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Sitka spruce. It’s the most common productive tree in Britain. But why has this native of the pacific coast of North America become so widespread in NW Europe? In this article we l...
Updated 8 April 2022:
Families play games on the sand, windsurfers tack across the clean water, and when the sun shines you can top up your tan. Close your eyes and you could be at the seaside! Famous for being the highest beach in Britain, this is the only freshwater beach in Scotland to have a Rural Beach Award.
Meander through the beautiful pine, birch and alder woods by the Allt Mor burn to reach Loch Morlich’s golden sands.
Largely wide, smooth gravel and tarmac surface, with slightly uneven and loose sections. Some short fairly steep slopes. Includes two road crossings.
Allow 1 hour
The coarse, pink sand of Loch Morlich's popular beach comes from the granite of the Cairngorm mountains, ground down by glaciers and rivers over thousands of years.
A charming circuit round the water, with fine views of the mountains above and a good chance of seeing Goldeneye, red-throated divers and even otters.
Mostly wide, smooth and flat gravel surface. Some uneven gravel sections, with potentially muddy areas. Short moderate slopes and one steep ramp. Includes two road crossings.
Allow 2 hours
Winding through Forestry Commission land, with the loch shining through the trees, this trail gives you a real experience of the great swathe of woodland that washes against the slopes of the Cairngorms. Look out for dippers, wagtails and herons by the burns that feed the loch along the way.
If you’d like to try zipping across the waves, you can hire boats, canoes or windsurfers at Loch Morlich Watersports. They’ll teach you how to use them too.
Just a little way from the beach, the trails offer peace, quiet, and a forest alive with birds and animals. Come early in the morning and watch for birds like sandpipers and herons, or otters hunting along the streams that feed the loch.
Looking for somewhere to stay? Get a pitch at Glenmore campsite.
Toilets are a seasonal facility and close on 31 October, re-opening on 1 April every year.
Glenmore Forest Park Visitor Centre is only a ¼ mile east of the car park.
No camping is allowed within the car park area and fires and barbecues are not permitted.
Tickets bought at any machine in the Glenmore Forest Park are valid in all our other car parks in Glenmore. The charges to park at Loch Morlich Beach are:
Payment options: Coin only
Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our local forest list without the £ symbol.
The nearest 'pay by card' car park ticket machine is located near the front door of the Glenmore Visitor Centre. Car Parking tickets bought at any machine are valid in all Forestry and Land Scotland Car Parks in Glenmore Forest Park.
Annual parking pass available:
From the roundabout at the south end of Aviemore follow the signs for 'The Cairngorms' for 6 miles. Stay on the main road passing the first car park at Loch Morlich, continuing on to the far end of the loch. A sign for 'Loch Morlich Watersports' marks the entrance to Loch Morlich Beach.
You can cycle here from Aviemore on the Old Logging Way; a superb, safe bike route that runs for 6 miles between Aviemore and the Glenmore Forest Park Visitor Centre.
PH22 1QU is the nearest postcode.
Buses between Aviemore and the Cairngorm Mountain ski centre pass Loch Morlich Beach. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.
The essential starting point for your visit to Glenmore
Enjoy peaceful views of open water and the mountains beyond