Kinlochleven: A secluded spot in the Scottish Highlands


View of village and local river

This evening, I am posting information on the secluded village of Kinlochleven (pop 1100) which is set in the Scottish Highlands against a backdrop of stunning scenery comprising mountains, Loch Leven, a river, moor and woodland.

By road, Kinlochleven is twenty-two miles S.E. of Fort William and seven miles east of Glencoe.

The name translates as 'at the head of Loch Leven'.

Morning view of Kinlochleven from West Highland Way 

View of Loch Leven from vantage point of West Highland Way.

Despite many attractive features, Kinlochleven does not receive the high volume of tourists who frequent nearby Fort William and Glencoe. However, the village is conveniently situated on the line of the West Highland Way, a long distance hiking trail which is used by some 30,000 people each year many of whom use Kinlochleven as an overnight stop-over.

The village rose to prominence in 1909 upon commissionming of a huge aluminium smelter which was powered by a hydro-electric scheme using water sourced from a dam created in the mountains high above the village.The smelter was closed in 2000 after which substantial assets and land were transferred to a local Community Trust. However, electricity generation continues.

The Community Trust was formed to acquire land transferred from the aluminium producing company, Alcan, to the local community for regeneration purposes.As a consequence, the local community moved from its historical dependence of heavy industry to outdoor tourism and smnall businesses.

Loch Leven and the River Leven provide for water based activities. In the town is the Ice Factor, a facility which provides for indoor ice and rock climbing.For visitors there is a wide range of accommodation to suit most budgets plus a couple of inns.

The writer was impressed by the freshness of the air and cleanliness of the environment.

Fast flowing river at Kinlochleven

White water activities

Housing at Kinlochleven

The Tailrace Inn (pub).

Ice Factor building-indoors ice and rock climbing

Lairigmor (the great pass)

Overall, Kinlochleven would present a good location for a visitor wishing to connect with the Scottish Highlands whilst desiring a base away from the hustle and bustle of more popular tourist centres.


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