Beautiful woodland walk with castle ruins
Loch an Eilein is a natural body of water that offers a tranquil place to walk and picnic.
It is part of the Rothiemurchus Estate, which offers a wide and varied selection of activities across the area.
The name is Gaelic for Loch of the Island, and on the small piece of land protruding from the water is a castle, much like the one at Lochindorb.
In 2010 it was voted Britain’s Favourite Picnic Spot in a poll organised by Warburtons, but you don’t need to pack sandwiches to enjoy this walk.
There is a large car park, for which there is a charge in the daytime and a separate park for motorhomes and campervans.
The loch is a short walk from the car park and follows a route around the shoreline. The castle is visible between the trees. It is thought to date back to the 14th century but now lies in ruins. .
The length of the walk is three miles. As a place of natural beauty, it is also a home for wildlife. You may see red squirrels, crossbills, crested tits and ospreys fishing over and in the loch!
At the beginning of the walk (and the end!) is a shop selling gifts and light refreshments. There is also a gated dog exercise area and toilets.
How to get to Loch an Eilein
Loch an Eilein is situated on the Rothiemurchus Estate a few miles off the Coylumbridge road.
There’s so much to see between Forres and here, the Dava Moor, Grantown on Spey, Aviemore, etc, so take your time and make a day of it. If you like this walk, you’ll love The Green Loch and Loch Morlich too.
If you’re coming from the Forres direction, go through Aviemore (B9152) and turn left at the mini roundabout signposted for Coylumbridge.
If you are travelling north or south on the A9, you can turn off and follow the B9152 into Aviemore.
From the south, look out for the right turning to Coylumbridge at the mini roundabout just before you reach Aviemore.
This road goes all the way to the Cairngorm Mountain Resort and funicular railway, but you only need to go about 1km until you see a road to the right signposted ‘Inshriach, Feshiebridge and Insh’. There is a signpost for ‘Loch an Eilein Pottery’. Nearly 2km along, take the road to the left. This one is signposted ‘Loch an Eilein’ and will take you right to the car park.
Further informationW: https://rothiemurchus.net/visit/loch-an-eilein/ E: [email protected]
Travel itinerary plannerLoch an Eilein is in the following sections:
- Distance from Forres: 37 miles
- Postcode: PH22 1QT
- What3words: fruit.crank.otherwise
- What’s nearby: Aviemore, Grontown-on-Spey, Loch Morlich, Rothiemurchus Estate, cairngorm mountain ski resort, craigellachie-nature-reserve
- Tags: Waymarked walks, birdwatching, nature, views, wildlife (all areas)