A Full Guide to the Awe-Inspiring Loch Awe

Beyond the mountains of the Scottish Highlands, just west of the town of Dalmally and south of the village of Taynuilt, lies a 25-mile body of water known as Loch Awe. And let us tell you, it more than lives up to the name.

According to the English dictionary, the word ‘awe’ stands for a feeling of reverential respect mixed with wonder. Staring out at the gentle waters of this loch, this is precisely what you’ll feel. Like many of Scotland’s lochs, this place has existed for a very long time – formed during the last Ice Age, which ended around 10,000 years ago.

Over those years, many people have visited and even settled around the site, as evidenced by the numerous ancient settlements and historical structures that can be seen dotted around it.

Hopefully, in 2024, you’ll be one of those people. Below is our full guide of Loch Awe and why it should be a priority on your list of places to see when hiring a motorhome in Scotland.

Loch Awe: A History

Let’s start with the history. As mentioned before, Loch Awe has a rich history that spans thousands of years, with evidence that the area around the loch was even inhabited during prehistoric times. Stone circles, standing stones, and other ancient artefacts have been found over the last century, indicating early human activity before the loch was even formed.

More recently, however, and the history becomes more obvious. We say recently – one of the most famous landmarks at Loch Awe is undoubtedly Kilchurn Castle, which was still built over five hundred years ago!

This castle served as a crucial stronghold during wars in the 16th and 17th centuries, acting as a base for the powerful Campbell clan while they fought both the MacDougalls and the MacDonalds. In 2024, you can still visit the site, with the opportunity to explore the remains including the great hall, tower house, and the barracks.

A Day at Loch Awe

One of the best things about visiting Kilchurn Castle, however, is the beautiful view of Loch Awe just beyond it. This is what your visit is really about. Even if you’re not visiting any historical locations, there is so much for you to do to enjoy Loch Awe and feel a part of nature, even just for a day.

Around the lake, for instance, there are multiple cruises and boat trips, all of which offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes, giving you the chance to experience the loch to its fullest, making sure no stone is unturned. If being on water isn’t your thing, there are also numerous hiking and walking trails, with popular paths including the walk around the village of Portsonachan and the Forest Walks in Inverinan.

If you’re into more intense hiking challenges, you can also hike up the magnificent Ben Cruachan, which is the highest point in the area. Here, you’ll be able to see everything from the infamous Cruachan Power Station to the vast expanse of Loch Etive, a sea loch which sits just near the northern end of Loch Awe.

Other Activities at Loch Awe

If you’d prefer to get a sense of Scottish culture when you’re visiting the country in one of our vehicles, you could also travel to the sites near the loch. Villages like Dalmally, Taynuilt, and Inveraray are perfect for travellers wanting that quintessential Scottish experience, with plenty of local shops, eateries, and historic sites that can all be explored in a day.

Or, if you’re trying to get away from people for a while and just enjoy nature, you could just park your motorhome up by the shore and relax! It really is up to you. That’s what’s so great about visiting Loch Awe, it offers a bit of everything for every traveller.

Loch Awe: An Awe-Inspiring Escape

In many ways, the only reason Loch Awe isn’t as popular as the historic Loch Ness is due to the fact there isn’t a monster lurking beneath the waves – or at least, we think there isn’t! In our opinion, however, the fact it’s not as popular kind of makes it even better. As mentioned before, this place can offer anything to any traveller. On one side of the coin, you can explore historical sites with other tourists, or delve into the culture of some buzzing Scottish villages, and on the other side, you can travel to a remote shoreline, sit back, and feel like you’re the only person in existence. Loch Awe is not a quintessentially touristy spot – at least, not compared to Loch Ness – and that’s what makes it all the more awesome.