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First of all, let’s define the word “Loch”.  The origin is from Gaelic and it’s a Scottish name for lake or for a sea inlet with the Lake of Menteith being the only ‘lake’ in the land.  The “ch” sound in Scots is often mis-pronounced as a “k” but the sound should be pronounced as in the word “Bach”.  Scotland has over 31,000 freshwater lochs, though only around 350 of any substantial size.

Largest Lochs (By Area)

lochs in scotland

Loch Ness

Loch Lomond – 27.5 square miles (71.1 square km)
Loch Ness – 21.8 square miles (56.4 square km)
Loch Awe/Etive – 14.9 square miles (38.5 square km)
Loch Maree – 11.0 square miles (28.6 square km)
Loch Morar – 10.3 square miles (26.7 square km)
Loch Tay – 10.2 square miles (26.4 square km)
Loch Shin – 8.7 square miles (22.5 square km)

Because of its depth, Loch Ness is the largest loch by volume of water.  On the other hand, Scotland’s deepest loch is Loch Morar (1077 feet) and the longest sea loch is Loch Fyne in Argyll.

Longest and Deepest

lochs in scotland

Loch Morar

Deepest loch – Loch Morar, Lochaber (1077ft/328m deep)
Longest inland loch – Loch Awe, Argyll (25 miles/41km long)
Longest sea loch – Loch Fyne, Argyll (approx 44 miles/71km long)

Caledonian Canal 

Caledonian canal

Caledonian Canal

This is the longest canal in Scotland and connects Corpach (near Fort William) to Clachnacarry (near Inverness), a distance of 60 miles (96.5km).  But two thirds of its length is made up of Lochs Dochfour, Ness, Oich and Lochy.

The Lovat hotel is right next to Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal.  You can have a walk along the canal, soak in the views over Loch Ness or do the cruise to explore more and maybe even get a glimpse of Nessie.  Let us know how you would like to explore the surroundings and we’ll help you with tips and advice.  Feel free to also browse the previous blog posts – you’ll find a lot of useful information.


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Post by Linda Dumpe

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