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The Main Points
- Location – Portsonachan Hotel, Loch Awe, Scotland
- Cost – Access from road and carpark
- Conditions – Fresh Water Loch/Bay
- Other users – Swimmers, paddlers, occasional boat
- Entry Point – Pebbly Beach
- Surrounding amenities/Bathrooms- Porstonachan Hotel with catering, accommodation and bathroom facilities
Paddleboarding Loch Awe
Loch Awe is one of the largest freshwater lochs in Scotland, in fact at 41km (25 miles) it is the longest freshwater loch in Scotland! This means that there are plenty of places to go paddleboarding. We had previously paddleboarded at the very northern end of the loch a couple of years ago around Kilchurn Castle. We loved it so much that when we were given the chance to go paddleboarding at a different location on Loch Awe, the Portsonachan Hotel, we jumped at it.
I’ve always wanted to be brave enough to paddle during the colder winter months but had never quite mustered up the courage. Even though I have my 5mm wetsuit and water proof socks and booties which keep me really warm in cold water, I still like to avoid falling in if I can. When the Porstonachan Hotel invited us to come and stay so we could explore the location as a Paddleboarding Short Stay destination, I realised this was my chance!
Paddleboarding Loch Awe at Portsonachan Hotel
As we arrived at the northern end of Loch Awe there was a stiff breeze in the air. This area is quite open and exposed. Driving down the eastern shore of Loch Awe to Portsonachan Hotel the breeze dropped significantly. By the town of Portsonachan the loch is narrower and more protected from winds and so the water was a lot calmer. I have spoken before about my perfect paddleboarding conditions which include a calm and still day creating mirror like water surfaces. For me these conditions are great for filming as the camera shakes less and also for ensuring you stay on your board!
As we arrived we were greeted by the hotels 4 legged ambassadors – two very cute labradors. Portsonachan Hotel is a pet friendly hotel. This is great for those of us who wish to bring their SUP Pups to share their paddleboarding adventures.
We checked out the water access points. These include a boat ramp, concrete jetty and a pebbly beach. Access is by a paved driveway from the car park and road. There is a short walk down to the shore line which is easily navigated with a paddleboard bag in tow.
We stayed in one of the Loch side apartments which was amazingly cozy. Being the middle of winter during our stay and participating in water sports this is really important to me. Not only is it necessary to have a hot shower in the case of an unexpected swim but it is good to have a nice warm room to relax in post SUP. We were really surprised at the size of the apartment. The rooms are spread out over 2 levels with the living area, kitchen, shower and toilet on the lower level. A large bedroom with a huge bath and second toilet on the first floor. The apartment had a private outside patio with views up and down the loch, perfect for sitting out on during a long Scottish summers evening.
Portsonachan Hotel for a Paddleboarding Short Break
We would like to thank the Portsonachan Hotel for our invitation to explore the paddleboarding opportunities. The owners kindly offered us free accommodation and meals for the evening of our stay in return for sharing the suitability of this part of Loch Awe with our community. I can honestly say I would love to return in the summer. I think Portsonachan is a beautiful location to use as a base for a paddleboarding adventure. The accommodation was generous and very comfortable, the meals were delicious and access to the water was simple and easy. My prediction is that this will become a great stopping point for paddleboarders wishing to paddle the length of Scotland’s longest loch. Placed mid way along the loch its ideally situated for an overnight paddle.
Watch our Adventure Film – Paddleboarding Loch Awe at Porstonachan
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If you haven’t yet watched part one of our SUP Safari Scotland Travel Video Series check it out here.