Trip report: Lochan Uaine, Cairngorms National Park

Feeling a bit whimsical and in the mood to enjoy the sunshine we decided on a potter to Lochan Uaine, a small lochan just a short walk from Glenmore. Meaning ‘Green lochan’ it is said mischievous fairies wash their clothes there, which is why the water is green. Apparently the fairies are evil nuisances who live in the neighbouring hill and exit via a secret doorway in the side of the hill after sunset…

There are different options for starting the walk, either near the Reindeer Centre or further along the road by the parking area on the corner just out from Glenmore. The small car park does charge, but there is also ample parking along the road verge nearby.

Views from the riverside path
Views from the riverside path

 

We started from the latter, following the path alongside the Allt na Ciste river and up past the back of Glenmore Lodge, meandering alongside ancient Caledonian pines along to the Lochan. The path is a very well maintained and fairly level forestry track, making it an achievable pushchair walk or not too strenuous for little ones.

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There is a viewing platform and steps down to the loch shore at one end of the lochan. At the other end, there are fallen trees which made for good chairs and we were able to have a bit of lunch and a little play.

The water was remarkably clear and you could see trees at the bottom of the lochan, as well as a couple of leeches so keep an eye out for them if you’re going to cool off in the water!

Trees at the bottom of the lochan
Trees at the bottom of the lochan

 

On the way back to the car, we noticed a few small rocky headstones next to the path, just past Glenmore Lodge. According to the Forestry Commission website, they mark the graves of dogs buried there a century ago by the Dennistoun family, who ran a shipping business in Glasgow and loved staying in Glenmore.

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This walk is a lovely relaxing one if you fancy getting out and stretching your legs for a little while. The heather was in full bloom as well, so the purple added to the scenery which in itself is always stunning.

Trip report

  • Location: Cairngorms National Park
  • Nearest town: Glenmore
  • Length: About 4km
  • Level of difficulty: Very well maintained path, fairly level.
  • Exposure: Shelter from the pines, and possibilities for sheltered areas to sit by the lochan.
  • What to wear: As always, prepare for anything so bring your sunhat. We had our woolly hats on and waterproof jackets on in September – it was sunny but so chilly!
  • Kid friendly: I would say very family friendly and pushchair friendly too. The path is well maintained, there are no steep drops and the length isn’t too awful that most kids should be able to walk it themselves. Also a good length for if you are carrying kids in a back carrier.
  • Best time to visit: We visited on a Saturday in September, and it was very popular. I imagine out of peak season, and with a dusting of snow it could be magical.
  • Any tips: If you want to pay for parking, get there early though there is plenty of parking on the road verge. If you prefer it quieter, possibly first or last thing would be a better option to avoid the crowds. Don’t forget the snacks!
Excellent path
Excellent path
The path meanders past ancient Caledonian pines
The path meanders past ancient Caledonian pines