20 Jun Treat yourself to a walk around Loch Leven
We share one of Scotland’s most scenic and accessible walks – Loch Leven Heritage Trail – complete with toilet stops!
When you are planning a day out, especially with young children, being sure that there are plenty good quality toilet stops available, can make all the difference toy our choice of location. Here we share one of our favourite destinations – Loch Leven Heritage Trail.
Scotland’s largest lowland freshwater loch is also one of our most accessible National Nature Reserves. The circular path forming Loch Leven Heritage Trail means everyone can enjoy it, all year-round.
The 13 mile / 21 km path is level and barrier-free for most of its length, making it suitable for all ages and abilities of walkers, joggers, cyclists or wheelchair and motorised scooter users. It is even pushchair-friendly, for the youngest of nature lovers!
Excellent local facilities around the Loch mean everyone can enjoy its sights, scents and sounds year-round, with excellent places to eat, get a warm drink or use the toilet facilities which are never far away.
The Loch ‘s focal point is the island Castle, which once held Mary Queen of Scots captive. It can be visited from the pier at Leven between April and October, although booking is recommended as the only access is by the ferry. You can park here, with The Boathouse offering a seasonal menu from 10am, excluding Mondays and Tuesdays.
Kirkgate Park, next to the Pier, is popular with both locals and tourists. There is a children’s play area, new site furniture and public toilets, and an extensive path network within the park itself. The shoreline path, part of the Heritage Trail, is now being managed as wildflower meadows. There is also an automated toilet on site, which is available all year from 9am – 7pm (24hour access with a RADAR key. 20p entrance fee.)
If you are hungry, Kirkland’s Hotel offers freshly ground coffees or tempting cocktails, depending on the time of day, and a the stylish restaurant serves the finest modern bistro cuisine. The toilets in Kirklands Hotel are maintained by Caledonia Washrooms so you can be totally confident that they’ll be fully stocked.
The Court House also offers fantastic food in beautiful surroundings in the heart of the town. This is a popular venue so booking might be required for busy times. If you need to use the facilities, you’ll find them fully stocked and fragranced by Caledonia Washrooms
A few miles further round the trail in a clockwise direction and there’s the award-winning Loch Leven’s Larder to tempt you. It is family, bike and dog friendly and opens from 9am – 5.30pm every day of the year except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It’s another stop where you can spend a penny knowing that it meets the high standards provided by Caledonia Washroom Services
Loch Leven encompasses wetland, woodland and loch habitats meaning you can frequently see lapwing, little ringed plover or swallows as you walk. The Loch is frequently visited by Ospreys during the summer, while in autumn up to 20,000 pink-footed geese fly in from Iceland and if you are really lucky you may catch a glimpse of visiting white tailed eagles, so there’s lots to look out for and enjoy.
Set on the southern shore of the loch, RSPB Scotland Loch Leven offers a great base for your visit. It is open to non-members for a small charge, and offers parking, a café and toilet facilities which are top notch because they are serviced by ….yes you guessed it, Us. The cafe is the first visitor attraction in Scotland to achieve the prestigious Gold Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association and serves delicious, local and ethical food all year-round. There’s also a shop with activities for children, three hides to spend time watching the birdlife and access to the trail. (Note that access to the trail from the RSPB visitor centre and car park is by a tunnel under the road, which has steps.)
Dogs can be walked along the entire length of the Loch Leven Heritage Trail, in accordance with the Scottish Access Code, but dogs – other than assistance dogs –are not permitted on the wetland and woodland trails or in the picnic area at the RSPB centre itself.
The RSPB visitor centre generally opens from 10am – 5pm daily (closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2 January). The Café is open 10 to 4.
The other stops we mention here are quality stops too, just in case you can’t wait until the next Caledonia Washrooms-supplied venue. It is a 13-mile circuit after all!