Balmaha and Conic Hill

When Saturday dawned dry, we set off for the small village of Balmaha on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. We’ve visited many times and always have lunch in the Oak Tree Inn, which is not necessarily the best idea before climbing the nearby Conic Hill, but we can’t resist.

New to the village is the statue of Tom Weir (1914-2006): climber, writer, broadcaster and campaigner for the Scottish countryside. Naturally, I had my photo taken with him.

This gave our lunch a small amount of time to digest, so we set off up the hill. It’s only 1200 ft / 350 m but quite steep all the way. The path is well-defined though – at the beginning, it starts off as steps – and the views over the Loch open out quickly.

The chain of islands you can see here follow the Highland Boundary fault (which also formed Conic Hill): Inchcailloch, Torrinch, Creinch and Inchmurrin. In the other direction, the summit is now visible, though you don’t have to climb that steep lump directly – there’s a (slightly) more gentle path snakes its way round the back.

Finally, here’s John on the summit itself. When we got back down, we followed part of the West Highland Way as it climbed above the Loch for another good viewpoint, then it was back to Glasgow to rest our weary feet. It’s a mere 40 minute drive to get back to the heart of the city, which is one of the reasons why it’s such a great place to live.

Jo's Monday Walks

I’m adding this post as a contribution to Jo’s Monday Walks (click the logo for more details). Her latest walk will make you feel much warmer than mine – it’s in Portugal! Check Praia da Rocha for a great beach walk.

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16 thoughts on “Balmaha and Conic Hill

  1. TanGental February 24, 2015 / 23:25

    Fabulous; another walk, esp Conic Hill, to add to my never shrinking list. I did the West Highland way with my father about 16/17 years ago and the stretch alongside Loch Lomond, especially the northern end up the Crianlarich was very tough! Memory says it was an 18 mile day! And then he stole all the hot water in our B&B!

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    • Anabel Marsh February 24, 2015 / 23:37

      I’ve never been brave enough to do that! Would not take kindly to lack of hot water either…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental February 25, 2015 / 11:34

        The stretch up Glencoe, the Devil?s Staircase has to be in my top five favourite stretches of UK walks. We had a perfect Scottish Sky with every season represented. Scottish skies, my dad used to say, have proper character. None of your nimby-pimby plain blues!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Heyjude February 23, 2015 / 17:05

    I’m not sure that I’d enjoy all those steps so I thank you for climbing on my behalf and showing me the wonderful views! I have only ever visited Loch Lomond once and that was at shore level. Beautiful region.

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    • Anabel Marsh February 23, 2015 / 17:12

      Conic Hill is only 1/3 of the height of Ben Lomond! I’ve done it many times but don’t feel equal to the struggle at the moment. I often suspect the views at ground level are just as beautiful. But different.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Donna February 18, 2015 / 05:11

    So very, very beautiful. You are so very lucky to live someplace where you can see such beauty only a 40 mile drive away! Oh there are some beautiful spots within a 40 mile drive of my home in South Minneapolis but not much diversity. And there are far too many days in the year when the weather makes one just want to stay inside. I’m dealing with the same weather as Birgit. ( I had to convert from Farenheit to check). Minneapolis’ high today was also -12C and projected to be -16C tomorrow.

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  4. Birgit February 17, 2015 / 05:35

    I envy your ability to take these walks as I would love to:) I am a bit whiny these past few days since my joint pain is quite severe. Now these pictures are beautiful and so serene. As for cold…we had a high yesterday of -17C and today it was -12. My cold water taps in the bathroom froze

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    • Anabel Marsh February 17, 2015 / 07:43

      Sorry to hear about your joint pain – hope it improves soon. Wow, that is cold! I think it was about 7 on Sunday, though we did have a period of very cold weather a couple of weeks ago. Even so, I don’t think it was below maybe -2 here at any time. Take care!

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  5. j'adore champagne February 16, 2015 / 20:57

    Love this! I have been to the wee village; and took some fun photos on the shore of the lake. As I remember; Em was in a tree. Meaning to get back; now I know what to do when I get there (have lunch after the climb!?). Yes, we are blessed to live here. Do you do the Whangie?

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    • Anabel Marsh February 16, 2015 / 21:06

      Yeah, lunch or an early dinner after the climb is probably more advisable than before! We have done the Whangie a few times, but not recently. Hopefully, the weather will keep improving and we can get out and about more.

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  6. restlessjo February 16, 2015 / 19:48

    I’ve not managed any of the West Highland Way, Anabel. Call myself a walker! It’s a beautiful part of the world, isn’t it? Even with the mists across those islands. Thank you again for the pleasure of your company. 🙂

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh February 16, 2015 / 20:24

      I’ve only done small chunks of it here and there. Mostly “here”, i.e. close to home.

      Liked by 1 person

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