Top 5: Scottish Lochs

Lochs (n.b. not pronounced locks) should most definitely be on every Scottish Wanderer’s bucket list. If you’re blessed with fewer deadlines this half of the semester why not take a break from the beach to enjoy some alternative bonnie Scottish scenery. Or if those essays are still getting you down, just take your work on the road to a study setting even more stunning than St Mary’s Quad…

1. Way up North: Loch Ness

No one should live in Scotland for an extended period of time without visiting Loch Ness. If you have no luck spotting the famous Loch Ness Monster, there are some great castles from which you can admire the unique views and complete your truly Scottish experience. Fun fact: this huge body of water has a volume greater than the all the lakes of England and Wales combined – we may be inferior at rugby but we are evidently superior at fresh water lakes, #winning.

2. By the big city: Loch Lomond

Forgot Ladebraes, the famous Loch Lomond, set in the idyllic landscape of the Trossachs National Park, boasts some stunning routes for avid walkers – whether you take the high road or low road, there’s sure to be something for you amongst the miles of beautifully preserved paths. And when all that hiking tires you out there are plenty of well-priced hostels to relax in. If you’re fancying a night out rather than a night in, a short drive will take you to the bright lights of Glasgae.

3. Off the Beaten Track: Loch Awe

This lesser known loch is slightly more remote but a car journey over from St Andrews will take you through some beautiful Perthshire countryside, journeying along the edge of Loch Earn and Loch Tay en route (3 out of a possible 30,000 Scottish lochs ticked off in one journey – score!). When you reach Loch Awe be sure to stop at the legendary Kilchurn Castle. This ruin on the edge of a rocky peninsula stretching out in the water was supposedly the inspiration behind Pixar’s Brave. For something a little different, spend the night at the Scandinavian inspired Dalriada Lodge – in this charming log cottage with its own sauna, you could be in the fjords.

4. Highlands and Islands: Loch Alsh

Loch Alsh is a sea water inlet, nestled between the highlands and islands. When the sun is shining (rumoured to occur occasionally) you can try your hand at water sports including scuba diving or if you’re not so lucky, take in some of the area’s rich history. I’ve heard Pictish ruins look great in profile pictures or make like Bonnie Prince Charlie and set out over the seas to the Isle of Skye.

5. Round the Corner: Lindores Loch

If you can only afford to spend a couple of hours away from our darling library, take a short trip over to Lindores. Apparently a popular spot for fishing, this smaller loch would be perfect for a Sunday study break picnic and is still stunning enough in the sunshine to ensure you return to the Bubble refreshed and inspired to finish that dissertation…

Images sourced from Eric Robb Niven and Debra J. Hobbs.