Loch Katrine

A picturesque loch set in the centre of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, fictionalised in Sir Walter Scott's 'The Lady of the Lake.'

TravelCurious Tip

If you are a keen cyclist, it’s worth bringing your own bike for the routes — the rentals are not the best

Loch Katrine is the heart of the Trossachs, in place and spirit. This 13km long fresh water loch is the crowing jewel in an area of breathtaking natural beauty. It has its place in Scottish folklore, too: the name Loch Katrine comes from the Gaelic word ceathairne meaning cattle thief, which of course refers to the nation’s favourite outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor.

Between April and October, two boats run from the Trossachs Pier on the eastern bank of Loch Katrine. One of the boats is the historic SS Sir Walter Scott — time your trip to take this steamer out and then enjoy the picturesque walk back along the side of the Loch. Other outdoors activities include two nearby hikes to the rugged Ben A’an or Ben Venue, and also fly fishing for trout, which is permitted on the Loch from spring to autumn.

Pure inspiration

Sir Walter Scott got his own steamship by virtue of his famous poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’, which was inspired by the beauty of Loch Katrine. He wasn’t alone: English romantic poets including Samuel Coleridge and Williams Wordsworth also fell under its spell.

The Scottish Robin Hood

Rob Roy was born at Glengyle, at the head of Loch Katrine. At the age of eighteen he and his father joined the Jacobite rising led by Viscount ‘Bonnie’ Dundee to support the Stuart King James II. It ended badly for the Gregor clan, with the chief in prison and his wife dead.

Versions of events differ thereafter, but Rob Roy was branded an outlaw for defaulting on loans and subsequently waged a private blood feud against the Duke of Montrose. Imprisoned in 1722, he was pardoned by popular demand after he became a legend in his own lifetime due to various fictionalised accounts of his life — which must have felt like a rather surreal stroke of luck.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Edinburgh
Stirling Castle
Looming grandly from the crag of Castle Hill, Stirling Castle is one of the Scotland's most important and impressive castles.
The Trossachs National Park
The Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park is known for its beautiful lochs, flora and fauna, woodland parks and beaches.
Loch Lomond
Situated in the heart of the Trossachs National Park, Loch Lomond is one of Scotland's fresh water lochs and is dotted with tiny islands.
Balmaha Village
Balmaha is a village on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond
Glengoyne Distillery
Glengoyne Distillery is a established whisky distillery
Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Escape to a wild Scottish landscape of mountains, moorlands, forests, rivers and lochs.

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