Cover Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

Scotlands Green Loch “An Lochan Uaine” In Glenmore Forest Near Aviemore

Nestled in the heart of Glenmore Forest, The Green Loch, or An Lochan Uaine in Gaelic, is a stunning emerald-colored lake that has become a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The lake is surrounded by dense forests, towering mountains, and various wildlife, making it a picturesque spot for outdoor activities.

The Green Loch gets its distinctive color from the reflection of the surrounding trees on the water’s surface, creating a mesmerizing green hue that changes with the seasons. Visitors can hike around the lake, take in the breathtaking scenery, and spot some local wildlife, including red squirrels and deer.

Cover Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

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History of An Lochan Uaine

An Lochan Uaine, or The Green Loch, is a small freshwater loch in the Glenmore Forest in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. The loch is known for its striking green color, caused by sunlight refraction through the water, and its unique geological history.

The loch was formed during the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago, when a glacier carved out a hollow in the granite bedrock. Over time, the hollow filled with water, and the loch was born. The green color of the water is due to the presence of blue-green algae, which thrive in the loch’s nutrient-rich waters.

An Lochan Uaine has played an essential role in the history of the Cairngorms National Park. In the past, it was used as a source of drinking water for the local population and a popular spot for fishing. Today, the loch is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts who enjoy the stunning scenery and abundant wildlife.

Ducks At Green Loch

Despite its popularity, An Lochan Uaine remains relatively untouched by human activity. Few tourists ever hear about it or find it. This makes the hike to see it even more appealing. It’s like uncovering a local secret. And I strongly recommend that you seek out this loch; it’s stunning.

Geography of Glenmore Forest

Glenmore Forest is a vast woodland in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. It covers an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometers and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The forest is 1,309 meters above sea level, characterized by its rugged terrain, rolling hills, and deep valleys.

The forest is in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and is surrounded by some of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes. The River Spey runs through the forest, and several lochs and streams are home to various fish species. The most famous is the Green Loch, or An Lochan Uaine, located in the heart of the forest and known for its distinctive green color.

Glenmore Forest

The forest is home to a wide range of wildlife, including red deer, roe deer, pine martens, red squirrels, and capercaillie. Birdwatchers will be pleased to know that the forest is also home to various bird species, including ospreys, golden eagles, and ptarmigans.

The forest is dominated by Scots pine trees, which cover around 60% of the area. There are also areas of birch, rowan, and juniper trees, as well as heather and other moorland vegetation. Forests are an essential habitat for many rare and endangered species, including the twinflower, found in only a few locations in the UK.

Glenmore Forest is a unique and beautiful landscape home to diverse flora and fauna. Its rugged terrain and stunning scenery make it a popular destination for hikers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts.

Flora and Fauna Around The Green Loch

The Green Loch, also known as An Lochan Uaine, is a beautiful and serene body of water in the heart of Glenmore Forest. The area surrounding the loch is teeming with diverse flora and fauna, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts and hikers.

The forest surrounding the loch predominantly comprises Scots pine, birch, and rowan trees. These trees provide a habitat for a variety of bird species, including the Crested Tit, which is native to the area and can often be spotted flitting between the branches.

The loch is home to several fish species, including brown trout and Arctic char. These fish can often be seen swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the loch, particularly on calm days when the water’s surface is still.

In addition to the fish, several other aquatic creatures call the loch home, including water beetles, dragonflies, and damselflies. These insects are essential to the local ecosystem, providing food for various bird species.

The forest surrounding the loch is also home to several mammal species, including red deer, pine martens, and red squirrels. These animals can often be seen darting between the trees, adding to the area’s natural beauty.

Overall, the flora and fauna around The Green Loch are a testament to the natural beauty and diversity of Glenmore Forest. Whether you’re a birdwatcher, a fisherman, or someone who loves spending time in nature, this area will surely delight and inspire you.

Myths and Legends Of An Lochan Uaine

The Green Loch, also known as An Lochan Uaine, has been the subject of many myths and legends. One of the most famous legends is that the loch is bottomless and connected to the sea by underground tunnels.

Another legend tells the story of a beautiful fairy who lived in the loch and sometimes appeared to visitors. According to the legend, the fairy granted wishes to those who were pure of heart and kind to animals.

There is also a story about a giant who lived in the mountains surrounding the loch. The giant was said to have created the loch by digging a hole in the ground to collect rainwater. The giant is said to watch over the loch and protect it from harm.

