Ah Scotland! When you think of this glorious country, your mind surely goes to haggis, kilts and perhaps… lochs? Scotland is renowned for its lochs, covering the rugged landscape. Some of these lochs are more well known than others, which is why we have put together our list of the top 7 lochs around Scotland. Look for your favourite, and then find a motorhome to start this incredible road trip of the best lochs of Scotland!
#1 Loch Ness
Of all the lochs in Scotland, Loch Ness is by far the most famous. The majority of fame given to Loch Ness is the result of myths of the prehistoric beast swimming in it, with sightings of Nessie dating back centuries. Whilst Loch Ness is not the biggest of the Scottish lakes by surface area at 21.8 square miles, but the combination of scale and depth (it descends 230m) and is thus the largest body of freshwater in the British Isles by volume. This sheer size makes the swimming dinosaur slightly more likely! The loch attracts thousands of visitors, and there are numerous water activities available. There are plenty of Loch Ness Boat trips from various organisations, if you dare to cross these waters! This is a great loch to visit for those wishing to spend a touristic day, as it is close to Urquhart Castle, where you can view the remains of the castle that passed between the hands of the British and Scottish for centuries. You can also visit the Culloden Battlefield, where the Scottish lost their battle with Britain in 1746, with more than 1500 men slain in their final battle. is recommended. In 2008, the Scottish National Trust opened a visitor’s centre to allow you to experience and learn about the highland history and the Jacobite Rising. This centre will take some time to explore, as it is filled with numerous things to explore, including a 360 degree video surrounding you with the sights and sounds of the battle, allowing you to feel the chaos and imagine the potent fear. There are numerous campsites nearby, including Loch Ness Shores Camping & Caravanning Site, with a reception and shop on site to cater all needs, including helping with the organisation of Loch Ness boat trips. It is walking distance to the loch, and there are numerous available activities in the surrounding area.
#2 Loch Ross
A far smaller loch than the others on the list, but one of the lochs near Edinburgh, for those wishing to see one during their city trip. It is the southernmost of three narrow lochans, which are expansions of the Gogar Burn in Edinburgh Park. It is named after Bill Ross, the dynamic head of Edinburgh City Council’s property and development company. It is ideal for a short trip during your stay in Edinburgh, alongside visiting Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. Despite being in the bustling capital city of Scotland, there are still plenty of options for campsites. One of the nearest to the city, a mere 20 minutes drive from Princes Street, is Drummohr Holiday Park. Located in a former monastery garden, it is considered to be an oasis of peace in the beautiful East Lothian countryside. Alongside its high standard facilities, including two toilet blocks and a well stocked onsite shop, Drummohr Holiday Park also has a great view of the Firth of Forth.
#3 Loch Lomond
But if Loch Ness is not the largest loch is surface area, then which is? The proud winner is Loch Lomond in southern Scotland, spreading out to 21 square miles. It is also the largest inland stretch of water in all of Great Britain, and part of the Trossachs National Park. The surrounding highlands area is home to various wildlife, including red deer, and there is vast oak woodlands. There are various trails surrounding the loch, including footpaths and cycle trails across Ben Lomond mountain and the smaller Conic Hill. From the loch you can easily visit the ancient Luss village, and enter a fairytale surrounded by its stone cottages. There are numerous castles to visit in the area, including Dumbarton Castle which has the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Scotland. It is nestled above the town of Dumbarton, and not many realise that it actually sits on a plug of volcanic basalt known as Dumbarton rock. Given its location in a national park, it in unsurprising that there are numerous campsites around. At Trossachs Holiday Park, you’ll find an award-winning park, with an adventure playground, wifi cafe, games room and more. The campsite covers 40 acres of landscapes grounds, and is surrounded by woodlands, mountains, lochs and glens. Thus, you’ll find it easy to keep busy on sunny days as well as rainy ones, and the hard part will be leaving this campsite!
