The Green Loch Aviemore


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When travelling around Scotland on the North Coast 500, it is always best to plan out the most intriguing sites you and your travel companions want to visit before taking off on your journey. One of the locations that should be included on every NC500 travel itinerary is the Green Loch Aviemore.

The Green Loch is a glowing turquoise hidden lake, located just outside of Aviemore, in the Glenmore Forest, that is difficult to find unless you are willing to trek the short distance to it. The stunning colours against the backdrop of the highlands also make this enchanting site well worth a visit on your vacation along the NC500, through Cairngorm National Park.

Continue reading to learn more about Green Loch Aviemore, including what it is, why it’s called Green Loch Aviemore, where Green Loch Aviemore is located, how to get there, as well as whether it is considered safe to swim in Green Loch Aviemore and more.

What Is Green Loch Aviemore?

The Green Loch Aviemore is located deep within the Glenmore Forest in the Cairngorms National Park. The extraordinarily deep and brilliant turquoise colour of this lake inspired its name. The green is supposed to be a result of algae in the water. Rather than having a stream in and out, it looks to be a bowl where water has gathered. 

The loch is also a popular swimming spot for those travelling along the North Coast 500. This loch has become increasingly popular throughout the years because there are beaches, chairs, and stone stairs where you can relax and take in the scenery. 

For tourists that do decide to take a plunge, be aware that there may be leeches in the water, and that it is likely colder than it appears.

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Does Green Loch Aviemore Have a Historic Backstory?

The enchanting An Lochan Uaine, translated from Gaelic as the ‘Green Loch,’ is hidden among old Caledonian pines in the Cairngorm National Park.

Local legend states that fairies are reported to wash their clothing in this emerald jewelled lake in the Highlands, giving it its wonderful colour. Locals also claim that Glenmore is also supposed to be home to the King of Fairies himself, Big Donald.

However, according to scientists, the colour of the loch is caused by the reflection of the ring of pine trees that surrounds the little lake, as well as algae in the water, 

Where Is Green Loch Aviemore Located?

In Cairngorm National Park, the Green Loch lies concealed among the Caledonian pines at the bottom of the mountain Sgor. It can be accessed from Glenmore, right outside Loch Morlich, in the Aviemore region.

Aviemore has become the Highlands’ centre, with numerous visitors throughout the year. The best method to travel to Aviemore is to drive since it will be simpler to navigate once you are there. However, public transportation is always a possibility since both trains and buses stop in the Aviemore area.

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How To Get to Green Loch Aviemore?

Visitors are encouraged to park at or near the Glenmore Visitor Centre. Then, while you’re facing the tourist centre, look to your right for a road that runs parallel to the main road. Until you reach a gate, go along this road or the woodland track that runs beside it.

The terrain should become a little more rugged as you pass through this gate, but the panoramic views that become available are breathtaking. After around a 20-minute walk, you should notice a little entry to the Green Loch on your right. Once you’ve arrived, it’s time to take in all the magical sights Green Loch Aviemore has to offer year-round.

Is There Accessible Parking Available When Visiting Green Loch Aviemore?

Since the access point to the Green Loch is available from within the town of Glenmore, there should always be lots of parking accessible to tourists. However, take note that these small tourist towns can become extremely busy during the summer months when travellers are abundant. 

As a result, if you are travelling with a caravan, campervan, or motorhome, it is best to find whatever parking is available and take the public transport that is accessible through the town in order to access the starting point for Green Loch. This will save you time from driving around for hours waiting for a parking spot at the visitor centre big enough to fit your vehicle.

However, if you are only travelling in a small personal vehicle, small car parking spaces are generally available at the Glenmore visitor centre year-round. 

Do You Have to Hike to Reach Green Loch Aviemore?

Glenmore Forest Park’s Green Loch Aviemore is located at the base of the mountain Sgor. Visitors should be aware that they will, therefore, have to trek a short distance to access the loch.

The road leading to the loch is a woodland track road that is mostly flat with a few gentle climbs. The Ryvoan and Lochan Uaine circuits are also included in this hike.

The journey to the loch will take approximately 40 minutes.  It is, nonetheless, categorised as a lovely short walk with spectacular landscapes, Caledonian Scots Pines, fast-flowing streams, and micro waterfalls. It’s also easy to see why this location is steeped in Scottish legend about pixies and fairies when hiking the route.

