Balloch benches

Loch Lomond at Balloch Castle
Loch Lomond at Balloch Castle. I know I’m a bit blurry!

A sunny Sunday in September found us walking at Balloch Castle Country Park and Whinney Hill Wood. Jude’s Bench Series this month is looking for occupied benches and you’ll find several of those here, and I’m also linking to Jo’s Monday Walks. Check both blogs for a virtual exploration of the world, its walks and its benches.

Balloch Castle is an early 19th-century country house at the southern tip of Loch Lomond. It now looks rather neglected (see the weeds growing out of the clock-tower above) but its estate has fared better – it has been a country park since 1980 and part of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park since 2002. As we walked along, we saw the float plane from Glasgow landing in the loch and a fine display of fungi.

Once past the castle, we struck off up a pathway to Whinney Hill Wood in search of a viewpoint over Loch Lomond. On the way, we came across a single-person bench – or is that just a seat? We were intrigued – only one person could have a rest at a time? Even stranger, we found another two at separate points en route. Why not just put them together so that people can be sociable? Anyway, here’s the first one both occupied and unoccupied.

Eventually, we reached the viewpoint:

Loch Lomond from Whinney Hill
Loch Lomond from Whinney Hill

However, the only way you could actually see the loch was from the handily placed bench. Now, Jude’s specification says occupied benches, which this certainly is, but the small print mentions seated, so will I get away with it? I was snapping John taking the view when he turned the camera on me.

After descending back into the park, we walked alongside the loch which I think gave better views than the viewpoint anyway.

Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond

The castle came back into sight from the other side …

Balloch Castle
Balloch Castle

…  and we explored its walled garden. Oh no! An unoccupied bench!

Finally, we watched the Astina emerging from the River Leven to take its passengers for a sail on the Loch.

The Astina
The Astina

For more views of Loch Lomond see:

Balmaha and Conic Hill

Take the High Road

The bonnie, bonnie banks



38 thoughts on “Balloch benches

  1. helenmackinven October 26, 2015 / 11:21

    Great oics! It’s not an area I know well but would like to explore. I’m with re the single seats – what’s all that about? Maybe more an art installation than a practical place to rest?


    • Anabel Marsh October 26, 2015 / 13:56

      Isn’t it! I can’t imagine why they put it there. It’s not even big a hill so I didn’t even need a rest.


  2. Sarah Ferguson October 26, 2015 / 13:11

    Beautiful! Though those single seats bewilder me as well – but I can’t figure out what they would be other than benches.


    • Anabel Marsh October 26, 2015 / 13:51

      Very strange. Two on the way up, one coming back down the other side. We couldn’t even have waved at each other if we’d both sat on one!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo October 26, 2015 / 13:24

    Oh, I’m torn again! 😦 I promised myself a couple of days away for my birthday next week but things are conspiring a little. I might only manage 1 night away and am not sure if it’s worth coming all the way to Scotland. So many lovely places to choose from. I’ve been watching the Scottish islands series while I was ironing this morning and I want to go to ALL of them. 🙂 Thanks for the mention.


    • Anabel Marsh October 26, 2015 / 13:54

      I haven’t seen that yet, though it’s had a lot of recommendations.

      One night wouldn’t allow much time for exploring in Scotland- but the Borders area is not TOO far from you I suppose.


      • restlessjo October 26, 2015 / 16:39

        Years ago we were on Gigha and I still remember those gardens.(featured on one of the programmes). Who knows where we’ll end up but I suspect not Scotland 😦


    • Lucid Gypsy November 2, 2015 / 20:05

      I’ve been watching that series, fab! as a result I’m re-reading Lilian Beckwith 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. VioletSky October 26, 2015 / 15:08

    I rather like finding these mysteries on my walks! I’d also like to take a break on the Astina for a trip around the loch!


    • Anabel Marsh October 26, 2015 / 15:28

      Yes, that would be rather pleasant! I have taken a boat from further up the Loch, but never that one.


