Loch of the Lowes

Loch of the Lowes is one of the Lunan lochs and is best known as one of the few Scottish breeding grounds of the osprey.

By the early 1900's these magnificent birds had ceased altogether to breed in this country. In the late 1950's they attempted to breed near Inverness and later chose to settle at the Loch only weeks after the nature reserve had been established. Here, beside a shallow loch with a plentiful supply of fish and surrounded by tall trees, they started to visit each year from warmer climates in the south.

The Loch covers 130 hectares and from early April to late August the star attraction is a pair of breeding ospreys. The UK's oldest breeding osprey - known affectionately as 'Lady of the Loch'. This year, 2013, "Lady" (in her 23rd breeding season) has laid 4 eggs, taking her total to 68 eggs. If one of these hatches and the chick goes on to fledge then she will have raised 50 chicks in her lifetime. You can catch all the action live via the Lowes webcam. Their nest is situated within 150 metres of a Scottish Wildlife Trust observation hide, allowing osprey family life to be observed through binoculars, telescopes and closed-circuit television (CCTV) As a nature reserve there are many other attractions throughout the year. Apart from the ospreys, red squirrels are still present here, and great spotted woodpeckers can be seen from the viewing windows, while fallow and roe deer are often seen from the hide. The wildfowl population peaks in early winter when as many as three thousand greylag geese roost on the loch as well as goldeneye, mallard, goosander, wigeon, teal, tufted duck and great-crested grebes.

How to get there

Access Info

The reserve is situated 16 miles/25.6 kms north of Perth and 2 miles/3.2 kms north-east of Dunkeld just off the A923 Dunkeld to Blairgowrie road (signposted from the A9). The start point is Dunkeld Tourist Information Centre, where you can purchase a map leaflet for the Dunkeld Footpath Network (50p), which includes Fungarth walk.

Additional Info

Parts of the walk are quite steep (especially Brae Street). After periods of rain, the stretch along the golf course can be wet under foot so take care.

Dog owners should note that only guide dogs are permitted at the visitor centre.

The nearest town is Dunkeld. From the Tourist Information Centre, go back to the main Street and cross over and walk up the steep Brae Street. After approximately ½ mile, turn left onto a farm track that follows the edge of Craige Wood on your left. Predominantly oak, this woodland is a haven for birds and is particularly spectacular when the floor is carpeted with bluebells. Follow the waymarkers for Fungarth walk and to Loch. Keep the golf course to your left. From here, ahead there are good views of Loch of the Lowes and of the surrounding hills. When you reach the loch, turn left and for the last ¼ mile follow the usually quiet country road to the car park for the Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre. During the walk keep an eye on the sky. If you are lucky, you may see the male osprey bring a fish from the River Tay to the nest at Loch of the Lowes, following almost the same route as you.
Click Map to see where Loch of the Lowes is located.

Information Summary

Parking: Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre for Free Parking on Site
There is no coach parking at the Site
Disabled Parking On Site.
Accessibility: Wheelchair Accessible
Hides have disabled access.
Walk Time: 1-2hrs
Distance: 4km (2.5 miles)
Terrain: Parts of the walk are quite steep.
Grade: 1 Easy walk, a pleasing fairly level walk along a quiet minor road, returning beside a charming loch.
OS Map: EOS Sheets 52 (grid ref. NO 050440)
Toilets:Public & Disabled
Shops:Gift Shop
Cafe/Restaurant:Nearest is Dunkeld

     Last updated 29/03/2015

Visitor information

The Visitor Centre and Crannog have different summer and wnter opening hours. We are open daily from 1 March to 31 October (from 10 am to 5 pm) and from 1 November to 28 February, Friday to Sunday (from 10.30 an to 4 pm). Ticket prices are as follows:
Loch of the Lowes
Tel: 01350 727 337
Email: lochofthelowes@swt.org.uk
Website: Scottish Wild Life Trust
Observation Hides: 24 hours year round.
Summer admission prices:
Adults: £4.00
Concessions: £3.50
Children (5-16): 50p Family: £7.50 (2 Adult & 2 children)
Scottish Wildlife Trust members: Free
Groups over 11 people will receive a 10 % discount. Please book in advance.
Discounted rates apply from November - February inclusive

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Seen at the Loch of the Lowes

Loch of the Lowes Red Squirrel

Loch of the Lowes Red Squirrel

Loch of the Lowes Osprey

Osprey at the nest

Loch of the Lowes Pine Marten

The illusive Pine Marten

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker