Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: Leven, Loch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    349

    Default Leven, Loch

    Loch Leven (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Lìobhann) is a fresh water loch in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

    Roughly circular, the loch has a diameter of about 16 km. The burgh of Kinross lies at its western end. Loch Leven Castle lies on an island a short way offshore. The castle was the prison of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1567, and it can be reached by ferry, operated from Kinross by Historic Scotland during the summer months.

    Prior to the canalisation of the River Leven, and the partial draining of the Loch in the early 19th century, Loch Leven was of considerably larger area. The fall in water level exposed several small islands, and greatly increased the size of the existing ones

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    St Andrews
    Posts
    375

    Default A few (thousand!) words on Loch Leven

    "Loch Eleven" is how it was explained to me that Loch Leven got its name, which seems at odds with Naiad's version. The "eleven" reportedly refers to the eleven miles that measure the loch's circumference. While the length may be about right (it's a big place) I'd guess the gaelic one's more convincing really.

    However - eleven miles or no, Loch Leven is a place of importance for several different reasons. The second biggest (Castle) island is worth a visit. It's preserved and run by Historic Scotland, whose staff feel able to ask you to lay out an indecent sum for the privilege of landing there.

    So after I'd coughed up I took full advantage of the chance to check over the castle and surroundings. I'd approached from the Northern shore, the island's back door jetty, which is easier if a westerly breeze is blowing as this puts you into the lee of the island's tree growth.

    It's not a very big island, certainly nothing approaching the acreage of St Serf's island, which so far I've not visited.

    The castle's in fair shape, when you remember that there was a great tradition in Scotland of robbing disused castles/cathedrals etc for their masonry - I've seen a couple of examples of such carved stones included into elderly byres and suchlike - but this one's island location probably made it too difficult to acquire its stones in any worthwhile quantity. So the castle's pretty complete, much moreso than many others in Fife & Tayside.

    Internationally important quantities of wildfowl use Loch Leven as their winter quarters. I'm not up on current populations (Woodsmoke can probably flesh this bit out a little?) but from past sporting interests I know it to be the roost for huge numbers of greylag and pinkfoot geese, that normally arrive around mid-september. It's a sight to see, hundreds of geese whiffling down from several thousand feet up, losing height quickly after their long journey from their summer breeding grounds in places like Spitzbergen, Iceland, and from Northern Scotland.

    If you visit the loch and see mussels in the shallows, please don't touch. Freshwater mussels are a protected species, and many river populations of these were wiped out by pearl fishers before this became illegal.

    Loch Leven has a large surface area, and at some times of year this can produce local fogs that can obscure the loch & nearby countryside.

    It's a very eutrophic loch - it's been overenriched for decades by agricultural runoff and treated domestic sewage discharge. Because of this it's periodically prone to algal blooms in warm summer weather. Sometimes the dangerous blue/green algae appears here - if you see notices to this effect, please keep away. It's pretty poisonous stuff.

    Although there's one or two deeper areas, Leven's a pretty shallow place; more a sort of shallow saucer than the better known deep glaciated-valley lochs like Lomond, Ness, Awe.

    I'm not up on the current status of paddling restrictions as defined by whoever draws up such things, so instead of asking a load of questions I just got on with it and quietly used the loch for several pleasant afternoon-length paddles. So far not a soul has challenged my presence there, apart from the mention above of being charged to land on Castle Island. I've also landed at the fishery jetties, just to see if anything would be said by anyone. Not a second glance did I get. There's a good cafe at the harbour.

    There's not too much shelter around Loch Leven, so you might wish to think again if it's a windy day before putting in here.

    The relative shelter afforded by treed shorelines becomes important if the breeze rises, especially if like me your muscle power's a little limited. When I go there solo I take a double paddle for making progress upwind - it's easier to keep the bow close to the eye of wind that way.

    Here's a satellite image with points picked out in red.

    http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/a.../LochLeven.jpg

    There are four possible put ins known to me, although I've only launched from the public park area (1) accessed from Kinross. Clockwise from there, There's a beach (2) at Burleigh sands, accessible from the small road running between Kinross and Scotlandwell at around 11 o'clock on the North side, then nothing till you get to the picnic area (3) around perhaps 5 o'clock in the SE corner. If you want to launch from the main harbour (4) not so far from the lochside park, it may be worth a try.
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    364

    Default

    Ah the lovely loch leven, I've spent many a happy hour zooming along the local hills in gliders round there. I had one flight of over eight hours there, but amused myself by climbing to 18500' over loch Tay. Will post some more aerial pics when I find them, as I have to confess these ones aren't mine!






    St Serf's Island is the large one on the left, the Castle is one of the ones on the right (wasn't Mary Queen of Scots imprisoned there?)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fife
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Nice pics Willpower!

    I would love to see more arieal shots of lochs.

