For the poem/folksong, see Lachin y Gair. For the crater in France, see Lochnagar mine. For the whisky distillery, see Royal Lochnagar distillery.
Cac Carn Beag
Highest point
Elevation 1,155 m (3,789 ft)[1]
Prominence c. 670 m
Parent peak Ben Macdhui
Listing Munro, Marilyn
Translation Little loch of the noisy sound/Mountain of breasts (Gaelic)
Pronunciation Scottish Gaelic: [peɲˈçiəxən]
Location Aberdeenshire, Scotland
OS grid NO244861
Topo map OS Landranger 44

Lochnagar (/ˌlɒxnəˈɡɑːr/) or Beinn Chìochan is a mountain in the Grampians of Scotland, located about five miles south of the River Dee near Balmoral.


Technically, the English name is a misunderstanding, being named after Lochan na Gaire, the 'little loch of the noisy sound', a loch to be found in the mountain's northeast corrie. Today the lochan is popularly called Lochnagar too. The summit itself may be referred to as Cac Càrn Beag, meaning "small cairn of faeces" in Scottish Gaelic.

Beinn Chìochan (mountain of breasts) is an alternative Gaelic name.[2]


Scottish tourists on the summit in 1933

The mountain's principal feature is a north-facing corrie around which most of the subsidiary tops as well as the main peak sit. The mountain is a Munro and is popular with hillwalkers at all times of the year. The most common ascent route is from Glen Muick. Care should be taken on the summit in poor visibility: the plateau has few obvious features and has steep cliffs on its northern edge.

The peak also lends its name to the poem Lachin y Gair (also known as Dark Lochnagar) by Lord Byron, and the song based on it.

A malt-whisky distillery located near the Balmoral estate on the south side of the River Dee produces the Royal Lochnagar Single Malt whisky.

The mountain is a site for breeding Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) and this has led it to be designated as a Special Protection Area.

Lochnagar is located on the Royal Estate of Balmoral, and the mountain itself has royal links. It is the setting for a children's story, The Old Man of Lochnagar, originally told by Prince Charles.

In the film Mrs. Brown, John Brown and Benjamin Disraeli hike up Lochnagar to discuss the need for Queen Victoria to return to active involvement with government.


Lochnagar experiences an Alpine Tundra Climate, with freezing, snowy winters and cold summers. The nearest UK Met Office weather station is at Braemar 6.6 miles (10.6 km) northwest. The yearly temperature range is usually between −6.6 °C (20.1 °F) and 9.4 °C (48.9 °F), but it can be slightly warmer and colder. January has the highest average frosts, despite February nights being colder; January has an average of 26.9 frost days, compared with 24.3 in February. There is the risk of a frost at any time of the year, even in July and August, when each month averages 1 air frost every 10 years.[3][4]

See also


Coordinates: 56°57′36″N 3°14′41″W / 56.95993°N 3.24478°W / 56.95993; -3.24478

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