The Area

Hidden away at the head of Loch Leven the Highland village of Kinlochleven is in a unique location. Its setting in a stunning combination of mountain, loch, river, moor and woodland makes Kinlochleven a special place.

There is much more to Kinlochleven than just its magnificent scenery. Long before the arrival of the Aluminium Smelter in 1907, Kinlochleven existed as two small hamlets called Kinlochmore and Kinlochbeag. Kind Edward V11 stayed at Mamore Lodge on Kinlochmore Estate while shooting in the area. Later, the woodlands above Kinlochleven were chosen as a suitable site for a POW camp during World War 1. The remains of the site are still visible today, visited by many using a popular access path from the village.

The village of Kinlochleven was developed in the early 1900s when the then North British Aluminium Company harnessed two of the Highland’s natural assets – water and hills – to create the Blackwater Reservoir, a hydro-electric plant and the Kinlochleven Aluminium Smelter.

The small hamlet, built where the River Leven meets Loch Leven, quickly became the thriving one-industry village of Kinlochleven. As the smelter developed, so did the community. The smelter employed over 800 at times, making a major contribution to the economy of South Lochaber for almost a century. With strong international demand for aluminium the village quickly grew to a thriving community of over 1000 people. The smelter specialised in the production of high purity aluminium.

With the smelter now gone the village continues to be proud of its strong industrial heritage and has transformed itself into a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can also take advantage of superb accommodation, eating and shopping facilities within the village itself, and learn more of its history at The Aluminium Story, housed in the village post office.

To learn more about the area around Kinlochleven, and to find out what to do in the area, visit This is an excellent website, well maintained, and full of information to help you make the most of your stay in the area.

Below is a list of some of the places you might like to visit during your stay, and the distances:

Glencoe village, 6.8 miles (c. 13 mins)
Ballachulish, 8 miles (15 mins)
Fort William, 21 miles (c. 35 mins)
Oban, 40 miles (c. 1 hour)
Mull, 59 miles (c. 2.5 hours)
Loch Lomond, 66 miles (c. 1.5 hours)
Onich, 11 miles (c. 20 mins)
Ben Nevis, 23 miles (c. 40 mins)
Inverness, 88 miles (c. 2.5 hours)
Glen Etive, 26 miles (c. 17 mins)
Fort Augustus, 53 miles (c. 1.5 hours)
Loch Ness, 70 miles (c. 2 hours)

There are lots of leaflets and good guide books in the cottages.