Loch Awe

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Loch Awe is a large body of water in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

It is the third largest fresh water loch in Scotland with a surface area of 38.5 square kilometers (14.9 square miles). It is the longest fresh water loch in scotland, measuring 35 kilometers from end to end with an average width of 1 kilometer.

The loch runs along an approximately south east to north westerly line, parallel to the two sea lochs of Loch Etive and Loch Fyne. Via the River Awe and Loch Etive it drains westward from its northern end and thus into the Atlantic Ocean.

Loch Awe is the site of two hydroelectric projects. One is a conventional turbine power station, with water extracted from the River Awe at a barrage, fed through underground pipes, and generating electricity as it flows into Loch Etive. The second is a more unusual pumped storage project, using a man-made loch in the hills above the Loch; water is pumped up during times of surplus power, and used to power generators at times of peak demand. The second project, known as Cruachan from the name of the hill above, has a visitor centre, which includes tours into the heart of the mountain.

Loch Awe is renowned for its trout fishing. Salmon pass through the loch, coming past the barrage in the River Awe and continuing into the River Orchy.

The A85 road runs along part of the loch at its northern end, then turns to follow the River Awe. A single track road continues along most of the rest of the edge of the loch.

The loch contains several ruined castles on islands, and at the northern end has one of the most photographed castles in scotland, Kilchurn Castle, which in summer may be visited by a short boat trip.

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