As Cl was working on the Saturday, it was decided that we would pay Balloch Country park a visit. My son had taken us there the very first time we went up to Scotland, and I was eager to see it again but this time in its summer dressage instead of a chilly October. There was supposedly a Fair of some kind taking place, so that gave an added incentive to pay a visit to this lovely park which is situated right at the side of Loch Lomond.
We dropped Cl off at her place of work, and then made the journey to the Balloch Park entrance where my son parked the car. The Fair was unfortunately only just being set up and there was not a lot of people there. However, there was an ice cream van parked conveniently in the field, and as the day was already beginning to warm we all enjoyed an ice cream prior to setting off on our walk around the park.
The actual park itself is huge, and I am sure that you could set off at dawn from the parks entrance, follow every path and still not cover it all by nightfall. The paths lead off in all directions, its a veritable maze. Some lead off to the left, some to the right but we had all decided to try and hunt down the ‘Chinese Garden’ that (according to the Park Map display at the entrance) was situated near to Balloch Castle. After all, on my last visit to Balloch Park, we hadn’t visited the Castle instead making our around it and down to the path that runs alongside Loch Lomond.
The park was already busy with people strolling along the paths. The children spied what they thought looked like a Chinese garden through the trees and they dashed off to investigate. My son and I followed leisurely behind. It certainly was a garden of some description but whether this was the Chinese Garden or not was up for some debate. Continuing on from there was the ‘Hidden Garden’. This garden was surrounded by a wall, and was a very pleasant spot to sit in and wile away the hours. Some memorial bushes had been planted in memory of individual people. We also found another garden further on from this which was circular in design and again, two ladies were to be found there sitting on a bench whiling away the time. I asked them if this was the Chinese Garden but they didn’t know the answer.
We continued on to the Castle itself. It’s only a small castle, yet stands in a fantastic spot bang in the middle of the park grounds, commanding an absolute spectacular view right across Loch Lomond below. It must have been wonderful to live there and look out across the Loch from your bedroom window. We began to make our way back across the fields to the park entrance. The children love climbing trees and they clambered up one or two of them as we walked past. My grandson became stuck up one of them and my son had to help him back down. It was a lovely day and the park was really filling up with people as we made our way back down the tree lined path to where the car was parked.
More people had arrived for the Fair by the time we reached the car park, but we couldn’t stay unfortunately. The rest of the day was spent in a rather leisurely fashion at home. The next days plans were already in place. A ferry trip over to visit the Isle of Arran followed by a Carvery meal at my all time favourite venue the Stonefield. So a busy day to look forward to! Enjoy the pictures in my Photo Album won’t you? I am also enclosing a PDF which tells you more about the park and its amenities.