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When is the Best Time of Year to Visit the Green Loch Aviemore?

According to the Köppen-Geiger classification, Aviemore has a subpolar oceanic climate with a cold summer. As a result, Aviemore’s average annual maximum temperature is 10°C and the average annual rainfall is 1182 mm, with a low of 73 mm in April and a maximum of 129 mm in July.

As a result, if you want to visit Aviemore during the best and warmest months of the year, the ideal months to go are July, August, and then June. Early July, for example, is the hottest period of the year, with highs above 66.7°F and temperatures seldom dropping below 46°F at night. Rainfall during these months is also at a minimum.

Is It Considered Safe to Swim in Green Loch Aviemore?

Yes, you can swim in the Green Loch since there are no laws in Scotland or the Scottish Outdoor Access Code prohibiting you from doing so. However, keep in mind that the water in Scotland is quite cold.

Every year, many individuals die in Scotland simply because they are unprepared for swimming in these cold waters. As a result, if you plan on taking a swim, be prepared to take a wetsuit, towels, dry clothes, and anything else you may need to help you warm up as soon as you get out of the water- and never swim alone!

If you opt to go swimming in the Green Loch, you also have a pretty high chance of coming into contact with leaches, so if you’re squeamish, best to stick to the shore.

What Should I Pack If I Plan on Visiting Green Loch Aviemore?

When it comes to preparing for a voyage to the Green Loch Aviemore, there is essentially just one piece of gear you’ll need all year: a raincoat. Since it rains on average 250 days a year in Scotland, you will almost certainly encounter rain during your visit to the area.

As a result, a sturdy waterproof jacket should be the first item on any Scotland packing list. However, if you visit Aviemore in the winter, it is also extremely possible that you may encounter snow, so bring lots of warm clothing and waterproof shoes as well.

How To Incorporate Green Loch Aviemore into Your North Coast 500 Route?

The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s longest road trip, with a total distance of nearly 500 miles. Inverness is the starting point, and the route takes you across the North Highlands’ magnificent shoreline fringes. 

This route connects the finest of the Highlands, including dazzling beaches, eerie castles, massive munros, and hundreds of other spectacular stops. As a result, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to do on this road trip. Simply arrange a stop when travelling through Cairngorm National Park if you wish to incorporate Green Loch Aviemore in your NC500 itinerary.

Despite the fact that the NC500 is only approximately ten hours of driving, most people believe that you need at least a week to fully appreciate it. As a result, you’ll want several days to slow down, explore, and have miniature adventures along the route.

What Are Considered the Best Hotels Located Near Green Loch Aviemore?

With so many hotels to select from, the first step is to figure out what type of experience you want to have. When it comes to lodging near the Green Loch, for example, consider if you want to stay in a town like Aviemore, Ballater, Braemar, Kingussie, or Grantown or whether you want to stay in a hamlet or a distant rural setting.

Tourists can also evaluate if they want a more personal experience, such as staying in a family-run hotel, or whether they want to stay in a well-known hotel brand. After all, in the Cairngorms National Park, everything is possible.

Once you make these decisions, simply hop on google and search the accommodation options available in the location you choose.

Final Thoughts

When travelling around Scotland on the North Coast 500, it’s usually a good idea to make a list of the most interesting sights you and your travel companions wish to see before setting out. The Green Loch Aviemore is one of the places that should be on any NC500 vacation agenda.

The Green Loch is a secret turquoise lake just outside of Aviemore, located in the Glenmore Forest, that is difficult to find unless you are prepared to hike the short distance to it. This wonderful sight is also well worth a visit on your holiday along the NC500, via Cairngorm National Park, due to the spectacular colours the hiking trail can provide against the backdrop of the highlands.

Swimming is also permitted in the Green Loch since there are no regulations or the Scottish Outdoor Access Code preventing it. Keep in mind, though, that the water in Scotland is rather cold, and there’s also a good risk that you’ll come into contact with leaches.

As a result, if you’re going to go swimming, make sure you have all of the extra supplies you’ll need to avoid not only hypothermia but these blood-sucking creatures as well.

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