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Inchcailloch is part of the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve and is a wonderful place to visit due to its rich natural and cultural heritage. It is the perfect place to experience remoteness and wildness in a safe and easily accessible location and, weather permitting, you can visit the island all year round.

Each season brings something new to discover. In the spring the island is carpeted in bluebells which creates a magical backdrop for the wildlife that lives there. In summer the island flourishes and becomes a rich habitat for birds, flowers and plant life. Throughout the autumn and into spring migrating wildfowl set up home here.

Most visitors come to cherish the tranquillity and peace, as well as the outstanding beauty and scenery the island has to offer. Some have even claimed the view at the summit is the best in Scotland! It is a place of true wild, natural beauty that is just waiting to be discovered.

As small campsite on the southern tip of the island in Port Bawn is open between 1st March and 30th September.

Fast facts:

  • Inchcailloch means “island of the old or cowled woman”
  • The highest hill on the Island is called Tom na Nigheanan which means ‘hill of the daughter’.
  • In the early 8th century, an Irish missionary, St Kentigerna settled on the island. She died here in 734 and legend has it that a nunnery was established right here.
  • The cultural importance of the church and its burial ground are now recognised and is the only Scheduled Ancient Monument in or around the Loch Lomond area.

Getting to Inchcailloch

From Balmaha car park it takes only a few minutes to walk to the boatyard. Your island adventure now begins with a short boat journey which is very short and runs on an ‘on demand’ basis . The ferry will drop you off at the pier on the east side of the island, known as the North Jetty. For fares and boat hire call 01360 870214, or visit

The Waterbus service can also get you to the island from the west shore of the loch with Cruise Loch Lomond who operate a daily scheduled service from the village of Luss (18 March to 30 October). In July and August,  Clyde Cruises operate a service from Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch to Inchcailloch via Inchmurrin.


Once on Inchailloch there are three walking routes which can be enjoyed separately or together.

  • Central Path – this is the most direct route from the north pier to Port Bawn and takes around 20 minutes.
  • The Low Path is a gentle woodland walk with a few slopes and steps. At first sight the woods look untouched by man, but look closer and you’ll discover that people played an important part in creating this wonderful home for wildlife.
  • The Summit Path is more strenuous with a steep climb to the top of the island. Here you’ll find out how dramatic forces of nature have sculpted the island and created lots of different homes for plants and animals.

Each path takes 30-45 minutes, just take your time and enjoy the view. You can download A walking guide to Inchcailloch.


There are compost toilets on the island (please note that there is no running water on the island).

Picnic tables are available on a first come first served basis. Visitors wishing to BBQ should bring their own and leave the area clean for others. There is also no refuse collection on the island. Please take ALL your litter and disposable BBQs home. There are recycling facilities and bins in Balmaha car park.

Story Map

This story map is an invaluable resource for learning more about Inchcailloch and its natural and cultural heritage.

Scroll down and take advantage of its interactivity including a 3D map, videos, stunning pictures and maps of the walks on the island and its surroundings.

Click here for a full-screen version of the story map.


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