  5. cvail October 26, 2015 / 18:01

    Anabel, Wow! Loch Lomond looks stunning, and what a gorgeous day you had. A clear sky…perfect!


    • Anabel Marsh October 26, 2015 / 19:36

      We’ve been really lucky with the weather in the last couple of months. Shame it wasn’t like that when you were in Scotland!


  6. Birgit October 27, 2015 / 03:56

    I am just drawn into the beautiful scenery here and the rich greens and blues. Can one take tours of that “castle” I hope it will get the money for the needed restoration. As for that chair out there(:)) it reminds me of the pinching chair that was in an amusement park I used to go to when I was a kid. The park was Crystal Beach and there was the Magic Palace. About half-way through the palace, you were to sit on this chair and it would pinch you! Hopefully you didn’t feel any pinch


    • Anabel Marsh October 27, 2015 / 07:41

      Oh no! That would have been a shock, but definitely no pinching. The castle is all locked up – it belongs to the local council and I don’t know if they have any plans to revive it.


  7. lisadorenfest October 27, 2015 / 06:15

    Hard to believe that castle was a ‘country house’. Even if it is in slight disrepair, I’d happily move in tomorrow! Such magnificent surroundings. And that bench (chair) for one was certainly unique 😄


    • Anabel Marsh November 2, 2015 / 13:05

      Oh dear, just discovered this comment in spam, so sorry for the delayed reply. It would certainly be an amazing place to live in terms of the setting, but I suspect it has been neglected so long you would change your mind about moving in once you got inside!


  8. Heyjude October 27, 2015 / 23:05

    Obvious that those benches were calling out to you Anabel. Perhaps the point of the single bench/seat is to absorb the view without idle chatter? Whatever the reason they are rather lovely. And I cannot default John for standing on the bench when my peacock was doing the same! Nice walking with you again 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh October 28, 2015 / 07:39

      Maybe! But there wasn’t really an expansive view at that point, just trees and grass. Still a mystery. Thanks for coming along.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. jazzfeathers October 28, 2015 / 20:57

    Such a nic eplace. I like the casle, it has a very romantic air at it.
    And I personally think you fair quite well with the occupied benches 😉


  10. vannillarock October 29, 2015 / 14:35

    Having a massive catch up and so glad to have spotted this one! Love balloon castle and all on those beautiful shots on a SUNNY day sent me down memory lane.
    Love that single bench for ‘I want to be alone moment’😂


  11. Eunice October 31, 2015 / 23:02

    Lovely photos that have got me wanting to go back to Loch Lomond.

    The year before last I stayed for a couple of nights at the Camping & Caravanning Club site in Luss while en route to the western Highlands. I wanted to go across to Balmaha but the weather turned very cloudy, however I did get some gorgeous photos of various parts of the loch when it was nice. Two days wasn’t long enough though, so if and when I do go back it will be for at least three.


    • Anabel Marsh November 1, 2015 / 00:35

      Oh, Luss is lovely, definitely worth returning to.


      • Eunice November 1, 2015 / 00:42

        The camp site was nice too. I had a lochside pitch, only separated from the water by a line of trees, and at intervals along the edge of the site were steps down to the water’s edge. The only fault with the site was the A82 running right alongside it, it was noisy even at night, but it wouldn’t stop me from staying there again.


        • Anabel Marsh November 1, 2015 / 00:50

          Hmm, yes, can’t really get away from the A82 in Luss!


  12. catbirdinchina November 2, 2015 / 12:48

    Loch Lomond looks like the perfect place for a walk. I love your “occupied bench” series. So funny! I love Balloch Castle as well!


  13. Lucid Gypsy November 2, 2015 / 20:06

    Anabel my memories of Scotland and Lomond are hazy and damp, you’re so lucky to get blue sky!


    • Anabel Marsh November 2, 2015 / 20:13

      We’ve been so lucky this year! We hit the good weather in Orkney and Shetland while it was awful here, then when we came back we had a lovely spell at home. Couldn’t have timed it better.


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