Loch Awe, Argyll
The loch stretches out over 25 miles and is the longest lake in Scotland. However, in common with other glacial lakes of its type which are known as 'ribbon lakes', it is long and very narrow with an average width of only just over half-a-mile.
The loch is very popular with anglers and is renowned for its fishing. Salmon are also found in the loch as they pass through there on the way into the River Orchy, swimming into the loch via the barrage in the River Awe. Brown trout, rainbow trout, pike, char and perch are also on the list of fish awaiting the angler at Loch Awe.
Loch Awe contains a number of ruined castles on its islands. These include Kilchurn Castle at the northern end. The castle is possibly the most photographed castle in Scotland. In summer you may visit the castle via a short boat trip, or by a half mile walk from a small car park just after the bridge over the River Orchy. Loch Awe and surrounding area are where the Clan Campbell established itself as a powerful family in Scotland.
A railway station was opened in 1880 at the northern tip of the Loch. Loch Awe Hotel, a large luxury hotel, was subsequently built there in 1881 and still welcomes visitors to Loch Awe to this day.
A village then grew up around the hotel as a narrow strip of dwellings and businesses strung out along the A85 road. A steamer service once operated on the loch. It sailed from the pier just below the hotel, stopping at Portsonachan , Taycreggan, Eredine and Ford. Sadly, it is no longer running although boat hire and boat trips are still available on the loch.
The village is the site of St Conan's Kirk , considered to be one of the most interesting pieces of church architecture in Scotland. While the railway station is called Loch Awe, the village has been contracted to Lochawe.
Walking is a popular pastime here. The remote wilderness around the lake can be explored using the old paths and bridleways that were formerly the main cattle droving routes. Organised walks are on offer for those who prefer to be guided by experts.
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