Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Lochside Camping at Sallochy Bay

We are camping novices, but after getting loads of camping gear from my Mum for Christmas, we were determined to try it out! Being on a tight budget often means that both ourselves and our kids never really get summer holidays, but having a tent gives us the flexibility to take them anywhere and enjoy what the UK has to offer! That being said, we didn’t take the kids on this occasion - as we wanted to get used to the tent - but we will hopefully be organising a family camping trip in the near future.


For testing out all the new gear, we thought it would be a great idea to invite a few friends along for a camping trip - Andy and Nikki already had a tent and Sarahjane bunked in with us (we have a five man tent). Given that most of us are used to home comforts, wild camping seemed a bit daunting! We thought it best to book into a campsite with toilets, rather than going for the full on wild experience.


 
We chose the Sallochy Bay campsite, on the banks of Loch Lomond, for our night away based on the price and the facilities available. Adults are £5 per person and children are £2.50 per person, which is more than acceptable for the facilities on offer. There is toilet block, complete with baby changing facilities, and an on-site warden. You can also hire fire pits at £5 (with £10 refundable deposit and £5 for logs) for cooking and toasting marshmallows. Check in is 2pm and check out is 11am, although it should be noted that the warden is not available until 4pm. This is frustrating, as we arrived a 2pm and no one was available to speak to. Given that it was getting cold and it was starting to rain, we wanted to get the tent pitched as quickly as possible. We took a gamble and pitched our tent where we thought was ok, but we could have just as easily been told to move it if the warden wasn’t happy. I would advise arrival after 4pm to avoid the stress!

 
We booked a lochside area, which is limited to four people per pitch, so were perhaps being a little cheeky with our large five-man tent. Despite this, the warden’s only complaint was that Andy and Nikki’s tent was a little close to ours, but they let it go and allowed us to get on with cooking.


 
I’d mentioned before that we were novices at camping, and this was evident with the amount of things we forgot. We only brought one disposable BBQ with us and completely forgot to buy gas for our cooking stove. Luckily, there were enough sweets and chocolates to keep us going, especially with the tonne of marshmallows – we still have some stuffed in our cupboard! We also forgot to bring towels, so a dip in the loch was completely out of the question!


 
Despite the little hitches we encountered on our first camping trip with our new equipment, I had an absolutely fantastic time! I had one of the best sleeps ever on our blow-up bed and I wasn’t even annoyed when a group of noisy ducks woke me up at the crack of dawn. Sarahjane was a little less refreshed, so we all agreed to her suggestion of looking for coffee! Balmaha is the closest village, and we actually had to drive through it to get to the campsite in the first place, it seemed like the best place to grab some coffee on the way home.

The St Mocha Coffee Shop at The Oak Tree Inn is a lovely little coffee shop and ice cream parlour. While there isn’t much room inside, there is a vintage bus outside which also doubles up as extra seating. I ordered a luxurious milkshake made up of three different flavours of their ice cream – Malteaser, Kinder Bueno and Oreo Cookies and Cream. This was quite possibly the best milkshake I have ever had and I would definitely recommend the place to any other travellers or campers!


 
All in all, Loch Lomond is a great place to go camping. There are various other campsites on offer, some with a greater number of facilities. Sallochy was perfect for our budget and our needs, and I would definitely return again in the future!
 
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30 comments

  1. Camping was great fun! I'm definitely investing in a blow up bed though!!

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    1. I know! I've been scoping out places with showers so we can go for longer! :)

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  2. I haven't been camping in years but really would love to go somewhere again! This place looks great! I definitely be looking into the site more!

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    1. Camping is really new to us, but I'm loving it so far! I can't wait to go again, hopefully some bloggers have reviewed other campsites near by so I know where to visit :)

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  3. Beautiful photos!! Love camping!!

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    1. Thanks Stacey! Camping is awesome, I can't wait to go again! :)

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  4. I love camping and it looks like you chose a brilliant location! The loch is gorgeous <3

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

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    1. The only thing which could have made it any better would have been the weather. If we'd had perfect sunshine the whole time, it would have been awesome! :)

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  5. What a gorgeous looking place to go camping! I have to admit it has been years since I have been, love the idea of toasting marshmallows though. x

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    1. I was looking for an excuse to build a fire in our garden so we could toast some more, Paul has just the right technique for the perfect toasted marshmallow! :)

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  6. You learn a lot after your first camping trip and I'm sure you will be more than prepared next time x

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    1. That's what I'm hoping - I will make a list next time to make sure we don't forget anything! :)

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  7. I don't do camping, but Loch Lomond looks so stunning, the perfect place for a break.

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    1. It's definitely worth a visit even if you don't do camping - Ben Lomond is not far away and there's also boat trips etc :)

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  8. I haven't been camping since I was at school. I'd prefer to go glamping, I miss my home comforts too much.

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    1. I'd love to give glamping a try, there's a few places in Scotland that offer it so I'll put that on my list of things to do! :)

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  9. Sounds brilliant! I haven't been camping in ages and wouldn't know where to go TBH so this post is a great heads up :D

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    1. There are other places out there, but it really depends on your budget - this suited us perfectly for just now :)

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  10. We have a tent that we've had in our shed for years! We never went due to our crazy dog but I think it's time to get it out, especially after seeing how much fun you had

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    1. Haha, crazy dogs can make things difficult! There are plenty of campsites that are pet friendly though, so it would be worth giving it a go! :)

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  11. This looks like an absolutely gorgeous place to go camping, I'd love to visit Loch Lomond... it's on the list for this summer! x

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    1. Loch Lomond is beautiful! Definitely make a stop for coffee in Balmaha too, St Mocha coffee shop is awesome! :)

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  12. This blow up bed sounds really practical and nice for camping. Might get my hands on one for my future camping trips! x

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    1. Blow up beds are great for anywhere, I always use one when I stay with friends - best nights sleep ever! :)

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  13. looks like a lovely place! we love camping together as a family, would reccomend isle of wight :)

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    1. It was beautiful! I'd love to visit the Isle of Wight one day, it's just such a long way to travel! :)

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  14. All righty! You definitely had fun! You can see that in the pictures :) And by the way, that is one great tent! How did it show? If you want to check out some other tent models, for some other adventures maybe, make sure you check out this article and read the reviews of the tents, you will thank me later ;) Check out the article here: http://hikingmastery.com/top-pick/best-cheap-camping-tents.html

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    1. Thanks for the heads ups, I'm looking forward to more camping once the weather gets a bit warmer! :)

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  15. I think you should explore the articles on your website, You should also cover different different categories for articles as you writes awesome. Thanks for sharing this great article with us.
    best camping tent for family

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    1. No problem, I'm glad you enjoyed reading this post :)

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