At 25 miles in length, Loch Awe is the longest freshwater loch in Scotland. With a width of .6 of a mile and set in a rugged, remote west coast landscape it is an awe-inspiring paddle.
With a average depth of 105 feet – rising to 307 feet at its deepest point – the loch is very deep and is reported as the coldest of all Scottish lochs, particularly during the winter and spring as it is fed by snow melt water.
On a map it looks narrow but don’t be deceived. It is an optical illusion due to the sheer length of the loch. At the north of the loch it opens up into a vast exposed stretch of water.
The wind and weather can change quickly in this area. Make sure you’re aware of weather forecasts before setting off. On still days, the water can be like glass with the only ripples coming from the movement of your boat or local wildlife. But on windy days, like all stretches of open water, it can get very rough.
The loch has several small islands; one in particular to look out for is Innis Chonnell. This contains the ruins of Ardchonnel Castle.
The castle dates back to the 11th Century and belonged to the chief of Clan Campbell. It is said that the saying “It’s a far cry to Lochow” came from here, since they often launched attacks from this island.
Just remember that Loch Awe is a large and exposed lake. The weather is prone to change quickly and without warning. It is important you read the full safety guidance in the Loch Awe Challenge information pack here.