Discover the wild and magnificent Loch Maree in Scotland, one of the jewels of the Highlands.
With the ancient pinewoods of Beinn Eighe and its 66 islands, it is really a gem you should not miss.
Below is my guide to enjoy the drive including the best Loch Maree viewpoints.
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Why visit Loch Maree in Scotland?
With 20km in length, Loch Maree is the 4th largest freshwater loch in Scotland... and one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland!
It is a wild protected area between the forest of the Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve and the Slioch Mountain on the other side.
Loch Maree Scotland is famous for its stunning scenery and rare plants and animals, and also for its wooded islands.
The funny thing is that one of the islands on Loch Maree has itself a loch with a small island inside...
Below is a short video of Loch Maree and a little bit of the rest of the Wester Ross region.
I seem to have been so in awe of the scenery that I did not film much. Sorry!
More photos after the planning tips.
Planning tips - Loch Maree, Scotland
Getting to Loch Maree Location
- A832 is the road going along Loch Maree
- Kinlochewe is the village nearby inland and Poolewe is the nearby village on the ocean side
- Slattadale in the middle of the Loch is a 4h30min drive from Glasgow and a 1h30min drive from Inverness
- It is located in the magnificent Wester Ross Region
- Below is a map to help you locate Loch Maree
The GPS coordinates of all locations in this article as well as their identification on practical maps are available on my Travel Guide eBook. It facilitates the planning of your road trip around Scotland:
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Things to do at Loch Maree
Considering this is a protected area, there are no activities developed around the Loch.
Mostly you come to enjoy nature - there are several walking trails, or you can simply drive around and enjoy the views.
But you can also Kayak / Canoe on Loch Maree. It will take you to Isle Maree with the ruins of a chapel - check out the program and book
Loch Maree Walks
- You can enjoy many walks of varying difficulty in the area. Walk Highlands lists the walks in the wider area.
- The main walks around Loch Maree are the climb of Slioch, the Beinn Eighe Trails indicated further down and the Slattadale to Poolewe walk.
Accommodations near Loch Maree
- At the West end, you can stay in the coastal town of Poolewe. It is a great choice with a charming atmosphere - check out accommodation options
- Along the loch you can find the Loch Maree Hotel - check out pictures and availability
- And at the East end, you can stay in Kinlochlewe - check out the accommodation options
Loch Maree Viewpoint at Glen Docherty
As you are driving on A832 through Glen Docherty and getting closer to Loch Maree, you will notice a sign for a carpark and a viewpoint.
On a clear day it is a great place to have a break.
The light was not good for photographyn but you still get an idea of the view from the road leading to Loch Maree.
Need to rent a car in Scotland?
- Compare prices on my favorite platform: Discovercars.com - one of the best rated comparison sites!
- Choose the car and company you prefer (prefer a compact car for the single-lane roads)
- Consider their full coverage option - I always take it for peace of mind!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Beinn Eighe Reserve
Loch Maree is on the east side of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. The mountainous area established in 1951 is Britain's oldest national nature reserve.
It covers 48km2 to protect the largest remnant of ancient Scots pinewood in the western Highlands.
Below is the map of the reserve with the walking Trails.
Glas Leitir Trails Carpark views of Loch Maree
As you reach the shores of Loch Maree Scotland, you will see a sign for the Glas Leitir Trails carpark.
The area is set up with picnic tables and toilets.
There are trails and displays to learn more about the woods and the history of the region
A trail through the pinewood forest starts here. Or you can just relax on the shore of Loch Maree and admire the view.
This was one of my favorite stops.
The roots of the trees around the rocks were fascinating.
Driving along Loch Maree with views of Slioch and the islands
Located to the North of Loch Maree Scotland, Slioch reaches a height of 981m (3218ft). It translates as the Spear and its shape is intriguing and easily recognizable. (Learn more on Wikipedia). Ascension is mostly from one side as the others are too steep.
Like with all the lochs in Scotland, it can be frustrating to drive along Loch Maree because of the trees and private land. You know the view is amazing, but you cannot see it...
Luckily further along the road, there are no more trees, and you can see the panorama unobstructed with Slioch in the background.
I found another parking area, but it was surrounded by trees and the sign kind of stopped my exploring.
But I still found a little spot from the carpark where I could admire the mountain of Slioch.
The Islands of Loch Maree
After leaving the shore of the lochs, the road gets you back along the water and you can see some of the islands.
Loch Maree is home to 66 islands.
Some of them protect pristine remnants of pine wood. Some of the trees are over 350 years old.
The last stop before the road leaves the Loch is at Slattadale.
I did not stop, but you can go by the shore and enjoy a picnic (parking, tables, toilets).
A one-way 5 miles walk will take you to the Tollie Farm near Poolewe
West head of Loch Maree from the Wester Ross Coastal trail
If you continue exploring Wester Ross on A832, it takes you towards the coast before turning North.
At one point you get the chance to discover another view of Loch Maree Scotland as the road drives by the North West head of the loch (before Poolewe).
Other highlights of North Scotland to consider visiting:
- The magnificent Isle of Skye - read my best-of guide
- The magnificent Wester Ross region - read article
- The impressive Falls of Measach - read article
- The North Coast - read article
- The Sinclair Girnigoe Castle - read article
Planning a trip to Scotland?
Check out my guide to help you plan your road trip:
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