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Scottish Lochs

There are over 600 lochs in Scotland including inland and sea lochs. The word comes from Gaelic (as does "lochan" meaning a small lake or pool).

The largest loch by area is Loch Lomond - 27.5 square miles.

The largest loch by volume of water is Loch Ness.

The longest inland loch is Loch Awe - 25 miles long.

The longest sea loch is Loch Fyne - 44 miles long.

The deepest loch is Loch Morar - 328m(1077ft) deep.

This is a shortened list of Scottish lochs and some brief information on each one.

Loch Achray
A small loch in the Trossachs district, Loch Achray is situated on the A821 between Aberfoyle and Callander. It sits at the foot of Ben Venue and is only one mile from the Trossachs pier at Loch Katrine. Achray means "smooth field" and the loch is so named because of the calmness of the water, giving spectacular reflections on it's surface.

Loch Affric
Loch in Glen Affric that is formed in the course of the River Affric. It is one of the few large natural lochs in this area of the Highlands.

Loch Ailort
A sea loch on Scotland Atlantic coastline with the small village of Lochailort at it's head.

Loch Aline
Loch Aline is a sea loch off the Sound of Mull, on the southern coast of the Morvern peninsula, within the Ardtornish Estate. Kinlochaline sits at the head of the loch as does Kinlochaline Castle, a fifteenth-century square turreted tower, originally owned by the MacInnes family.

Loch Alsh
Loch Alsh reaches out to one of Scotland's most beautiful castles, Eilean Donan, in the east and to the west the Skye Bridge, which has linked the island to the mainland since 1995.

Loch an Eilein
Set in the beautiful Cairngorm National Park area near Aviemore, this loch holds a gem of a ruined castle upon an island in the loch. The castle is estimated to be at least 600 years old and was used as a refuge in troubled times. It was attacked by Jacobite MacDonalds after the Battle of Cromdale in 1690, but the Grant defenders successfully beat off the assault. The castle was used in the 1700's to hold Jacobite prisoners, but later fell into disuse as Scotland became a more peaceful country.

Loch Ard
This is a small loch near Aberfoyle in the Trossachs which is well known for Rob Roy's Cave from where he is reputed to have hatched many of his plots as an outlaw, crannogs, brown trout fishing and sailing.

Loch Assynt
This loch can be found in the Sutherland area of Scotland. Loch Assynt is framed by mountains made up mostly of red-brown sandstones belonging to the Torridon Group, deposited about 1000 million years ago.

Loch Awe
Some 24 miles long and quite narrow, Loch Awe forms a considerable catchment area for the many feeder burns flowing from the surrounding mountains. Water quality is high and the fish population thrive in this rich, natural feeding area. The many bays vary in size and depth and each has its own particular attraction – shallow, sandy, rocky, reedy. The loch has several islands, including Inishail, which has a ruined convent and chapel, and Innis Chonell, which has a ruined castle which belonged to the Campbells.

Loch Ba
Loch Ba is situated on Rannoch Moor

Loch Broom
Loch Broom has been part of the Cromarty estates since the 17th century and is on the drove road to the Dirrie More. There was an unsuccessful attempt to establish a fisheries station here in 1698. Its shores are a mixture of woodland and rocky promontories and are noted for their many sheltered anchorages. The middle of its northern shore is dominated by Ben More Coigach.

Ullapool, on the north shore of Loch Broom, began as a planned village built by the British Fisheries Society in 1788. Broom comes from the gaelic 'bhraoin', meaning place of rain showers

Loch Buie
Sea loch on the Isle of Mull and home of Moy Castle.

Loch Carron
Loch Carron is a beautiful sea loch which has on it's northern shore the little village of Lochcarron. Lochcarron was formerly known as Jeantown and was noted for its high quality, locally woven tartans.

Loch Cluanie
Loch Cluanie is situated 15 miles west of Fort Augustus and is a popular area for fishing. At the western end of the loch is the Cluanie Inn, originally a resting place for cattle drovers on their way to the markets or 'trysts' at Falkirk and Crieff.

Loch Coruisk
This loch is nestled among Skye's beautiful Cuillin mountains.

Loch Dochart
This loch is situated to the east of Crianlarich and north of Ben More. On an island in the loch you can see Loch Dochart Castle which was built by Black Duncan Campbell of the cowl about 1590. From this loch runs River Dochart which provides us with the beautiful Falls of Dochart at Killin.

Loch Doon
This is a large loch in Ayrshire which at one time held the 14th century Loch Doon Castle on an island but when the water level was raised in the 1930's as part of a hydro-electric scheme the castle was moved to the banks of the loch.

Loch Duich
This is a long sea loch east of Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye Bridge on which can be found the famous and much photographed Eilean Donan Castle.

