Kinlochleven is a Village in the Highlands
of Scotland, 98 miles northwest of Glasgow, 6 miles
northeast of Glencoe.
Kinlochleven is popular for its Inns for
Meals, Aluminium Story Museum, Ice Climb Centre, Outdoor
Mountain Hiking, and its
Viewpoint down Loch Leven.
Click On Map for area Attractions
Camping & Touring Parks in
The image top is of the War Memorial, small
Park, and Old Post Office as you enter
Kinlochleven from the south. The Old Post
Office has been converted to a Home. There is a
Path from the Park here down to the Loch Leven
Viewpoint, about half of a mile. There is also
a Path from the Village centre, about 1
The centre of Kinlochleven has the Highland
Getaway Inn with a Cafe, Diner and Bar.
Across the road from the Inn is the
Aluminium Story Museum, covering the History of
making Aluminium and the Hydro Plant built to
power it from 1907 - 2000.
Also by the Inn is the National Ice Climbing
Centre, housed in one of the remaining
buildings from the Aluminium Works. This has 2
Climbing Walls and 1 Ice Climbing Wall, claimed
to be the best in the UK, also with an outdoor
Aerial Adventure Course and Cafe. Website
Next to the Climb Centre is the Atlas
Brewery, you cannot buy their Ale here but you
can in local Shops and Inns.
Behind the Climb Centre is Via Ferrata
Scotland, Vertical Descents, where you can
partake in a number of outdoor sports such as
climbing waterfalls, hiking, paint ball, quad
bikes, karting and more. Website
Also behind the Climb Centre is the Blackwater Hostel and
Camping, also with Micro Lodges. These are
popular with Walkers on the West Highland Way
route between Glasgow and Fort William. The
walking sections north to Fort
William and South to the Kingshouse Hotel are
two of the top sections on the Route. Some
people do Sections at a time rather than the
The larger Caolasnacon Touring /
Camping Park is 3 miles southwest of
Kinlochleven towards Glencoe, on the site of a
World War One Prisoner of War Camp, much
improved since then.
The River Leven is next to the Climb Centre
with a Seating Area and Riverside Walk
that can be followed all the way up to the
Blackwater Dam and Graveyard of the Unknown,
for poor people that died constructing the Dam,
11 miles out and back.
The Grey Mares Tail Waterfall is a Short
walk from a Car Park at St Paul's Church on
Wades Road, third tallest Waterfall in
Scotland, this walk can be extended into the
Hills. Walk Information/
By the River Leven Bridge is the Tailrace
Inn and Fish and Chip Shop across the road.
Kinlochleven Parish Church is by the
Tailrace Inn, built in 1930.
The Riverside Path south from the Bridge, on
the south side of the River, down past the rear
of the Highland Getaway Inn, takes you to the
Kinlochleven Viewpoint where the River runs
into Loch Leven, about a 1 mile walk. You will
see the remains of a Narrow Gauge Railway that
used to run from the Loch up to the Aluminium
1200s - Kinlochleven would have evolved at a
time Clans were being given large areas of Land
for their support of Kings in Battle. These
areas of Land were known as Estates, with a
Castle or House in the middle for the Clan
Chief and he would employ many workers to Farm
the Land, and Mine Minerals. At this time,
travel by Boat was the main way to visit
Kinlochleven, as any tracks were mainly for
walking, horse riding or cattle droving.
Clans that lived in this area known as
Rannoch were: MacDonald's, Menzies,
MacGregor's, MacDougall's, Cameron's,
Robertson's and Stewart's.
Two Villages evolved here, Kinlochmore on
the north side of the River Leven and
Kinlochbeg on the south side, Kinlochbeg later
1600s - as Scotland became a safer place,
Cattle Droving began with Highland Cattle being
taken south for sale. Kinlochleven was on one
of the main Droving Trails.
1800s late - Steamers began
running between Ballachulish and Kinlochleven,
sometimes towing Rowing Boats so they could
take more Passengers, such as the SS Loch Leven
1891 - Sir Hugh Munro produced a list of
Mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet high,
known as Munro's, leading to many Tourists
visiting Scotland to Hike these Mountains. The
Mamores are a Mountain Range on the north side
of Kinlochleven with 10 Mountains classed as
Munro's, with the highest and most Hiked being
the 1,130m / 3,710ft Binnein
1907 - the large Blackwater Dam was built on
Rannoch Moor to power a Hydro Plant at
Kinlochleven so the Electricity could be used
to Smelt Aluminium Ore brought in by Boat from
places such as Ireland. The Dam was built by
about 3,000 workers and the Aluminium Plant
employed up to 700 people at one point, with
houses built in the Village to accommodate
There is a Graveyard by
the Dam known as the Graveyard of the Unknown,
with 22 Grave Stones with no names for poor
workers that died during the construction.
1914 to 1918 during World War One - British
Soldiers and 1,200 German Prisoners were based
by Kinlochleven to work on extending the Dam
System to other Lochs on Rannoch Moor.
1923 - a Road was built from Glencoe to
Kinlochleven, then round to North Ballachulish.
This 16 mile road saved waiting on the
Ballachulish Ferries to cross Loch Leven,
bringing a lot of Trade and Tourism to the
1974 - the Ballachulish Bridge was built
across Loch Leven, leading to Kinlochleven
becoming a Lost Village, like many others in
Scotland when bypasses were built. The Village
gradually became known for quiet peaceful
holidays in a real scenic area.
1980 - the 154km /96mile West Highland Way
walking route between Glasgow and Fort William
opened with a stopover point being at
Kinlochleven. This Trail leads to around 36,000
Walkers passing through Kinlochleven each year.
The 2 sections north to Fort William and south
to The Kings House Hotel, are two of the top
sections, with some people only doing certain
sections at a time.
2000 - the Aluminium Works at Kinlochleven
2002 - the Atlas Brewery opened in one of
the remaining Buildings of the Aluminium
2003 - The Climb Centre opened in one of the
remaining Buildings of the Aluminium Works,
leading to Kinlochleven becoming a popular
Tourist Attraction with adventure seekers.
2014 - Via Ferrata / Vertical Descents
opened in Kinlochleven providing a number of
Outdoor Adventure Sports including Climbing up
the 230ft Grey Mares Tail Waterfalls.
2021 - I viewed Kinlochleven from the Pap of
Glencoe with the Mamore Mountains above the
Village, and Ben Nevis a short distance north,
one of the top views in Scotland, Large
Today - the Hydro Plant is
used to Power an Aluminium Smelter at Fort
William and provides power to the National
Grid, claimed to produce enough Power for 1,200