Things to Do at Loch Lubnaig: Your 2024 Guide

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In Scotland, no two lochs are the same! 

We mean, there’s Loch Ness, for example, which supposedly is home to an ancient water beast. There’s Loch Lomond, which is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, and then there’s the small but mighty Loch Lubnaig, which is loved for its open-water swimming compatibility (among other things!).

Loch Lubnaig is one of the Highlands’ many serene and captivating fresh-water lochs. But what’s so great about it in comparison to its many rivals? Let’s find out….

Read More: 10 Best Waterfalls in Scotland for 2024 Adventures

Loch Lubnaig: A Guide

Lovers of the Great Outdoors consider Loch Lubnaig as one of the best water locations to indulge in a spot of swimming or kayaking – arguably more so than any of Scotland’s other lochs. 

Why? Because, unlike many other Scottish lochs, Lubnaig runs north to south, meaning it is particularly sheltered from those brutal north-westerly winds, making it the obvious choice for watersports.

Where is Loch Lubnaig?

Lubnaig is tucked cosily into the Callander and Stirling areas of the Scottish Highlands. 

Formerly part of the Perthshire district county, the loch is now part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park territory.

Getting to the loch is simple enough and can be done so by train, car, bike, or bus. The nearest public transport links will take you to Stirling, Callander, Oban, and Tyndrum, and the nearest airport is Glasgow, which is a 45-minute car journey away.

Drivers and cyclists can reach the loch by following the A84, which runs adjacent to the eastern side of the loch, and cyclists, in particular, can enjoy the neighbouring National Cycle Network’s Route 7 tour.

The History of Loch Lubnaig

Like many areas in Scotland, Loch Lubnaig got its unusual name from the native Gaelic language. ‘Lubnaig’ loosely translates to ‘crooked’, giving you an idea of the perimeter of the loch. 

Although the loch is very narrow in comparison to many others, it is deceptively deep in certain areas (the deepest point being roughly 146 feet). The loch is fed by the nearby River Balvaig and is settled in the middle of the Ben Ledi, Benvane, and Ben Vorlich mountains.

Trossachs National Park

As we mentioned earlier, Loch Lubnaig is now considered part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park territory, which is viewed by natives as one of the most scenic and awe-inspiring natural areas in the country.

Owing to its tiddly size, visitors looking to make a full vacation of the Loch Lubnaig area may wish to take advantage of the nearby national park, which is a total of 1,865 km2 (720 square miles), making it the fourth largest national park in the UK.

There is so much to see and do at Trossachs, including:

  • Loch cruises
  • Camping
  • Hiking & walking
  • Water activities
  • Waterbus
  • Climbing & mountaineering
  • Golf
  • Visiting local towns & villages
  • Admiring the area’s many waterfalls
  • Wildlife spotting
  • Cycling
  • Stargazing
  • Eating & drinking
  • Local events

Camping at the park is perfectly legal, however, you will need a permit and will be expected to adhere to the rules and regulations of the Scottish outdoor access code. You’re advised to plan your camping trip in advance, including where you pitch your tent/motorhome.

Loch Lubnaig Camping

There’s nothing quite like wild camping in the stunning scenery of Scotland’s rural areas, and these spots can be ideal for those wanting to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Although Scotland is extremely relaxed on the subject of wild camping, in comparison to many other places, there are rules and expectations that need to be respected.

Because Loch Lubnaig is part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the above advice and legalities apply to camping here, including the seasonal bylaws, which occur between the months of March to September.

Loch Lubnaig Kayaking & Canoeing

Lubnaig is a kayaking and canoeing paradise, and guided canoe expeditions can be booked for around £25 per person (although prices vary from company to company). You don’t need to be an experienced watersports enthusiast, as many of these sessions are aimed at newbies.

Those travelling with little’uns will need to bear in mind that the minimum age for these sessions is five years old.

Loch Lubnaig Boat Hire

Scottish lochs can be chilly-willies – even in the height of summer – so wetsuits are advised for those planning on taking a dip.

Those who prefer to appreciate the beauty of the loch from above the surface can treat themselves to a boat hire expedition for as little as £20 for a day ticket. 

