Balloch Castle Country Park, Balloch

4.6
#3 of 7 in Parks in West Dunbartonshire
Nature / Park
Balloch Castle is an early 19th-century country house situated at the southern tip of Loch Lomond, in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Balloch was a property of the Lennox family from the 11th century, and the old castle was built in the 13th century. In the 19th century the estate was purchased by John Buchanan of Ardoch, who demolished the ruins of the old castle and erected the present building. The Tudor Gothic architecture is the work of Robert Lugar. In 1915 Balloch was bought by Glasgow City Corporation, and has been leased by West Dunbartonshire Council since 1975. The estate was designated as a country park in 1980, and since 2002 has been part of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Although the house has been periodically used for visitor facilities and council offices, it is now included on the Buildings at Risk Register. Balloch Castle is a category A listed building, and the estate is included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.HistoryThe old castleThe lands of Balloch were granted to the Lennox family in 1072 by King Malcolm III, forming part of the ancient earldom of Lennox. The earls of Lennox built the original Balloch Castle around 1238, and held it until approximately 1390. Many of their early charters were dated at Balloch. The earls afterwards moved their base to the island of Inchmurrin in Loch Lomond, where the remains of a late 14th-century castle can still be seen. Situated nearer the water than the present day castle, there are no standing remains, the earthworks can still be seen. An irregular mound, approximately 50by, surrounded by a ditch up to across. This site is given statutory protection as a scheduled monument.
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Where to stay in Balloch

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Google
4.5
  • Ballocj Castle country Park is ideal for a 1-2 hours stroll along the shores of Loch Lomond. Although it is at walking distance from Balloch town, I dare to recommend to get there by car and park. Tra...  more »
  • Absolutely beautiful 1.8 mile walk (yellow route) takes in lovely woodland paths, loch views, brilliant view of Balloch Castle lovely mostly level walk apart from the steep part of path as you walk up...  more »
  • Lovely grounds, good walking trails. Castle was closed for renovations but adequate signage directed us to toilets and snack shop. Beautiful views of the Loch. Can't wait to go back!  more »
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  • Large and beautiful grounds with great views of the loch. Lots of grassed areas for sitting. The walled haven is nice. The castle is a bit of a let down though.
  • Awsome place. A note to visitors only toilets once your in the park is behind a tree or bush. Come on Dumbarton council get it together and provide some toilet facilities. O and get a shifty on renavation that castle too.
  • Beautiful park! I went in Autumn, the place is magical and colourful, and the contrast with the foggy Loch Lomond is outstanding. The castle could not be visited unfortunately but it looked great from outside!
  • Really good area to walk. Dog really enjoyed it as well. Plenty area to picnic or just enjoy the sun. Really nice views of the Loch from up at the castle. Would get 5 stars but castle has had scaffolding up for what seems like years.
  • Extensive woodland park with paths through many and various habitats, including formal gardens, open grassland and freshwater margins. Very popular with dog walkers.