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Loch an Eilein
Holiday Travel Guide

Go for a stroll around this scenic loch, known for the ruined 13th-century castle at its center.

Loch an Eilein is a beautiful lake within the Rothiemurchus estate. The trail that wraps around the perimeter of the loch is said to be among the most popular short walks in the United Kingdom, attracting outdoor enthusiasts as far back as Victorian times. Wander along this serene trail, admiring the view of the mysterious ancient castle perched on an island within the loch.

Stop at the loch’s information center, located beside the visitor parking lot. Learn more about the forest’s plants and animals, check out the gift store or have coffee at the snack shop.

Follow the picturesque 4.5-mile (7-kilometer) trail that loops around the loch, considered to be among Scotland’s best low-intensity walking trails. Gaze at the views of the Cairngorm Mountains and at the lovely Scots pines bordering the trail. Try to spot red squirrels and Scottish crossbills. Walk across the small footbridge at the loch’s outflow. Bring a picnic and take a break at one of the many scenic areas overlooking the loch.

The name Loch an Eilein comes from a Gaelic expression meaning “Lake of the Island.” Notice the enchanting castle ruins on this small islet, located off the northwestern shore of the loch. The loch’s waters obscure the causeway that once led to this historic castle, which is believed to have been built in the 13th century by the Bishop of Moray. Until the early 20th century, the castle ruins were an important nesting site for ospreys. These rare birds visit the Rothiemurchus Fishery from March through August.

Consider extending your hike by making the challenging climb to the summit of Ord Ban. This 1,404-foot-high (428-meter) viewpoint offers wonderful views back over the loch and south toward the mountains in the distance.

Loch an Eilein is located 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of Aviemore. Drive here and park at the lake for a fee. Find the trail leading around the loch at the far end of the parking lot. Spend an afternoon enjoying the scenery at one of Scotland’s prettiest lochs.

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Top Trending Hotels Near Loch an Eilein

Coylumbridge Hotel
Coylumbridge Hotel
4 out of 5
Aviemore Invernesshire, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is £45 per night from 23 Jan to 24 Jan

This family-friendly Aviemore hotel is located on the riverwalk, within a 15-minute walk of Rothiemurchus Estate Visitor Centre and Speyside Wildlife. Loch an ...

3.7/5Good! (982 reviews)
not worth the price point

"The location of the hotel was perfect giving us lots to do however the actual hotel itself was not to the standard you would expect given the price point. The room was okay however the shower was broken and the phone was also broken. The service from reception was great they were very helpful however ..."…"

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2020

Coylumbridge Hotel
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Allt na Cardoch, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore, SCT
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Situated in Aviemore, this holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Speyside Wildlife and Rothiemurchus Estate Visitor Centre. Loch an Eilein and Craigellachie ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (7 reviews)
Fabulous house for a family holiday

"Spey Lodge is a great house for a family holiday. We loved the big room with projector TV (that was bright enough to work in the daytime) and space to play inside. Lovely kitchen and fire. The updated bathrooms are great. We really enjoyed the walks into the forest from the house and the proximity ..."…"

Reviewed on 2 Nov 2020

Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Dellmhor No1, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore, SCT
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Situated in Aviemore, this historic holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Rothiemurchus Estate Visitor Centre and Speyside Wildlife. Craigellachie National ...

5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Lovely property in an ideal location.

"Spacious accommodation and lovely big garden for dogs. I know it’s not your fault but it was a bit disappointing that we had a motor home parked right opposite our living room window spoiling our view for a couple of days with people staying in it. When you opened the curtains in the morning or even ..."…"

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2018

Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Loch an Eilein

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Top Hotel Deals

Coylumbridge Hotel
Coylumbridge Hotel
4 out of 5
Aviemore Invernesshire, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is £45 per night from 23 Jan to 24 Jan
Coylumbridge Hotel
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Allt na Cardoch, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore, SCT
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Dellmhor No1, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore, SCT
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Dellmhor No4, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore, SCT
Luxury dog Friendly Holiday Home With hot tub
Delmhor No1
Delmhor No1
3.5 out of 5
Ski Road Cottages, Coylumbridge, Aviemore PH22 1QH, Aviemore, Scotland
Delmhor No1
Delmhor No4
Delmhor No4
3.5 out of 5
Ski Road Cottages, Coylumbridge, Aviemore PH22 1QH, Aviemore, Scotland
Delmhor No4
Detached holiday home with hot tub and sauna on Aviemore Ski road
Detached holiday home with hot tub and sauna on Aviemore Ski road
B970, Aviemore, SCT
Detached holiday home with hot tub and sauna on Aviemore Ski road
Delmhor No3
Delmhor No3
3.5 out of 5
Ski Road Cottages, Coylumbridge, Aviemore PH22 1QH, Aviemore, Scotland
Delmhor No3
Rowan Tree Country Hotel
Rowan Tree Country Hotel
3 out of 5
Loch Alvie, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is £108 per night from 3 Feb to 4 Feb
Rowan Tree Country Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.