Loch Maree is one of the largest fresh water lochs in Scotland, with over 11 square miles of water and 12.4 miles in length. It is nestled between the magnificent mountain Slioch, a munro, and Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. The islands contain remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest. In our view this is the most beautiful loch in Scotland and is home to otters, black throated diver and golden eagles, along with many other species of wildlife and flora. Sea eagles can also be watched while they "fish" in the loch.
There is 30 islands on the loch with the 5 larger ones being covered in ancient woodland, consisting of Scots pine and oak trees. Isle Maree has the remains of a chapel, graveyard and holy well. The islands are all protected with conservation status.
Kinlochewe is a couple of miles south from the head of Loch Maree and has a hotel and other holiday accommodation available for holidays and short breaks.
Slioch a munro at 981 m (3,219 ft) and Loch Maree in Wester Ross, Scotland.
The area has many natural walks including the Beinn Eight National Nature Reserve (for conservation reasons dogs are not allowed) and other walks along the loch side. A car park with picnic areas is available at Slattadale Forest, provided by the Forestry Commission. From the car park is a short walk to the Victoria Falls, named after Queen Victoria who visited this area in 1877. From the car park is the start of the Tollie path, a 5 mile (8 km) walking route to Poolewe.
Loch Maree with Slioch partly covered in snow in the early spring. The islands are covered in Scots Pine trees which are remnants of the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest that covered a large area of Scotland in the past. Some of these trees are over 400 years old and the conservation efforts are to encourage younger trees to grow to maintain the forest. The islands now form part of the Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree Islands National Nature Reserve and is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage.
The north end of Loch Maree overlooking Tollie Bay.
Loch Maree photographed from the Gairloch to Poolewe road overlooking Tollie Farm.
Loch Maree Fishing
Loch Maree and the River Ewe used to have some of the finest sea trout fishing in Scotland. Sadly since the 1980's the number of migratory trout in this ecosystem has dropped dramatically along with the size of the fish now being caught. Sea Lice appears to be a problem and the number of fish farms around Wester Ross have often been blamed for the huge reduction in fish.
Fishing permits can be arranged through the Loch Maree Hotel and other hotels in the area. Boats are available and this is the ideal for visiting the islands on the loch where trout, sea trout and salmon can be fished for.
You can also canoe on this loch but do remember to arrange for a fishing permit if you plan to fish.
Map of Loch Maree
Alternative Map - OS online map of this area plus maps and books on the Highlands of Scotland
Slioch and Loch Maree