Loch Lomond, the well-known "Queen of Scottish Lochs" is 23 miles long and 4 miles across at its widest point. It is the largest stretch of inland water in Britain, covering almost 28 square miles, and reaches a depth of 623 feet near Tarbet. Ben Lomond, now owned by the National Trust, rises to 3192 feet and is the most prominent feature around the loch, a path at Rowardennan leads to the top.
Loch Lomond is home to 38 islands, one of the better-known being Inchcailloch (island of old women or nuns), so-called because a nunnery once existed there; the island also houses the burial ground of the Clan MacGregor. Island I Vow, near Ardlui, has a small ruined castle with a well-preserved dungeon, a stronghold of the clan MacFarlane; and Inchlonaig, near Luss, has yew trees reputed to have been planted by King Robert the Bruce to provide bows for his archers at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Enjoy the view, and see some of the islands at closer quarters, by joining one of the organised cruises from Balmaha. There is a water bus that runs from Balmaha to Luss, and further north on Loch Lomond.
The neighbouring area of the Trossachs, together with Loch Lomond, forms Scotland's first National Park; the Trossachs probably first came to prominence through Walter Scott's novels "The Lady of the Lake" and "Rob Roy" in the early nineteenth century. The word "Trossachs" most likely derives from Gaelic and means "the bristle country"- appropriate for a landscape covered in birch, heather and rocks (although there are also many beautiful stretches of water!).