Lochearnhead is situated on the A84 at the western end of Loch Earn, a gently lapping Highland loch dramatically edged by mountains at the western edge of Strathearn. Lochearnhead is nestled at the foot of Glen Ogle at the loch’s eastern end. From the south shores of Loch Earn, the village in its setting presents a classic scene against the backdrop of the huge Breadalbane mountains.
Lochearnhead in Scottish Gaelic is Ceann Loch Èireann.
Loch Earn was on the frontier between Pictland and Dalriada, or Dál Riata, the kingdom of the incoming Scots from Ireland, Dundurn at the east end of the loch being a Pictish frontier fort. This lends weight to the argument that the name Earn therefore comes from Eireann, in other words “the loch of the Irish”.
The town has been witness to Scotland’s turbulent past. A kilometre along the South Loch Earn road is Edinample Castle, built and home to ‘Black’ Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy in 1630. Some three kilometres to the east is Ardvorlich House, home of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich since 1580. Near here is a tombstone for seven Macdonalds of Glencoe who were killed while attempting a raid on Ardvorlich House in 1620.
Loch Earn is a fresh water loch in the National Park and is the source of the River Earn which eventually joins the River Tay near the village of Bridge of Earn in Perthshire. The loch is unusual in that it has its own apparent ‘tidal system’, or seiche caused by the action of the prevailing wind blowing along the loch. This wind pressure on the surface causes the water level to build up at one end of the loch.
The loch is a popular centre for fishing and a wide range of water sports including sailing, water-skiing, wake-boarding and canoeing. Nearby Ben Vorlich, which sits above the southern shores of Loch Earn is a steep-sided pyramid shaped Munro of 3,232 ft (985 m) that offers great views to the north and west.
The remains of a crannog, an ancient loch dwelling, can be found at the south west corner of the loch, indicating a settlement has been here for the last two thousand years.