Lake of Menteith’s Dimensions: 1.5 miles long and 1 mile wide
Road Access for Lake of Menteith: Via the A81 between Aberfoyle and Thornhill
Lake of Menteith is situated on the Carse of Stirling. It is quite unusual to find a “lake” in Scotland because most bodies of water are called “lochs”. Until the 19th century it was known as the “Loch of Menteith”. No explanation is provided why the Loch became a Lake, although there are many theories!
There are a number of small islands on the Lake of Menteith. The largest one is called Inchmahome (meaning Island of St Colmaig) with an ancient monastery. Sir Earl of Menteith, Walter Comyn, founded the Inchmahome Priory in 1238 which attracted Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots to visit The Priory. Set on an island in the Lake of Menteith, Inchmahome Priory is an idyllically-situated Augustinian Monastery. Much of the 13th century building still remains although much is in ruin. In 1547 the priory served as a refuge for Mary, Queen of Scots aged four, hidden here for a few weeks following the disastrous defeat of the Scots army. Rich in wildlife, the woodlands are carpeted in wildflowers. Three Spanish chestnuts on the island are listed in Scotland’s top 100 trees. Access can only be gained by boat from the Port of Menteith from March until September each year. Attract the boat by turning the signal post around so the white side faces the water in order to make your return journey. Don’t forget your camera as you will truly be rewarded with some wonderful shots. To the West of the lake lies Flanders Moss which is one of the largest remaining bogs in Scotland.
The Lake of Menteith is also a popular fishing destination and at Port of Menteith Fisheries you can rent boats for this purpose. The Lake is one of the finest places for rainbow and brown trout fishing in Scotland. Only fly fishing from a boat is permitted. In the winter, the Lake of Menteith opens its doors to pike fishing for a few days. The lake is well stocked with fish and attracts ospreys in search of a meal.When the lake freezes over, which happens during harsh Winters, the so called “Bonspiel” or Grand Match takes place. This is one of the few outdoor curling tournaments in Scotland.