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The Cross Keys Hotel near the shore of Loch Ken
Loch Ken is a long narrow ribbon of water 12km in length and as much as 1km wide. It is part of the Galloway Hydro Electric Scheme which was completed in 1936. Part of it is an Environmentally Sensitive Area (E.S.A), home to some of Scotland's most fascinating scenery and wildlife, Loch Ken makes for an ideal playground for any outdoor enthusiast. From Red Kites to Red Squirrels, Sailing to Windsurfing, Forest Walks to Fishing, there is an abundance of activity to appeal to all the family.
On Loch Ken facilities include the excellent Galloway Sailing and Outdoor Activity Centre, Loch Ken Water-ski School with a designated water-ski zone on the eastern shore near Parton and a
Marina at Crossmichael at the southern end. Loch Ken benefits from prevailing South-Westerly winds which provide Gulf Stream warmth and steady, moderate strength - perfect for learning your sailing skills! On the rare days of still air, Loch Ken enjoys a reliable sea-breeze which usually arrives just after lunch.
Loch Ken lies on the edge of the Galloway Forest Park, the largest forest park in Britain, covering 300 square miles of rolling hills blended with harsh rugged scenery and various expanses of water. The Galloway Forest Park is home to an array of wildlife such as Red deer and Falcons, many of which can be seen from the Forestry Commission's Visitor Centre over looking Clatteringshaws Loch. Whether it's a drive along the Raiders Road Forest Drive, a picnic on the banks of the Otter's Pool, a climb to Bruce's Stone or even a trek along the Southern Upland Way, the Park has something to offer everybody.
Fishing is popular by boat or off the banks of Loch Ken. Renowned as one of Scotland's most prolific Pike fishing waters. Historically the largest Pike, caught in 1798, was said to weigh a massive 72lb. Fishing permits can be obtained from local pubs and shops depending on the area you will be fishing.
At the Cross Keys Hotel, we will be happy to advise our guests on all there is to offer on Loch Ken and the surrounding area.