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Travel: Fun and laughs on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

© SYSTEMCarrick golf course overlooking Loch Lomond.
Carrick golf course overlooking Loch Lomond.

Does it go any faster?” my son Ollie shouts as we glide along at a gentle pace into the middle of the water.

We’re on a speedboat on Loch Lomond and, like every little boy, he’s obsessed with robots, dinosaurs, superheroes and, most of all, speed. Our captain Ben knows what to do. With a quick thumbs-up, the front of the boat starts to lift, as if we’re about to take off. Then the engine whirls into full throttle and we shoot across the surface of the water, leaving nothing but a trail of bubbles behind us.

Little Ollie bursts into a fit of nervous giggles and laughs until his tummy hurts. It’s fair to say this five-year-old is having the time of his life.

We might look pretty ridiculous in our lifejackets and brightly coloured ponchos – more to protect us from the elements than the freezing loch below (I’m hoping nobody falls in!) but life on the water isn’t so much about the glamour as the exhilaration.

After a rainy start, the clouds have parted just enough to let some little rays of sunshine through and they bounce off the surrounding hills and little islands, treating us to some truly spectacular scenery.

Our base for this little mini-break is a self-catering lodge at Cameron House. Just a couple of miles up the road from the hotel, the sprawling three-bedroom pad gives us all the space and privacy we need to hang out as a noisy family of four but with all the luxury of a five-star hotel.

Tracey and husband Martin with Ollie and Emily Rose.

The lodge is situated within the same grounds as the Cameron Club spa and golf course and we can access the hotel’s leisure club, restaurants and bars as we please. So, really, it’s the best of both worlds. Downstairs we find the bedrooms, each with their own en suite. Ollie and his sister Emily Rose spend the first few minutes testing out the mattresses and pillows for bounciness before frantically tipping the contents of their suitcases into the cupboards. It’s only then they turn to us and ask where the living room is.

Well, upstairs of course! With such stunning views, why would the main quarters of the house be anywhere else? With countless windows and balconies, the sitting room-cum-kitchen-cum-dining room is a gorgeous space to chill. The furniture blends in with the huge wooden beams on the ceiling and there are all the mod cons you could ask for, from a smart TV to a coffee pod machine.

Once we’ve settled in, we whisk the kids down to the hotel for a splash in the pool. The flume is an instant hit and has them charging up the stairs time and time again for another go. The husband and I take it in turns to supervise, meaning we can sample the sauna, steam room and bubble pool when off-duty. We even manage a little bit of swimming.

© Patrick Eckersley
Cameron House lodges; rooftop pool

Famished after hours in the water, we head for dinner at the Cameron Grill. Steak and chips never tasted so good, washed down with a few glasses of red. Thankfully, lodge guests can book a shuttle ride back up the road, which is perfect when you want to relax and not face the dilemma of appointing a designated driver!

Next day, with a dry forecast, we head out for a big walk, which is an absolute joy surrounded by water and greenery. The kids, who ordinarily protest at the mile-long jaunt to school, are in their element, looking at the trees and the birds and throwing stones into the loch.

Then it’s movie time. Cameron House has its own 29-seat cinema for guests, which is perfect when the little ones need some down time. Sinking into the big comfy red chairs whilst tucking into our popcorn from the retro-style kiosk is a novelty – and a well-earned rest at the end of a busy weekend.

Super-relaxed, we head back to the lodge for a cosy night. We’ve brought plenty of pizzas and board games. With the heating on and a glass of fizz in hand, in a setting as beautiful as this, staying in really is just as good as going out.

Granted, it’s not as fast-paced as the speedboat, but little Ollie is enjoying it – and we big kids are too!


If you prefer the tranquillity of an adults-only pool, a perk of being a lodge guest at the Cameron Club is that you can make full use of the Thermal Experience at the on-site spa, including the rooftop pool.


February rates at Cameron House lodges vary from £239-£529 per night, depending on lodge size and dates. March prices start from £249 and April/May from £279. Visit