48 Hours in Loch Lomond With A Toddler

Jaguar f pace review Loch lomond with a toddler

I have lived in Scotland my entire life – always just outside of Glasgow, or there abouts. I’m the first to rhyme off lists of cities I want to see, of countries I want to visit, and yet I am also the first to put my hands up and say that I haven’t seen nearly as much of my own country as I should have. I’ve spent hours trawling the internet researching staycations in the likes of Cornwall, or the Lake District, always overlooking the amazing locations I have right on my doorstep. I made it a resolution this year to see more of Scotland, and this weekend we had our first mini-staycation in Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is not a new venture, it’s a stone throw away from Glasgow, and a place we’ve visited a handful of times for day trips. This weekend we had the chance to test drive the Jaguar F Pace and it seemed fitting that with the new car, we took a new approach to Loch Lomond and became tourists in our country.

The weekend was a slow one, which is something I don’t often get to proclaim with a toddler in tow. We traded in softplay and Saturday morning football games for mountains, nature walks and duck chasing – and a much needed breath of fresh air for us all. We stayed in Luss, a small village on the west shore of Loch Lomond, which was a perfect base for exploring everything Loch Lomond had to offer. We were very lucky in that the weather was perfect for a February break (well, as perfect as Scottish weather can be in February) – clear skies and a bitter chill, but a perfect way to experience Scotland as tourists.

What We Drove

Jaguar f pace review Loch lomond with a toddler
Jaguar f pace review Loch lomond with a toddler

Whatever car you have works well, but if you really want to go the extra mile – a Jaguar 4×4 is the way forward. Loch Lomond is known for the scenery – it’s hard not to find yourself with glued to the window as you wind through the hills and the mountains. It may only be a short distance from the hustle and bustle of city life in Glasgow, but the scenic drive alone can make you feel like you are hours away. Before setting off, we picked up a test drive car for the weekend from the Pentland Jaguar Dealership in Edinburgh. It was a slight detour and by slight I mean in the complete opposite direction we would have been driving from Glasgow to Loch Lomond, but it was completely and entirely worth it to pick up the Jaguar F Pace. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always though of a Jaguar as a sports car, never an SUV and never a family car. The brand has always represented luxury business owner moreso than sticky toddler in my head, but it’s safe to say I’m completely converted after a good go at driving one.

I normally drive a Volkswagen Tiguan, and this would have coped fine over the weekend -although windy, very rainy and sometimes snowy, the drive through Loch Lomond is not particularly difficult. Difficult aside, the drive in a normal jeep is very different to that in a Jaguar Jeep, and it all comes down to comfort. The first thing worth mentioning about the Jaguar F Pace is the space. The car is huge. I could recline the passenger seat comfortably, and Harrison was still unable to kick the back (hallelujah). Our full travel system, travel cot and an unprecedented amount of stuff we probably didn’t need fit comfortably in the boot, which meant we were able to travel without loading up the back seats. Speaking of seats, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to convey the difference heated seats make to a journey, or, to life in general. There is no joy like sitting on a heated seat after a three hour walk in freezing temperatures, no joy at all. We couldn’t have asked for a better car to take on Loch Lomond with, and after allowing Jordan to drive a Jaguar F Pace R Sport I’ve without a doubt won a good few girlfriend points that should see me through the next few months.

Jaguar f pace review Loch lomond with a toddler
Loch lomond with a toddler
Loch lomond with a toddler

What We Done

Whether you have a small child or not, what you do in Loch Lomond will probably always be the same. You walk, you cycle, you breathe in the fresh air that you normally don’t get a chance two. We spent two full days’ wrapped up and walking around lakes and through the forest trails. When I say full days I mean three hours, before retreating to the warmth of the local village pubs for the comfort of a warm fire and a game (or five) of Jenga. The Loch Lomond Aquarium was a close second to Jenga – it’s inevitable that the rain will start at some point, and indoor options that don’t involve a pub lunch aren’t quite so plentiful in Loch Lomond, so this is a goodie for younger ones.