#4 Loch Morar
Now that we’ve considered the biggest lakes, it is time to look at the deepest. Loch Morar is situated in the western Highlands, within sight of Mallaig and Morar. It plunges a full 1017 ft at its deepest point, making it the deepest of any body of water in the British Isles. It was formed by glacial action approximately 10,000 years ago, and is considered one of the last Ice Age’s finest achievements. Loch Morar is considered to be a walkers’ paradise, as the surrounding hills offer magnificent views stretching all the way to Ben Nevis in the east and the Hebrides in the west. You should keep an eye out for otters, red deer, sea eagles and many more wonderful wildlife in the area. Also keep an eye out of Morag, which is the Loch Morar version of Nessie. It is the second most written about of Scotland’s legendary monsters. Close to the loch is Traigh Golf Course, which is considered to be one of the prettiest courses in Scotland. Pitch up for the night at Resipole Farm Holiday Park, a family-run park with gorgeous views across Loch Morar and Loch Sunart. It is the perfect base to explore the surroundings, with basic facilities as well as a supermarket on site.
#5 Loch of Stenness / Loch of Harray
These two lochs may not be contenders for largest, deepest or longest, but they do win most collaborative lochs. Loch of Stenness and Loch of Harray connect during high tide, appearing almost as one loch . Both lochs are approximately 4 miles in length, and are located on Mainland, Orkney. They are close to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Stones of Stenness and Ring of Brodgar. There is much to explore in Orkney, so this is best done as a weekend break. It holds the best preserved prehistoric cultural landscape, giving a graphic description of life in this remote archipelago approximately 5,000 years ago. There are limited campsites due to the remote area, but luckily Wheems Organic Farm is the place to stay. This campsite is sea-view and a mere 10 minute walk from the beach at Newark Bay. The campsite is an organic farm, with focus on eco-friendly travel and upcycling. Fresh produce is available for campers, to enjoy as a picnic on one of the gorgeous coastal walks surrounding the site.
#6 Loch Linnhe
Across the top of Scotland, from northeast to southwest, you’ll find the Great Glen Fault. This is a long groove in the earth resulting from the pulling and twitching of tectonic plates. The gap is partially filled by Loch Linnhe, the only sea loch along the Great Glen Fault, which spills into Firth of Lorne at its southwestern end. Loch Linnhe is surrounded by Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, two mountains renowned for great climbing. Whilst there, make a trip to Castle Stalker, set on the tidal islet of Loch Laich - an inlet off Loch Linnhe. It is a four storey tower house, only accessible from the shore at low tide. The view from the castle is incomparable, and a fun journey to make! Five miles from Fort William, you’ll find Linnhe Lochside Holidays, a luxury campsite surrounded by spectacular scenery. It features a launderette, licensed shop, drying room and more. Following your day of activities - from whitewater rafting to quad biking to hiking- you can return and have a bath for your sore muscles!
#7 Loch Awe
Loch Awe may not be the deepest, or have the largest volume, but it wins on the simple matter of length. It is the longest of the Scottish lochs, stretching out for an impressive 25 miles in Argyll and Bute. To run along one bank of the loch is almost equivalent to completing a marathon. However, Loch Awe is renowned for a less tiring sport, as people from across the country travel here for trout fishing. There are islands within the loch, such as Innis Chonnell and Inishail, which can be easily reached by boat. From here you can explore the ruins of Kilchurn Castle, and admire the impressive views across the loch from the 15th century castle. Many travel here for Ben Cruachan, as the 1126m mountain is popular for hiking and climbing. Park your motorhome at Adfern Motorhome Park for the evening, a scenic and peaceful campsite right beside the loch. From here you can easily stroll to Ardfern village for shops or restaurants, or take in more of hills and woodlands.
Each of the different lochs in Scotland have their own unique traits and surroundings, and our list of them could carry on easily! But these 7 are our top picks based on impressive features, location and more. Whether you’re looking for lochs near Edinburgh or Loch Ness boat trips, this list should be of help. Ideally, try to visit several, to be able to compare them best. This can be done through the help of a motorhome to travel with, which you can find through a simple search on our site