Loch Tay

Loch Tay is the sixth-largest freshwater loch in Scotland, stretching over 15km in length. Fed by the rivers Dochart and Lochay, the glacially-carved loch reaches depths up to 153 metres. The loch and its surrounding area are designated as a national scenic area, part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Enclosed by mountains like Ben Lawers and magnificent native woodlands, the epic scenery around Loch Tay has inspired artists and poets for hundreds of years. The ancient crannog (artificial island) settlements on the loch show it has long been an important place for people too. These days it's popular for salmon and trout fishing, touring the Rob Roy Way walking route, water sports like sailing and kayaking, or simply admiring the views.

Water Sports & Activities

With glittering water awaiting, Loch Tay offers top conditions for power boating, kayaking, sailing and more aquatic adventures.


Sailing with Loch Tay Sailing

Loch Tay's combination of stunning mountain backdrops and relatively sheltered 15km long freshwater loch has made it a sailing hotspot since Victorian times when the gentry raced here. Today Loch Tay Sailing continues the tradition from their Killin base, providing accredited RYA sail training plus dinghy and catamaran hires to all abilities. Visitors can opt to helm a boat solo or join a group sail with an experienced instructor on hand.


Powerboating & Watersports

The exciting new Loch Tay Marina and Watersports Centre opening in spring 2023 on the south shore promises motorboat experiences for all. Once up and running, visitors will be able to book exhilarating rides in high-powered RIBs or learn to handle cruisers, ski boats even a seaplane on the expansive waters! More relaxed kayak, paddleboard and electric boat hires will be available too for floating amid the sensational highland scenery.


Fishing Trips

Keen anglers flock to Loch Tay as Scotland's premier inland waterway for Salmon fishing. The season runs late winter through autumn. Local experts like Callander and West Perthshire Angling offer guided Loch Tay fishing trips to secret spots where mighty monster Salmon are known to dwell! No license is required and all equipment and ghillies are included. Or visitors can cast off from anywhere around the loch.

Walking & Cycling

Boasting highland hills, enchanting woodland and the 73-mile Rob Roy Way, Loch Tay is a paradise found for hiking and biking fanatics.

  • Walking Routes → The region surrounding Loch Tay serves up infinite hiking among heavenly highland scenery. For low-level walking, try the Loch Tay Daisy Way and Chestnut Cycle Trails - graded easy-going routes that encircle the loch passing meadows and forests. Hill walkers will relish roaming rugged Munro peak tracks starting from Ben Lawers Nature Reserve on the loch's northern slopes. Serious trekkers can follow the full Rob Roy Way cross-country trail crossing over the loch at Ardtalnaig. Guided outdoor experiences like canyoning down the Slochd Gorge run by Nae Limits or Loch Tay Safaris based in Killin.
  • Cycling Trails → Cyclists of all abilities can saddle up and explore the networks of forestry roads and trails around Loch Tay. Family groups should enjoy the Killin to Loch Tay return route along a dismantled railway line. Thrill seekers can join an exhilarating downhill ride starting from the top of mighty Ben Lawers. The Killin Outdoor Centre and Wired for Adventure hire out quality mountain bikes and e-bikes for guided tours too. Just watch out for wandering sheep and cattle when whizzing around corners!

Places to Visit Near The Loch Tay

As well as the loch itself, several cultural and historic visitor attractions lie within easy reach to further enrich stays at Loch Tay.


Scottish Crannog Centre 

Located on the banks of Loch Tay, this award-winning living history museum recreates an ancient crannog fortress settlement using outstanding reconstructions, storytelling and experimental archaeology. Friendly guides dressed in Iron Age costumes demonstrate how people lived over 2500 years ago, cooking fish stew over an open fire in the roundhouse and crafting items like bowls and jewellery from wood, leather and antlers. Visitors tour the thatched buildings connected by walkways for an illuminating glimpse into Scotland's deep past.