Despite these legends, scientific studies have shown that the loch is not bottomless and is only about 20 meters deep. The reflection of the surrounding trees and vegetation causes the green color of the water.

Video Of The Green Loch – An Lochan Uaine

Things To Do At An Lochan Uaine

The Green Loch, also known as An Lochan Uaine, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy various recreational activities. Here are some of the most popular activities visitors can enjoy at the Green Loch:


One of the best ways to explore the Green Loch is on foot. Several hiking trails wind through the Glenmore Forest, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The An Lochan Uaine Trail is a popular option for hikers of all skill levels and takes visitors on a scenic loop around the Green Loch.


The Green Loch is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The loch is home to various fish species, including brook trout, which can be caught using multiple techniques. Visitors must have a valid fishing permit before fishing in the Green Loch.

North American Brook Charr

Brook Trout

In 1868, eastern North American brook charr (or brook trout) were introduced to Scotland. Lochan Uaine, a troutless hill loch draining into the Coulin River, has one of the few established populations. Small brown trout and juvenile salmon share the bucket of this little greenish fish from the ‘green lochan. While the non-native species seems to be winning the race between Grey squirrels and Red squirrels, Brook charr seem unlikely to spread further because native Brown trout are out-competing them.

Wildlife Watching

The Glenmore Forest is home to various wildlife, including red deer, pine martens, and golden eagles. Visitors can enjoy watching wildlife from one of the many observation points around the Green Loch.

While you are at An Lochan Uaine, you’ll most certainly see ducks, which are relatively tame. They don’t seem to fear people and happily bounce around the shoreline.


I think it goes without saying that one of the reasons to visit is to capture this hidden gem through the lens of a camera. Try to go early so you can catch the sun and be prepared for rain!

Conservation Efforts

The Green Loch, also known as An Lochan Uaine, is a natural beauty spot in Glenmore Forest. The loch is surrounded by lush greenery and is home to various wildlife, including rare species of birds and fish. Due to its unique ecosystem, the loch has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Conservation efforts have been ongoing to preserve the natural beauty of the Green Loch and protect its delicate ecosystem. The Forestry Commission Scotland, which manages Glenmore Forest, has implemented several measures to safeguard the loch and its surrounding environment. These measures include:

  • They restrict access to the loch to designated paths and trails to prevent damage to the surrounding vegetation.
  • Signs will be placed around the loch to educate visitors about the importance of conservation and the need to respect the natural environment.
  • The loch’s water water quality is monitored to ensure that it remains healthy and is not contaminated by pollutants.
  • Conduct regular wildlife surveys around the loch to monitor population levels and identify any changes or threats.

In addition to these measures, the Forestry Commission Scotland has also worked closely with local conservation groups and volunteers to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Green Loch and its ecosystem. Through education and outreach programs, these groups have helped to promote responsible tourism and encourage visitors to respect the natural environment.

Overall, the conservation efforts at Green Loch have been successful in preserving the area’s natural beauty and protecting its delicate ecosystem. As a result, visitors can continue to enjoy this special place’s stunning scenery and unique wildlife for generations to come.

Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

Visitor Information

The Green Loch, also known as An Lochan Uaine, is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts in Glenmore Forest. Here are some essential details to keep in mind when planning a visit:

  • Location: The Green Loch is in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. It can be accessed via a hiking trail at the Glenmore Forest Park Visitor Centre.
  • Trail Difficulty: The trail to the Green Loch is moderately complex and a round trip of approximately 3.5 miles. It is well-maintained but can be rocky and steep in some areas.
  • Facilities: There are no facilities at the Green Loch itself, but the Glenmore Forest Park Visitor Centre has public restrooms, a gift shop, and a cafe. Visitors are encouraged to bring their food and water for the hike.
  • Wildlife: The Green Loch is known for its crystal-clear water and vibrant green color caused by algae. Visitors may also have the chance to spot local wildlife, such as red squirrels, pine martens, and golden eagles.
  • Leave No Trace: Visitors are reminded to practice Leave No Trace principles when visiting the Green Loch. This includes packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting the natural environment.

Car parks and trails are open 7 days a week.

Where To Park

You have two options for parking. One is to park by the entry gate. The other is to park at Glenmore Visitor Center.

Here is the gate and where to park. Assuming there is a spot it’s free to park here. Whereas, if you park at Glenmore Visitor Center you pay for parking.

