Scotland's most beautiful lagoon
Scotland is known for its surreal hills and landscapes but is often overlooked when it comes to aquatic beauty. Scotland has 103 saline lagoons which are mostly found in the northern and western isles.
One of the most stunning is arguably the Knockshinnoch Lagoons.
These lagoons are located in New Cumnock, in the southwest of Scotland. This alone is already a unique quality, being far away from the other lagoons, as well as its proximity to the Galloway Forest Park. eBooking can help with accommodation, particularly when looking for a bed in the deep countryside. Given that you’re unlikely to stumble upon many hotels by accident, booking ahead is always recommended.
When arriving at the Knockshinnoch Lagoons you will be greeted with an old stone arch with its name proudly denoted, along with a large bird of prey statue. This really sets the scene of why people visit the lagoon, because of its wildlife prowess.
When walking around the Knockshinnoch Lagoons, you will come across migratory birds as well as breeding and wintering birds. Greylag, Pink-footed, and Barnacle Geese are all commonly spotted here, along with Whooper Swan, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, and Ruff.
Beyond the birdlife, there are wildflowers, insects, and even a rich mining history to be explored. Generally, it’s best to visit in either August or September when looking to catch the migrating birds, with of course the summer being great for wildflowers and insects. In Autumn, there is also a lot of fungi on display too along the surfaces paths.
The reserve has an entrance car park, which is only a few hundred meters outside of the closest town and fairly close to the New Cumnock train station.
If you have exhausted the many walking trails here then it may be a good idea to explore the many lochs and lakes in Scotland. Loch Awe is perhaps the most stunning, which the clue is very much in the name. Lochawe is actually the village that the freshwater lake encompasses, with it being a picturesque backdrop - and velvety hills being the next backdrop too. The star of the show here, beyond the backdrop and stunning lake, is the 15th-century castle ruins.
Loch Ness, beyond being the arena in which Nessie the mythical monster lives in, has some fascinating lore and legends juxtapositioned with its natural beauty. The
lake is vast, and feels overwhelmingly vast when you’re actually there - pictures rarely do such loch's justice. This is the second deepest lake in Scotland, which isn’t a surprise and is surrounded by endless trails and beaten tracks.
If you’re looking for more lagoons specifically, it’s worthwhile heading up north towards the sparse isles. This is where land and water intertwine seamlessly and rhythmically. The Loch of Stenness in Orkney is the largest saline lagoon in the UK, being 786 hectares. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the northernmost places in
Scotland and is surrounded by other lagoons, too. Loch Bi is the second largest at 703.5 hectares, located in South Uist.