    I was interested to see your "Hi-tec" wind speed and direction indicator in the second photo - at least thats what I assume it is, last time i saw something like that was on a yacht, i suppose it might be even more useful on a glider
    Also known as Graeme!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    4,414

    Default

    It's slip indicator I believe. I've spent a lot of time up there too but, all my pics are from the co-pilot seat of my father-in-laws Jodel so they're all of the hill

    Never thought of a paddle on Loch Leven, need to add it to my (very long) list.

    Cheers,

    Alan
    Cheers,

    Alan


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    364

    Default

    Yes that is a slip indicator. It tells you wether you are flying the glider straight or slightly crabbed, which is very easy to do and doesn't do much for your efficiency in much the same way as it is much easier to paddle a canoe straight slightly sideways.
    Incidentally, they also use a similar device on a lockheed Hercules, though being 'Defence' it is probably a good deal more expensive! You can't use it on a single engine propeller plane as the wash from the prop would throw it all over the place.
    It's a very beautiful place to go flying, especially if you can climb into the wave systems. They did tell me that someone landed on st serfs once. Took some recovery!
    Last edited by Willpower; 19th-February-2008 at 01:30 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fife
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Hehe, so it is a bit of wool stuck to the outside of the canopy then?

    Always fancied gliding, its maybe a bit like 3D canoeing? lol
    Also known as Graeme!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default Loch Leven, Access

    Hi all,

    Access to Loch Leven has now been firmed up and Canoes, Kayaks and rowing boats are welcomed from 1st April - 31st August. The official launch areas are Kirkgate car park or the pier that Historic Scotland use for the shuttle trips out to the castle island. There are supposed to be bouy makrers identifying the routes away from the bird areas out into the free area of the loch but these have not been in place now for the last 12 months. Landing areas also include the nice beach at Burleigh Island which also has a car park behind it.

    If anyone fancies an evening paddle anytime PM me.

    Regards,

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    N/E Fife
    Posts
    2

    Default Access to Loch Leven (Great news!)

    Having lived in Fife and been paddling about in my canoe for the last few years, its good to hear that Loch Leven has been opened up.It would be cool to check the island and castle out and generally have a good paddle about.

    Thanks for the info!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Scooter, the last time I saw details of the access to the loch it was pretty limited. You had to launch at the pier or Kirkgate Park, paddle along designated lane to centre of loch and remain 200 metres from the shoreline and islands. No landing at Burleigh Sands was/is allowed even though you can walk/cycle along shoreline!! So effectively paddlers are confined to the centre of loch when anglers can go anywhere on loch, even approaching jumping distance from shoreline and islands.

    I hope turfy replies if he knows that this has been changed.

    I have been on loch in our kayaks with my children and their friends, launched at Kirkgate but ignored the 200 metres crap. Kept away from the small number of birds in vicinity.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    4,414

    Default

    I had a chat with the guys on castle island when I was over a couple of weeks ago, they don't have a problem with canoes landing but as Gonefishing mentions they want you to pay the landing fees per person, ie same price as if you took the boat over Historic Scotland members get to land for free

    Is it OK to land on St Serfs, thinking of having a wee day trip over there in the summer, may sneak a put in from the gliding club if my father-in-law's up there.

    Cheers,

    Alan

    Some Leven Castle pics;



    Cheers,

    Alan


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    Jokipea is quite right, the rules are that you stay 200metres from the shore line marked by bouys as a passage way out to the centre. The bouys have not been put in place for the last year or so and having spoken to the guys at SNH and HS, they are pretty relaxed as long as people appreciate that wildfowl and nesting species may be within shoreline areas at various times throughout the year. When I was on last week, there were a few kayaks and canoes using the loch and enjoying the open space.

    St Serfs is available to land on but is within the RSPB designated area. HS have the rights to Castle Island and a landing fee is payable for entry onto the island, although HS membership is pretty good value anyway.

    Living close to the loch, I think this will be a regular haunt for me great scenery etc. The link below will take you to the SNH access leaflet for the loch.

    http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/scottish/.../LochLeven.pdf

    This is a great oportunity to show SNH and other users that paddlers are just as responsible as other users on the Loch when it comes to wildlife etc, maybe even time for a Loch Leven Paddlers club??? If anyone fancies an evening paddle or otherwise, let me know.

    Hope this helps.

    Wayne
    Last edited by turfy; 2nd-May-2008 at 07:15 PM.
    One life. Live it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    We MTB'd from Vane Farm on the new part of the path around loch last Sunday. The path terminates at the field at the western end of runway. At this point it is close to lochside but there is a lot of undergrowth so putting-in may be difficult. Now if my memory serves me right I think I saw a gate on the edge of the woods near end of runway, if you could get access to this with canoe on trolley you have only a short drag through woods to get on the new path. Head south on path and I'm sure there is a bit of shoreline with easier access to water. St. Serf's may be part of nature reserve so could be out of bounds. I would have thought that any part of shoreline that can be accessed on foot or bike should not exclude canoes.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default Burleigh Sands

