This campsite is in an amazing location. It is on the lake on the eastern side of Loch Lomond. This is the best side to visit, away from the main road on the west. Walking in the area is great, with the Ben Lomond trail starting just up the road at Rowardenan. Water sports are great on the loch, and there are regular ferries to take you on excursions.
The site's facilities were good, although a little tired at times. However, it was very busy. Prices were slightly expensive, but well worth it for the stunning location.
Have used Forest Holiday Cabins before and was so impressed I thought we'd try out their camp site as well. For the money they charge I did expect a little more and was on the whole a little disappointed. The site didn't feel very tent friendly, we were offered very limited areas to pitch in due to the wet weather which whilst I understand is not their fault the site is in Scotland and I should imagine is wet a lot of the time! The toilets/showers were ok, a bit grubby, over flowing rubbish bins. Shop was ok, food choice was limited. Great location, right on the loch's shore line. Probably expected more due to Forest Holiday's lovely cabins but think I'll be trying a different site next time, shame as I was really hoping for better.
We'd read rave reviews about this site, so felt confident booking one of their Super Tents for the bank holiday weekend.
There's no denying that the location on the shores of Loch Lomond is beautiful. But unfortunately the camp site looked neglected. In some places the grass was 8-10 inches long, and the various pathways and tracks were deeply pot-holed, and were very much in need of repair.
The showers and toilets weren't especially clean. This situation was made worse by the consistent rain over the weekend, meaning that a lot of mud was being walked into the toilets. As far as I could make out the showers/toilets were only being cleaned once a day, not nearly regularly enough, especially in wet weather. The staff had left a mop and bucket in the toilets and left a notice asking people to clean up after themselves.
Our tent was roomy, with all the necessary basics. But it clearly had only been given a cursory clean before we arrived. The mattresses on the camp beds were covered in a fine layer of grit/sand and underneath the beds, and in the corners of the bedrooms, obviously hadn't been swept for some time.
The staff were friendly, but we arrived at 7.50pm to find Reception closed, despite it being advertised as being open until 8.00pm. But, they let us in with a smile, although they didn't seem to realise that we were arriving. We had booked only 5 days before, but in this instant techno-age I wouldn't have thought this a problem?
The camp site was busy, but I got chatting with several regulars who all expressed disappointment at how standards had slipped since the new owners took over. They said that although the new owners were friendly enough, their standards weren't nearly high enough for what had been a first class camp site. I had to agree - the whole camp site just didn't appear well looked after, it looked shabby and run down. It had all the facilities you needed, but everything just desperately needed smartening up. Cashel looked very much the poor relation compared to the immaculate looking Caravan & Camping Club site just down the road.
Locally, I can highly recommend The Oak Tree Inn at Balmaha. Excellent food and a good lively atmopshere. But don't bother with The Inn at Inversbeg. They have just had a multi million pound re-fit, and it looks very smart - but the staff are hopelessly inexperienced. Our meal took over two and half hours to complete, and whilst we were dining several other customers complained about their meals taking too long. One poor bloke asked a waitress for another drink, and she told him to go and get his own from the bar because she was too busy!
Just come back from this site, and whilst okay,there were a few small problems. The sani bins in the smaller toilets were overflowing. Not very pleasant!Also the hand dryer stopped working and had still not been fixed almost a week later. The shop is very overpriced, so take supplies with you. Another thing was that we had booked an electric tent pitch, and when we got there were told it was hard standing, when we had specifically told them it was for a tent. After our initial dismay, the manageress stepped in and said that we could pitch next to the hardstanding and use the hook up. Okay, but could be better!
Like other campers we booked this site after reading previous reviews and I am afraid I have to agree with the more recent reviews. I have used other Forest sites on quite a few occasions and this one just does not come up to the standards of the others. There was some confusion over our booking which had been booked well in advance, we had requested ehu and we were told we had to pitch on hard standing which of course we would not want to do in a tent and we eventually had to pitch at the side of the hard standing.
The weather was awful whilst we were there and whilst we appreciate that nothing can be done about this it did however highlight that the site is poorly drained, huge areas were wet and muddy our entire stay this in turn made the facilities very muddy. I feel more attention is required to keep these areas clean.
My biggest disappointment was the 'no noise rule' after 23.00 was neither observed or enforced.
On the plus side there is no escaping the fact that the site is in a breathtakingly beautiful setting and if you were there just for the water sports then you probably could not find better facilities. There is a nice playground for the kids and whilst the shop is not the best I have seen, it does have the essentials. The Oak Tree Inn at Balmaha was warm friendly and had great food.
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