This covers the permit required to sail on the loch, but bear in mind, this doesn’t cover the cost of the boat hire itself – there are no boats to hire, so you will need to bring your own. All outboard engines must be 10 h.p or under.

Loch Lubnaig Things to Do

As well as the aforementioned activities, visitors to the loch can also enjoy:

  • A lochside picnic
  • Birdwatching
  • Walking/hiking trails
  • Wildlife & biodiversity spotting
  • Local folklore & mythology (including catching a glimpse of the mysterious ‘water horse’, known as Each Uisge, which is said to dwell in and around the loch!)
  • A morning at the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre
  • An afternoon at Benmore Botanic Garden
  • Getting married!
  • And so much more!

Loch Lubnaig Viewpoint

Naturally, a spot as stunning as Loch Lubnaig, and its surrounding areas, has no shortage of jaw-dropping vantage points, and in particular the five viewpoint boxes. Can you find them all?!

  • ‘Sloc nan Sitheanach’ (Faeries Hollow). Scotland is a hotbed of folklore and faelore, with fairies being a particularly prominent member of the mythological cabinet. This area can be found at the beginning of the BLiSS trail and offers particularly scenic views of the loch and the nearby Ben Ledi mountain.
  • Viewpoint Trail. This area’s name is self-explanatory and can be a delightful area to enjoy views of Ben Lomond, as well as some birdwatching.
  • Loch Voil Lookout (Mirror Box). This particular area is somewhat tucked away between Loch Voil and its neighbour, Loch Doine, but is a great viewpoint that is often inhabited by friendly Highland sheep!
  • An Ceann Mór/Inveruglas Pyramid. This is considered the easiest to find of the five boxes and can be spotted from the waters of Loch Lomond and from the A82.
  • Woven Sound – Falls of Falloch. Finally, the last viewpoint can be found close to the A52, just five miles south of Crianlarich. 

Hiking Trails Loch Lubnaig

The roaming wanderers of the world visiting this area can indulge in a hike or two. Some of the best trails include:

  • Ben Each Summit – Stúc a’ Chroin loop from Strathyre
  • Stank Burn Waterfall – Stank Glen loop from Strathyre
  • Falls of Leny – Bridge at Callander loop from Strathyre
  • Viewpoint Loch Lubnaig – Grandiose view loop from Strathyre
  • Ben Vorlic – Stúc a’ Chroin loop from Strathyre

Places to Stay in Loch Lubnaig

Because of Scotland’s unpredictable weather, which can be chilly even in the throes of the warmest Scottish summer, campers and hikers may wish to seek out accommodation for nights when the weather is particularly tempestuous! 

Some local accommodation options include:

Eating & Drinking in Loch Lubnaig

All that fun-having can sure work up an appetite! Some local eateries include:

Loch Lubnaig FAQs

Is it safe to swim in Loch Lubnaig?

Yup, one of the many appeals of the loch is its open swimming prowess, as well as other watersports. The loch can get very deep very suddenly, however, so young children and unconfident swimmers need to bear this in mind.

Can you walk around Loch Lubnaig?

The surrounding areas of the loch are a wild haven of trails and walking routes for all levels of hikers and wanderers. Some of the best-loved trails include the Ben Ledi trail and the Stank Glen loop.

Can you kayak on Loch Lubnaig?

Lubnaig is a popular spot for all manner of watersports, including kayaking and canoeing. 
Owing to the strong northern winds of the Scottish Highlands, watersports are safer when practiced within the lochs, as opposed to the open waters of the North Sea, and this loch, in particular, is south-facing and more sheltered than many other lochs, making it an obvious choice for kayakers.

Can you camp at Loch Lubnaig?

You sure can. However, campers aren’t able to just rock up as and when. To camp at Loch Lubnaig, you will have to adhere to the wild camping bylaws, and motorhome travellers may need a permit.

Can you jet ski on Loch Lubnaig?

Unfortunately, owing to the small size of the loch, jet skiing is not permitted. 

Are there toilets at Loch Lubnaig?

Yes, there are public loos on the premises of The Cabin at Loch Lubnaig in the North Car Park.

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