Business case study - the Oak Tree Inn, Loch Lomond


The Oak Tree Inn, winner of Scotland's Best Independent Pub in 2015, is a family business with B&B accommodation, a restaurant, bar, village shop and coffee shop with ice cream parlour. The Fraser family have owned and run the business since 1997.


Marketing Manager, Paul Saunders, tells us more about The Oak Tree Inn's warmth.


What does the Spirit of Scotland mean to you?


For The Oak Tree Inn it’s all about capturing the essence of Scotland, putting together what makes our country so special into an experience that our guests will never forget.


That includes the warm and friendly Scottish welcome from our staff, a hearty meal in our restaurant as well as authentic, homemade food and drink, that are as memorable to guests as the stunning scenery that they’ve come to visit.


Which one of the Sprit of Scotland values do you identify with?


We live all of the values, which together provide visitors with a true Spirit of Scotland. Warmth though is a key value, one that our visitors talk about a lot. The warm welcome they receive after a day spent walking or exploring is much appreciated, the Oak Tree Inn genuinely has a very warm and friendly atmosphere.


What about your business makes you identify with this value?


Sandy and Lucy Fraser opened The Oak Tree Inn in 1997. Since then all of their eight children have worked in the business at some point. The family has a positive and welcoming nature, an infectious enthusiasm, and a passion for Balmaha and Loch Lomond.


Their natural warmth is evident all across the business, and is at the heart of its success. Awards such as Best Independent Pub in Scotland are not just for our outstanding product but also for an atmosphere that can only be authentic.


A genuine desire to keep improving the destination drives the Fraser Family and in recent years we have introduced a village shop, microbrewery, smokehouse, coffee shop and ice cream parlour, which sells our very own homemade Loch Lomond ice cream.


Warmth banner


What do you do to showcase your warmth to your customers?


We want every customer to feel the warmth - not only of our business but the entire destination. We've #ScotSpirit and we want to show it.

We recently published ‘The Balmaha Experience’, a free destination guide and map that tells The Oak Tree story, demonstrating the passion that we have not just for our business but Balmaha and Loch Lomond.


Our very own ‘Oak Tree News’ newspaper is very well received. It contains behind the scenes features about the Oak Tree and profiles local people and their stories. It allows the visitor to learn more about local life, feel the warmth of the local people and welcome them into the community, even if that is for just a few days.

Delivering for tourism Image of front cover of document VisitScotland activity highlights VisitScotland activity
Working for Us VisitScotland employees Job vacancies at VisitScotland Vacancies
Holidays in Scotland People Link to VisitScotland's Holiday site Holiday Information