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Scotland's best lochside restaurants

With access to some of the country's best scenery and the freshest seafood, lochside restaurants can be some of the most enjoyable places to eat in Scotland

Published: September 22, 2015

Loch Ness, Loch Fyne, Loch Lomond.

These are some of Scotland's most famous locations and also some of the most beautiful settings in the country.

Soaring munros meet beautiful expanses of water creating magical atmospheres that truly have to be seen to be believed.

And what could be better than combining this feast for the eyes with, well, with an actual feast?

Here is our pick of some of Scotland's best lochside restaurants for you to check out:

The Duck Bay Marina, Loch Lomond


Picture: Duck Bay

Most people of a certain age, who happen to be located anywhere near Loch Lomond (Glasgow and its surrounding suburbs in particular) will have more than one fond memory of this picturesque restaurant.

Picture: Duck Bay

Picture: Duck Bay

There were few better treats than escaping the city - and finding yourself transported to a locale that you'd previously only really witnessed on the cover of those old shortbread tins at your gran's - to not only be fed and watered, but also given as much ice cream as you could eat, all while you stared out at the beautiful vista that was laid out in front of you.

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Even as an adult, Duck Bay is still a wonderful place to escape to for a few hours, the classic interior and outside seating (practically on the loch) are expertly complemented by the extensive menu.

Featuring traditional Scottish dishes like haggis, neeps and champit tatties side by side with more modern, international cuisine - Mexican, Thai and Malaysian - the menu caters for almost every taste and will leave everybody with a smile on their face.

Just be sure to grab some ice cream for that after dinner walk along the shore.

Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Loch Fyne

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Picture: Loch Fyne

Picture: Loch Fyne

Let's be honest being located so close to such a wonderful natural resource, anyone planning to eat at a lochside restaurant will probably be looking for a selection of the freshest fruits der mer.

Seafood doesn't come much more delicious - or much more fresh - than the selection available at the excellent Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, the wonderful lochside restaurant that began its life as a small shed in a lay-by near the loch shore.

Picture: Loch Fyne

Picture: Loch Fyne

Sporting a menu that changes with the seasons - something we actively seek out - Loch Fyne offers a selection of the stunning produce that is caught fresh in the loch that day. With everything from hand-dived scallops and grilled fish of the day, to sweet and succulent langoustines and gorgeous crab, you'll always be sure to find something delicious to satisfy your cravings.

The stars of the show though, are the eponymous oysters that give the restaurant its name, these mouth-watering little morsels will truly leave you wanting more.

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Lochleven seafood café, Loch leven

Picture: Lochleven Seafood Café

Picture: Lochleven Seafood Café

Sitting on the banks of the beautiful Loch Leven, the Lochleven seafood café has one of the best views on this list as the restaurant looks out across Camus Mhor - the Big Bay - to the Pap of Glencoe.

In partnership with sister company Lochleven Shellfish, the restaurant aims to deliver some of the freshest and most flavoursome shellfish found anywhere in the country.

Picture: Lochleven

Picture: Lochleven

Starting life as a simple shop that occasionally cooked their produce for their customers, the restaurant grew from a kernel of an idea - prompted by praise of the pan fried scallops - into a full blown restaurant in 2006.

Offering an informal style, that perfectly compliments the laid back, relaxed setting, the restaurant is directly connected to the distribution centre (which takes in the shellfish daily and transports them around Europe), which means it has access to the seafood that is brought in from the boat that morning.

The Razor Clams with Oloroso Dressing and the shellfish platter will have you raving about this wonderful little eatery for days afterwards.

The Dores Inn, Loch Ness

Picture: Dorres Inn

Picture: Dores Inn

For those of you seeking something a little more rustic (and perhaps a little bit of Nessie spotting) then the Dores Inn is the perfect venue for you.

Situated on the shores of south Loch Ness, this homely little restaurant is great at anytime of the year. In winter time you can enjoy the warmth of the log fire while enjoying the excellent menu and in summer, there are few better places to soak in the sunshine than the sun terrace while enjoying a spot of lunch and taking in the stunning views of the loch.

Picture: Dores Inn

Picture: Dores Inn

Be warned though, locals and tourists alike are well wise to this little treasure and regularly take advantage of the inn's specialised shuttle bus, so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Inn serves a small menu that perfectly exploits the surrounding countryside, with pan seared scallops and Highland steak sitting alongside more traditional pub fare like fish and chips.

The Boathouse Restaurant, Loch Ness

Picture: The Boathouse

Picture: The Boathouse

Situated in the picturesque canal town of Fort Augustus, the Boathouse sits on the shores of Loch Ness and is reminiscent of those lake side resorts you find in the US and Canada.

The views are spectacular. Picture: The Boathouse

The views are spectacular. Picture: The Boathouse

The quaint wood panelled interior pays homage to the building's humble origins and perfectly compliments the small, reserved menu which offers Scottish cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.

The views are spectacular looking out, as they do, across the loch itself and though you might not spot Nessie this close to the shore, you'll more than happily while away an afternoon here and definitely feel all the better for it.

Let us know what you think


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