Inchcailloch, Balmaha

4.9
#12 of 38 in Outdoors in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
Inchcailloch is an island on Loch Lomond in Scotland. It is 85 m at its highest point. It is also known to some as Inchebroida.The name Inchcailloch means "Isle of the old woman" or "Isle of the Cowled Woman" in the Scottish Gaelic language. Saint Kentigerna went to Scotland from Ireland to preach and spread Christianity and the island is thought to be named after her.Geography and geologyInchmurrin, Creinch, Torrinch, and Inchcailloch all form part of the Highland boundary fault.There is a burial ground in the north of the island, and a bay, Port Bawn (Port Bàn; White Port), in the south.Like many of the Loch Lomond islands, it is quite heavily wooded.TransportThere is a passenger ferry across the short channel separating it from Balmaha on the mainland. As a result, it receives more visitors than most of the Loch Lomond islands, currently 20,000 visitors per year. There is a camp site in the south at Port Bawn and a nature trail.HistoryInchcailloch has been used as a hunting forest since the reign of Robert the Bruce. Deer still roam the island. White deer have been seen on the island in 2003. The narrow crossing is very shallow making an easy passage for deer to ford. The island was farmed until the early 19th century, being recorded in 1800 as producing good wheat and oats; the ruins of the farm can still be seen. For around 130 years, Inchcailloch was an oak plantation. The resulting timber was processed at Balmaha (on the site of the Highland Way Inn), for making wood vinegar (pyroligneous acid), wood tar, and dye.
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  • Good ferry across beach is lovely didn't even know it existed before friends suggested going. Take a picnic and enjoy found out you can camp as well will be checking that out and be back soon.  more »
  • Watching the latest itv series gave us the desire to visit the little island in Loch Lomond. The tv views were excellent and we fitted this in with a hike up Conic Hill on the same day. Get the ferry ...  more »
  • Making the most of the sunshine. A short ferry trip over to the island from Balmaha, then a walk over the hill to the other side of the island. Quite steep in places so a little challenging for older ...  more »

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