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Some of Our Favourite Lochs and Pools Scotland

When you think of Scotland, there are numerous things that come to mind; castles, lochs, mountains and the 4 seasons in one day type weather (not to forget the usual; whisky, kilts, tartan and haggis!)
Have a read about some of our favourite lochs and naturally formed pools that are really worth a visit (or even a wee swim, as long as you check open water swimming safety guidelines).

Loch Morlich (see photo)

A freshwater loch at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains with a long stretch of sandy beach at its shoreline and just a short drive away from the town of Aviemore.  Set amongst stunning scenery and popular in summer months with the watersports centre located here offering; kayaking, windsurfing and sailing or you can even just go in for a swim!  Plenty of cycling or running routes around the loch, or indeed just go for a leisurely stroll.  

Length: 1.6km
Max depth: 21 metres

Quarry Pools, Easdale Island

Once the centre of the Scottish slate industry, these pools are what has been left behind of the industry after a huge storm in the Atlantic carried it all away. Easdale is situated in the Firth of Lorn just off the west coast of Scotland.  A very short ferry ride will get you from the mainland to the island (the smallest permanently inhabited island of the Inner Hebrides.)

Loch Ness

This large famous freshwater loch located southwest of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands is home to the alleged sightings of ‘Nessie.’ Castle Urquhart which was built between the 13th and 16th centuries overlook Loch Ness from its location on the rocky promontory approximately 2 km east of the village of Drumnadrochit.

Length: 36.3km

Max depth: 226m (approx.)

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

These stunning rock pools with crystal clear waters are bracingly cold and fed by waterfalls.  Located near the village of Carbost in Glenbrittle and around a 2.5km walk from the car park.  Growing in popularity every year as a must-see attraction, choose your time of when to go if you want to avoid the crowds.  If you plan to take a dip, don’t forget just how cold these pools will be (wetsuit advisable!)

Loch Maree

This is a freshwater loch located in the Northwest Highlands in Wester Ross which has numerous amazing islands within it which you could swim, kayak or paddleboard to!
Length: 21.7km
Max depth: 112m

Loch Lomond

Situated in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, adorned by beautiful shorelines and stunning scenery.  Ben Lomond stands guard over the loch and there are plenty of activities to do including watersports or indeed cycle the trails or climb Ben Lomond.
Length: 39km
Max depth: 153m

Loch Tay

Located between the Perth & Kinross and Stirling council areas in the central highlands of Scotland. You will see the Crannog Centre at Kenmore which is an artificially created island that ancient settlers once lived in.  There are also watersports available on the loch from kayaking, paddle boarding or even a trip on a The Loch Tay Safari; cruising along the loch and finding out about the history, heritage and folklore.  You can also take a scenic drive or cycle up through Glen Lyon which will have you stopping to take photographs and take in the stunning scenery.  This drive or indeed cycle will bring you past the Ben Lawers mountain range on the north side of Loch Tay (with 7 munros in total that you could climb – if you wanted to!)
Length: 23km 
Max depth: 154m
 If you do intend to go for a wee dip in the loch, please take proper precautions when attempting an open water swim.

Things you should consider:

? Wear a lifejacket if you are an unsure or inexperienced open water swimmer
? Wetsuit advisable f you are not used to swimming in cold water
? Brightly coloured swimming cap to make you more visible in the water as well as using a brightly coloured tow float 
? Be aware of any potentially dangerous wildlife that could harm you
? Check the cleanliness of the water and that it is safe for swimming (i.e blue or green algae – do your research on the internet)
Please don’t just jump straight into cold water, there is a risk of cold-water shock which can be fatal (again, please do your research before swimming in any lochs, rivers, outdoor natural pools etcm have fun and stay safe).

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