Stuck between the parks of the Trossachs and Cairngorms, the region around Loch Tay Scotland and Glen Lyon Scotland is worth visiting.
Lochs, falls of Dochart, summits, abundant flora and fauna... the area has a lot to offer if you love nature.
Below is my guide with the top things to do.
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Why visit Loch Tay and Glen Lyon?
Located in the Central Highlands of Scotland, they are often overlooked because of their famous neighbors: The Trossachs National Park and the Cairngorms NP.
It deserves at least one day, but a couple of days would be better:
- to relax all around the shores of the loch
- to visit Killin and admire the Falls of Dochart
- to get a boat from Kenmore and go fishing
- to explore the Ben Lawers National Reserve
- to head to the Lubreaoch dam
- and to drive through Glen Lyon
More photos after the planning tips.
PLANNING TIPS - Loch Tay & Glen Lyon Scotland
Getting to Loch Tay Scotland
- North East of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
- Drive from the park on A85 and reach the loch at the town of Killin
- Drive from the East and the town of Perth (turn from A9 South of Pitlorchy)
- Edinburgh to Kenmore = 2h drive
Getting to Glen Lyon Scotland
- Between Loch Tay and Loch Rannoch
- Central town is Bridge of Balgie
- From Loch Tay via the Lawers Dam
- or from Aberfeldy on A827 to drive the whole length
The locations listed in this article are included in my travel guide that help you easily plan your Scotland road trip:
Plan your dream trip around Scotland!
Visiting the area
- The biggest town nearby is Pitlochry
- Several patches of the Tay Forest Park are protected
- Many walking trails near reservoirs and up the summits, especially Ben Lawers (1214m - 3983 ft)
Accommodations near Loch Tay
You can find Airbnb options close to the loch.
If you want access to more:
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!
Driving on the shores of Loch Tay, Scotland
The North shore of Loch Tay
The North shore of Loch Tay is the main road to drive along the loch. It has several small villages.
From there you can see the South summits such as Beinn Bhreac at 713m and Creag Uchdag at 879m.
The South shore
There is also a road along the South shore of Loch Tay Scotland. On this side, it is a single lane road.
Like for many other lochs, most of the time you don't see the water as you are surrounded by trees.
However, there are a few places to stop where you can walk by the loch and admire the summits to the North including Ben Lawers at 1214m and Meall Greigh at 1000m.
At the South end - Falls of Dochart in Killin
Located at the western end of the Loch in the town of Killin, the falls of Dochart are a popular attraction in the region. Every time I drove by, I saw many cars and busses stopping there.
The falls are not really falls, but 'rapids' on river Dochart, a succession of rocks on which the water crashes.
The flow of water reaching the Falls of Dochart can vary greatly. Sadly, when I visited, it was mostly dry.
So, if you want to see the flow when it has rained, here is a video on youtube
At the Eastern end - the town of Kenmore
At the Eastern end of Loch Tay, you can find the town of Kenmore. It feels very peaceful and its 'beach' is a great place to enjoy a picnic.
I drove by twice and was lucky to get an amazing light the second time:
Loch Tay Crannog
Loch Tay has a crannog, which is an ancient fortified dwelling constructed on a lake in Scotland or in Ireland.
It is located not far from Kenmore near the Taymouth marina.
As I was fascinated by the light that day, I seem to have missed it...
Ben Lawers National Reserve
North of Loch Tay Scotland is the Ben Lawers Nature Reserve.
From A827, turn North towards the Lawers Dam. A carpark with leaflets is at the start of the hike to Ben Lawers.
You can also just walk the lower part and enjoy the diverse collection of mountain plants.
Connecting drive - Lawers Dam and Lochan Na Lairige
If you continue on that same road, you reach the Lawers Dam. Built in the 1950s, it retains the Lochan Na Lairige. The reservoir collects water over ab area of 45km2 and its travels by pipeline to the Loch Tay power station.
It is a beautiful drive, off the beaten path, between Loch Tay and Glen Lyon.
The beautiful Glen Lyon in Scotland
Glen Lyon is hidden in the hills with Ben Lawers to the South and Shiehallion on the North side (attention not to be mixed up with the famous vessel). The glen is full of farms and beautiful walking trails. Small shops can be found at Bridge of Balgie.
Driving in Glen Lyon
According to the sign it is the 'longest, loneliest and loveliest glen in Scotland'. Have a look at the pictures below and let me know what you think!
Stronuich Reservoir in Glen Lyon
As you drive through Glen Lyon Scotland, you reach the small Stronuich reservoir with the Cashlie power station
Later along the road, at the end of Glen Lyon Scotland is Loch Lyon (of course, very original...). The loch is also retained by a dam, the Lubreach Dam.
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!