Loch Awe is one of those peaceful lochs with ever-changing scenery.
Wondering if you should add it to your itinerary?
Below is a guide with some of my favorite stops along Loch Awe, Scotland including the ruins of the Kilchurn castle.
Before my tips + photos, here are my favorites for Scotland:
My favorite platform to rent a car in Scotland: DiscoverCars
The unmissable boat tour: Seal spotting on Loch Linnhe from Fort William
My favorite excursion from Edinburgh: Glenfinnan and Glencoe
Why visit Loch Awe in Scotland?
As the longest freshwater loch, Loch Awe Scotland has a lot to offer with 1000m high summits to the North, small islands to the South.
It is also famous for the ruins of the Kilchurn Castle Scotland. The most dramatic section of Loch Awe is the North. It is surrounded by Ben Cruachan (1124m) and Beinn Eunaich (988m).
A little bit to the South is where the loch connects to River Awe. It is the largest section of the loch
Below is a short video with some of the best views of the loch:
PLANNING TIPS – Loch Awe Scotland
How to get to Loch Awe in Scotland
- Loch Awe is located in the Argyll and Bute region of Scotland, west of the Trossachs
- The town of Lochawe is located in the Northern area
- 1h40min drive from Glasgow for the first views of Loch Awe
- 45min drive from Tarbet (on Loch Lomond)
- A83 to Inveraray then A819 to Cladich
- The GPS coordinates and locations on a practical map are available in my Travel Guide eBook that help you easily plan your road trip:
Plan your dream trip in Scotland thanks to my guide
- 15 maps to easily plan your itinerary
- 170+ pre-selected locations
- GPS coordinates direct to the carparks
- Tips to make the most of your time
- 170+ original photos to help you choose
- B840 allows you to drive down the East Shore of Loch Awe
- On the West shore the small road is further away from the loch
- Several villages, not many facilities
- A lot of the drive has no views because of trees – 1h drive without stopping from one end to the other
- If you are limited in time, focus on the North of Loch Awe where the mountains are taller and with the Kilchurn Castle ruins
- Things to do around Loch Awe apart from admiring it include fishing, bird watching, hikes, forest drive and visiting many beautiful gardens
Need to rent a car in Scotland?
- Compare prices on my favorite platform: Discovercars.com – one of the best rated comparison sites!
- Prefer a compact car for the single-lane roads
- Consider their full coverage option – it for peace of mind!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Visiting Kilchurn Castle Scotland
- Open from April to September
- Free to visit
- Views from A819 North of Cladich
- High level of water in the Loch may close the site
Kilchurn Castle, Scotland
Kilchurn Castle Scotland was built in the mid 15th century. I was the base of the Campbells of Glenorchy for 150 years. It was originally a 5-storey tower, but sections were added later on. It is sometimes referred to as Loch Awe Castle.
It was later turned into a garrison stronghold before being abandoned by the end of the 1700s.
Because of its situation with high surrounding peaks, it is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland like Eilean Donan Castle.
B840 – Driving along Loch Awe
Loch Awe Scotland is the longest freshwater loch in Scotland: 41km (25mi). Its average width is 1km (0.62mi).
Because it is so narrow, the views are spectacular. Sadly, most of the drive along the loch has limited views. A lot of the land by the water is privately owned and trees are everywhere along the road. Quite frustrating.
Sometimes you are lucky to get a quick view of the water:
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Portsonachan Village & other views
Towards the middle of the Loch, possible stops are more frequent especially in villages such as Portsonachan and Ballimeanoch.
Here are some Loch Awe images I took as we drove South.
Where to stay in Scotland?
- Edinburgh to explore the fascinating city – see best-rated accommodations
- Portree to explore the isle of Skye – see best rated accommodations
- Glencoe to take time in the magnificent valley – see best rated accommodations
- Ullapool for the West coast on the North 500 – see best rated accommodations
- Thurso for the North coast + ferry – see best rated accommodations
- Kirkwall to explore the Orkneys – see best rated accommodations
- Inverness for the Speyside whiskies – see best rated accommodations
Further South, Loch Awe Scotland has a few small islands. The area is really green and really peaceful.
Leacainn Muir Forest Drive
Towards the South, there is a spot with parking and a small wooden platform. It has views of the South end of Loch Awe. I was lucky to have a stunning light at that moment. I got one of my favorite pictures in Scotland:
From there the Leacainn Muir Forest Drive was indicated. It connects Loch Awe and Loch Fyne. It was not on my route, but it looked nice.
Loch Awe Cairns
Several cairns are located south of Loch Awe. There is the Glebe Cairn, the Nether Largie Cairns, the Temple Wood Stone Circles, the Ri Cruin Cairn and the Dunchraigaig Cairn.
Loch Awe Accommodations
If you are inspired by this loch, there are several options to stay at Loch Awe including:
- The famous Ardanaiseig Hotel with great views
- B&Bs in almost all small villages
- Apartments such as the Kilchurn Suites with fantastic views of the loch and Kilchurn castle
- The Loch Awe holiday park located on River Awe and not on Loch Awe… In the town of Taynuilt
- And more – Check here for all Loch Awe accommodations on Booking
Want to see more of the best Scotland has to offer?
- Most beautiful landscapes in Scotland – read article
- Best things to do in Scotland – read article
- Best Scotland destinations – where to go? – read article
- Best Scottish Castles – read article
- Most beautiful lochs in Scotland – read article
- Most scenic drives in Scotland – read article
- The magnificent Isle of Skye – read my best-of guide
- The magnificent Wester Ross region – read article
- The Borders Abbeys including Melrose Abbey and the photogenic Jedburgh Abbey
And keep track of your own trip!
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