The Fortingall Yew 

This parish churchyard contains a spectacular old tree reputed to be the oldest in Europe, thought to be between 3000 - 9000 years old. The Fortingall Yew tree stands over 52 feet wide with gnarled and twisted trunks, yet still sprouts bright green leaves each spring. Local legend says Pontius Pilate was born here in its shade! Visitors feel humbled wandering under its branches. Entry is free.


House of Bruar Retail Park

One of the largest independent stores in Scotland, House of Bruar stocks quality Scottish merchandise from cashmere knits to fine foods under one roof. Explore designer homewares, clothing collections and classic Scottish whisky from their exceptional liquor store. The food hall brims with artisan chocolates, berries and world-famous Bruar shortcake. After browsing, relax over lunch at their eatery set overlooking mountains and the River Garry flowing through the impressive Falls of Bruar. An ideal rainy day retreat just 10 minutes from Loch Tay.

The yew tree in Fortingall churchyard is estimated to be between 3,000 and 9,000 years old. Legend has it that Pontius Pilate was born in the village and played beneath its branches.

Wildlife Spotting

From rare ospreys to mischievous red squirrels, a host of wonderful Scottish wildlife thrives around Loch Tay's shores. Here's where to head for the best sightings:


Scottish Ospreys at Loch Tay

These magnificent birds of prey almost became extinct in Scotland in the early 20th century. But thanks to dedicated conservation efforts to re-establish breeding pairs across Highland lochs, osprey populations keep rising. There's an RSPB-monitored osprey nest opposite the Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay's north bank that's worth observing from April to September. See parent ospreys busily maintain the huge nest and then fish for brown trout to feed their hungry chicks. An osprey-watching hide here has telescopes and expert volunteers on hand to help visitors watch all the action. You may spot adults circling carrying branches or incoming with writhing fish grasped in their talons too over the loch. Simply awe-inspiring!


Red Squirrels

Britain's cutest residents thrive in Scots Pine woods bordering Loch Tay. Grey squirrels dominate most of the UK but the rare native red squirrel perseveres throughout Scotland's Highlands. When walking forest trails, keep your eyes peeled scanning treetops and wood piles for these daring acrobats. Listen for rustling leaves and chirpy chatters too. Places like Duncroin Forest make good squirrel-spotting sites. Their plush russet coats, tufted ears and feathery tails add a delightful splash of colour when they appear like bolts of fur! Have your cameras ready... plus picnic nuts to tempt them into the open.


Highland Cows

No visit to Scotland's countryside is complete without glimpsing magnificent highland cattle with their long wavy coats Perfectly adapted to rugged highland terrain, these gentle giants roam freely around Loch Tay's banks, blending into the landscape. The Kea Farm near Lawers allows visitors to observe a 150-strong fold plus cute calves up close – highlights include bottle-feeding experiences. Or simply watch out for Loch Tay's shaggy longhorn residents grazing riverside meadows and dozing under trees as you explore the area.

A red squirrel in woodland, carrying a nut in his mouth


Aberfeldy Golf Course

Flanked by the silvery Tay winding below, Aberfeldy Golf Course ranks as one of Scotland's most spectacularly set 18-hole courses. Laying at the foot of the Birks of Aberfeldy, golfers can absorb sublime vistas across Breadalbane Hills from the perfectly manicured fairways and greens. Designed by James Braid, hazards include the Loch of the Lowes and meandering burn alongside the Moness Falls. The welcoming clubhouse offers sustenance and cheer whatever your handicap or score. Visitors can play anytime outside club competitions for reasonable rates - the breathtaking location makes any round here a pleasure.


Killin Golf Course

You'll feel miles from anywhere at the peaceful 9-hole Killin Golf Course neighbouring lush Loch Tay. Despite its diminutive length, the testing narrow fairways demand accuracy slicing shots between forestry and crags of Ben Lawers. Marvel at the mighty mountains from the elevated tees then focus on not landing in the bracken! Established in 1891, facilities may be simple but the stirring scenery outshines any fancy club. Pop in the honesty box greens fees then retire afterwards to the inviting Killin Hotel terrace for fine local fayre as your just reward.


Swing by these scenic gems surrounding Loch Tay to appreciate the charm of playing hallowed Scottish greens watched over by majestic highland peaks. Just remember to pause now and then simply to soak up the splendour.


