As one of the most famous landmarks in the country, the answer has to be yes – it is worth visiting Loch Ness. And there are so many ways to experience this stunning location. Loch Ness starts a few miles from the Highland capital, Inverness. It’s a very long and deep stretch of water, in fact it’s 22 miles long. Three lochs, including Loch Ness stretch the width of Scotland from Fort William to Inverness. The lochs are linked together by the man-made Caledonian Canal, which was designed by Thomas Telford. The canal was completed in 1822, which was 5 years after it was due and it cost more than double the estimate. Some things never change!
Of course Loch Ness is much more famous for what lies beneath. Sightings of the Loch Ness Monster have been reported since 1933, As a result, people have been Nessie hunting ever since. You can join in the search for the elusive creature. Take a drive passed Loch Ness and even the biggest sceptic is tempted to take a peak. What is that big dark shadow that seems to be moving? Something is sticking out of the water – is it Nessie’s head or perhaps some driftwood?
Whichever way you decide to take in the wonderful setting of Loch Ness, there’s interest for everyone.
Fifteen miles from Inverness is Urquhart Castle, which stands on the cliff edge just outside Drumnadrochit, It’s well worth a visit with views of the Loch, which are only seen from inside the castle boundary. For a fascinating insight into Scotland’s geological past, Loch Ness Exhibition Centre is the place to visit. It’s also in the village of Drumnadrochit. If you’re interested in the engineering of the Caledonian Canal, the Visitor Centre in Fort Augustus gives a fascinating history of the canal. Furthermore, as it’s the farthest tip of Loch Ness there’s a wonderful viewpoint to take in the landscape.
There are many places you’ll want to stop and take a photograph around Loch Ness. Fortunately there are many places to park your vehicle safely to admire the view. As well as the iconic landmarks of Urquhart Castle, the canal locks at Fort Augustus and the viewpoint at Fort Augustus, there’s interest all round the loch. On the other side there’s the Falls of Foyers and the viewpoint in Dores Village. You can see across to Urquhart Castle in the distance.
Ways to Travel
If you want to go all around Loch Ness, the easiest way is by car. There are many interesting and useful places to stop along the way, so you could take all day for the whole journey or drive round in a couple of hours. The north side of the Loch has the A82 running alongside it, which is the main road to Fort William. As a result the traffic is busier on that side than the south. The southern side meanders and has some parts for single lane traffic with passing places. Many other means of transport are available, such as bus, foot, cycle, kayak and boat. For the best information on the many off-road routes and paths www.lochness360.com will inspire you.
Many people take in the Loch on a boat trip, such as Jacobite Cruises. They offer different trips each day but a typical trip is the 2 hour trip which includes an hour at Urquhart Castle.
Bannerman Bed and Breakfast is a perfect base to explore Loch Ness. We are situated on the A82, the road to Loch Ness but still within walking distance of the centre of Inverness. Contact us for more information on this dog-friendly Inverness b&b.