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May 2019+

Argyll and Bute Coat of Arms

This is a popular stop-off spot on the western banks of Loch Lomond and the car park here could serve Glasgow Airport. The hourly rate's not quite as extortionate so, small change at the ready, barge past the pensioners and head straight for the Coach House Coffee Shop.

The faded awards are a little, well, faded but a new one would be given tomorrow because their scones are the size of small turtles and the seasoning of the soup is right on the salt.

When you're ready to walk all of that off, the Visitor Centre at the far end of the car park can point you at several gentle trails into the local woodland.

There you might find some wild iris or ⚜ fleur-de-lis growing. There's an unconfirmed rumour that this Lis or Lys or Lus had a hand in the place name but none was seen flowering nor, for that matter, any of their pies in the Village Store.

Remember  Eddie Colquhoun, the uncompromising Sheffield Utd. defender from the 70s?[1] Well, this is bang in the middle of Clan Colquhoun country and current Clan Chief, Sir Malcolm of Luss, no less, presides over the operation of the Luss Estates Company.

They own everything that you will see and do around here and these small, traditional stone cottages are now mostly holiday homes so you won't be finding them on Zoopla™ anytime soon.

Parking in the village became a bit of a problem so they come with their own traffic cones now and just about enough room inside to swing one.

Despite the spelling, Colquhoun is pronounced 'Ka-Hoon', which is handy, no doubt, for the busloads of Japanese visitors. Gaelic pronunciation is presumably difficult enough for them already, especially over there in Inveraray.

[1] No? Well, you've never had a football sticker album then.

  Loch Lomond Arms Hotel (Main Road)

The duvets can't be vouched for but the resident Highland coos in the next field are an attraction even if they repeatedly refuse to come close enough for a photograph.

Well, that was until 2019 when they decided, one shown, to grace with their presence by grazing by the road. Awww, I'm going to call you Eddie, yeah, Eddie Coo-hoon, eh?

This place used to go by the name Clachan Dubh or the 'dark village' because the surrounding hills can make sundown appear an hour or so earlier here.

They don't help during a rainy daytime, neither, most previous visits could be described as '40 Watt' but no such problem today down at the beach and pier on Loch Lomond.

Ben Lomond in the background is one of the main offenders and is Scotland's southernmost Munro, a Scottish mountain of 3,000 foot and rising. This one still sports snow in May and there are 282 Munros with obsessive outdoor types trying to bag the lot.

Boredom kicked in on Lomond's interminable ascent and the current combined tally is stalled on seven and a half[1]. Just another 274 and a half to go, then?

[1] I didn't quite make it to the top of  Sgorr Dhearg once when the wobblies[2] kicked in but enough energy was considered expended to warrant a half.
[2] Yes, that'll be the old vertigo.

Don't be deceived by the modest-looking hills, they're the first to feel any rain from the west and conditions can turn just like that. For the more adventurous among you, take the bridge over the  A82 for a rugged afternoon following the...  Faerie Trail!

That's a joke, of course, rugged-wise, but there's a fairy bit of work gone into this attempt to get families outdoors and to encourage the spending of more than just half-an-hour in Luss.

It's been opened up by Luss Estates using old paths to and from a disused slate quarry and you might want to fund the upkeep with a couple of quid if you've not already paid for the kids' booklets.

That's thought to be fairy nuff, eh?

Returning by the river, there's more supernatural nonsense in a field back over it although this lot should know better. A bit of pasture has been given a religious theme and the word 'retreat' might even have been used.

St Kessog is a reminder of Luss' importance as a 6th-century, Christian pilgrimage destination, apparently, but, in these secular times, they've not managed to quite fill all the boards that highlight the world's other main sites.

Luss' Parish Church[1] is on the site of Kessog's old pad but the present effort dates from just 1875 after some old Colquohon or other drowned in the loch.

It's now known to be a major draw on the religious-tourism circuit and up to 2,000 people can visit on a good day, they say, which is another good reason to get to the Coach House early.

[1] Noel Edmonds, no less, married here at the second attempt but that turned out to be a No-Deal and he'd go on to do it again in the Cotswolds.

The Luss  General Store isn't really so don't come here expecting crisps and pop.

As well as the new Faerie Trail-related merchandise, it's mostly tartan art with a smattering of tartan knick-knacks and provided one of the backdrops for  Take the High Road, a Scottish TV serving of soapy, afternoon fayre that ran for nearly 10 years during the 1990s.

Until quite recently this place was still somewhat old-fashionedly dining out on that fact and you yourself could have dined out on the shortbread. A poor old man stood with a platter who couldn't quite remember if he'd already offered you a piece.

Now it's been revamped and together with the refurbishment of the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel, Luss looks to be looking to the future but a worrying eavesdrop in the Coach House Coffee Shop. They're a bit concerned that the organised coach trips just aren't stopping here anymore.

It's not known why, it's easy enough to get to, just take the... well, take the A82, actually, where you'll find it nine miles north of Balloch.

  Luss Seafood Bar (Pier Road)

Relatively recent addition to the village and can be found in the back of the Luss General Store.

They're linked with the  Luss Smokehouse, it would seem, who are just over the road if you're taking away.

  Village Shop (Broomfield)

For the crisps and pop, ignore the General Store and head to the Village Store next to the exit from the the big car park. They also sell novelty tam o'shanters. It's a long story.