Highland Games: A Walker’s Guide To The Scottish Lochs

Jutting way up into the most northern part of the United Kingdom, Scotland is practically a world unto itself; it seems as though the farther north that you venture, the more magical the place becomes. Located in a land of wilderness and rugged beauty, the Scottish Lochs are perhaps one of the most beautiful areas of the entire country, with a myriad of waterways and mountain paths worth traversing. With any number of wild and beautiful spots calling for our attention, though, settling on a route can be tricky, and often it might feel like we’re missing out on something bigger and better. While all of the region’s lochs are worthy of attention, some really do shine above the rest. Do you have your walking boots at the ready? We’re about to get walking.

Loch Ness


If you’re hoping to spot the area’s eponymous monster, you might be left disappointed – but luckily for you, Loch Ness has a whole list of other things to look out for. Covering a whopping 22 square kilometers, this Loch is one of the biggest out there, and plummeting to depths of up to 230 meters, it might just be one of the deepest. Strolling the perimeter of the loch is a great way to get acquainted with the local landscape, and if you happen to spot a large creature on your wanders, then it’s all the better for you.

Loch Lomond


If you’re not thrilled by the prospect of stumbling across a notorious monster, Loch Lomond might just be the best alternative. The largest freshwater loch in Scotland, Lomond is a popular spot for sailors, fishers, swimmers, and canoers. If water sports aren’t your thing, then you would be equally well served by taking a hike around the shores; surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, Lomond more than delivers.

Loch Awe


Are you looking to get to the heart and soul of Scotland? Loch Awe might be the place for you. Living up to its name and then some, this Loch is perhaps best known for Kilchurn Castle, a mammoth ruin that lies at the northeast edge of the water. Over the years, the castle has become a popular image associated with the rural beauty of Scotland, so if you want to get to the heart of this rugged country, Loch Awe might be your very best bet.

Loch Rusky


You could, however, want to get away from all of the crowds and walk in complete peace, and if that’s the case, Loch Rusky is worth a look. Nestled away from Loch Lomond, Rusky is much smaller and quieter than its famous counterpart but offers up just as much raw beauty. A favorite amongst locals, Rusky is a hotspot for fishermen and photographers, offering a rare glimpse of Scotland in solitude.

Loch Venachar


Scotland is renowned for its rugged beauty and highland paths, and if you’re taking your first trip to the country, you should consider making a beeline for Loch Venachar. Known as the door to the highlands, this Loch opens out onto woodland landscapes, pebbled shores, and some of the best wildlife trails around. From the Loch, it’s rural wilderness until the ocean, showcasing exactly what Scotland has to offer the world.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.

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