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Extended Loch an Eilein Loop Walk

Wanderung · Highland
Verantwortlich für diesen Inhalt
Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner  Explorers Choice 
  • /
    Foto: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • /
    Foto: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Snowy walks in Rothiemurchus
m 300 250 200 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre Loch an Eilein Castle Loch an Eilein Castle
A classic hike from Aviemore to the ancient pine forests of Rothiemurchus, encircling two beautiful lochs (one with the remains of a 14th century castle in its centre) and including a short section on the Lairig Ghru trail.  
Strecke 19,8 km
5:30 h
126 hm
126 hm
Leave Aviemore, passing Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre, and follow a well-defined trail around Loch an Eilein and Loch Gamhna for unrivalled views of the ruined castle of Loch an Eilein, and the snow-dusted Cairngorm Plateau in the background. The route includes an extension to the River Druie on a short section of the Lairig Ghru long distance trail linking Aviemore to Braemar, before looping around and returning to Aviemore. 


If it's open make sure not miss a visit to the Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre in Inverdruie - there's a deli selling local produce, and a cosy cafe serving lunches, soups, and delicious home-baking.  The centre is closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays. 
Profilbild von Catherine Allan
Catherine Allan 
Aktualisierung: 10.12.2020
Höchster Punkt
308 m
Tiefster Punkt
211 m
Beste Jahreszeit


The path follows some minor roads, so please take care of traffic and follow the Highway Code (walking on the right-hand side of the road into oncoming traffic). Give way to vehicles by pausing and stepping to the side on the grassy verge where possible. 

Otherwise, the route follows mostly well-maintained gravel tracks through the Rothiemurchus forests, apart from the Loch Gamhna path, which can be muddy in some sections. There are also exposed tree-roots along the trail - so keep your wits about you to avoid trips and slips, particularly in wet weather. 

Please note the Loch an Eileen area is also popular with mountain bikers so please beware of other path users. 

Weitere Infos und Links

Points of Interest

Loch an Eilein Castle

The castle on the island in Loch an Eilein is thought to have been the site of a defensive structure from early in the 1200s.  Since then it has been added to and is particularly associated with a period of occupation by the Wolf of Badendoch (the grandson of Robert the Bruce) around the year 1400. 

The Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre

The Rothiemurchus centre is a great stopping point not just to sample the delicious home-baking at The Druie Cafe, but also to peruse their gift shop and deli.   


Lairig Ghru

The Lairig Ghru is a mountain pass with a well-known trail along it that links Bremar in the east to Aviemore on the western side of the Cairngorm National Park.  The trail is approximately 21 miles / 34 km in length and it a chanllenging day's outing for keen hikers and mountain bikers. 


Food & Drink

Food and drink is available in Aviemore and from the Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre at Inverdruie, which has a lovely café.  There is also a very small visitor centre, located in a white stone cottage near the Lochside beyond the car park, at Loch an Eileen. This is open in the summer selling refreshments (drinks and ice cream). 


Aviemore Train Station (215 m)
OS Grid
NH 89528 12284
57.188012, -3.829471
57°11'16.8"N 3°49'46.1"W
30V 449866 6338619


Aviemore Train Station


0.00 km - Begin outside the train station in the centre of Aviemore.  With your back to the door of the ticket office across from the Cairngorm Hotel TURN LEFT onto the pavement beside the main road and follow it south.  Continue STRAIGHT ON and pass the petrol station on your left-hand side. 

0.40 km - As the main road begins to curve right towards the roundabout you will see a break in the stone wall to your left.  BEAR LEFT to pass through the gap and descend towards the underpass.  Follow the signs for Rothiemurchus. 

0.50 km – Go under the underpass then TURN RIGHT to cross the road to the pavement and walk along beside the minor road.  There are buildings and wooden lodges on your right as you walk along. 

0.70 km – When the pavement ends BEAR LEFT to follow the concrete path over the metal bridge, signposted for Rothiemurchus. After crossing the bridge continue STRAIGHT ON the path until it meets the road ahead. 

1.10 km - Where the path joins the road continue STRAIGHT ON following the pavement keeping the road on your right-hand side until the crossing. Cross the road taking care of the traffic and bikes, and TURN LEFT to continue following the path to Rothiemurchus, now with the road on your left-hand side.   

1.70 km - In Inverdruie pass the Rothiemurchus visitor centre, on your left, then TURN RIGHT off the path/cycleway onto a minor road signposted for Kingussie on cycle route 7.

1.80 km - TURN LEFT off the minor road to pass through the metal gates onto a woodland path. There's a signpost on your right-hand side. 

2.90 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON as a path joins from behind on your left. 

3.4 km - Continue on the path as it curves right around Loch Mor on a track through the trees.

4.10 km  - Pass Milton Cottage on the left-hand side of the track TURN LEFT onto the minor road. Take care as you follow the road, walking on the right-hand side into oncoming traffic and stepping onto the verge to let vehicles pass. 

4.90 km - At the junction, with the Loch an Eilein car park on your right, BEAR LEFT and follow the track behind the wooden barrier with the stream on your right.

