Over the summer holidays we decided to take the girls up our nearest Munro. Ben Lomond over looks Loch Lomond. Lee and I once attempted it when Sophie was small in a carry-on back pack. We only got half way up and decided to come down as we knew it would be getting dark soon. Anyway, numerous friends have climbed it and Lee has done it a couple of times. I also think Sophie & Emily at 10 and 8 could manage it now. Anyone who has small children knows this a momentous occasion when you can get out and do stuff that just wasn't possible with little one’s a while ago.
We decided bribery was the best way with the kids so we packed the most amazing packed lunch and promised them a McDonalds breakfast in Balloch before we set off. This worked from the outset as all they were thinking about was the McDonalds and yummy sandwiches and the odd sweetly on the way. Perfect!
To begin the climb you need to travel to Rowardennan. There is a small car park just after the hotel and to park there all day (the walk will take you a good 5-6 hours) costs £3. You can also in Summer get a boat over to Rowardennan from Luss with Cruise Loch Lomond. We got to the car park for 9am and we arrived with no change aaah! So I went and asked a guy if he could change a £5 note for me and he very generously gave me £3! People in Scotland are just so lovely x I must tell you this, the guy and his friend had just run up and down Ben Lomond and they were about to do it again! WHAT! That's just amazing or crazy you may say. Having now climbed up and down it I realise just how amazing this is. They deserved a MacDonald's. I'm not sure we did.
Anyway back to the walk. The walk starts of climbing slowly through a lightly wooded area but very quickly you begin to get views behind you of Loch Lomond and the many amazing islands that lie in the water. The views are stunning but you must choose a good day otherwise I think you may quickly be shrouded in cloud. Ben Lomond had sweeping clouds looming over it throughout our walk but miraculously when we arrived at the top we had a window of blue sky. The path is excellent the whole way up and steep in parts but the girls managed it all fine. When we did finally arrive at the top and going up took us 3 hours the views of the Loch where incredible. You can also see Loch Katrine well. The Eastern side of Ben Lomond is sheer and has a dramatic jagged walkway.
I took my Garmin watch with me and altogether the walk took us 5 hours walking and 1 hour eating and resting so 6 hours in all. My watch also said it was an 8 mile walk but the girls managed it fine. Emily (the youngest) did promptly fall asleep as we left the car park and we did have a relaxing day the following day so she didn't get too exhausted.
If you would like to have a go at this walk I recommend looking at this website as well Walking the Highlands