Loch Morar Facts
Before getting into Loch Morar walks, let’s start with some interesting Loch Morar facts. Maybe one you already know is that it is the deepest loch or lake in the British Isles. At its deepest, Loch Morar is 1,017 feet or 310 metres.
It is not the largest loch in Scotland but the fifth largest. Its surface area is 10.3 square miles or 26.7 square kilometres.
How long is Loch Morar? – It is 11.7 miles (18.8 km) long but you can’t walk all the way along it or around its shores.
Where does the water in Loch Morar come from? – It has multiple sources but the main one is River Meoble on the southern side (the road is on the northern side) River Meoble in turn gets its water from Loch Beoraid, and so it is a freshwater loch.
Loch Morar flows out into the Morar Bay through the River Morar which is one of shortest rivers in Britain at less than one kilometre! There is a hydro-electric power station there which was built in 1948 to provide power to the local community but it now provides energy further afield.
This photo maybe answers the question of whether you can kayak from the loch to the river!
Loch Morar Wildlife
Fish in Loch Morar include salmon, brown trout, sea trout, eels, minnows and sticklebacks. Fishing is allowed with a permit and you can fish alone or join a boat trip. See more info below or at the Loch Morar Website.
Other wildlife includes otters, deer, badgers, pine martin and the odd wild cat. In the sky, look out for golden eagles, sea eagles, buzzards, kestrels along with other birds of prey, meadow pipits, sky larks, swallows finches and many more.
Loch Morar Walks
Before we start on Loch Morar walks, it’s important to note that there is just a single track road going along the shore which ends at Bracarina. Whilst there are some spots to park a car along the way, neither the road nor the parking spots are suitable for camper vans.
If you’re in a van or don’t have your own transport or bike, you can start walking from Morar village or Morar train station. It’s a lovely walk and there are many scenic spots to stop along the way. In quieter months, you might get your own private beach! It’s around 50 minutes from Morar train station to the end of the road without stops.
Bracarina to Tarbet
At Bracarina, the trail to Tarbet starts. There is a very small area to park there and it is also a turning point so there’s only really room for a couple of cars.
When I was last there (April 2022), the longer trail off to the left (to Strathan) was closed off. The one we’re taking here is the one to Tarbet which is about 5 miles (7.5km) long. Although you can take a bike to start, you can’t cycle very far.
Once out of the first woodland area, you’ll come out to a flat grassy area with a pebble beach. This is a nice place to stop off with young children, especially if they’re complaining about the long walk already!
Beyond that are the ruins of the Chapel of Inverbeg which dates back to 1780.
The path then starts to go upwards and becomes quite rocky. It’s still fairly easy but I recommend decent footwear. If it’s been raining, the first part of the path can be muddy and the sides boggy so boots might work best.
There’s a wonderful view over Loch Morar here but this is where my photos end for now.
The path carries on up at a height but eventually you’ll see Swordland Lodge before you turn off between two hills to descend to Tarbet.
Swordland Lodge is private residence only accessible by boat but it functioned as a Special Operations training school during World War Two. If you’re not familiar with the history of special operations in the area, I recommend you visit the Land, Sea and Islands Centre in Arisaig to learn more.
With this walk, you can do part or all of it and walk back or you can book the ferry from Tarbet to Mallaig in advance and get a train back to Morar railway station. If you’re in a group, you could also leave one car in Mallaig. Check the train times and leave plenty time to get to Tarbet.
Two shorter walks are from Glasnacardoch to Lochs Nostarie and Eireagoraidh and Allt an Loin to Loch a Bhada Dharaich.
The Highland Council has produced a handy booklet of walks around Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig and you can see this and others in there.
If you prefer, you can download/open the file directly from The Highland Council website here. You can also request different formats and languages.
Walk to Sgùrr Mòr and Oban Bothy
For the real serious walkers and campers, there are longer options for Loch Morar walks to look into. Ness64 recorded her three day 26 mile walk from Morar Train Station along the shores of the loch then via Tarbet, Sgùrr Mòr , Oban Bothy and ending at Lochailort. Here’s one of her photos from Sgùrr Mòr overlooking both Loch Morar and Loch Nevis. Read about her trek here.
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Loch Morar Fishing and Boats
Fishing at Loch Morar is allowed but requires a fishing permit which costs £6 a day, £24 for 5 days, and £30 for 7 days for adults, half for children. You can get these at Morar Motors or Loch Morar Boat Hire. You also require a permit for boats but these are only issued by the Loch Superintendent.
You can join a guided fishing boat service with prices starting at £60 for a half day (cheaper if two people) through the Loch Superintendent or hire a boat from Loch Morar Boat Hire. Contact Ewen MacDonald on 01687-462520 for boat hire.
See full details of fishing and guided fishing trips at the Loch Morar website here.
Loch Morar Watersports
If you have your own kayaks or SUPs, you can take to the water but jet-skis are not allowed.
Learn more about Loch Morar at their website.
Note: Camping and fires are not allowed on Loch Morar shores.
No post would be complete without a mention of Morag, the Loch Morar Monster. Unfortunately I don’t have photos to share as I’ve yet to see her on my Loch Morar walks! If you’d like to read more about Morag, you can read this BBC News article.
You might want to combine your Loch Morar walks with a trip to Morar Beach. See more at Arisaig Beaches.
Buy guide books about the area