Holidays in Loch an Eilein

Holiday Travel Guide
Loch an Eilein featuring heritage elements, a river or creek and island images

Go for a stroll around this scenic loch, known for the ruined 13th-century castle at its center.

Loch an Eilein is a beautiful lake within the Rothiemurchus estate. The trail that wraps around the perimeter of the loch is said to be among the most popular short walks in the United Kingdom, attracting outdoor enthusiasts as far back as Victorian times. Wander along this serene trail, admiring the view of the mysterious ancient castle perched on an island within the loch.

Stop at the loch’s information center, located beside the visitor parking lot. Learn more about the forest’s plants and animals, check out the gift store or have coffee at the snack shop.

Follow the picturesque 4.5-mile (7-kilometer) trail that loops around the loch, considered to be among Scotland’s best low-intensity walking trails. Gaze at the views of the Cairngorm Mountains and at the lovely Scots pines bordering the trail. Try to spot red squirrels and Scottish crossbills. Walk across the small footbridge at the loch’s outflow. Bring a picnic and take a break at one of the many scenic areas overlooking the loch.

The name Loch an Eilein comes from a Gaelic expression meaning “Lake of the Island.” Notice the enchanting castle ruins on this small islet, located off the northwestern shore of the loch. The loch’s waters obscure the causeway that once led to this historic castle, which is believed to have been built in the 13th century by the Bishop of Moray. Until the early 20th century, the castle ruins were an important nesting site for ospreys. These rare birds visit the Rothiemurchus Fishery from March through August.

Consider extending your hike by making the challenging climb to the summit of Ord Ban. This 1,404-foot-high (428-meter) viewpoint offers wonderful views back over the loch and south toward the mountains in the distance.

Loch an Eilein is located 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of Aviemore. Drive here and park at the lake for a fee. Find the trail leading around the loch at the far end of the parking lot. Spend an afternoon enjoying the scenery at one of Scotland’s prettiest lochs.

Top activities in Loch an Eilein

346 Cheap Hotels Near Loch an Eilein

Coylumbridge Hotel
Coylumbridge Hotel
4 out of 5
Aviemore Invernesshire, Aviemore, Scotland
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$83 per night from 7 Nov. to 7 Nov.
This family-friendly Aviemore hotel is located on the riverwalk, within a 15-minute walk of Rothiemurchus Estate Visitor Centre and Speyside Wildlife. Loch an ...
3.6/5 Good! (946 reviews)
"All good, great restaurant"

Reviewed on 2 Oct. 2021

Coylumbridge Hotel
The Polchar Aviemore
The Polchar Aviemore
The Polchar, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore,, PH221QP, Aviemore, SCT
Situated on a lake, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Loch an Eilein and Speyside Wildlife. Rothiemurchus Estate Visitor Centre and Craigellachie ...
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The Polchar Aviemore
Cairngorm Hotel
Cairngorm Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Grampian Road, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is AU$164 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
Situated in Aviemore, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Craigellachie National Nature Reserve, Speyside Wildlife and Rothiemurchus Estate Visitor Centre. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (52 reviews)
"Great location and staff"

Reviewed on 21 Sep. 2021

Cairngorm Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Holidays in Loch an Eilein

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Top Loch an Eilein Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Coylumbridge Hotel
Coylumbridge Hotel
4 out of 5
Aviemore Invernesshire, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is AU$83 per night from 7 Nov. to 7 Nov.
Coylumbridge Hotel
The Polchar Aviemore
The Polchar Aviemore
The Polchar, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore,, PH221QP, Aviemore, SCT
The Polchar Aviemore
Cairngorm Hotel
Cairngorm Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Grampian Road, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is AU$164 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
Cairngorm Hotel
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
Allt na Cardoch, Rothiemurchas, Aviemore, SCT
Spey Lodge - Secluded Home in the Cairngorms
High Range Hotel
High Range Hotel
3 out of 5
Grampian Road, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is AU$111 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
High Range Hotel
Cairngorms Flower Lodge
Cairngorms Flower Lodge
Dalfaber Road, Chalet 88, Aviemore, SCT
Cairngorms Flower Lodge
Delmhor No1
Delmhor No1
3.5 out of 5
Ski Road Cottages, Coylumbridge, Aviemore PH22 1QH, Aviemore, Scotland
Delmhor No1
Delmhor No3
Delmhor No3
3.5 out of 5
Ski Road Cottages, Coylumbridge, Aviemore PH22 1QH, Aviemore, Scotland
Delmhor No3
Rowan Tree Country Hotel
Rowan Tree Country Hotel
3 out of 5
Loch Alvie, Aviemore, Scotland
The price is AU$217 per night from 7 Nov. to 7 Nov.
Rowan Tree Country Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.