The Best 9 Lochs Near Edinburgh and Glasgow

Discover the breathtaking natural beauty of Scotland's iconic landscapes with these stunning Scottish lochs that are within easy access of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Scotland's lochs are a great place to head for a peaceful wander, spot many species of wildlife and even try out a spot of fishing. 

  1. Glencorse Reservoir and Threipmuir Reservoir Balerno

    Walking path in the Pentland Hills Regional Park, just south of Edinburgh

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins, all rights reserved.

    Located just south of Edinburgh, the Pentland Hills Regional Park is home to the Glencorse Reservoir where you can rent boats for fishing, wander on scenic, dog-friendly trails, and is the perfect place for keen walkers and mountain bikers to explore.

    Nearby, the Threipmuir Reservoir was designed by Scottish civil engineer, James Jardine, and is roughly an hours walk from the Glencorse reservoir, so it's a great afternoon out if you want to link up the two. Both reservoirs are surrounded by stunning natural scenery and landscapes, with many surrounding hills that you could add to your adventure. After your day of exploring, why not head to The Flottersone Inn on the edge of the park for a lovely evening meal?

    Distance from Edinburgh: The regional park is only 40 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh and is best accessed by car.

    Distance from Glasgow: The regional park is roughly a 1hr 15 minute drive from Glasgow.

  2. Duddingston Loch, Dunsapie Loch, and St Margaret's Loch Edinburgh - City Centre

    Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat

    Right in the middle of the bustling city life of Edinburgh is Holyrood Park, featuring Dunsapie Loch, St Margaret's Loch and Duddingston Loch. The park is a picturesque area of the city to uncover and with the famous Arthur's Seat making its home here, you can get spectacular views across the city too. Duddingston is a haven for birdlife, so keep your eyes peeled for geese, waterfowl and more.

    Distance from Edinburgh: The park is in the city centre and within walking distance from many popular attractions, but there are also many bus routes that can take you here as well.

    Distance from Glasgow: Holyrood Park is also around 1h 15 minute drive from Glasgow, although it may be easier to reach the park by train, which brings you right to the centre of Edinburgh and only takes 1 hour.

  3. Linlithgow Loch and Beecraigs Loch Linlithgow

    Linlithgow Palace by Linlithgow Loch

    Linlithgow is home to Beecraigs Loch and Linlithgow Loch - both of which offer plenty of things to see and do whilst you are here. Beecraigs Country Park is the perfect choice for a family day out, with an adventure play area, horse riding, cycling, bike trails, orienteering and more, to keep you entertained. By Linlithgow Loch, explore Linlithgow Palace which was once the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and boasts incredible grounds and history to explore. The lochs are easily reached by car, but you can also reach Linlithgow by train and the station is within walking distance of the palace.

    Distance from Edinburgh: a 40 minute drive west

    Distance from Glasgow: a 50 minute drive

  4. Loch Leven Kinross

    Loch Leven National Nature Reserve

    Further afield, why not head to Kinross in Perthshire where the stunning Loch Leven awaits you? Edinburgh to Loch Leven is just under an hour away by car. Explore Loch Leven Castle which sits out on the loch on a small island where you can wander around the tower where Mary Queen of Scots was once held prisoner, as well as roam around the rest of the island too. On the southern shores of the loch, head to the RSPB reserve where you can learn about the lochs' resident wildlife before venturing out to try and spot them for yourself.

    Distance from Edinburgh: a 50 minute drive

    Distance from Glasgow: a 1 hour 10 minute drive

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Level Access
    • Accessible toilets
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  5. Mugdock Reservoir and Craigmaddie Reservoir Milngavie

    Mugdock Country Park

    Mugdock Country Park is home to Mugdock Reservoir and Craigmaddie Reservoir, alongside fantastic landscapes to explore by bike or on foot, try out orienteering, venture on the park's History Trail and more.

    Distance from Edinburgh: a 1 hour 30 minute drive

    Distnace from Glasgow: a 30 minute drive north

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Pets Welcome
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  6. Carron Valley Reservoir Denny

    Carron Valley

    The Carron Valley Reservoir is a fantastic location for fly fishing of both rainbow trout and wild brown trout, and there is a fleet of 30 boats available for hire. Or if fishing isn't for you, why not wander around the nearby walking routes or on the Shore Trail to explore the rest of the reservoir and surrounding landscape?

    Distance from Edinburgh: a 1 hour 10 minute drive

    Distance from Glasgow: You can reach the valley by car, which is only a 45minute drive north of Glasgow.

  7. Loch Lomond Loch Lomond

    Walkers on Conic Hill

    One of the country's most famous lochs and located in one of two National Parks in Scotland. The drive from Glasgow to Loch Lomond take just under an hour and is a treasured gem that should definitely be on your to-do list. Explore one of the most beautiful and iconic places in Scotland that has inspired many a poet, artist, and musician. Wander around the loch and take in the mesmerising views that surround you, venture on a tour aboard one of the cruise boats, clamber up Conic Hill for incredible panoramic views, and explore the loch-side complex featuring shops, farmers' markets, a sea life aquarium and more.

    Distance from Edinburgh: 1 hour 40 minute drive

    Distance from Glasgow: a 50 minute drive, or you can also reach Loch Lomond by train, which usually takes around 1 hour 30 minutes.

  8. Lochwinnoch, Barr Loch, and Castle Semple Loch Lochwinnoch

    Three children running along a path through woodland, following a sign which reads: "adventurers this way!".

    © Helen Patience (

    Head west of Glasgow to the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park where Lochwinnoch is home to Barr Loch and Castle Semple Loch. Here you can enjoy leisurely bike rides around the lochs, head to the RSPB Nature Reserve to spot whooper swans, wigeons and various other birdlife, and make sure you join in the educational events held here throughout the year too. By Castle Semple Loch you can also visit Castle Semple itself, which gives picturesque views across both lochs and across the rest of the park. 

    North of the park, Loch Thom is another picturesque location to explore and just north of the loch, why not try your hand at a round of golf at the Whinhill Golf Course?

    Distance from Edinburgh: a 1 hour 20 minute drive

    Distance from Glasgow: The park best reached by car and is only a 1hour journey from Glasgow, but Lochwinnoch is also accessible by train and only takes around 25 minutes.

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • On Public Transport Route
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible toilets
    • Hearing Loop
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Level Access
  9. Strathclyde Loch Motherwell

    Strathclyde Country Park

    Just outside Glasgow, near Hamilton, head to Strathclyde Country Park where you can spend the day at M&D's, Scotland's theme park, which makes the perfect day out for families. Enjoy the many rides and attractions, glow in the dark indoor bowling, a soft play area, and Game Zone, as well as many bars, restaurants, and seasonal events to get involved in too.

    Make sure you leave time to explore Strathclyde Loch too. The loch makes for a scenic afternoon wander and only takes around 30 minutes, depending on your pace, to do the full circuit.

    Distance from Edinburgh: a 1 hour drive west

    Distance from Glasgow: The park is located on the outskirts, near Hamilton, and takes about 25 minutes to drive from the centre of Glasgow, or 30 minutes by train.

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Pets Welcome
    • Hearing Loop
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Accessible toilets
    • Cafe or Restaurant

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