Waterside camping in Loch Leven National Nature Reserve

Loch Leven National Nature Reserve is a top draw for its scenery and abundant birdlife.

88% (17 reviews)
88% (17 reviews)

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Waterside camping in Loch Leven National Nature Reserve guide

Overview

History buffs and nature lovers alike will love visiting Loch Leven National Nature Reserve. You can explore 13 miles (21 kilometers) of trails by foot or by bike around the pretty, wide loch; marvel at a huge array of birdlife, from freshwater breeding ducks to osprey, kingfishers and the occasional white-tailed sea eagle, and take a short boat trip to a tiny island that is home to the ruins of a castle from which Mary Queen of Scots made a daring escape. While there is no organized campsite in the reserve, Galloway Camping and Caravan Park is less than a 10-minute drive away.

When to go

The reserve’s birdlife varies throughout the year. Huge flocks of wildfowl, including tufted ducks, teal, greylag and 10 percent of the world’s population of pink-footed geese, make their winter home here. In the summer, you’ll see breeding ducks with their fluffy ducklings and ospreys fishing on the loch. Note that the boat service to Castle Island only runs during the summer months.

Know before you go

  • Visitors following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code may wild camp around Loch Leven.
  • There are wildlife hides dotted around the loch from which you can view the birdlife without disturbance. All are wheelchair accessible.
  • Any water sports done on the loch must avoid bird sensitive areas and seasons. Check NatureScot’s Water Access Guidance for more.
  • The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) maintains a visitor center on the south side of the loch with good views, restrooms, a shop and a café.
  • The closest bus stop is in Kinross, a mile away.

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