Loch Carron (Scottish Gaelic: "Loch Carrann") is a sea loch on the west coast of Ross and Cromarty in the Scottish Highlands, which separates the Lochalsh peninsula from the Applecross peninsula, and from the Stomeferry headland east of Loch Kishorn. It is the point at which the River Carron enters the North Atlantic Ocean[citation needed].

Loch Carron MPA
Looking across Loch Carron to the Applecross peninsula.
Map showing the location of Loch Carron MPA
Map showing the location of Loch Carron MPA
The location of Loch Carron, in Ross and Cromarty
LocationRoss and Cromarty, Scotland
Coordinates57°22′N 5°31′W / 57.367°N 5.517°W / 57.367; -5.517
Area2,284.47 ha (8.8204 sq mi)[1]
DesignationScottish Government
OperatorMarine Scotland
Strome Castle on the shore of Loch Carron.
Loch Carron (Scottish Highlands)
Loch Carron (Scottish Highlands)

According to the marine charts, the tidal currents reach 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) in the narrows, although not much water disturbance is visible in the flow. At the narrows, the depth of water is less than 20 metres, but in the basins on either side, it extends to a depth of more than 100 metres.[2] Beneath the cliffs at Strome Castle is a colony of flame shells;[2] with a population of over 250 million the loch is the world's largest flame shell bed, and was designated as a Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (NCMPA) in 2017, with the protection being made permanent in 2018.[3] The new MPA of 23 km2 took effect on 19 May 2019.[4] Within the MPA the use of fishing gear that may damage the seabed is prohibited, although rod and line fishing and creeling is permitted.[5]


Tourism is a significant industry in the Highlands of Scotland and one that generates important local economic activity. It provides employment for local people and attracts many visitors to Wester Ross in general and Lochcarron in particular because of its traditional seaside location.[citation needed]

The Kyle of Lochalsh Line runs along the south side of the loch, with railway stations at Attadale, Stromeferry, Duncraig, and Plockton.[citation needed]


Between 1999 and 2004. a large scale archaeological project was undertaken, to locate and examine sites relating to the Mesolithic period, in the Inner Sound. In 2002, an offshoot project, the Sea Loch Survey was run by the same archaeologists to survey the sea lochs of Carron and Torridon. Between both projects they found 129 new archaeological sites in the strait. At Loch Carron, nine new sites were found, five caves/rock shelter and four stone tool scatters.[6]

See alsoEdit

  • River Carron
  • Lochcarron, a village on the loch
  • Stromeferry, situated on the south side at the narrows
  • Plockton, village with harbour at the west end from which boat service takes tourists to the seal colony on the islands
Loch Carron from the viewing point above Stromeferry


  1. ^ "SiteLink: Loch Carron MPA(NC)". Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Dolphin escort". Divernet. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Plan to give Loch Carron permanent protection". BBC. 21 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Dredger damaged Loch Carron reef secures protected status". BBC. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Scottish Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 101: The Loch Carron Marine Conservation Order 2019". Queen’s Printer for Scotland. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Vol 31 (2009): Mesolithic and later sites around the Inner Sound, Scotland the work of the Scotland's First Settlers project 1998-2004 | Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports". journals.socantscot.org. Retrieved 15 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)


  • 2528 Loch Gairloch, Loch Kishorn and Loch Carron (Map) (2007 ed.). UK Hydrographic Office.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 57°22′N 5°31′W / 57.367°N 5.517°W / 57.367; -5.517