Loch Rannoch Adventure – A Majestic & Fantastic Day Trip in Scotland
I was looking for a day trip to go on around Scotland, someplace I’ve never been before. Loch Rannoch has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit. I also wanted to see Rannoch station in person after seeing it on the train up to Fort William. We had a cold overcast day for this trip, and it has been one of my favourite adventures.
Queen’s View Visitor Centre
The Queen’s View Visitor Centre was our first stop. It is a 15-minute drive from Pitlochry and on the road to Loch Rannoch. It is a viewpoint that overlooks Loch Tummel and surrounded by part of Tay Forest Park. It was like stepping into a fantasy world. Queen Victoria visited the area in 1866, thus the name Queen’s View. You can see one of Scotland’s famous Munros Schiehallion in the distance too! A lovely place for the first stop of our journey.
Tummel Bridge is on the same road as Queen’s View, so it made sense to stop off here too. The road between Queen’s View and Tummel Bridge follows Loch Tummel. It has beyond epic scenery. There are no parking bays to stop at though, and the road can be narrow. It is fine once you get used to it though.
We parked our car at Tummel Bridge and headed to where the original bridge crosses the River Tummel. It is a small walkway, and the new road is next to you. General Wade built the original bridge in 1730. Wade was a British Army officer who severed in several wars. Including the Jacobite Rising of 1715!
Back in the car, we continued our way down the same road to reach Loch Rannoch. There is a road that outlines the entire loch and is 22 miles altogether. I recommend driving the full circuit as there are lots of little places to stop off for a rest and look around. We stopped off a few times to see the water and to have a much-needed rest! My favourite is that no matter where you are, you always see Schiehallion in the distance.
On your way around the loch, there is also the Black Wood of Rannoch. The Forestry and Land Scotland looks after the Black Wood. We were looking for a forest trail to take so we headed to Carie where there are some scenic walking routes. It is a bit up from the shores of the loch. We also got to see a red squirrel! We kept losing phone signal along the way, but the route was easy to follow. I don’t have any photos to share of the place because there was so much for us to see and do. I didn’t think of taking out my camera. But trust me, it’s a beautiful place!
To finish up our trip, we headed to the Rannoch railway station located in Rannoch Moor. Very remote and beautiful. It’s very quiet. The train schedule is roughly a train every four hours so most of the time there are few people around.
As we were driving around Loch Rannoch, we continued on the road signposted to the station. The road into the station is a passing place road, so be sure to keep in mind any cars that are on the road with you. We did not have any phone signal, so be sure to keep that in mind too if visiting. But it is a straight road with no turns to take and is easy to navigate without the help of a Satnav.
What waited for us at the station was incredible! Not only did we see two trains come into the station – one a cargo train and one a passenger train, but there was also a herd of deer roaming around the road and eating grass. We stayed for an hour taking photos of deer and watching the trains. And enjoying the tranquillity!
On our journey home, we stopped off at one of the passing places to take some photos together in the Rannoch Moor. If the road is quiet, you should get out of the car to take some photos of this beautiful location. You would be pulling into a passing place, but as long as no cars are around then you should be fine. There are few opportunities to get pictures in the Moor, so take every chance you can get! Don’t stray too far from the road though, the moor is marshland and you may get some very wet feet if you try to walk on it.
Our visit to Loch Rannoch has been one of my favourite adventures. So many different things to see and do. And finishing off with the visit to Rannoch station and the herd of deer made it so much more special. If you are looking for a different kind of day trip, I recommend heading to Loch Rannoch.