5.20 km - TURN RIGHT to cross the stream and continue with the loch on your left-hand side. In 100m with the white stone cottage (the visitor centre) ahead TURN LEFT and follow the main track around the loch for a clockwise loop. 

5.70 km - Here you can take an optional detour down to the loch shore for great views of the castle with the Cairngorm Plateau in the background.  

6.9 km - As a path goes off to the right continue STRAIGHT ON the main track. 

7.30 km - TURN RIGHT to add a circuit of Loch Gamhna to your day. The route follows a much narrower and at times muddy and water-logged path depending on the recent weather and time of year. Follow this quieter route with steep crags up on your right-hand side. Continue to keep to the path follow the loch shores. 

8.90 km - BEAR LEFT to join the path (the East Highland Way) on the loch's eastern shore. Continue for another 400m to re-join the main track around Loch an Eilein. 

9.30 km - At the T-junction with the main track around Loch an Eilein TURN RIGHT onto it and continue your loop of the loch.

11.00 km - At the junction TURN RIGHT to follow the signpost for the Lairig Ghru. The path will begin ascending gradually. 

12.10 km - At a path junction BEAR LEFT and continue your gradual ascent. Continue STRAIGHT ON through the next two T-junctions. 

12.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON off the wide track onto a forest path, passing close to the shore of a small lochan in 100m on your right-hand side. 

13.30 km - After crossing open ground arrive at a junction and follow the track as it curves right then continue STRAIGHT ON until you reach the bridge over the river Druie. 

13.40 km - Arrive at the bridge, and perhaps enjoy a picnic lunch by the river before retracing your steps to the previous junction. 

13.50 km - At the track junction continue STRAIGHT ON (not the way you arrived) and follow the track through the trees. 

15.60 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON as a path goes off to the left.  Then in 400m merge with a track coming from your left.  

16.30 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the large gate and pass the caravan site on your right-hand side. 

16.70 km - Just before the main road ahead TURN LEFT onto the Old Logging Way track/cycleway and follow this back towards Aviemore, keeping the road on your right. 

18.10 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON the Old Logging Way passing the Rothiemurchus Centre in Inverdruie and return to the train station in Aviemore the way you came. 

19.80 km - Arrive back in Aviemore, outside the train station. Why not head for a well-earned pint or warming coffee with some delicious home-baking? 







alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


OS Grid
NH 89528 12284
57.188012, -3.829471
57°11'16.8"N 3°49'46.1"W
30V 449866 6338619
Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad

Buchtipps für die Region

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Notes for walking the route in winter:

No specialist equipment, such as ice axes or crampons, is required as the route is low level and doesn't involve any mountain walking. However, if the weather forecast for your trip is very cold with snow and temperatures below freezing we recommend wearing a pair of strap on ice grippers like YakTrax to give a little extra grip on pavements or any icy patches if you decide to go ahead with the walk. Walking poles are also great for extra balance in snowy/slippery terrain.

You'll also need a waterproof jacket and trousers, a warm insulated jacket (either down or synthetic), with wicking baselayers and a fleece top to wear underneath as well. Warm walking socks along with a hat, neck warmer (e.g. a "Buff"), and warm gloves/mitts will also be required. A small daypack less than 25 litres should be more than ample. You can wear either walking boots or walking shoes, according to your preference, as long as they have a good tread for grip. You may also wish to bring gaiters, in the unlikely event of encountering deeper snow in the valleys, and a head torch.

Grundausrüstung für Wanderungen

  • Feste, bequeme und wasserdichte Bergschuhe oder Zustiegsschuhe
  • Kleidung im Mehrschicht-Prinzip mit Feuchtigkeitstransport
  • Wandersocken
  • Rucksack (mit Regenhülle)
  • Sonnen-, Regen- und Windschutz (Hut, Sonnencreme, wasser- und winddichte Jacke und Hose)
  • Sonnenbrille
  • Teleskopstöcke
  • Ausreichend Proviant und Trinkwasser
  • Erste-Hilfe-Set mit Blasenpflaster
  • Blasenpflaster
  • Biwaksack/Survival Bag
  • Rettungsdecke
  • Stirnlampe
  • Taschenmesser
  • Signalpfeife
  • Mobiltelefon
  • Bargeld
  • Navigationsgerät/Karte und Kompass
  • Notfallkontaktdaten
  • Personalausweis
  • Die Listen für die „Grundausrüstung“ und die „technische Ausrüstung“ werden auf der Grundlage der gewählten Aktivität erstellt. Sie erheben keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit und dienen lediglich als Vorschläge, was du einpacken solltest.
  • Zu deiner Sicherheit solltest du alle Anweisungen zur ordnungsgemäßen Verwendung und Wartung deines Geräts sorgfältig lesen.
  • Bitte vergewissere dich, dass deine Ausrüstung den örtlichen Gesetzen entspricht und keine verbotenen Gegenstände enthält.

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19,8 km
5:30 h
126 hm
126 hm


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