1) Loch Shiel, Highlands
Loch Shiel is a freshwater loch situated 12 miles west of Fort William. At the foot of the loch sits the Glenfinnan monument which was erected in 1815 to commemorate the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the start of Jacobite uprising of 1745. Visitors can take a pleasure cruise of the loch, and whilst taking in the magnificent scenery spot wildlife such as golden eagles, white tailed eagles, and red deer to name a few.
2) Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire
Loch Lomond is located only 14 miles north of Scotland’s largest city, and not surprisingly as a result, one of the most visited lochs in Scotland. The loch is the largest inland expanse of water by surface area in the UK, and lies in the council areas of West Dunbartonshire, Stirlingshire, and Argyllshire. The area surrounding the loch normally becomes busy with visitors in summer – those seeking solitude should head further north.
3) Loch Awe, Argyllshire
Loch Awe located roughly an hour’s drive from Oban is the longest freshwater loch in Scotland, measuring 25 miles from end to end. Loch Awe is famed for it’s excellent fishing opportunities, with Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Pike, and Perch thriving in it’s waters. Kilchurn, one of Scotland’s most photographed castles, sits on a rocky peninsula jutting into the loch and is accessible to visitors.
4) Loch Brandy, Angus
Loch Brandy located in the Cairngorms National Park is what is known as a ‘corrie’ i.e. a round hollow made in the side of a mountain, by the action of glaciers. Only the fittest get to see this lesser known loch – due to it’s high altitude location, hill walking gear is essential for a visit to Loch Brandy.
5) Loch Linnhe, Highlands
Loch Linnhe is a sea loch that lies within visible distance of Scotland’s tallest mountain – Ben Nevis. The loch is surrounded by impressive mountains and verdant woodlands abundant with wildlife. Visitors to the area can take a loch cruise, and if lucky might spot creatures such as otters, seals, porpoise, and sea eagles.
6) Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye
The lochs and lochans of the Isle of Skye are often overlooked by the dramatic mountains and rock structures of the area. Today the wild mussels harvested from the shores of Loch Slapin can be found in traditional local restaurants serving up the finest and freshest of fare.
7) Loch Leven, Highlands
Loch Leven is located close Glencoe, an area of great scenic beauty and considered by many to be the ‘Heart of the Highlands.’ The loch is not to be mistaken with Loch Leven located in Perthshire, with which it shares it’s name.
8) Loch Carron, Highlands
Loch Carron is a sea loch located in the sparsely populated Highland region of Wester Ross. The loch is surrounded by fine woodland, pine forests, and remote mountains, making it the ideal spot for those seeking a bit of peace and quiet, or to do some hillwalking.
9) Loch Etive, Argyllshire
Loch Etive’s name is derived from Gaelic, with Etive meaning ‘Little Ugly One.’ The area has been used to shoot many Hollywood blockbusters, including Skyfall, Braveheart, and Harry Potter. During the summer months the loch and surrounding glen is a very popular destination for campers, backpackers, and anglers.
by J McSporran
10) Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye
Loch Coruisk whose name in Scottish Gaelic means ‘cauldron of waters’ sits in the shadow of the rugged Black Cuillin mountain on the Isle of Skye. Loch Coruisk has been described in the past as ‘the wildest scene in the Highlands.’