The Loch Leven Heritage Trail
A perfect path
Get your boots on and get ready for a long walk in the lowlands of Scotland! Loch Leven is the perfect place for a long walk in the lowlands. There is an excellent, all-abilities path around the perimeter – the Loch Leven Heritage Trail. The trail can be accessed from several points around the loch where there are good car-parks. It is a freshwater loch near Kinross in Perth and Kinross, central Scotland. The loch is about 6km at its longest. Kinross lies at its western end and Loch Leven Castle lies on an island just offshore. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there in 1567. There are ferry trips across to it during the summer. And it is here that we chose to take a long walk – and a bike ride!
Walk it or bike it
My friend and I started the walk from Loch Leven cycles http://www.lochlevencycles.co.uk/ where our husbands were kitted up with helmets and bikes. The lady there was extremely helpful. I would definitely recommend a visit, especially if you are a ‘pedal-head’! Anyway, my friend and I got a head-start on a glorious, bright, chilly morning. The path was easy to navigate and easy to walk. Nice and flat. Just how we like it.
A view of St Serf’s Island
As we left Kinross behind us Loch Leven opened out before us. If you are lucky, and the water level is right, several islands can be seen in the loch. St Serf’s Inch is the largest of the islands and it was the home of a Culdee (a Christian monastic community) and then an Augustinian monastic community, St Serf’s Inch Priory.
There is a good choice of refreshment stops. Take a short detour off the trail to Loch Leven’s larder, https://www.lochlevenslarder.com/ where I am reliably informed that the carrot cake was the ‘best ever’. Then there is the RSPB Visitor Centre https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/loch-leven/ about half way round. Again, good facilities – and cake!
The final stretch
Finally, it’s worth having a wander around ‘Todd and Duncan’, to have a look at the cashmere – some gorgeous stuff in there. https://www.todd-duncan.co.uk/ Oh and cake too! This is where our 13 mile walk around the loch ended and we met up with our cyclist partners. It seems they had a great day too.
National Nature Reserve
Loch Leven is the main part of the Loch Leven National Nature Réserve. It is the largest lowland loch in Scotland and an important site for waterfowl. Over 35,000 birds can be around during the winter months. The birds arrive at Loch Leven from some far flung places, such as Greenland, Iceland, Siberia and northern and central Europe. A bird-watcher’s – and fungi spotter’s paradise!