Kinlochleven, Scottish Highlands
(Image above is a capture of Kinlochleven.)
Kinlochleven is a small community (pop 1100) at the eastern end of Loch Leven in the Scottish Highlands.
The name translates as 'at the head of Loch Leven'.
Kinlochleven owes its origins to an aluminium smelter which was built in 1909 and powered by a massive hydro-electric scheme using water from a dam created in the mountains, high above the town. The smelter was closed in 2000 after which substantial assets and land were transferred to a local Community Trust. However, electricity generation continues. Kinlochleven is reinventing itself as an outdoor activity centre.
Being out on a limb, Kinlochleven is often by-passed by the large volumes of tourist traffic travelling on the A82 between Fort William and Glencoe. However, the long distance hiking route known as the West Highland Way is routed through Kinlochleven and thus ensures a steady flow of people traffic.
The key attractions at Kinlochleven and environs are:
- Loch Leven and rugged mountain scenery. (There is another Loch Leven in Kinross-shire, to the east.)
Dawn breaking in winter over Loch Leven from Glencoe.
- Ice Factor, a unique indoor, ice-climbing wall.
- The West Highland Way hiking route.