Orientation & Geography

Europe, United Kingdom, West Dunbartonshire

Balloch ( ; Gaelic: Am Bealach) is a small town in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, at the foot of Loch Lomond. The name comes from the Gaelic for "the pass". Balloch is at the north end of the Vale of Leven, straddling the River Leven itself. It connects to the larger town of Alexandria and to the smaller village of Jamestown, both of which are located to its south. To the east of the town lies the major local authority housing scheme in the area known as 'The Haldane' or 'The Mill of Haldane'. Balloch railway station is a terminus of the North Clyde electric train service from Glasgow. With its accessible location at the southern end of Loch Lomond and just off the main road from Glasgow to the West Highlands, it is an important centre of tourism. The largest number of boats cruising on Loch Lomond leave from here. It contains Balloch Country Park and Balloch Castle. Balloch is at the southern end of the first Scottish National Park. The town has a number of hotels, inns and pubs, and there are cruises leaving from Balloch up Loch Lomond. The Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle path ends at Balloch. The new Balloch road bridge over the river Leven is believed to have reduced the number of people jumping into the river. The town is a popular place on a summer's day, with people flocking to it from Glasgow and Dumbarton. Scottish Band Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri moved to Balloch as a young child and was raised there. Celebrity Colourist Hugh Hammil lived in the Haldane from 1968 to 1974. "Lochfoot" in the Jean Robertson novels of Jane Duncan is partly based on the town. At 56 degrees N, Balloch is at about the same latitude as Moscow.