Did You Know?
- Scottish Lochs

Loch Katrine

Lake of Menteith In Scotland, the word "loch" is used to describe any large, enclosed expanse of water (such as Loch Katrine, illustrated above), including areas coming in from the sea (equivalent to the Norwegian "fjiords"). The word comes from Gaelic (as does "lochan" meaning a small lake or pool).

The "ch" sound in Scots is often mis-pronounced as a "k" but the sound is equivalent to the German "ch" as in "achtung".

Most people in Scotland will tell you that the only expanse of water in Scotland called a "lake" is the Lake of Menteith in Stirlingshire (illustrtated here). The name may have arisen from an early clerical error - it should have been "lairg" meaning "plain". But although the Lake of Menteith is the only natural area of water in Scotland called "lake", there are a couple of man-made "lakes" - Pressmennan Lake at Stenton in East Lothian and Cally Lake at Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway.

Largest Lochs (By Area)

Loch Lomond - 27.5 square miles (71.1 square km)
Loch Ness - 21.8 square miles (56.4 square km)
Loch Awe/Etive - 14.9 square miles (38.5 square km)
Loch Maree - 11.0 square miles (28.6 square km)
Loch Morar - 10.3 square miles (26.7 square km)
Loch Tay - 10.2 square miles (26.4 square km)
Loch Shin - 8.7 square miles (22.5 square km)

Because of its depth, Loch Ness is the largest loch by volume of water. on the other hand, Scotland's deepest loch is Loch Morar (1077 feet) and the longest sea loch is LochFyne in Argyll.

Longest and Deepest Loch Fyne

Deepest Loch - Loch Morar, Lochaber (1077ft/328m deep)
Longest inland loch - Loch Awe, Argyll (25 miles/41km long)
Longest sea loch - Loch Fyne, Argyll (approx 44 miles/71km long)

Caledonian Canal
This is the longest canal in Scotland and connects Corpach (near Fort William) to Clachnacarry (near Inverness), a distance of 60 miles (96.5km). But two thirds of its length is made up of Lochs Dochfour, Ness, Oich and Lochy.

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