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Scottish lochs are rich in elusive beauty, myth and legend, and with so many to enjoy, you are truly spoilt for choice!

Lochs are the jewel in bonnie Scotland’s crown; each one telling a different Gaelic tale, where nature thrives and glistening waters await. On our list of Scottish lochs, you can look forward to uncovering the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye, the Trossachs National Park and much more.

From Harry Potter filming locations to the mythical creatures lurking beneath, these beautiful Scottish lochs are sure to impress!

How many lochs are there in Scotland?

There are more than 30,000 lochs in Scotland! You will find the majority of lochs in the Scottish Highlands; however, there are more than 7,500 in the Western Isles too!

Why does Scotland have so many lochs? 

The reason for Scotland’s large amount of lochs is the colossal sheets of ice that used to spawn massive glaciers rolled across the land during the last Ice Age, gouging out valleys and leaving behind these beautiful watery landscapes!

What is the highest loch in Scotland? 

Whilst it didn’t make our list of the most beautiful Scottish lochs, Loch Etchachan is in fact the highest loch in Scotland. Find this Scottish loch nestled deep within the Cairngorms plateau, an impressive 3,041ft above sea level!

1. Loch Tummel

Queen's View at Loch Tummel

Located in the majestic landscape of Perthshire is the first Scottish loch on our list, Loch Tummel.

Carved into one of the most beautiful parts of Perthshire’s ‘Big Tree Country’, this loch is ever-changing in colour throughout the seasons. Just a stone’s throw away from the loch is Queen’s View, one of the most famous viewpoints in Scotland. Set high above the loch, you can look forward to enjoying the panorama of the peak of Schiehallion and Rannoch Moor at any time of the year.

Amidst the Allean Forest, there is the opportunity for walking and cycling, where you are promised views of the loch from all angles! This seven-mile-long Scottish loch also sees anglers fishing for brown trout and pike, whilst sailors can enjoy the waters from the sailing club as Foss.

Does the first on our list of Scottish Lochs sound tempting? Secure your stay at a Perthshire cottage today. 

2. Loch Shiel

Loch Shiel

Harry Potter enthusiasts will recognise our next Scottish loch from the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film, where it was transformed for the famous Triwizard Tournament scenes.

Even muggles will be in awe of magical Loch Shiel, which can be found 20km west of Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland. This body of freshwater measures over 17 miles, making it the fourth-longest loch in Scotland and certainly one of the most beautiful!

This Scottish loch can be seen when the Jacobite Express steam train crosses the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct, another iconic Harry Potter filming location.

From the Glenfinnan monument, admire the view of the loch that is carved out by retreating glaciers that have seen successive ice ages. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the area’s variety of wildlife, including Golden Eagles, Red Throated Divers, and Red Deer, along with other unusual animals you can find in Scotland.

If a trip to this Scottish loch is on the agenda this year, secure your Scottish Highland cottage with us! 

3. Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

The largest loch in Scotland is in fact Loch Lomond, measuring an impressive 22 miles in length and nearly 5 miles at its widest point!

Found within the beautiful Trossachs National Park, this beautiful loch in Scotland draws tourists from all over, and it is easy to see why. Here, you will find great opportunities for wild swimming, pleasure boating, fishing and canoeing, as well as walking and cycling along its shoreline.

Surrounding the mesmerising Scottish loch are a number of pretty villages to explore, while the Arrochar Alps tower above, perfect for a vigorous hike.

Find your perfect place to stay with a Loch Lomond Cottage

4. Loch Assynt

Loch Assynt

Next on our guide to the most beautiful lochs in Scotland is Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Scottish Highlands.

Enjoying a magnificent setting between the mountains of Canisp, Quinag and Beinn Uidhe, this loch is truly beautiful. Here is where you will find the ruins of 16th-century Ardvreck Castle, which offers scenic walks where you can take in the best mountain landscapes and loch views.

Secure your perfect holiday by booking a Sutherland cottage.

5. Loch Ness

Loch Ness

The most famous Scottish loch on our list is Loch Ness, a majestic spot shrouded in mystery and myth!

Plummeting 227 meters at its deepest point, it truly is a great spot to hide if you are a monster! The tales of Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster have circulated across the globe since 1933 and there have been over 1,000 reported eyewitness accounts since.

Moreover, Loch Ness contains more water than all of the lakes in England and Wales, making it the greatest volume of water in the UK, as well as the most mysterious! Find the Scottish loch amidst the beautiful Highlands, where you are promised awe-inspiring scenery, plenty of outdoor activities and dramatic castles to enjoy.

