Loch Ness, Inverness
It seems every tourist's favorite activity (and with good reason) is to go to Loch Ness and search for a glimpse of Nessie. Located just south of Inverness, the Loch is easy to explore on a day-trip. Renting a car is likely the best way to get up close and personal, but the public bus to Fort William will also do the trick. There are numerous stops along the Loch to stop and explore, including Urquhart Castle. For our part we just enjoyed the view en route to Fort William and onward to the west coast. These quick snapshots out the bus window can give you an idea how beautiful the views are, even when the weather is cloudy and rainy.
If Loch Ness is not one of your next destinations anyway, you coulod easily do a day trip from Inverness. Take Bus 17/19A/917/919 to Urquhart Castle from which you have a wonderful view on Loch Ness. For thouse who wish, there are Loch Ness cruises offered from the castle. Two miles away from the castle, there is a village called Drumnadrochit, which is the centre of "Nessie" tourism. Buses stop at Dromnadrochit as well. Two competing visitor centers offer exhibitions on Nessie, a couple of pubs and restaurants cater for the need of tourists. For more information, please visit my Drumnadrochit/Urquhart Castle page.
As part of a Highland tour for friends visiting from Bavaria, we went on a boat trip down Loch Ness to Castle Urquhart. I’d been to the castle before (see my tip) but in mid winter and by road. Mid summer by boat sounded like fun.
We used Jacobite Cruises and took the short one from the Clansman Hotel. It’s just 30 minutes by water from there to the castle, but fun. They have other, longer trips as well, so you could go for a 6 hour trip from the Caledonian Canal in Inverness.
The boat was small but comfortable. The trip smooth and fun. The weather was... well, Scottish. We got soaked on the short walk from car park to boat, but it dried up once we were under way and stayed dry for the rest of the trip - just. But then Loch Ness looks great in 20 shades of grey.
My guests loved the boats trip and the castle, and it was fun for me too. It cost £59 for 2 adults + 2 teenagers, so it’s not a cheap option.
although its almost compulsory to say youve been on loch ness , its so lovely there, the trip lasts about an hour and although the scenery is tranquil, yes it is like any other boat trip in that sense, but for me the highlight was because i had the kids there , they were so excited about tryingto spoy "nessie". it was magical for me, almost like trying to spot santa on christmas eve.
(This information also appears in my Loch Ness section).
We took one of the Jacobite cruises and I fully recommend it to anybody interested in seeing Loch Ness. We left from Inverness in the company's comfortable bus, and as we rumbled along through Inverness the driver gave us some history on the town. A short fifteen minutes later we boarded their flagship, the Jacobite Queen, to cruise down the Caledonian Canal to the Loch. Our tour took a total of 3 hours, cost 13.50 each, and allowed us to cruise the length & breadth of Loch Ness and see the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle to narration and traditional Celtic music. The narration is informative and fun - did you know the Loch is deep enough to hold the Empire State building?
Loch Ness is the second-largest lake in Scotland, but it is so deep that it is the largest in overall volume. The loch is 37 km (23 miles) long and sits in the Great Glen, a geologic fault that runs the width of the Scotland. The water is very murky due to peat from the soil. It's depth averages 183 m (600 ft).
There are lots of "Nessie" boat tours of the Loch, where travellers can search for the legendary Loch Ness Monster. I've been told these tours are very fun, if not just for the spectacular views from the water of the Highland scenery and Urquhart Castle. I also found, to my surprise, that most locals actually like to talk about the legends of the monster. They all swear to either having seen it personally or know somebody who's had a run-in with the poor beast.
Loch Ness got its name from the phrase "tha loch nis ann", which means "there is a loch there now". It refers to an old legend in which a woman forgot to put the cap back on a well and water flooded the valley below, forming the lake.
I loved all the red rocks surrounding the shores. I took one little red pebble with me as a souvenir and I swear it stays permanently cold to the touch.
25 miles long (so I understand) makes Loch Ness easy to find. Definitely worth a view, you may choose to enter the "seeking Nessie" fun. We were standing next to several tourists and couldn't resist tossing in a few pebbles unseen to tease them... "There she is!" One exclaimed excitedly, "Didn't you hear her?!" We didn't 'fess up, but hope she went home with a great memory of Nessie at the Loch Ness.
Loch Ness is the largest fresh water lake in Britain It is only about 2 km wide but 36 km long, and as we all know, is inhabited by Nessie, the sea monster. It is a strange lake alright, very deep (240 m) with water so murky towards the bottom that it has not been possible yet to fully explore it. Scary, huh? Allegedly if a dead body is thrown into the lake it will not come back to the surface, but as my friend was unwilling to participate in an experiment I could not verify this.
The fact that all the evidence that has been produced so far turned out to be fake only seems to be a minor obstacle to the belief that Nessie exists and certainly does not stop the big Nessie-hype around the lake from growing. There is a Nessie-centre in Drumnadrochit with a Nessie exhibition and a mini-cinema which shows the “Loch Ness” movie with Ted Danson a couple of times each day. Or you can book a Loch Ness cruise on a ship fully equipped with underwater cameras and video recording equipment.
Oh, and do make sure you watch out for the campervan of Steve Feltham who in 1991 gave up his job and sold his house to become full-time Nessie hunter. He makes a living by making clay Nessie models and devotes the rest of his time to his “Nessie-sery Independent Research”.
And then again, you might just want to enjoy the beautiful landscape around the lake. There is a walkway from Drumnadrochit to Invermoriston that goes up into the mountains from where you will get the most stunning views down onto Loch Ness.