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The Five Largest Freshwater Lochs in Scotland

The Five Largest Freshwater Lochs in Scotland: Lochs by Volume, Area, Length and Depth

Loch Ness might get almost all the press when it comes to the Scottish Lochs, but it’s by no means the largest or longest. There are at least 31,460 lochs in Scotland, and out of these, there are lochs that are deeper, longer and larger in area than Loch Ness. Loch is simply the Scottish Gaelic and Irish word for a lake or sea inlet, and there is only one natural body of water called a ‘lake’ in Scotland: Lake Menteith. This article is a guide to the five largest lochs by volume, area, length and depth.

Holiday Parks offer breaks at Lomond Woods at Loch Lomond – the largest loch in Scotland by surface area.

5 Largest Scottish Lochs by Volume


Loch Ness is by far the largest loch in Scotland by volume, and it contains more water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined. Of course, it’s apparently the home of the fabled Loch Ness monster, and this huge volume of water has given Nessy plenty of space to hide over since her modern ‘sighting’ in 1933.

5 Largest Scottish Lochs by Area


Loch Ness wins for volume for its consistent depth for its area, but Loch Lomond actually has a considerably larger surface area. Most originated from glacial over deepening of the valleys they now occupy, and are subsequently long and thin in shape. Loch Lomond has a bulbous southern expanse of water, which gives it a greater surface area than the other lochs.

5 Longest Scottish Lochs


Loch Awe is the longest loch – just beating Loch Ness by 2km. It is located to the West of Loch Lomond in Argylle and Bute. While it has a length of 41km, it has an average width of 1km. It is particularly well renowned for trout and salmon – so if you’re a keen fisher, then Loch Awe is a good spot.

5 Deepest Scottish Lochs by Depth


Loch Morar is the deepest freshwater body in the British Isles, at a depth of 310m. Much like Loch Ness, it’s home to a legendary monster – dubbed morag by the locals. Loch Morar would be able to fit the newly opened London building The Shard, which is also 310m in height, exactly in its depth.


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