Stand Up Paddleboarding on Loch Rannoch wasn’t something I thought I would get to do. Being quite a distance from Glasgow it seems like quite a mission to get there. Luckily we had a great sunny day and wanted to get out for a drive. We loaded up our paddleboards hoping that we would find somewhere great to paddle along the way!
I have found that traveling through Scotland this is the best approach – no expectations and just a desire to explore. Often I hear people complaining about the weather in Scotland. While it isn’t exactly the tropics, Scotland will delivery if you make the effort to get out. It might not be the exact experience you hoped for but Scotland is truly stunning in any season.
The Main Points
- Location – Perth and Kinross, Highlands Scotland
- SUP – Own Fatstick Inflatables, 10′ Pink Panther and 10’6″ Blue Lagoon
- Cost – Free Conditions – Freshwater loch, forested on the south side with a road around the entire circumference
- Other users – The occasional camper on the shores but otherwise had the loch to ourselves
- Entry Point – Pebbly/rocky beach
- Surrounding amenities/Bathrooms – The small village of Kinloch Rannoch is at the eastern end of the loch. To the west is Rannoch Station where there is a tearoom on the station platform. Other than this it will pay to be self sufficient.
Getting There – Loch Rannoch can be reached turning from the A9 after Pitlochry onto the B847. From there follow the B846, alternatively on the A822 through Aberfeldy and then onto the B846.
It was a beautiful day with a predicted top of 27 degrees Celsius, perfect for Stand Up Paddleboarding. Weather like this is too good to pass up this late in the SUP season. You can never tell what the weather will bring in Scotland! Stand Up Paddleboarding on Loch Rannoch wouldn’t be so pleasant in the colder months. The highlands are absolutely stunning on a sunny day and the trip up was very enjoyable.
The water was a lovely and calm which is my idea of SUPing perfection. The calm conditions allowed Loch Rannoch to be a nice peaceful, meditative Stand Up Paddleboarding experience. The calm glide across the water allows you to take in your surroundings so much better. Off in the distance you could see the peak of the enigmatic Schiehallion known for the role it played in calculating the mass of the earth back in 1774. I like to think of it more for it’s mysticism though. The name Schiehallion coming from ‘Sidh Chailleann’, meaning the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians. To read more about the mysticism surrounding this beautiful mountain check out this website.
Loch Rannoch is quite a large loch and has roads running either side of it. It is a fairly remote destination in the sense that there are not a lot of ammenities close by. We opted to go to the southern shore of the loch. I remembered it being quite picturesque with the forest running alongside the waters edge. The southern shore of the loch is a little quieter and offers more options for parking by the loch.
We popped into Rannoch Station for some afternoon tea. Rannoch station is at the end of the B846 and also along the train line from Glasgow to Fort William. It is an interesting place in that it feels so remote and far from anywhere. Yet as the train comes through suddenly the population explodes. For a moment and you don’t feel so far from Glasgow after all. A trip via train up through these parts is definitely on our bucket list. For Harry Potter fans this is the train journey that goes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct which features in the films.
We stopped in at Killin Co-op for supplies knowing there are few facilities near the loch. Hot tip for international visitors; unlike in Australia and New Zealand, British grocery stores sell pre-made sandwiches. We have found these to be a pretty inexpensive and easy option for lunch on the go!
Outlander Stone Circle Site
On the way home we stopped in to see the site of the “Outlander” TV series stone circle scene. Fans will probably know that there isn’t an actual stone circle at the site. There is still a mystical feel to the place and it is easily recognisable. There are a ring of trees surrounding the hilltop and a magical view down over Loch Rannoch. If you are an Outlander fan it is very much worth the visit. It is important to mention that the site is on private property. Scotlands ‘Right to Roam‘ Act allows access providing that you do so with responsibility and respect.LEARN MORE ABOUT EQUIPMENT WATCH THE LATEST SUP ADVENTURE VIDEO