An Lochan Uaine - The Green Loch

Written by Steve Thornton | 20th of August 2021
The Green Loch

Taking advantage of the recent lowering of the Covid levels and tired of being restricted to my local area, I needed to reconnect with the outdoor lifestyle. From an early age (now 62 years young) I had heard of a mystical place called the Green Loch near Aviemore or to give it its Gaelic title An Lochan Uaine. Here was a chance to fulfil that childhood ambition and explore a real hidden gem.

The Green Loch

How do I get to Green Loch Aviemore?

If staying in Aviemore, Scotland, head towards Loch Morlich and look for the signs pointing to the Reindeer Centre and Glenmore Visitor Centre on your left. Park either at the Glenmore Lodge Car park and take advantage of their cafe or park at Allt Mor car park near Loch Morlich (pay and display).  Do not follow the track and park at the barrier closest to the loch as this will block emergency vehicles.  The Forestry Commission car park marked "An Lochan Uaine" is also available (pay and display).

The Green Loch is at the foot of the mountain Sgor in Glenmore Forest Park.

Walking to The Green Loch | Yellow waymarked path

Great walk to The Green Loch | Blue waymarked path

Walking to The Green Loch

The route to the loch is on forest track road, fairly level, the few slopes are easily manageable. The walk is part of the Ryvoan and Lochan Uaine circuit. It will take you about 40 mins to reach the loch, longer if you have youngsters with you. It's a cracking short walk punctuated with breathtaking vistas, Caledonian Scots Pines and fast-flowing streams / miniature waterfalls. It's easy to see why this area is steeped in Scottish folklore about pixies and fairies.

The Green Lochan

On arrival, you will see a magical body of water the colour of deep turquoise green surrounded by beautiful scenery and a sandy beach. Suitable for bathing in, the water was so clear you could see, toppled pine logs deep underwater. If you are a photographer you cannot take a bad picture here. Even the kids were mesmerised. 

Why is the Green Lochan green?

The green appearance of the loch is likely caused by reflected light from the trees that line it and trace amounts of algae in the water. Although the legend is that it takes on that colour because pixies wash their socks in it, I much prefer that explanation!

The Green Loch

Can I swim in the Green Loch Aviemore?

Yes it's possible to swim in the Green Loch, there is no law in Scotland or the Scottish Outdoor Access Code that will prevent you from taking a dip! But be aware the water in Scotland is very very cold. Sadly, there have been many deaths in Scotland this year (2021) with people being unprepared for swimming in Scotland.

Can I wild camp at the Green Loch Aviemore?

Yes, there is nothing to stop you from camping at the Green Loch, just please be respectful of others visiting the site and leave no trace when you leave. Please see my guide on camping in Aviemore.

Where to stay near Aviemore when visiting the Green Loch?

As always we highly recommend Scandinavian Village in central Aviemore. It is the perfect base to see things in the Aviemore area and the Cairngorm National Park.  The Cairngorm Hotel is also great.

Where else can I visit after An Lochan Uaine?

Loch Morlich is another stunning place to visit, please see this article on things to do around the Loch Morlich area and the best things to do in Aviemore.

Ancient Caledonian Pines


We had a lovely walk to Lochan Uaine the Green Loch in Glenmore Forest Park, the ethereal loch did not disappoint. It was a nice way to spend the day while we waited to check in to our hotel and highly recommended upon your visit to Scotland. I would love to return one day and complete the entire Ryvoan and Lochan Uaine route.

An Lochan Uaine - The Green Loch - Near Glenmore Lodge | Car park An Lochan Uaine - The Green Loch

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1st of February 2023 @ 15:41:52

Hi Corinna, Aviemore youth hostel would probably be your cheapest option: I think the number 37 bus from Aviemore will take you directly near the stop for The Green Loch, but check the time table first. Have a great trip!

1st of February 2023 @ 12:21:34

Hi there , I'm very excited to see the green Loch, although I'm not yet driving and I will be taking my 7 year old with me in Feb hopefully for as little money as I can .....I'm wanting to find out the cheapest place to stay and bus route if possible...many many thanks