Loch Voil was a really nice surprising discovery for us. We had driven past the turn off many times but hadn’t ever visited until this summer just gone. It was a beautiful sunny day the first time we visited but we didn’t have our SUPs. We didn’t get a chance to return to Loch Voil to Stand Up Paddleboard until it was starting to get colder but we braved the waters anyway and had a great paddle.
The Main Points
- Location – Loch Voil, Stirling Shire, Scotland
- SUP – Own Fatstick Inflatables, Pink Panther* and Blue Lagoon (*Pink Panther now has a new design – check it out here)
- Cost – Free
- Conditions – Freshwater Loch
- Other users – People camping, walking
- Entry Point – Pebbly Beach
- Surrounding amenities/Bathrooms- Town of Callander is 25 kilometres to the south.
A Wee Blether
Loch Voil is really beautiful and a perfect Stand Up Paddleboard location. It is tucked out of the way but can be quite busy and it is a good idea to get there early as there are not a lot of places to park by the shore. It has a narrow single lane track with passing places so caution is needed when driving. If you have a large vehicle such as a motorhome or towing a caravan this road might be a bit problematic for you.
It is also worth noting here that as there are very few places to park along the banks of the loch people can be tempted to park in the passing places. This is quite dangerous especially on winding roads where visibility can be poor as passing places need to be kept clear to avoid accidents.
Our discovery of Loch Voil
Our first visit to Loch Voil coincided with some absolutely stunning weather!! You can see why we fell in love with the Loch.
Unfortunately we didn’t have our boards at the time. We did explore the churchyard where Roy Roy is buried along side his wife. Rob Roy is often called the ‘Robin Hood’ of the Highlands. A visit to his grave is a quick side trip. Visitors will notice quite an incredible headstone which appears to have large pieces of quartz in it. Most interestingly you will notice the inscription which says ‘MacGregor Despite Them’. This is in reference to the fact that the MacGregor name was outlawed in 1694.
Stand Up Paddleboarding on Loch Voil in October
As often happens in Scotland – if you want good weather you just need patience! It seemed like a fairly sunny day when we set out for Loch Voil. We weren’t really sure if we would actually go in though. Being a Queenslander I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to cold water!
When we reached the loch there were some big rain clouds looming. Luckily they passed pretty quickly and it was soon sunny again. We decided to inflate the boards and get out on the water, even if it was only for a quick paddle. As soon as we were ready, the rain came down again!!
There were enough sunny patches about that we took the chance and were quickly out on the water. We were really glad to have our wetsuits, waterproof socks and booties on and were really toasty the whole paddle.
Time and again I have noticed that if you want to do any outdoor activity in Scotland it always pays to just turn up. Obviously you need the right gear for any weather. It’s not always advisable to proceed with the activity if the weather is severe. But so many times we have found that if let grey clouds stop you, then you’ll miss out on a lot.
Other Stand Up Paddle options nearby
Nearby is the beautiful Loch Lubnaig which has camping fascilities, a visitor centre, cafe and bathroom. It makes a great alternative if you are unable to get parked at Loch Voil. Loch Earn is another option which we haven’t explored yet as each time we go through it seems really windy. Other options we have paddled which are further afield are Loch Ard and the Loch Ard Narrows, Lake of Menteith, Loch Chon and Loch Drunkie.
Stay tuned, next week when we visit Sarina Beach, Queensland Australia. Do you have a favourite SUP location that you think should be added here? Contact us on the ‘Contact’ tab and we’ll include it in a later post.