Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Loch Katrine

A substantial reservoir and the largest of the scenic lochs in the Trossachs district of Stirling Council Area, Loch Katrine lies within the valley of Strath Gartney to the east of Loch Lomond. The loch derives its name from the Gaelic 'cateran' meaning a Highland robber, the most notorious of which was Rob Roy MacGregor who was born at Glengyle House at the northern end of the Loch. It inspired the poets Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth in 1803, although Wordsworth's sister Dorothy took a less romantic view of the loch which she described as being 'like a barren Ulswater [sic] - Ulswater dismantled of its grandeur, and cropped of its lesser beauties.' Sir Walter Scott's best-selling poem 'The Lady of the Lake' published in 1809 popularised the loch and in particular the romantic wooded islet known as Ellen's Isle. Some of Scott's words were translated into German and set to music by Franz Schubert as the hymn Ave Maria. Queen Victoria sailed up the loch in September 1869. The principal source of pure water for the city of Glasgow since 1859, Loch Katrine is still visited by large numbers of tourists who either walk or cycle the road on the north side of the loch or take the steamship SS Sir Walter Scott which was launched in 1899 and still plies the water from the Trossachs Pier. The reservoir lies at 111m (367 feet) above sea level, is 8 miles (13 km) in length, has an area of 1238 ha (3059 acres), is 151m (495 feet) in depth and is operated by Scottish Water.

The loch gave its name to the Royal Navy frigate HMS Loch Katrine launched in Leith in 1944 and Loch Katrine was used as a location in the Sony Pictures time-travel fantasy series Outlander (2016).

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