After leaving Fort Augustus, you will then pass through Kytra Lock, Cullochy Lock, Aberchalder Bridge and then head out onto Loch Oich, one of the smaller lochs in the Caledonian Canal system. It's the highest point, 106 feet above sea level. This narrow loch lies between Loch Ness (to the Northeast) and Loch Lochy (to the Southwest) in the Great Glen. It is fed by the River Garry (from Loch Garry) from the West, and feeds the River Oich from its North end. The Laggan locks separate it from Loch Lochy. The main stopping points are near Invergarry.
Loch Oich is rich in wildlife with a wide variety of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Every autumn the Atlantic salmon migrates from the sea using Loch Oich, Loch Lochy and Loch Ness as their spawning nests. After two years when the fingerling are up to 20 cm long they migrate back to the sea where they grow rapidly and weigh from 3.5 – 17 kg after two years.
On Loch Oich there are a number of mooring points, with the main area being located at the Great Glen Water Park. There are also pontoons located just after the Aberchalder Swing Bridge, beside the Invergarry Castle ruins and in front of The Well of the Seven Heads.
After cruising through Loch Oich, you will then pass through Laggan Swing Bridge onto another stunning canal section known as Laggan Avenue. This will lead to Laggan Locks and then out and through onto Loch Lochy.
Sights & Walks & Activities
Invergarry Castle - The ruins of Invergarry Castle, once the seat of the powerful MacDonnell Chiefs of Glengarry, stands on Creagan an Fhitich (The Raven's Rock) in the grounds of Glengarry Castle Hotel, overlooking Loch Oich. It was burned down after the Jacobite Risings in 1715 and again in 1745. Before and after the Battle of Culloden it gave shelter to Prince Charles Edward, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Well of the Seven Heads – This well has some story to tell. It was erected in 1812 by the Glengarry chief. The heads of the seven murderers of the family of Keppoch were washed in the well before being presented to the Clan chief at Invergarry Castle in 1665.
Great Glen Water Park – The main building, just up beyond the lodge’s at the park offers facilities for non-residents to use such as a heated swimming pool, games room and children’s play area. Outdoor activities also available.
Tel: 01809 501381
Although based at Fort Augustus, some of the activities available are offered near the canal in the Loch Oich area: Abseiling at Aberchalder, going down the River Oich in rafts. Or travel by a taxi to a meeting point at the River Garry for a more extreme White-water Rafting experience. Follow the link above and contact Monsteractivities for more details.
Restaurants, Bars & Cafes
Loch Oich Restaurant & Bar – This small family run business is located within the main building at the Great Glen Water Park. The restaurant offers a choice of freshly prepared lights snacks through out the day as well as a wide range of freshly prepared evening meals. Light lunches and snacks are served daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm, along with a large range of coffees that are served all day. Evening meals are available from 6.15pm to 8.30pm, with the menu changing throughout the week, offering a selection of fresh home cooked dishes made from local produce. Booking in advance is advisable.
Great Glen Water Park, South Laggan, Near Spean Bridge, PH34 4EA
Tel: 01809 501383
Taxis & Transport
Great Glen Travel - 01809 501222
West End Garage - 01320 366247
Well of Seven Heads
Well of Seven Heads