Loch Leven National Nature Reserve
A huge expanse of open water, Loch Leven is home to more breeding ducks than anywhere else in inland Europe. Watch the quiet persistence of tufted duck and teal dabbling for food, or marvel at the awe-inspiring sight of huge flocks of wintering wildfowl. In summer, ospreys patrol the loch in search of a fish supper, whilst on the marshy edges, your nose might be sensitive enough to lead you to the sweetly scented holy grass, an ancient form of incense.
Brimming with wildlife and history, Loch Leven is the largest natural shallow water body in lowland Britain. From late summer until spring, thousands of wildfowl from many different countries use it for short and long-term stopovers, meaning Loch Leven is a fascinating place to visit at any time of year.
However, it's not just the birds that make this such a special place. It also boasts a rich mix of wet grasslands, raised bog, willow and reed beds, with an amazing range of plants and some excellent viewing opportunities. Otters and kingfishers are also regularly seen around the reserve, with the occasional visit from the more elusive white-tailed sea eagle.
The Loch Leven Heritage Trail extends the whole way around the loch - a 13 mile, traffic-free shared access route you can walk, run, bike or ride along. Level and barrier-free for most of its length, the trail is suitable for walkers of all abilities, for cyclists, and for wheelchair and motorised scooter users. There are a number of viewing hides and access points along trail, with guides to five easily managed shorter walks available to download from the Loch Leven Heritage Trail's website at http://www.lochlevenheritagetrail.co.uk/.
The RSPB Centre at the south side of Loch Leven has great views of the loch, viewing hides and woodland trails. There are good facilities here too including toilets, changing places toilet, a shop and cafe. If you want more information about the Reserve, staff at the visitor centre will be happy to help.
The Boathouse Bistro at Kinross Pier also has information for visitors including local accommodation, reserve and the heritage trail leaflets. Facilities here include a café and toilets as well as cycle hire and free mobility scooters.
Historic Environment Scotland runs a summer boat service to Castle Island from the pier at Kinross harbour.
The National Nature Reserve is managed by NatureScot and RSPB.
Public Transport Directions
By Public Transport: The nearest bus stops are in Kinross and Ballingry. The nearest railway station is in Cowdenbeath (7 miles) on the Edinburgh - Markinch line, with buses to Kinross.
By Bike: The Queensferry to Falkland via Kinross section of National Cycle Network Route 1 (Edinburgh - Aberdeen) passes through Kinross.
Public Toilet Facilities
Transport and Parking
Cafe or Restaurant
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