Loch Voil’s Dimensions: 8km long
Road Access for Loch Voil: Via the A84 from Callander Main Road
Loch Voil: A Comprehensive Guide to the Scenic Scottish Gem
Loch Voil, a small freshwater loch nestled amid the scenic landscape of Scotland’s Stirling council area, has gained popularity among visitors due to its picturesque surroundings and fascinating history. West of Balquhidder, this narrow body of water stretches approximately 8km in length and, along with neighbouring Loch Doine, forms part of the beautiful Balquhidder Glen. Notably, the area is steeped in history, particularly as it relates to the infamous 17th century Scottish outlaw Rob Roy Macgregor.
The lochs are situated within the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, and the region has gained particular notoriety for being Rob Roy country. Loch Voil and Loch Doine are divided by fluvial deposits from the Monachyle Burn, with the waters of the former draining into the River Balvag at Balquhidder. The area boasts numerous historical highlights and attractions that shed light on the life and times of Rob Roy Macgregor.
Surrounded by the dramatic mountain terrain of the Braes of Balquhidder, the peaceful glen offers both stunning views and numerous outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. One highlight is the Mirror Box, a scenic lookout point located between Loch Voil and Loch Doine, which is part of the BLiSS Trail. Overall, Loch Voil presents a unique opportunity for travellers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and rich history of Scotland’s rugged landscapes.
Loch Voil Location
Loch Voil is a small freshwater loch situated to the west of Balquhidder in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It is a narrow loch, approximately 8km long, and part of the beautiful landscape of the Trossachs. The loch drains water from the smaller Loch Doine through the River Larig and is itself drained by the River Balvaig at its northern end. Surrounded by the dramatic mountain terrain of the Braes of Balquhidder, Loch Voil offers picturesque views and a tranquil atmosphere.
Loch Voil is deep in Rob Roy Country, an area rich in history and associated with the infamous 17th-century Scottish outlaw Rob Roy Macgregor. Guests can access the loch via a small single track road from Balquhidder, which leads to Inverlochlarig. Besides exploring the historical significance of the area, visitors can also find the BLiSS Trail, a scenic route featuring the Mirror Box – a scenic viewpoint installation located on the strip of land between Loch Voil and Loch Doine.
Another nearby attraction is the Monachyle Mhor hotel, conveniently located on the strip of land between the two neighbouring lochs. Additionally, Loch Voil lies close to the mountainous country north of Loch Katrine, which inspired Sir Walter Scott’s legendary poem ‘Lady of the Lake.’
Loch Voil Wildlife
Flora and Fauna
Loch Voil, situated within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, is home to an abundance of wildlife. Visitors to the area can expect to encounter several species of flora and fauna, including deer, red squirrels, and a wide variety of birds. Among the resident bird species, buzzards and eagles are commonly spotted, with ospreys making occasional appearances.
The surrounding landscape is not only a haven for wildlife, but also supports diverse plant species. The woodlands around Loch Voil consist largely of birch trees, providing both an important habitat for wildlife and stunning views for visitors.
For anglers seeking the thrill of catching fish in a pristine environment, Loch Voil offers opportunities to fish for both salmon and brown trout. Fishing permits can be obtained at Muirlaggan Farm on the loch’s south shore, ensuring responsible and sustainable fishing practices in the area.
The tranquil and remote location of Loch Voil makes it an ideal spot for a peaceful fishing experience amidst stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. The presence of both salmon and brown trout in the waters provides anglers with a rewarding fishing opportunity and contributes to the unique biodiversity of the loch.
Rob Roy MacGregor
Rob Roy MacGregor was a famous outlaw and folk hero in Scottish history. His grave can be found in Balquhidder village, at the eastern end of Loch Voil. Near the Old Kirk where his grave is located, there’s the McLaren Stone, a viewpoint that offers a panoramic view over Balquhidder Glen and along the full length of Loch Voil. This area near the loch has a strong historical connection to MacGregors and plays a significant role in the cultural heritage of the region.
Loch Voil has a rich history extending back to the Celts, who considered this area a ‘thin place’ – where the boundaries between Earth and Heaven are particularly narrow. While there are no specific castle ruins mentioned in the sources, the historic significance of Loch Voil and its surroundings continue to contribute to its overall mystique and allure. With stunning natural beauty and a deep connection to Scotland’s past, visitors to Loch Voil can immerse themselves in both the landscape and the history of the region.
Loch Voil, located in Stirling, Scotland, offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy amidst its stunning natural scenery. These activities cater to various interests, from hiking and walking trails to water sports.
Hiking and Walking Trails
Loch Voil has several beautiful hiking and walking trails in and around the area, suitable for different levels of difficulty. Some popular trails include:
Kirkton Glen, Balquhidder: A moderately challenging circular walk that covers about 9 km, taking approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes to complete. This trail goes through the forested valley of Kirkton Glen, north of Balquhidder, offering good views of the surrounding mountains and Loch Voil itself.
The Rob Roy Way: A long-distance walking trail that passes through Balquhidder, featuring picturesque landscapes and rich history.
Callander to Killin: An easy 40.7 km bike ride that takes roughly 3 hours and 50 minutes. The route features an elevation gain of 328 metres and a descent of 273 metres.
Besides the scenic walking trails, Loch Voil also offers opportunities for water sports and related activities. These include:
Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing in Loch Voil for salmon and brown trout, adding a relaxing and rewarding element to their visit.
Cycling: A beautiful cycle track runs through Balquhidder, via the picturesque Glen Ogle, Strathyre, and Callander, allowing cyclists to immerse themselves in the breathtaking natural beauty of the area.
Remember to plan your trip accordingly, considering the various activities available, to make the most of your visit to Loch Voil.
Accommodations and Facilities
For those seeking a more natural stay at Loch Voil, there are any number of picturesque spots for camping along its shoreline. Experience the tranquillity of the area and enjoy a simple, unplugged getaway while being surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Just remember to follow the local guidelines and regulations when selecting your camping site and always leave no trace behind.
Loch Voil is home to some comfortable and unique accommodations, providing the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding area. One such option is the Monachyle Mhor Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel nestled on the banks of Loch Voil in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. With individually-styled rooms, this former farmhouse offers:
- Luxury bathrooms
- LCD TVs
- Food prepared using produce from the estate
Additionally, for budget-conscious travellers, there’s Loch Voil Hostel which offers:
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Central heating
- 2 bathrooms with showers
- Internet access
- Clothes and boot drying facilities
- Bike shed
- Jetty and rowing boat rental (£10 per hour)
- All linen provided (bring your own bath towel)
Alternatively, you can find charming vacation rental homes through platforms such as Airbnb. For example, a cosy hut in Balquhidder offers:
- Double glazing
- Log burning stove
- Views of Loch Voil
- Instant access to outdoor activities
Whether you’re after luxury accommodations or a quaint escape, Loch Voil has something to offer every traveller.