Loch Muick

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Loch Muick
Loch Muick from northeast shore.jpg
Lock Muick from the eastern shore, looking west
Loch Muick is located in Aberdeenshire
Loch Muick
Loch Muick
LocationAberdeenshire, Scotland
Coordinates56°55′59″N 3°10′13″W / 56.93306°N 3.17028°W / 56.93306; -3.17028Coordinates: 56°55′59″N 3°10′13″W / 56.93306°N 3.17028°W / 56.93306; -3.17028[1]
Typefreshwater loch
Primary inflowsAllt an Dubh loch[2]
Primary outflowsRiver Muick
Basin countriesScotland
Max. length2.25 mi (3.62 km)[2]
Max. width0.33 mi (0.53 km)[2]
Surface area218.5 ha (540 acres)[1]
Average depth116 ft (35 m)[2]
Max. depth256 ft (78 m)[2]
Water volume2,771,000,000 cu ft (78,500,000 m3)
Shore length18.5 km (5.3 mi)[1]
Surface elevation398 m (1,306 ft)[1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Loch Muick (/ˈmɪk/;[3] Gaelic: Uisge Muice (pronounced [ɯʃkʲəˈmɯçkʲə])) is an upland, freshwater loch lying approximately 5 mi (8.0 km) south of Braemar, Scotland at the head of Glen Muick and within the boundary of the Balmoral estate.


Allt Darrarie, flowing down to the River Muick just below Loch Muick

Loch Muick trends in a southwest and northeast direction and is approximately 2.25 mi (3.62 km) in length. It is surrounded on both sides by steep hills. The loch is fed by many small streams, the largest being Allt an dubh Loch in the west which flows down from Dubh Loch. The outflow is the source of the River Muick.[2][4] The name of loch, glen and river is pronounced "mick".[3]

The loch was surveyed[2] on 8 July 1905 by T.N. Johnston and L.W. Collet and later charted [5] as part of the Sir John Murray's Bathymetrical Survey of Fresh-Water Lochs of Scotland 1897-1909.

Drinking from the waters of the Loch is ill-advised. The early 21st century produced several reports of walkers and cyclists alike developing strains of E.coli and campylobacter which, if left untreated, can be fatal.

Flora and fauna[edit]

A wide variety of bird and animal life can be found in and around the loch including red squirrel, red deer, Eurasian oystercatchers, salmon and trout.[6] Birch trees can be found around the edge of the loch.[7]

Glas-allt Shiel[edit]

Glas Allt Shiel

Glas-allt Shiel, the hunting lodge originally built for Queen Victoria and completed in 1868,[8] lies at the western end of the north shore of the loch. The queen had previously used the lodge further north in the glen at Allt-na-giubhsaich but after the death of Prince Albert could no longer bear to stay there, with its associations. The cottage at Glas-allt Shiel was extended and became her new retreat.[9][8] It is also known as the Widow's House or the Widow's Hut.[10][11]


The loch is popular with walkers as it is picturesque, has a fairly flat path around its perimeter and is accessible by road. The bothy behind Glas-allt Shiel is now maintained by Dundee University Rucksack Club.[12][13]

Fishing on the loch is restricted and not available to the public. The Ballater Angling Association has permission from the Balmoral Estate to fish and it maintains a boathouse and slip at the north end of the loch.[6] Queen Victoria went on numerous fishing excursions on the loch.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Loch Muick". British lakes. British Lakes. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Bathymetrical Survey of the Fresh-Water Lochs of Scotland, 1897-1909, Lochs of the Dee (Aberdeen) Basin". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Moray - Pronunciation". Rootsweb at ancestry.com. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Muick, Loch". Gazetteer of Scotland. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Loch Muick (Vol. 5, Plate 53) - Bathymetrical Survey, 1897-1909 - National Library of Scotland". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2 January 2015.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b "Loch Muick". Ballater Angling Association. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  7. ^ Watson, Adam (October 2013). Mammals in north-east Highlands: red deer, mountain hares and others. Paragon Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-78222-120-3.
  8. ^ a b Good Stuff (12 March 2010). "Loch Muick, Glas Allt Shiel With Cottage And Boat Slip - - - Scotland". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Balmoral: A Highland paradise". Country Life. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Where Victoria went in secret It is 100 years since Queen Victoria died, but her presence on Royal Deeside is as strong as ever, Graeme Smith discovers (From Herald Scotland)". Heraldscotland.com. 22 January 2001. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  11. ^ MacInnes, Kellan (22 July 2013). Caleb's List: Climbing the Scottish Mountains Visible from Arthur's Seat - Kellan MacInnes - Google Books. ISBN 9781909912069. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Loch Muick Circuit". Walk Highlands. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Club bothy". Dundee University Rucksack Club. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  14. ^ Rappaport, Helen (2003). Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion. ABC-CLIO. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-85109-355-7.