    Jokipea,

    I totally agree about access.There is a nice access point at Burleigh Sands, accessed on the Kinross to Scotlandwell road, that has a small car park behind it in the woods. The use of a trolley would certainly be needed here to get from the car park to the sand, only about 200mtrs though. Nice quite car park and access point. Worth having a paddle round to it if you have put in from Kirkgate anyway

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Thanks for replying turfy. Everytime I have seen fishing-boats (with outboard-motors) out on loch they have been within touching distance of shoreline, yet canoes are restricted to the central area of loch. This makes no sense, as does not being able to land on shoreline that has permitted access by car, foot and bike.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    The joining up of lochside path from Kirkgate Park to Vane Farm carpark is due to be completed this summer. This will mean that much of the north and east side of loch will have access by foot or bike but not canoe. As I live so close I think I will try to make more use of the whole loch.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default

    again, last week I noticed the fishing boats close to the loch shore and when I was on the castle Island, the wake created by passing boats was quite damaging to the shore line, don't recall any canoes doing the same?

    Anyway as long as we show a responsible approach, we can't be called. Maybe even helping to organise a clean up on the loch might generate some good will. Looking forward to the new path being open.

    I will keep you posted if i come across any other 'news'

    Look forward to a paddle some time.

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    turfy, how close are you to loch? I'm sort of midway between Vane Farm and Kinross, on south side so don't have direct access to loch. On the other hand there is a burn that runs into loch, about 200+ metres from my home. Will have to investigate it's depth.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Hi Jokipea.

    I have sent you a PM reagrding my location, didn't want to give it out to everyone as I only have 10 bottles of beer in the fridge!

    regards,

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default Live weather info

    This maybe of interest to those heading downm to Loch Leven at anytime. The info is supplied by the guys at the Gliding Club, and could be useful before you set off.

    http://www.aorc85.dsl.pipex.com/pmwxflash/index.html

    The full web link for Partmoak weather station is

    http://www.aorc85.dsl.pipex.com/

    Regards,

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    turfy, thanks for that. Quite good to have my own weather station, well within 3 miles at least.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default

    I know! I am sat here in work looking at the info displayed, wondering how I can get out early and get a paddle in this evening!

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Where would you normally go for an evening paddle?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default evening paddle

    Kinghorn loch is a favourite haunt for a quiet paddle. Not too far. Loch awe meadows I avoid due to the fiver launch fee and limited paddling area, they like you to stay in one area. Thinking of the Union Canal on thursday evening that is being organised on the meetings session of this site.

    I think Leven wil become my base though, nice paddle out to the castle etc for a coffee from the flask etc, bliss! My daughter is only 4 y.o so need places nice and flat when she is with me. We have not lived up here for long and only just got into paddling so still finding my way around.

    Give me a shout sometime for a paddle

    regards

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nr. Kinross, Scotland
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Paddled Kinghorn Loch a few times when we lived in Burntisland, is the green community still living there?
    Quite often cycle (MTB) to Lochore Meadows but as you say the launch fee puts me off canoeing. Where would you put in? I'd be tempted to drive along the road that's near you that takes you to the carpark at the North West end of loch. In the evening is there anybody to collect the launch fees? Until I can get a workshop to build a stitch and tape canoe I'll have to use a kayak.
    Last edited by jokipea; 5th-May-2008 at 06:11 PM. Reason: SW to North West

  26. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    N/E Fife
    Posts
    2

    Default Paddling around Fife

    Definetly heading to Loch leven in the next week, thanks for all the info.

    As i see there is a few paddlers around Fife, i thought i might mention the team from Loch Ore meadows are doing a open canoe paddle from Newburgh to Tayport later this year. The trip is guided in conjunction with wildlife rangers and looks pretty good at 40 quid.

    I wondered if you guys have done much on the tay and if you know this stretch? I have put in at St Medoes and paddled up the river Earn a bit which was good but you got to watch that tide!

    Anyway i fancy doing the Newburgh trip but have my own canoe so dont want to fork out the dosh.

    Any info would be appreciated,

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    41

    Default

    I havn't been on the Tay, I am pretty new to paddling and the area so just building up my knowledge on both accounts. I would be interested in getting out tandem sometime with anyone who fancies organising a paddle, The newburgh to tayport trip sounds good, maybe get a few together for a SOTP trip on our own? I had a nice evening paddle this evening on Kinghorn Loch, only had an hour but it was well worth it, clear still water, light mist, what its all about!

    Wayne
    One life. Live it.

  28. #28

    Default Lochore Meadows

    Hi
    Just to let you know that Lochore meadows has a designate any area where you must stay in when canoeing and you must pay the fee. But what people don't know is under the Scottish access laws outside the designated area you have the right to paddle the area for FREE! The guys in charge know this but they won't say this to anyone. Their worrier are if something was to happen at the other side of the loch BEING HUMEN they would have to help you for free.

  29. #29
    Crow's Avatar
    Crow is offline こんにちは。私はカラスと私はスコットラ ンドの出身で す。
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    16,117

    Default


    Here comes the future and you can't run from it
    If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it


    Crow Trip Log

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •