Loch Lomond Shores opened its doors in 2002 and has since succeeded in providing a focal point for visitors to the southern end of Loch Lomond. It lies just to the north of Balloch on the shores, as the name suggests, of Loch Lomond.
What is it? It's actually very difficult to categorise, providing a wide range of different attractions that complement one another. At one level it's a curving mall of attractive and fairly upmarket shops with views over Loch Lomond. The brochure describes it as "the most therapeutic retail therapy in Scotland", and it is certainly the most scenic.
But shopaphobics need not despair because at another level - quite literally - the Drumkinnon Tower provides a very different experience. The tower was designed by one of Scotland's leading architects, David Page, and succeeds in echoing aspects of a medieval castle, albeit a circular one, a great rarity in Scotland.
Drumkinnon Tower is home to the Loch Lomond Aquarium, the first new Sea Life Centre to be built in the UK for 10 years. Attractions at the aquarium include touch pools, ray tanks and a tropical ocean tunnel. Its 26 displays contain mainly native Scottish species. Drumkinnon Tower also boasts a 350-seat cinema and a café.
Other activities on hand include a visit to the excellent National Park Gateway Centre at the end of the shopping area. Or you can simply stroll along the lochside and, if feeling more active - in season - hire bikes or canoes.
And only a short walk around the lochside you can visit the Maid of the Loch, the paddle steamer currently permanently berthed at Balloch Pier while funds are raised to restore her to an active life steaming the loch.