Loch Leven sits as the jewel in the crown within the Estate. Covering almost 3,700 acres, the loch is one of the most important fresh water 'lakes' in Nortern Europe, with more designations than a Ugandan dictator has medals! For example, it is a National Nature Reserve, RAMSAR site, Natura 2000 site, Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Whilst it has been recognised as a world renowned brown trout fishery for 150 years, for the most part these designations reflect the large number and variety of wild fowl frequenting the loch and the outstanding number of higher plant species and rare insects that it supported. More recent attractions have been regular sitings of ospreys and of Turquoise H, our white tailed eagle. RSPB Loch Leven Reserve, previously known as Vane Farm, is located on the south shore of the loch and its extensive wetlands is the ideal place to see and learn about the birds.
No trip to Loch Leven is complete without a boat trip out to Lochleven Castle,best known for Mary Queen of Scots having been imprisoned there and her subsequent escape. Click here to read more about the history of the castle.
A few years ago, we reached agreement with a local organisation (TRACKS) to construct a trail around the loch in order to give unprecedented access to the loch for walkers, cyclists and bird watchers. On 3rd November 2008 Mark Beaumont (Guinness Book record holder), accompanied by a group of local school children, cycled from RSPB Vane Farm to Kinross Pier (where our Boathouse Bistro is located) to launch the opening of the Loch Leven Heritage Trail.
Loch Leven Heritage Trail is a unique trail linking natural, historic and cultural heritage around the north and east shores of Loch Leven. The Trail runs from the Pier, Kinross to RSPB Vane Farm, a distance of 12.5 kms. Plans are well advanced for the construction of the final stage of the Trail along the south side of the loch to complete the circuit.
Click on the following link to access an informative article in a Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) publication about Loch Leven and the Heritage Trail Loch_Leven_walk_article.pdf
Level and barrier-free for most of its length, the Trail is suitable for walkers of all ages and abilities, for cyclists, for wheelchair and motorised scooter users.
In addition to the Trail itself, there is a network of other interlinked tracks and paths in the area.