Loch Morlich

Loch Morlich, is a large fresh water loch which sits at the foot of Cairngorm Mountains, in Glenmore Forest Park. Surrounded by golden sandy bays, it is a popular spot for watersports, walking and swimming.

The loch is surrounded by Caledonian Pine Forest with a fantastic network of trails so you can walk and cycle around the loch. The setting of Loch Morlich is magical with a stunning view of the mountains from the beach. You cannot help but fall in love with the scenery here.

Loch Morlich
Loch Morlich in winter

The National Park is home to 25% of the UK’s rare and endangered species, so keeping your eyes peeled for the wonderful wildlife that call this place home is a must.  If you spot something interesting, enjoy it quietly from afar – we love to see these guys but they don’t want to see us!  

Enjoy the lochs and rivers in the National Park, and help give nature the space that it needs by using designated entry and exit points. Find out more: https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/practical-guide-all/watersports


Image: Loch Morlich Watersports

The fantastic beach at the end of the loch boasts a brilliant watersports centre open Easter to October. You can enjoy canoeing, windsurfing and paddle boarding here. The Boathouse cafe is also a great place to refuel with a fantastic view of the loch. The sandy beach is very popular on a sunny day. So much so that parking becomes an issue….. please refer to the parking section below for some tips on this. In 2009 the beach received a Seaside Award by the Keep Scotland Beautiful campaign, the first time that this had been given to a fresh water loch. The beach has continued to win this award ever since.

The Beach

Loch Morlich beach

If you visit the beach in summer you might notice the sand being quite coarse underfoot with lots of chunky pieces of broken glass! Not the sharp dangerous variety. The glass found in the sandy beach of Loch Morlich isn’t a result of littering, but a surprising leftover from World War II. This area served as a commando training ground, notably for Kompani Linge, a Norwegian special forces unit trained by the British Special Operations Executive. A memorial to these brave soldiers stands outside the Glenmore Forest Park visitor center.

Glenmore Campsite

There is a fantastic campsite at the back of the beach which is open all year round with 206 pitches suitable for tents, caravans and motorhomes.

Image: Glenmore Campsite

Wild Swimming

Alice Goodridge swimming at Loch Morlich. Image: Ed Smith Photography

Loch Morlich is a popular place for wild swimming. If you are new to this please have a read of our blog with our 10 top tips to keep you safe and get the best out of your experience.

Places to eat & drink at Loch Morlich

Loch Morlich is well placed for grabbing a bite to eat or a warming drink after a walk on a cold winters day.
The Boathouse cafe is open from Easter to October. Just along the road you will find the Pine Marten Bar & Scran, an apres ski themed pub with lots of banter, good food and occasional live music. In the Glenmore Visitor Centre you will find a cosy cafe too.

Characters of the Cairngorms
Scott Fleming owner of the Pine Marten Bar & Scran. Image: Ed Smith Photography

Important things to note

No fires or BBQ’s are permitted here. Please use a gas stove for cooking.

No overnight parking here.

The best days can include the tastiest dishes. When it’s time to refuel, cooking on a gas stove helps protect the natural environment of the National Park from the risk of wildfires. Find out more: https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/practical-guide-all/camping/lighting-fires

Parking & how to get to Loch Morlich

Parking: Loch Morlich car park, located in the Glenmore Forest Park.  From Aviemore, follow the A95 to the Glenmore Forest Park. Turn left onto the B970 through Rothiemurchus and follow the road to the end of the loch.
This car park becomes full very quickly on a sunny day. There is overflow parking at the Hayfield which is a short distance further along the road. There is a short cut path from the Hayfield through to the beach at Loch Morlich avoiding walking along the road. The best way to get to the loch on a busy day is to use the bus service below.

Travelling by bus: There is a bus stop located near the car park with a very regular bus service on the Stagecoach Aviemore Adventurer Bus.

Travelling by bike: follow the Old Logging Way from Aviemore.

Toilets: There are toilets at the back of the beach which are open 24 hours a day Easter to October. You can access toilets at the Glenmore Visitor Centre all year round.

Stagecoach Aviemore Adventurer Bus
Stagecoach Aviemore Adventurer Bus

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