Balloch Castle Country Park
FREE DOWNLOAD: A DETAILED TRAIL GUIDE TO BALLOCH CASTLE, SCOTLAND.
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Located at the southern point of the Loch Lomond, Balloch is a great place to get introduced to Scotland’s beautiful nature by taking a walk in Balloch Castle Country Park. Just 40 minutes by the direct train from Glasgow City centre, Balloch is undoubtedly a must-visit location, especially if the sun is out (and that happens more often than Scots will admit)
The main entrance to the park is just 5 minutes up the Balloch road from the train station. We suggest to take a circular route around the park detailed in our guide that's free to download, the paths are pathed and lit so that’s an easy and enjoyable walk.
Balloch Castle is a category A listed building, which means the building of national or international importance, either architectural or historic.
The story begins in the 11th century when it used to be a property of the Lennox family (the Earls of Lennox were among the most powerful nobles in the middle ages in Scotland) and the old castle was built in the 13th century.
The present park and Balloch Castle were built in 1809 by an architect Robert Lugar for the Glasgow Ship Bank partner John Buchanan. It was designed as castellated Tudor residence, the building's turrets and crenellations are purely decorative with no defensive value.
Lugar was a practitioner of the picturesque, the movement aspired to make life imitate art by creating landscapes and building structures as if they were part of a well-composed landscape painting. The Balloch castle was among the first to introduce the picturesque formula into Scotland
In 1914 Glasgow Corporation bought Balloch Castle and the Estate. The Castle was used as a base for Dumbarton District Council Countryside Ranger Service, as well as being the headquarters of the local division of the Nature Conservancy Council. Despite the different users in the 20th century, the design and layout of the estate have remained largely unaltered since 1800. In recent years Balloch Castle has undergone renovation but continues to stay closed.
“The Architect no less than the Painter should feel the true value of varied lines of contour of buildings, and he frequently should compose with a Painter’s eye. The broken line must be considered peculiarly in character for a picturesque cottage, no matter who the inhabitant.”
Robert Lugar, Architect