Keep your eyes peeled for Nessie with a stay at a Loch Ness Cottage

6. Loch Awe

Loch Awe

If our 10 reasons to visit Scotland didn’t tempt you to make the journey, surely the magnificent Loch Awe will!

Find the next Scottish loch on our list in the Argyll and Bute region. It is in fact the longest freshwater loch in Scotland, measuring a sweeping 25 miles.

Above the surface, there are the famous Kilchurn Castle ruins and the snow-capped mountain summits of Ben Cruachan and Ben Lui. Kilchurn Castle is an atmospheric ruin on the north-eastern edge of the loch and is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland.

This Scottish loch is also a popular spot for trouting and salmon fishing, whilst the banks of the loch are rich with wildlife, including barn owls, red squirrels and eagles.

Explore this awesome Scottish loch with a stay at an Argyll and Bute.

7.  Loch Coruisk

Loch Coruisk

Our guide to the most beautiful lochs in Scotland had to include the serene Loch Coruisk. Discover this Scottish loch on the beautiful Isle of Skye, lying at the foot of the towering Cuillin Mountains.

It is little wonder that the striking Loch Coruisk, which in Scottish Gaelic means ‘Cauldron of Waters’, has been the subject of great art. This Scottish loch is the scene of JMW Turner’s painting that can be found at the National Gallery of Scotland, as well as being the subject of Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem, Loch Coruisk.

Admire the rocky peaks that tower over the water by booking a boat trip from the village of Elgol, or for the avid rambler, pull on your walking boots for a trek up Sgurr Na Stri. The summit is widely regarded as the home of Britain’s best view, so definitely one to add to the bucket list!

Discover your perfect Isle of Skye cottage with us today!

8. Loch Morar

Loch Morar in Scotland

Harry Potter enthusiasts may also recognise our next Scottish loch, which also doubled up at Hogwarts Lake.

More impressively, Loch Morar is the keeper of the deepest waters found on the British Isles. At 310 meters, Loch Morar competes only with the height of the UK’s tallest building, London’s Shard, which also measures an unfathomable 310 meters!

Rumoured to be lurking in the depths is Loch Ness Monster’s cousin, Morag the Monster! If the deep waters and a potential monster do not deter you, be sure to enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters. This Scottish loch also affords views of the striking hills, which are the haunts of otters, red deer, wildcats, sea eagles and golden eagles!

The area surrounding the loch is truly a walker’s paradise, with scenic short and long-distance trails taking you along the north shore. Continuing to impress, the coast lies just a short distance away and is home to the Silver Sands of Morar, a celebrated series of beautiful sandy beaches. In addition to being one of the UK’s dog-friendly beaches!

Enjoy this part of the country with a holiday in a West Coast Scotland cottage

9. Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine

Our next beautiful Scottish loch lies within striking distance of Strathyre in the Trossachs National Park.

Loch Katrine has been Glasgow’s main water supply since Victorian times and offers plenty of things for families to enjoy. As majestic as the loch looks, Loch Katrine’s name actually derives from a Celtic word, meaning a ‘dark, gloomy place’.

Despite its murky meaning, Loch Katrine inspired Sir Walter Scott to write his narrative poem, Lady of the Lake. Additionally, the loch was used on the small screen as an Outlander filming location, when Brianna and Roger sit down for a picnic on its banks.

Whilst visiting, be sure to take to the waters on a loch cruise, which brings together the best of relaxation, adventure and history! Alternatively, you could take two wheels along the traffic-free loch-side road, or lace up your walking shoes to climb Ben A’an for great views of the Scottish loch.

Discover this Scottish loch with a stay at a Strathyre holiday cottage

10. Loch Earn

Loch Earn

Our final Scottish loch to feature in our guide lies firmly within the beautiful Trossachs National Park.

Loch Earn is located within the undulating hills of the Highlands, making for a peaceful retreat at any time of the year. But for those seeking outdoor pursuits, find the Loch Earn Watersports Centre, where you can try your hand at waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Walking opportunities are in abundance here too; the Rings of Breadalbane routes are located nearby, allowing you to further explore the Scottish landscapes. Along the way, you will discover picturesque small towns and villages, including Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and St. Fillans.

Moreover, Loch Earn is the source of River Earn, which joins the River Tay, Scotland’s longest river and one of the superb Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing locations.

More adventure awaits when you book a Scotland holiday cottage with us!

Use our handy Scotland travel guide for more inspiration as you visit our selection of the most beautiful Scottish lochs. Want to learn more? Browse our fun facts that you may not know about Scotland

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