Glenmore Visitor Center

You can find your perfect spot in the big glen at Glenmore Visitor Center – and there’s a great café as well. Loch Morlich

Opening hours

  • Glenmore Visitor Centre: Open Monday – Friday: 9.30am – 3.30pm, Saturday – Sunday: 9.30am – 4pm. 
  • Glenmore Forest Café by Cobbs: Open Monday – Friday: 9.30am – 3.30pm, Saturday – Sunday: 9.30am – 4pm.
Glenmore Visitor Center

Image Credit: Glenmore Visitor Center

Car Parking Costs

The only ‘pay via card’ car park ticket machine is located near the front door of the Glenmore Visitor Centre. Tickets bought at any machine in the Glenmore Forest Park are valid in all our other car parks in Glenmore. The charges to park at Glenmore Visitor Centre are:

  • £2 for up to 1 hour
  • £3 for up to 3 hours
  • £4 for all day (vehicles up to 7 seats)


Toilets are available at the Visitor Centre during opening hours.

How To Get To The Green Loch

The trail to The Green Loch is easy to follow and has well-posted signs. From the gate, you follow the signs toward the An Lochan Uaine. It’s all but foolproof. The only way to get lost is to deviate off the track.

For the most part, the entire trail is flat. A few sections have a slight incline but nothing overly strenuous.

Photography and Observation Points

The Green Loch is a perfect place for nature photography enthusiasts. The clear emerald green water, the surrounding lush greenery, and the majestic Cairngorm Mountains in the backdrop offer an ideal setting for capturing stunning photographs.

Several observation points around the loch offer breathtaking views of the surroundings. The most famous observation point is the viewpoint on the loch’s east side. It can be accessed a short walk from the car park. The viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the entire loch and the surrounding forest. The view is particularly stunning in autumn when the surrounding trees change their color to shades of red, yellow, and orange.

There’s a lookout-out platform and an ornate bench here. You will see this lookout spot before you reach the steps to descend to the sandy shoreline.

Here are the steps down to the shorline where you get up close to the water:

Steps Down To Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

Visitors should be careful while taking photographs and observe the safety guidelines. They should stay on the designated paths and avoid getting too close to the water. The Green Loch is a protected area, and visitors must respect the natural environment.

Research and Education

Researchers from various universities and organizations have studied the area. In addition to research, the Green Loch is also used for educational purposes. The Glenmore Forest Park, where the loch is located, offers educational programs for schools and visitors. These programs aim to teach visitors about the area’s unique ecosystem and geological features, as well as the cultural and historical significance of the site.

The educational programs include guided walks, talks, geology, ecology, and history workshops. Visitors can also learn about the local culture and traditions of the Scottish Highlands.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the walk to The Green Loch in Glenmore Forest?

Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

The walk to The Green Loch in Glenmore Forest is approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) round trip. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy, with some uphill sections. It usually takes around 1.5-2 hours to complete the walk.

Are there any facilities at Glenmore Forest Park near The Green Loch?

The Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

The Visitor Center offers several facilities: toilets, picnic tables, and a café. The park also has a car park, a short walk from The Green Loch.

Is swimming in The Green Loch safe, and are there any known hazards?

Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

Swimming in The Green Loch is not recommended due to its cold temperature and potential hazards. The water temperature rarely exceeds ten °C, even in the summer, and hidden underwater obstacles may exist. Visitors are advised to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the shore.

What is the correct pronunciation of An Lochan Uaine?

The Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

An Lochan Uaine is pronounced as “loch-an oo-in-ya.” In Scottish Gaelic, the name means “the green little loch. “

Can visitors drive directly to The Green Loch, or is designated parking nearby?

Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

The Green Loch has no direct road access, and visitors must park their vehicles at Glenmore Forest Park. The car park is well-signposted and located a short distance from the trailhead.

Are there any historical or mythical stories associated with The Green Loch?

Green Loch An Lochan Uaine

The Green Loch has been the subject of many myths and legends. One story tells of a shape-shifting water spirit, a kelpie, that resides in the loch and lures unsuspecting travelers to their doom. Another tale speaks of a fairy queen who lives beneath the waters and grants wishes to those who pay her tribute. Despite these stories, The Green Loch remains a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts who enjoy its tranquil beauty and stunning surroundings.

Closing Thoughts

The Green Loch is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for a peaceful spot to relax and take in the scenery, The Green Loch will leave a lasting impression. The Green Loch is a rewarding and memorable experience for anyone who enjoys beautiful raw scenery.

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