THE last paddle steamer built in Britain will reopen its newly refurbished doors for an Easter egg hunt this weekend.

The Maid of the Loch will be open to the public every day from Good Friday until the end of October as restoration work continues on the historic ship.

Thanks to a £950,000 cash injection from the Scottish Government, the tearoom will be open and guided tours of the ship and neighbouring Balloch Steam Slipway will also be on offer.

Whilst the refurbishment is still ‘work in progress’, visitors will be able to hear first-hand how the vessel is being renovated to restore it close to the original 1950s style.

READ MORE: 'Significant progress' in Maid of the Loch's refurbishment

Work includes the refurbished promenade aft deck saloon, set for completion by the end of June, which will serve a dual purpose as an education facility for school visits and as a small function and event suite.

And there will be fun for all the family this Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the Easter egg hunt running on the pier, the approaches and near the winch house.

It costs just £2 per person to take part and all the money raised will go towards the Maid fund-raising appeal.

Further renovation includes The Queens’ Lounge at the stern, currently undergoing significant strengthening and upgrading works to make it fit for purpose for larger events and functions. A lift will also be fitted to provide assistance between decks.

A major feature will be to get her steam engines operating again. New pipework is being manufactured and will be fitted next month and it is planned to have her engines turning over slowly by the end of June.

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John Beveridge, chairman of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said: “It really has been all hands-on deck in recent months thanks to the funding we received earlier this year, and our naval architects and contractors have worked wonders so far.

“Work is very much still ongoing and will be until June/July time, however there are areas that can be enjoyed by visitors and we are thrilled to be able to open in time for Easter and host our traditional egg hunt.

“We can’t wait to welcome children, families and enthusiasts back on board this year and for them to get a glimpse of the Maid’s former glory.”