Paddleboarding at Loch Lomond – where to go and byelaws to be aware of

Paddleboarding at Loch Lomond

Published by Finn Hayden

Scotland is an excellent place for watersports enthusiasts to visit, as the countless lochs and seaside towns and villages make for great locations to get on the water. If you're into paddleboarding then many of the lochs of Scotland are great to head to.

Of all the lochs that we've taken our paddle board to, we'd definitely say that Loch Lomond has been the best. But there are a number of things that you should be aware of before taking your paddle board to Loch Lomond because it definitely isn't just a case of turning up at the loch and jumping right on the water.

In this guide, we'll try to outline everything you need to know for paddleboarding at Loch Lomond, from the best places to set off to tips for keeping safe. Let's get into it:

Firstly - important byelaws

We'd say that the most important thing to be aware of before heading to Loch Lomond with your paddle board is that Byelaws are in place which mean that you must wear a buoyancy aid while you're paddleboarding at the loch. If you're not wearing a buoyancy aid while you're out on your paddle board and a member of the Loch Lomond team such as a ranger spots you, it's almost certain that they'll ask you to come in and immediately stop paddleboarding. Your buoyancy aid could be something small like an inflatable waistbelt, but we'd recommend getting a proper life jacket for paddleboarding like one of these. These are not only safer, but they're also more visible from the shore so the Loch Lomond team will be able to see that you're wearing the appropriate safety gear. The loch may seem calm on the surface, but even for advanced swimmers it can be dangerous, so don't go paddleboarding at Loch Lomond without a suitable buoyancy aid.

Paddleboarding safety

The best place to go paddleboarding at Loch Lomond

Once you've sorted out your equipment, it's useful to know where to actually set off on your paddle board at Loch Lomond. This might seem like a fairly straightforward question, but given how big Loch Lomond is, you've got loads of options, to the point where it can almost be overwhelming to know where to go from. But to make it easier, we've decided to focus on our favourite place and the place that we think is the easiest and safest to set off from - Milarrochy Bay.

Milarrochy Bay

In our opinion, Milarrochy Bay on the East side of the loch is the best place to go paddleboarding at Loch Lomond. There is a campsite at Milarrochy Bay, but just before you reach the campsite you'll pass a car park with a 'Milarrochy Bay' sign, pictured here.

We think this is the best place to go paddleboarding at Loch Lomond for a few reasons. For starters, it's totally free to park here and there are lots of parking spaces, so you'll always find somewhere to leave your car. You also have very good facilities here, including well-maintained toilets and even a small changing area where you can put your wetsuit on. You'll also often find rangers here who can help answer any questions you may have. 


The small beach area next to the Loch is perfect for setting off on your paddle board, and it's very close to the car park too which is ideal. As you can see from this picture, it's also very pretty here, and we also find it to be much quieter here than at other parts of the loch. There is no harbour and no boats parked here, so anyone setting off will be on a paddle board or in a kayak.


It's a 5 minute drive from Milarrochy Bay to Balmaha, where you'll find some amenities.

What type of paddle board should you take to Loch Lomond?

We'd recommend taking a long and wide paddleboard to Loch Lomond - a board which won't get much speed but which will be ideal for cruising around on. There is so much beauty to admire that going slow is not only a safer option, but will also give you a chance to admire your surroundings. We tend to take the Thurso Waterwalker with us which is just under 12ft long and was ideal.

Anything else you should know before you take your paddle board to Loch Lomond?

Like with any activity at Loch Lomond, it's important to not make a mess and to take any litter home with you. It's also a good idea to go with someone else in case of any issues, and of course, be careful. The most dangerous aspect of lochs like Loch Lomond is the strong undercurrent and how cold it can get.

Another loch which is great for paddleboarding - Loch Morlich

If you're happy to travel further North then we'd highly recommend taking your paddle board to Loch Morlish near Aviemore - this loch is home to the only freshwater award winning sandy beach in Scotland, and the calm water makes this an excellent place for paddle boarding, especially for beginners.
We hope this guide encourages you to visit Milarrochy Bay if you're planning to take your paddle board to Loch Lomond. Let us know if you've been here or if you're planning to go! If you want to read something similar, we have a guide to the best SUPS under £500.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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