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Loch Venachar: Everything You Need to Know About Visiting

Loch Venachar: Everything You Need to Know About Visiting

Loch Venachar is a breathtaking loch in the southern highlands of Scotland. You’ll find there are plenty of great things to do at and around the loch. In this guide, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about visiting Loch Venachar.

About Loch Venachar

Loch Venachar is a beautiful freshwater loch that’s around 5.9km (3.7 miles) long. Located between the town of Callander and the small village of Brig o’Turk, the loch is well-positioned in a gorgeous natural landscape. The loch is surrounded by large areas of lush forest, whilst the mountainous backdrop is stunning. Other than enjoying the loch’s natural beauty, there are plenty of fun activities to do during a visit. We’ll tell you all about these activities later in the guide.

But, first, exactly where is Loch Venachar located?

Make sure to do a Loch Lomond Cruise during your visit to the area

Loch Venachar sign

Where Is Loch Venachar?

The loch is located in the Trossachs area of Scotland, near the town of Callander. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map showing the location of the loch.

A screenshot of a map showing the location of Loch Venachar

Things to Do at Loch Venachar

In the following sections, we’re going to talk about all of the best things to do at Loch Venachar. Hopefully, the information below will help you with planning your visit.

Water Sports and Activities

Of course, there are many water-based activities to enjoy at the loch. Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are all commonplace on the loch. You’ll find there are several car parks on the northern shores of the loch, which make for useful paddle entry points.

The loch is also a popular place for fishing. You’re not allowed to fish on the south shores of the loch; but, the shores on the western side of the northern edge, are good to go. You’ll just need to sort yourself out a Loch Venachar fishing permit. Head to the Loch Venachar Association website to get yourself a permit.

Sailing is yet another fun activity that you can do on the loch. You’ll find the Loch Venachar Sailing Club located on the southern shores of the loch.

Loch Venachar Walks

There are plenty of great walking trails around the loch. Let’s look at some of the best walks to enjoy during a visit.

  • Loch Venachar Circular Walk: if you’re keen on a long walk, then you’ll want to consider walking around the loch. Sure, there is a bit of mundane road walking involved; but, this walk gives you the opportunity to explore the loch in great detail.
  • Loch Venachar Forestry Walk: starting at East Lodge Cabin, you’ll walk along the south shore of the loch on its eastern side. You’ll then complete a loop by walking through a quaint forest. This is a much shorter walk compared with the Loch Venachar Circular Walk.
  • Little Druim Wood: starting over near the Glen Finglas Visitor Centre, you’ll complete a short walk, through Little Druim Wood to reach the western shores of the loch. Unfortunately, right after we started this walk, we encountered some heavy rain and got absolutely soaked. You might be able to tell from the photo below!
Dan looks at Loch Venachar during the Little Druim Wood Walk
Little Druim Wood Walk

The Trossachs Trail

You’ll find Loch Venachar is part of the 65km (40 mile) Trossachs Trail. The Trossachs Trail is a tourist route, passing many attractions and sites along the way. The trail can be completed as a scenic drive. Although, many of the attractions along the trail involve exploring the area by boat, bike or foot.

The Trossachs Trail sign

National Cycle Network Route 7

Cycling by Loch Venachar is also a major highlight of The National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 7. The cycle route runs along the south shore of the loch. Indeed, the cycle between Aberfoyle and Callander is one of the best sections of NCN Route 7.

Venachar Lochside

Formerly known as the Loch Venachar Cafe, Venachar Lochside has since been revamped as a wedding venue. So, no real need to pop in, unless, of course, you’re looking for one of the best loch wedding locations in Scotland!

Venachar Lochside

Other Lochs in the Trossachs

Other than Loch Venachar, there are many other sensational lochs to explore in the Trossachs. Below, we’ll briefly talk about the other lochs that Beck and I visited in the Trossachs that we think are worth visiting.

  • Loch Lubnaig: located by the A84 road, this gorgeous loch features great access and amenities.
  • Loch Katrine: this is one of the most famous lochs in the Trossachs and certainly deserves a visit.
  • Loch Ard: follow serene forest trails that lead you to this enchanting loch as well as Rob Roy’s Cave.
  • Three Lochs Forest Drive: one of the best ways to visit lochs in the Trossachs is by doing the Three Lochs Forest Drive in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. During the scenic drive, you’ll visit Lochan Reòidhte, Loch Drunkie and Loch Achray.
Aerial photograph of Loch Katrine
Loch Katrine

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Other Lochs in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are actually home to 22 lochs. Below, we won’t list all of them. But, we’ll briefly detail some of the best lochs that we visited outside of the Trossachs.

