Loch Ard


Whilst Loch Lomond is the largest and Loch Ness will always be famous for its mythical monster, the beautiful Loch Ard is right on our doorstep and we agree with Scottish author and poet, Sir Walter Scott, who described it as ‘an enchanting sheet of water’.

Loch Ard is one of 22 lochs belonging to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and it’s believed to be the source of the River Forth. The loch is in three parts which are joined by beautiful waterways, with the third area by far the largest and offering impressive views over the water to the mountains between Loch Ard and Loch Lomond.

The best way to admire the loch is to walk it and if you’re looking for a tranquil forest stroll with glimpses of majestic mountains through the trees, you’re in the right place. You can also explore the national park and it’s abundant wildlife by following one of the Loch Ard Sculpture Trails - 16 miles of trails over varied terrain where you’ll find sculptures depicting animals and birds, sound posts and the Wildlife Hide where if you’re lucky, you’ll see some of the native animals that live around the loch. With gently rolling tracks, five cycle trails from 2 to 5 miles long and quirky seats and shelters where you can pause and take in the view, this is a wonderful way to get out and about as a family.

On the loch’s southern shores lie the ruins of a castle built by nobleman Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany, executed by James I for treason in 1425. It’s only accessible by water so if you fancy spending an afternoon on the loch, this is a popular landing point for canoeists.

Those keen on fishing will be pleased to know that Loch Ard has quite a reputation for large pike and the also holds perch and brown trout. You’ll need a permit to fish from either boats or the bank, and these can easily be obtained locally.