Bearing in mind we took our trip in February, so our options for activities were pretty limited. We spent more time chasing ducks than anything else, which was nice for us and even nicer for Harrison. There was so many little stony beaches for him to run around on, albeit keeping him out of the water was a task in itself. We made the mistake of taking him to the Luss Pier where he watched some crazy folk going for a swim in wetsuits. It turns out trying to make a one year old understand why it’s a crazy idea to swim in -2 degrees is not the simplest task. I can’t wait to return in Summer now – the views around Loch Lomond are breathtaking, I can only imagine how nice they will be with an ice cream in hand and when there is no requirement for thermal underwear.

Loch lomond with a toddler Loch lomond with a toddler Loch lomond with a toddler

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Loch Lomond Arms in the village of Luss. It’s cosy with a bed and breakfast feel but also very convenient for exploring. I don’t think it would feel right exploring Loch Lomond off the back of a travel lodge, a good old fashioned inn that serves a good hearty Scottish breakfast is the way forward, and that is exactly what we got here. It’s also not far from Glasgow, so for those travelling from further afield it’s a lovely location to get the best of both worlds. For this weekend, I really wasn’t too fussed about where we were staying, as we had no plans to be in the hotel for too long at one time. Accommodation near/in Loch Lomond is plentiful, so if your anything like me you’ll pick the first respectable looking bed and breakfast on Booking.com and it will probably still be a winner for the short time you’ll actually spend there.

Loch Lomond With A Toddler

Jaguar F Pace Review

Dislcosure: We were given the Jaguar F Pace by the lovely folks at John Clark for the purposes of a test drive over the weekend. As always, all opinions are my own – I am completely in awe of the F Pace and my own car unfortunately feels a bit lack lustre in comparison.

Tin Box Traveller


  • Debbie says:

    Ah a big boot is exactly what you need as a parent! Heated seats are amazing. With the cold this week I’ve been fighting over the cars with my husband as only one car has them. Harrison’s hat is so cute!

  • Oh that car is goals right? We could do with something like that now, the snow is horrendous and I can only imagine it drives like a dream in these conditions.

  • Chelle says:

    I’ve never been to Scotland but Gavs family tree leads there. It looks so beautiful!

  • oh that looks amazing and i love a good boot – theres nothing worse than trying to get everything in for all the kids and not having enough space!

  • I have never been to Scotland! It is defo on my list to visit in the future though its just so gorgeous. How lush is the jag too I have seen a lot of these on the roads lately I defo think my car needs an upgrade! x

  • Laura Dove says:

    Oh we love Loch Lomond! We were there in the autumn and I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was up there! I LOVE Scotland!

  • What a fab opportunity and we definitely need to explore Scotland some more. I’ve only been to Edinburgh!

  • Linda Hobbis says:

    That looks an enormous car – ideal for exploring. I have been to Loch Lomond and it is beautiful but I’m not sure I’d have had the guts to take a brand new car for a test drive around it. Respect!

  • Kirsty, as always these photos are just beautiful! That car is SO lush, I don’t even drive and I want it in my life!

  • That is a beautiful car! The colour too! And it looks like you had a gorgeous trip – it all sounds heavenly and the perfect winter retreat 🙂

  • Wow!!! I bet you really didn’t want to give that back, what a beauty!

  • I went to Scotland for the first time in January and fell in love with it. I would love to go back and Lock Lomond looks beautiful!

  • I love Scotland! I went when I was younger and have been on to Tom to go since. I’d love to take the kids. That car is lovely, perfect for exploring in x

  • Cheryl says:

    Oh the joys of heated seats! They are especially handy in February. I have not been to Scotland yet, so I am a bit jealous you’ve spent your life there 🙂 We are planning a girls trip over next summer for my daughter’s 16th birthday. I’m pinning your post so I can make sure to include a visit to Loch Lomond. It is so beautiful and I love the outdoors. Especially with a view of the mountains. #MondayEscapes

    • Kirsty says:

      Scotland is somewhere I take for granted – it’s funny, I forget that it is actually a holiday destination for some people. Where are you from? Chances are, it’s somewhere I’d love to visit as well, even if you wouldn’t think so!

  • We live in Scotland and need to explore more of our own backyard. We love the National Park but haven’t really explored Loch Lomond very much. It looks like a lovely car, we need a car with a massive boot as we have 2 dogs. Love your pictures #MondayEscapes

  • What a fabulous set of wheels to explore Loch Lomond in! Im as guilty as you for not exploring my own county as much as I should. Loch Lomond looks like an incredible pretty place to hang out too:) Thanks for linking to #MondayEscapes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.