Spa Days

With soothing waters and nature in abundance, Loch Tay offers the perfect ingredients for restorative spa days combining stunning scenery and wellness.


Loch Tay Highland Lodges and Spa

Indulge mind, body and spirit with a blissful Spa Day package stay at the newly launched Loch Tay Highland Lodges luxury resort. Their eco-conscious spa features five treatment rooms plus a 15-metre hydrotherapy infinity pool overlooking the loch, herbal sauna, steam room, gym and relaxation lounges. Signature treatments use natural Scottish ingredients like detoxing seaweed from Wester Ross and soothing heather honey. Package options include afternoon tea and access to the plush spa facilities plus a choice of massage, facial or beauty treatments. Leave troubles behind and simply drift away thanks to caring therapists, tranquil lochside ambience and rejuvenating products harnessed from Scotland's pure environment.


Loch Tay Marina Spa

This exciting new wellness hub in the pipeline at Loch Tay's south shore promises to be an idyllic retreat for spa and fitness fans. Also embracing eco principles and showcasing the best of Scotland's natural bounty, the Loch Tay Marina Spa aims to offer revitalising water therapies using mineral-rich salts in tandem with lochside views and highland air circulation. Scottish skincare products suiting active lifestyles will feature in their slated wide range of facilities spanning pools, beauty rooms, movement studios, salt chambers and relaxation spaces. Watch this space for luxury wellness stays taking full advantage of fabulous Loch Tay settings!


Loch Tay Scotland Crannog on reflective mirror calm fresh water lake in winter with snowy mountains.

Local Food & Drink

Loch Tay cuisine makes the most of Scotland's outstanding natural larder from succulent salmon to ripe raspberries. Here's where to sample the scrumptious best local fare:


The Courtyard Restaurant with Rooms

Head Chef David Lummis forages in landscapes around Loch Tay seeking wild garlic, herbs and nuts to inspire his exceptional rotating menus. Served upstairs in the crisp courtyard dining room or on the boutique hotel's roof terrace, expect creative dishes like Highland roe deer carpaccio, Strathearn smoked salmon and chocolate delice with Tayberry sorbet. Their 'Field & Forest' fine dining tasting menu epitomises fresh regional ingredients transformed through skilled cooking. Expertly compiled wine flights plus malt whisky nightcaps complete perfect culinary evenings.


The Boathouse Restaurant at Loch Tay Highland Lodges

Panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows frame fairy tale views over Loch Tay at this sleek lakeside restaurant. Newly opened as part of the luxury eco-lodge resort, the upscale Boathouse champions conscientious cuisine celebrating super-local tastes and provenance. Menus bursting with seasonal Scottish flavours might include seared Rannoch moor venison, guinea fowl balteran and caramelised apple crumble with Heathery honey ice cream. Daily afternoon teas can be savoured on their terrace too. Clean flavours and refined presentation combined with dreamy loch panoramas make mealtimes here a standout treat.


Hotels & B&Bs

For those seeking a little luxury, Loch Tay offers a splendid selection of hotels and cosy B&Bs brimming with highland hospitality.

  • Loch Tay Highland Lodges and Spa → The newly redeveloped 4-star Loch Tay Highland Lodges and Spa is the premium place to stay for lochside panoramas and indulgent pampering. The eco-friendly luxury lodges feature hot tubs on private decking overlooking sublime views. Guests also have exclusive use of the plush spa with an indoor heated pool, herbal steam room, gym and treatment rooms providing massages with natural Scottish products. The Boathouse Restaurant serves exceptional local cuisine. It's perfect for couples and groups seeking a special getaway in comfort.

  • Boreland Loch Tay B&B → Run by welcoming owners Maeve and Iain, this tranquil farmhouse B&B sits on a hillside above Boreland on the quieter north side of Loch Tay. Simple, cosy rooms look out onto the loch and gardens. Hearty Scottish breakfasts are served, with eggs straight from the chicken coop! The B&B's lochside location is ideal for fishing, walking and admiring breathtaking scenery. Packed lunches can be arranged to take on outdoor adventures before returning to relax by the log burner.

