Canals, rivers and lochs of Scotland

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Year of Natural Scotland 2013
Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Celebrate Scotland's natural beauty throughout 2013

  • The town of Fort Augustus and the Caledonian Canal and locks, Highlands
    Fort Augustus and the Caledonian Canal, Highlands
  • A couple sit on the shingle beach at Dores on Loch Ness
    The shingle beach at Dores on Loch Ness
  • Looking north during late evening from Duncryne Hill across Loch Lomond
    Loch Lomond with Duncryne Hill behind during late evening
  • Looking onto the Falkirk Wheel
    Falkirk Wheel
  • Boats sailing up the Caledonian Canal
    Boats sailing up the Caledonian Canal

Exploring Scotland’s charming canals, rivers and lochs is a delightful way to appreciate this country at its most beautiful. Discover rare species like water voles, rare fresh water pearl mussels and European beaver.

The Caledonian Canal, recognised as one of the world’s finest waterways, meanders over 60 miles (96.6 km) through the Highlands from Inverness to Fort William, and takes in many attractive towns and villages, leafy forests and calm shimmering lochs.

Navigate your way from coast to coast via the Forth & Clyde and the Union canals, and journey through the centre of Scotland’s industrial past to the world’s only rotating boat lift, The Falkirk Wheel. Or why not explore Scotland’s only lake, the Lake of Menteith, near Stirling and uncover the mystery of Inchmahome Priory?

Scotland‘s breathtaking rivers range from cascading mountainous burns to meandering lowland rivers and are home to a host of aquatic life and rare habitats. Discover many endangered species such as the UK’s fastest declining mammal the water vole, rare freshwater pearl mussels and the recently reintroduced European beaver.

Situated in the heart of the Highlands you will discover the world-famous Loch Ness, renowned for sightings of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, known as Nessie. This impressive loch follows an ancient geological fault line and is surrounded by stunning natural woodland and majestic mountains.

Within Scotland’s first National Park, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, you will uncover the picturesque Loch Lomond, the UK’s largest freshwater expanse. This remarkably beautiful area offers gentle walks along wooded shores, rivers and streams, and you will come across some fascinating flora and fauna such as the elusive golden eagle and the yellow saxifrage.

Whether you sail, cycle or walk, a trip along Scotland’s peaceful waterways will be a relaxing voyage of discovery.

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