The Main Street in Balmaha
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
The village is a popular tourist destination for picnickers and day trippers from Glasgow as well as walkers on the West Highland Way. The only road passing through the village is the B837. Boat trips leave from Balmaha for the town of Balloch and the village of Luss as well as nearby Inchcailloch Island.
The name Balmaha derives from the Gaelic Bealach Mo-Cha, 'the pass of Saint Mo-Cha'. The pass referred to is now named The Pass of Balmaha, a narrow route between hills at the north end of the village, carrying the road north along Loch Lomond. The saint referred to is Kentigerna, patron saint of the parish who was revered especially on the nearby island of Inchcailloch ('Island of Nuns'). Mo-Cha is a 'hypocoristic' form of her name, a sort of devotional nickname, common in medieval Gaelic and Welsh use. She is also commemorated in a well in the hills above the village, St Maha's Well.
|Climate data for Arrochymore (30 m or 98 ft asl, averages 1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.9
|Average low °C (°F)||1.2
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||211.4
|Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||19.6||16.5||17.3||13.0||12.8||12.8||12.8||14.8||16.2||18.6||18.4||19.8||192.6|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||31.7||58.3||87.6||133.1||171.9||153.8||143.9||137.1||101.0||72.9||43.3||26.1||1,160.7|
|Source: Met Office|
The village previously had a visitor centre for the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, currently defunct. It also has a restaurant and bed and breakfast, the Oak Tree Inn, a bar and a shop, as well as several smaller accommodation premises nearby due to its position on the West Highland Way and its popularity with daytrippers. It is also the home of St Mocha coffee shop and ice cream parlour.
The Macfarlane and Son Boatyard is found in Balmaha; the boatyard was established over 150 years ago by John Macfarlane and has been in the family ever since. The boatyard currently runs a ferry service over to Inch Cailloch and around the loch for visitors, as well as delivering the mail to inhabited islands.
Further along the road is Milarrochy Bay.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Balmaha.|
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