An Lochan Uaine

An Lochan Uaine is one of the most beautiful (and unusual) lochs in Scotland. It’s Ghaidhlig name translates to “The Green Loch”, and as its name suggests the loch has a distinct green colour to it.

The green appearance of the loch is thought to be caused by the reflection of the trees around the loch. But legend tells that the loch is green because pixies wash their clothes in it, which is a lovely story to share with kids. My pair loved trying to find the pixies while we were there. (They tried their best but sadly no pixies could be found.)

The Easy Trail

There are a couple of trails you can take to get to Lochan Uaine. To find the easy path, head towards Glenmore Outdoor Centre and drive all the way along to the lodge. The path begins right at the end of this road where the road is blocked by a gate and it turns into a trail!

Follow this path for about 20 minutes (maybe 35 if you have little kids walking with you) and you will eventually reach the Green Loch. This particular path isn’t super exciting, but you do pass a few trees/logs for kids to climb. Besides, it’s definitely worth the walk along to the loch and it is a great and well maintained path for buggies/bikes.

The Trickier Trail

This trail starts just before the Scottish Reindeer Centre, on a path marked with blue waymarkers. We walked back this trail, so essentially did it backwards and then went down the hill through the forest on what at first looked like a path but with hindsight probably wasn’t a path (and where there were so many ants it looked like the forest floor was moving and we got a fair few ant bites – don’t recommend that strategy!) as our car was parked at Glenmore Lodge.

Anyway, this path is much more exciting than the flat, easy route. It starts at the Reindeer Centre on a nice wide path through the beautiful pine forest. After a little while the path narrows and becomes a lot more rough underfoot with tree roots and rocky parts. There’s a little break in the trees along this path with a beautiful view out over the forest, and a seat with a view if you fancy a wee rest.

The path is mainly uphill towards An Lochan Uaine but eventually it starts to descend back downhill and there are some boardwalks and stone steps on the route down. When you get down the hill the path opens up and the Green Loch is right across from you down a few steps through a little clearing in the trees.

The Green Loch

There was a few metres of a stony ‘beach’ around the loch when we were there so we sat on some big boulders next to the loch and had our picnic. One side of the loch is bordered by a very rocky hill. The kids had a great time clambering around here and splashing little stones into the water. Between lunch, the climbing and a game of hidey I think we spent about 2 hours there.

If you wanted you could continue along the marked path and head up the hill through the Ryvoan Pass to the bothy, taking the same route back down to An Lochan Uaine.

The Stats

  • Total distance: 1.2 miles / Almost 2km
  • Elevation: 316m
  • Duration: It took us 30 minutes to get to the top and about 20 to get back to the car.
  • Difficulty: 1/10. The easy route is is a well maintained path and really easy walk along to An Lochan Uaine. An adult on their own could do it in 20 minutes. If you take the more scenic and slightly more difficult route I’d give it a 3/10. It’s still easy enough for young kids but lots more ups and downs and watching your step.

The Logistics

  • Wheels: This walk is suitable for wheels. A decent buggy or a bike will get along the easy route no problem.
  • Parking: There isn’t a car park for this walk. See location info below.
  • Toilets: There are no toilet facilities here.
  • Clothing: Nothing in particular required here. Just dress for the weather.
  • Dogs: Good for dogs. Plenty of them there.
  • Swimming: You could swim in it but according to a quick online search it’s apparently notorious for leeches, so I might not bother…

The Location

An Lochan Uaine is located in Glenmore, off the B970. Head to Glenmore Outdoor Centre and drive all the way along to the lodge. You should be able to park along the end but it can get quite busy in high season so be prepared to park a little further along the road and walk the rest of the way. The path begins right at the end of this road where it turns into a walking trail.

The Cost

It’s completely free to visit the Green Loch.

The Verdict

This is a brilliant walk for families. You can choose between the quick and easy (and wheel friendly) route or the slightly more strenuous option. My almost 4 yr old did the more difficult route with no problem though. The Green Loch is absolutely beautiful; it’s probably my favourite walk with the kids. Huge payoff for very little effort!

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