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Tour Scotland, Loch Leven

This freshwater loch in Kinross, famed world wide for its trout, is a pretty little loch measuing only some 3¼ miles by 2 miles, with a perimeter of 8 1/2 miles. Many pleasing
features are combined in this tiny area and the seven islets in the loch add to its charm immensely. The largest of them is St. Serfs to the south-east. Some 80 acres
only in extent, it contains the ruins of the priory of that name which was founded here during the 9th or 10th century.

Towards the north-west stands Castle Island, the extent of which has been increased by drainage work over the
years. Its ancient castle withstood a siege in 1325 by the English and the tower dates from this period, although numerous additions were made in the 16th century. It was in this castle that Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for eleven months during 1567-68 although she had already surrendered and had abdicated
in favour of her son. She made her famous escape with the aid of young William Douglas, who locked up her
jailers and threw the keys into the loch before rowing her ashore and to safety.

The quick growing trout that inhabit the shallow waters of Loch Leven are of exceptional quality, due, apparently, to the plentiful supplies of fresh-water shrimps upon which they feed, and after many years of careful management this fishery had established a reputation
second to none. An annual catch of some 50,000 trout is landed and no nets are allowed on the loch.

The river Leven leaves the loch by the south-east corner through an artificial straight cut as far as Auchmoorbridge
before flowing past the new town of Glenrothes and entering the Firth of Forth at Leven in Largo Bay.

Kinross, on the western bank of the loch, is the county town of Kinross-shire. Standing on a small peninsula between the town and the loch is Kinross House which was completed by Sir William Bruce in 1690. It is notable also for its picturesque gardens. Burleigh Castle stands to the east of Milnathort on the northern outskirts of Kinross. Completed in 1500, it was once the seat of the Balfours of Burleigh. Further east the view from the loch is of the Lomond Hills which screen the Howe of Fife.

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