell my family about this, as I could not be with them.

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    The famous song!

    by ettiewyn Updated Jul 29, 2012

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    Favorite thing: Loch Lomond is perhaps most famous because of a popular folk song of the same name. I heard it for the first time during our guided tour, but when I heard it I recognized the melody, so I must have heard it before some time. It is one of the most popular Scottish songs, and as far as I know, it is not only something for the tourists - my impression is that it is still really loved by the Scottish people. It is a beautiful song indeed and I like it very much, however, it is very sad, too, as it deals with the topics of love and death...

    Here are the lyrics (taken from Wikipedia):

    By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes,
    Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond.
    Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae,
    On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

    Refrain:
    Oh ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road,
    And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
    But me and my true love will never meet again
    On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

    'Twas then that we parted in yon shady glen,
    On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond,
    Where in deep purple hue the Hieland hills we view,
    And the moon comin' out in the gloaming'.

    Refrain

    The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring,
    And in sunshine the waters are sleeping;
    But the broken heart will ken nae second spring again,
    Tho' the waeful may cease frae their greeting.

    Refrain

    There are several stories about the song, but the one our tour guide told us was as follows: During the Jacobite rebellion, two Scottish brothers were captured by the English and were told that one of them could be released and return to Scotland as a free man, while the other needed to die. The brothers could decide by themselves which one should go free and which one should be killed.
    They argued all night long - the younger one wanted to die because he had no family and thought that the older brother would be missed much more by his wife and children, while the older one felt that the younger one should live because he had still so much to experience, while he himself had already experienced a wonderful life full of love.
    In the morning, the younger brother fell asleep, and the older brother quietly left their prison room and went to the watchman to say that he should be killed and his younger brother released.
    Oh my, what a sad and powerful story!!!

    There are of course many, many versions of this song, but here is a more recent one by the popular Scottish band Runrig: Loch Lomond by Runrig

    Related to:
    • Music

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    Guided tour to Luss

    by ettiewyn Written Jul 29, 2012

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    Favorite thing: I visited Scotland in February, and I expected it to be very cold, with snow and stormy weather. Advise on VT confirmed this, and so I decided that I rather did not want to rely too much on public transport which could easily be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather conditions. On the other hand I wanted to get out of Edinburgh and, during my ten days in Scotland, wanted to see as much of the country as possible and to get a good impression of its different landscapes. I already knew that one day I would go back and visit places like Inverness, the Isle of Skye and other places in the north, so I rather saw this trip as an introduction to Scotland, but still I wanted to get as many impressions as possible.
    To make a long story short: What I needed were some guided tours!

    I googled and found Rabbies, a tour company providing day trips from Edinburgh. I was fascinated by their itineraries and by their attitude and policy in general, and so I decided to book some tours with them.
    In the end, the weather was great during my trip, with hardly any rain and no snow at all, but I am still happy that I did the tours with Rabbies. The itineraries were very good, and the three different guides I got to know all did a great job. I think if you don't have much time in Scotland, these tours are a good possibility to see parts you otherwise wouldn't visit. Of course you can't see much, but you can get at least an impression of the highlands, the castles and lochs. What I like about Rabbies is their professionalism and the fact that they are friendly and really care about their customers. They use small vans, so the groups are really small, and lunch is not included, so you can bring your own food if you want to, there is no need to spend a lot of money on an expensive lunch or waste your time in a restaurant if you rather want to be out exploring.

    I absolutely recommend Rabbies, and I plan to return to Scotland and to take some of their multi days tours as well - visiting more places of the highlands as well as the Orkneys and the Hebrides is very high on my bucket list!

    A short visit to Luss is included in their "West Highland Lochs and Castles" tour, which also takes in Doune Castle, Callander, Loch Awe and Inveraray. You can see the itinerary and the other details here.
    This was my favourite tour of the four ones I did with them so far. It was a great itinerary, we saw beautiful scenery and landscape all the time, and it was just a great day out.
    The only concern I have is that I think if Doune Castle had been open, there would not have been enough time to visit it properly, so if Doune Castle is your main place you want to see, I would rather go there on your own to make sure you can visit leisurely.

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