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Balloch is at the southern end of Loch Lomond. The railway line terminates at Balloch and Glasgow is only 40 minutes by train. Pleasure cruises on Loch Lomond can be obtained at Balloch, Luss, and Tarbet. One of the main attractions near to Balloch is Balloch Country Park on the south shore of Loch Lomond. There are nature trails, walks, walled garden and picnic lawns with views of the Loch.
The original castle was built in 1238 by the Earl of Lennox and was the family seat until around 1390 when they moved their base to Inchmurrin island on Loch Lomond for better security. Only the hollow of the moat and the mound where the original castle once stood remain.
The present castle shown on the right is in the grounds of Balloch Castle Country Park and was built by John Buchanan in 1808 using the stone from the old castle. John Buchanan's wealth came from his partnership in the Glasgow Ship Bank. It was he who began the work on the grounds which resulted in the park's present appearance. Apart from the castle itself, there are the gatehouses, which are still standing, and the ruins of the gamekeeper's house. There is a walled garden typical of most large houses which provided fruit and veg for the castle kitchens.
Loch Lomond Shores
Loch Lomond Shores is a principal gateway to Scotland's first National Park. It is Scotland's most spectacular visitor destination combining the beautiful environment with an outstanding mixture of leisure and shopping experiences overlooking the majesty of Loch Lomond at Balloch. The site is open all year round and access is available to enjoy the stunning scenery all day every day. The buildings are open daily from 10am.
The aquarium is part of the Loch Lomond Shores complex which consists of a number of attractive stores and outlets in a beautiful lochside setting next to Loch Lomond. Among other creatures you can see the Asian Short-clawed otters, which you can see swimming and playing. Another attraction is the sharks. There are several species such as Bonnethead sharks, which you can view through plate glass in a large tonk. There are countless other species of fish in the aquarium so you can look forward to an interesting visit. There is a gift shop and a cafeteria.