  • The Courtyard → For boutique styling, fine dining and loch views in Killin village, The Courtyard boutique hotel excels. Set within a charming cobblestone courtyard, the contemporary bedrooms feature quality furnishings and rainfall showers. Highlights include the acclaimed Rooftop Restaurant headed by a professional forager plus an intimate cocktail bar. With an enviable location offering both convenience and class, The Courtyard is understandably popular.

Holiday Lodges

For extra comfort and flexibility on holidays to remember, privately owned holiday lodge accommodation lines the scenic shores of Loch Tay. Ranging from quaint wooden lodges to luxurious hot tub havens, groups of friends or families will find freedom and first-class facilities await.

  • Highland Lodges Loch Tay → Your Scottish fantasy in nature comes true glamping in these gorgeous hot tub lodges immersed in leafy forest surroundings. Choose between the contemporary Lake Side lodges near the new marina or woodland Woodland lodges at Highland Lodges' loch-facing base by Fearnan. Both offer boutique styling inside with cosy wood burners and spacious bedrooms. Outside, sit out on wide private decks in your hot tub overlooking sublime loch views. Ideal for special gatherings any time of year.

  • The Warren Loch Tay Retreat → Fun for kids abounds at this picturesque family holiday spot near Killin. Scatter across 20 acres between woodland cabins, hillside lodges or lakeside cottages featuring log burners and loch glimpses. For little ones, there are adventure playgrounds, bunnies, ponies and smoky dogs! With a bistro serving stonebaked pizzas onsite too, The Warren has it covered on perfect self-catering stays for active families.

  • Boreland Loch Tay Lodges → At this off-grid scenic base overlooking the loch's tranquil north shore sit three striking boutique lodges handcrafted using reclaimed whisky barrels. Expect contemporary styling inside featuring king-size beds plus outdoor decking and firepits. Powered by solar panels, the carbon-neutral lodges allow instant access to the owner's private stretch of lochside. Days filled with fishing, stargazing and gazing at the epic mountain panoramas across the mirrored water await. Pure and peaceful escapism.

Glamping & Camping

Adventurers favouring a close-to-nature holiday should try out the excellent glamping or camping options available at Loch Tay for an immersive outdoor escape.

  • Glamping Pods & Lodges at Highland Lodges Loch Tay → Fancy testing out glamping (glam camping) in style? Check into a Gypsy Wagon or Emperor Bell Tent at the award-winning eco-friendly Highland Lodges site. Inside, cosy up within the bohemian interiors on comfy beds by lantern light. Outside, sit by your fire pit enjoying loch views framed through the trees. Shared facilities like hot showers, well-equipped kitchen areas and freshly baked croissants complete the comfortable experience.

  • Boreland Loch Tay Glamping → At this intimate lochside retreat on Loch Tay's north shore, a highland welcome awaits in lovingly furnished boutique bell tents. Boreland provides a true taste of living on the land next to the farmer and Highland cattle who call these hills home. Dip into deep dream-filled slumber aided by the soothing patter of rain and owl hoots. Awaken to cracking dawn scenes starring drifting mist across epic mountain ridges. Site-to-yourself exclusivity ensures wonderfully wild, watery adventures together beckon daily.

  • Loch Tay Highland Lodges and Glamping Park Campsite → Based on level grassy meadows sloping down to a secluded section of lochside beach, tent pitches at Loch Tay Highland Lodges make an affordable and scenic base for exploring Killin and its surrounds. Whether camping with family or friends, a warm shower, outdoor seating and BBQ stand are steps away, watch the ever-changing sky and loch drama unfold against a backdrop of majestic peaks. Friendly highland cattle may wander by too! Retire for cocoa by your crackling fire or in the Hedgehog Hideaway camping pod after action-packed days tackling 60 Munros and touring Rob Roy country close by. Meet and greet fellow nature lovers around the communal firepit glowing under starry night skies.

Caravan site park and holiday homes aerial at Loch Tay

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