  • Loch Lomond: sure, Loch Venachar is an exquisite loch, but you won’t have the option of taking a cruise. Undoubtedly, a cruise on one of the lochs in the national park is an unforgettable experience. For sure, you can’t visit the national park without seeing the main attraction! Make sure to visit Balloch to take a Loch Lomond cruise.
  • St Fillans on Loch Earn: this village is beautifully located on the eastern shores of Loch Earn. Visiting St Fillans and Loch Earn really go hand in hand.
  • Loch Long: if you’re visiting the Arrochar Alps to hike Ben Arthur (The Cobbler), you’ll park at the northern tip of the lovely long loch!

A notable mention also goes to Loch Arklet.

Dan at Loch Earn, near St Fillans and Lochearnhead
Loch Earn

What to Do Nearby

Other than visiting other brilliant lochs in the Trossachs, it’s also worth checking out the small village of Brig o’Turk. The highlights of visiting Brig o’Turk are the Tea Rooms and The Byre Inn. Certainly, either place would be great to stop in for refreshments.

Otherwise, you’ve also got the Glen Finglas Visitor Centre close by. From the visitor centre, there are many great walks to do, including Lendrick Hill.

Read more: Loch Lomond Walks – The 26 Best Walks in Loch Lomond

Glen Finglas Visitor Centre
Glen Finglas Visitor Centre

How to Get to Loch Venachar

The quickest and easiest way to get to Loch Venachar is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

As mentioned, there are plenty of car parks along the north shore of the loch. We stopped in at two of these car parks, which were both free.

There is no public transport going to the loch or this wider area of the Trossachs. There was once a bus system, but it was replaced by a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) system. This service works like a taxi service, but you’ll only be charged the fare of a bus! This service must be booked at least 24 hours in advance. For more information, click here.

Where to Stay Near Loch Venachar

You won’t find much in the way of Loch Venachar accommodation. Other than Loch Venachar Lodges, there aren’t really any other Loch Venachar hotels as such.

If you want to stay near the loch, then we recommend staying in the nearby town of Callander. There are plenty of excellent accommodation options in Callander. Below, we’ll look at the best budget, mid-range and luxurious accommodation options.

  • Budget: it’s difficult to find budget accommodation in the national park. But, Callander has some very reasonable options. With this in mind, we recommend the highly-rated Dreadnought Hotel. A solid backup option would be the Dalgair House Hotel.
  • Mid-range: there are plenty of fantastic mid-range accommodation options in Callander. We recommend either The Waverley Hotel or The Crown Hotel.
  • Luxury: if you’re looking for somewhere special, there are some exceptional guest houses in Callander. For a luxurious stay, consider the popular Roman Camp Country House Hotel or the Lubnaig Guest House.

Loch Venachar camping: it’s possible to wild camp at the loch. Certainly, camping in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is a wonderful experience. But, please bear in mind, that between March and September, you’ll need a permit to camp at the loch as it falls under the Camping Management Zone.


Below, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about Loch Venachar.

How Do You Pronounce Loch Venachar?

The pronunciation is as follows – lok-veh-nuh-kuh.

Can You Walk Around Loch Venachar?

Yes, the Loch Venachar Circular Walk encircles the entire loch.

Is It Safe to Swim in Loch Venachar?

Yes, swimming conditions are usually safe. Of course, you’ll need to judge this for yourself when you visit.

How Deep Is Loch Venachar?

The average depth is around 13.5 metres (44 feet), whilst the maximum depth is around 34 metres (111 feet).

What Fish Are in Loch Venachar?

Brown trout, pike and perch.

Who Owns Loch Venachar?

The loch is located in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park which is owned and managed by Forestry and Land Scotland.

Bonus Tips

  • Best time to visit: the best months for visiting Scotland are during summer or either side of this season (May to October).
  • Make sure to climb Ben Lomond: it’s the most popular walking route in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Indeed, it would be a shame to not do the Ben Lomond Walk during a visit to the area.
  • Visit other awesome lochs outside of the national park: you should visit Loch Ness, Loch Rusky and Loch Tay, just to name a few.

For more Scotland content, please read our NC500 guides.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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