RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve

RSPB Lochwinnoch is the best place in the west of Scotland for family fun, wild days out and discovering nature with an excellent RSPB shop, visitor centre and visitor trails.

Rspb Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve

About RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve

RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve Largs Road, Lochwinnoch PA12 4JF
RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve Website
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RSPB Lochwinnoch nature reserve was established in 1973. The iconic visitor centre open in 1975 and the same structure still exists today, but the visitor experience is very different from when the reserve first opened.

The current visitor centre provides an opportunity to find out more about and get close to nature, with the help of our team of friendly staff and volunteers. We run a wide range of activities throughout the year, including self-led challenges for kids, guided walks and workshops on photography or birdwatching. Events are often posted on Facebook but visit our website for the most up-to-date information.

The reserve has a well-stocked shop with the latest bird feeding and care equipment in stock, along with binoculars and telescopes, an excellent range of wildlife books, gifts for all ages and lots for kids as well. Stock up on bird seed, get someone a birthday present or treat yourself to something from our snack selection, which includes sandwiches, gluten free cakes, ice creams and our range of teas and coffees.

The visitor centre has excellent views over the Aird Meadow section of the reserve from both the downstairs viewing area and upstairs from the Tower. Telescopes are provided in the tower to assist you with your viewing to help you get the most from your day out.

The reserve has three main walks: Aird Meadow trail (1.5km) - a beautiful woodland walk which finishes with a boardwalk leading you out to the Peel Tower, a 16th century ruin, and providing stunning views over both Castle Semple and Aird Meadows Lochs. Along the route you will pass various viewing points, from which you can see a wide variety of woodland and wetland birds. The trail and viewpoints are wheelchair accessible, although the surface is natural and uneven in places; Dubbs trail (500m) - a walk through the fen with a simple and peaceful viewpoint at the end overlooking the Aird Meadow Loch; Semple Trail (1.5km) walk along this entirely off-road track from the RSPB Centre all the way to Castle Semple visitor centre, taking in the River Calder and accompanying wildlife (kingfisher, dipper, grey wagtail).

Lochwinnoch village and the nearby visitor attractions make this an excellent place for an afternoon out with the family, only 20mins from Glasgow! As well as lots of kiddie-friendly areas, including the play area, the reserve also has plenty of quieter places where you can watch wildlife, or simply enjoy the peace and quiet surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

Entrance charges:
Entry to the reserve and visitor centre is free of charge. There is a car parking charge of £3 per car, for up to 6 hours. Parking is free for RSPB members and blue badge holders. There is 30 minutes free parking for those just wishing to use the shop.

Information for dog owners:
Dogs are allowed on all footpaths. Dogs are requested to be kept on a lead or at least close control in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Cycling at RSPB Lochwinnoch:
Lochwinnoch is one of the most accessible RSPB sites in the UK, just a few hundred yards from Lochwinnoch train station, it sits alongside National Cycle Route 7, with a safe walking route to and from the village itself and close by the A737 Irvine road.

If you're cycling, why not take the opportunity to use the Semple Trail, an off-road route that joins RSPB Lochwinnoch, Lochwinnoch village and Castle Semple Visitor Centre to the village of Howwood. Why not cycle from RSPB Lochwinnoch to Howwood and then get the train back?

En route, you can enjoy vast stretches of farmland or take in the wildlife and scenery of the Aird Meadow and Castle Semple Lochs.

You could take a small diversion into the beautiful Parkhill Woods or stop off at the RSPB visitor centre to enjoy our woodland birds and feeding station, offering excellent views of a wide variety of species including Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and much more besides!

A great day out for the whole family!

Upcoming Events at RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve

Santa’s Missing Reindeer

1st December 2023 - 31st December 2023

Santa's reindeer have come to visit RSPB Lochwinnoch and are spending their time out on the reserve near the Aird meadow trail... how many can you spot?


Binocular and Telescopes Weekend

Selected dates between 9th December 2023 - 10th December 2023

Come along to a free Binocular & Telescope Weekend at RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve where expert advice will be on hand all day!


Kids Self-led Activity: Bird Bingo!

3rd January 2024 - 31st January 2024

Can you get bird bingo? Take part in this 'fun for all activity' at RSPB Lochwinnoch where you can discover cool facts about some of the top birds in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.


Birding for Beginners - BGBW Special

20th January 2024

Are you new to birdwatching or interested in taking it up? Join the team at RSPB Lochwinnoch for the ideal workshop to introduce beginners to this fantastic hobby!


Kids Self-led Activity: Wondrous Woodlands

1st February 2024 - 29th February 2024

Discover some of the wildlife, complete the challenges, and learn all about the woodlands at RSPB Lochwinnoch as you go!


Guided Wildlife Walk

Selected dates between 18th February 2024 - 10th November 2024

Explore the wonderful wetlands at RSPB Lochwinnoch! The experienced guide will take you around the reserve and point out the interesting wildlife to be found!


Related Links

RSPB Barons Haugh Nature Reserve

RSPB Barons Haugh Nature Reserve Manse Road, Motherwell ML1 2PZ

RSPB Baron's Haugh is an important community nature reserve in Motherwell and is a real gem for wildlife and for visitors too.


RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond

RSPB Loch Lomond Nature Reserve , Gartocharn

RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond is set in a stunning mix of woodlands and wetlands on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.


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