Loch Earn
This loch lies between the small villages of Lochearnhead and St Fillans. It is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. At the south eastern side of the loch sits Edinample Castle, built in 1584 for Sir Duncan Campbell.

Loch Eil
This loch joins Loch Linnhe at Fort William and has Inverlochy Castle sited near this joining of the lochs.

Loch Einich
Loch Einich is a remote loch which sits in the Cairngorm National Park and is enclosed by mountains on three sides, the fourth side opening out to Glen Einich to the north. The loch can only be reached by walking or cycling but be warned that you will probably have to wade through a river at some point.

Loch Ericht
This is a long, narrow loch which runs from Dalwhinnie to just north of Loch Rannoch. These two lochs are joined by the River Ericht.

Loch Etive
Much of this lochs shores, which is to the east of Oban, is inaccessible by car. It passes under the Connel Bridge into Ardmucknish Bay.

Loch Ewe
The River Ewe rushes for 3 miles from Loch Maree into Loch Ewe, a sea loch 10 miles long on the on the west coast. Poolewe is at the head of the loch, near the exotic Inverewe Gardens, a world famous garden created from a once barren peninsula on the shore of Loch Ewe by Victorian gardener Osgood MacKenzie. Exotic plants from many countries flourish here in the mild climate created by the North Atlantic Drift.

ln the 17th century, the Ewe powered the Red Smiddy blast furnace at Poolewe, the second such in Scotland. At the village of Aultbea, on the east shore, there were anchorages for the Home Fleet in World Wars I and II. During World War II Arctic convoys assembled here en route for Russia. There is now a NATO refuelling depot nearby. The small Isle of Ewe, in the middle of the loch, made it easier to construct an anti- submarine boom in World War II.

Loch Faskally
This is a man-made reservoir retained by the 16.5-m (54-feet) high Pitlochry Dam which was built in 1947-50 as part of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board's Tummel/Garry Power Scheme. Water is fed through two 7500 kW generators and a salmon fish ladder which attracts large numbers of visitors annually. Loch Faskally gets on average 5500 salmon passing through its waters each year.

Loch Fyne
Argyll sea loch, well known for fishing and oysters, and the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar at the head of the loch is a renowned outlet for these. It had an important herring-fishing industry, practised from distinctive Loch Fyne skiffs. The Crinan Canal enters the Inch at Ardrishaig.

Loch Garten
The Abernethy Forest RSPB Reserve on the shore of Loch Garten, seven miles northeast of Aviemore and eight miles south of Grantown-on-Spey, is famous as the nesting site of one of Britain's rarest birds, the osprey.

Loch Gilp
Loch Gilp, Argyll, is a short loch leading north west from Loch Fyne. Near the eastern shores once stood Kilmory Castle. The only remains of the castle consist of a small tower, about 8' high, attached to Meikle Kilmory farm buildings. The walls, apparently built without mortar, are of normal thickness. The faint track of a wall is discernible round by the edge of the trees and along the top of rock. This castle, which consisted of several towers and buildings, was the residence of the Jamiesons of Kilmorie.

Loch Goil
Loch Goil, which meets Loch Long, is a sea loch overshadowed by steep hills. It reaches a depth of 85metres. On it's western banks can be found Carrick Castle which dates from the 1200's. Lochgoilhead, the village that sits at the top end of the loch, did not originally have much in the way of road links but managed to grow in size due to the popularity of the steamers that travelled the Clyde Estuary, especially for holiday makers. By the mid 1800's a number of holiday homes existed and the steamer service continued till just after the second world war.

Loch Inver
This is a sea loch on the north west coast of Scotland. At it's head is the fishing village of Lochinver.

Loch Katrine
The largest loch in the Trossachs, Loch Katrine, which is 8 miles long, lies within the valley of Strath Gartney to the east of Loch Lomond. The loch derives its name from the Gaelic 'cateran' meaning a Highland robber, the most notorious of which was Rob Roy MacGregor who was born at Glengyle House at the northern end of the Loch. Sir Walter Scott's best-selling poem 'The Lady of the Lake' published in 1809 popularised the loch and in particular the romantic wooded islet known as Ellen's Isle. Queen Victoria sailed up the loch in September 1869 and in 1803 it inspired the poets Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth.

A source of pure water for the city of Glasgow since 1859, Loch Katrine is still visited by large numbers of tourists who either walk or cycle the road on the north side of the loch or take the steamship SS Sir Walter Scott which was launched in 1899 and still plies the water from the Trossachs Pier. The loch is 8 miles (13 km) in length.

Loch Ken
Loch Ken, is an area of great natural beauty set in the Glenkens, one of the most scenic and unspoilt parts of Galloway in the south of Scotland. It is very popular for all types of watersport.

More Lochs

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