Lochs

Lochmaben is situated between three lochs:

Mill Loch

The Mill Loch is the deepest of the three main lochs reaching a depth of over 14 metres (50 feet). As its name suggests it supplied a mill downstream where the old gasworks were sited on a lane named Mill Road. There was also a Lint (Flax) Mill at the head of the loch, sited on the burn coming from the Upper Loch.Its main claim to fame is that it was home to the world renowned Vendace fish the last of which was netted from the loch in 1966 and can now be viewed in the Council Chambers of Lochmaben Town Hall and in Dumfries Museum. Scottish Natural Heritage has plans to reintroduce the Vendace if the water conditions become favourable. A recentproblem in the loch has been the introduction of a pernicious fringed water lily. If the lily were left to spread, 25% of the loch’s surface would be covered in 10 years, changing its character completely.The loch is popular with fishermen, both local and from other parts of Scotland and Northern England. They are attracted by Coarse Fish such as Bream, Pike etc.

Kirk Loch


The Kirk Loch is situated behind the old cemetery, which was the site of the first church in Lochmaben. The flat area at the edge of the loch was Katie Waugh's Yard and was common land for the residents of the Burgh. This is now part of a very successful Caravan Park run by Dumfries & Galloway Council
The loch is home to a large variety of bird life including coot, swan, etc.  Motorised boats are not allowed to launch from the jetty but some of the lochside residents jet-ski. Canoes, rowing boats and wind surfers are permitted to operate here. When there are extreme winter temperatures ice-skating is possible. When the winters were colder, curling bonspiels were held on the loch.

Castle Loch


Castle Loch is the largest of the three lochs and also the most shallow.  The ruins of Lochmaben Castle are found on promontory at the south end of the loch. This castle is a former stronghold of the Bruce family and is reckoned to be the best example of an Edwardian (Edward 1, the Hammer of the Scots) Peel left in Scotland.
Surrounding the loch is the Castle Loch Nature Reserve which attempts to reconcile the various interests which use the area: Yachting, Coarse Fishing, Wild Fowling, Bird Watching. The only motorised craft allowed on the loch are the Yacht Club rescue boats. Other recreational facilities on the edge of the loch are the Victory Park, Bowling Green and all weather Tennis Courts. There is an attractive path round most of the loch, which passes Lochmaben Castle and a Bird Hide. Much develop
ment of the Castle Loch environs has been carried out by Sulwath Connections. Over 3 years with the help of Heritage Lottery Funding, they have installed new paths, new fishing piers and managed the woodland so that there are more native species such as oak, ash and rowan. Another feature to enhance the Loch walk is a series of beautiful wooden sculptures by Peter Balshaw. Local residents have formed the Castle Loch Volunteer Group and are aiming to improve the area for the local population and visitors by putting up bird and bat boxes and clearing pernicious plants such as Japanese Knotwood and Rhodedendrons.
In February 2013 the fishing pier at the A709 car park was totally refurbished and the parking area resurfaced. The area was landscaped to provide a gently sloping path down to the lochside to enable wheelchair users to fish at the loch.
Also in 2013 the Castle Loch was put up for sale. The Castle Loch Advisory Committee provided the basis of a local Community Trust whose aim was to purchase the Castle Loch and its environs for the Community. The purchase was achieved in 2014 and a the Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust was formed to ensure its continued conservation for the town and its visitors.