About Loch Ness

Loch Ness, the most famous loch in the world, extends for 23 miles from Fort Augustus in the south to Bona Ferry (near Inverness) in the North. Loch Ness is the largest loch in Scotland, or lake in England, and covers an area of almost 22 square miles. Much of the Loch is over 600ft deep, and at its deepest point is 754ft deep. Blackpool tower, in comparison is only 520ft!

Mention Loch Ness and most people immediately think of the world famous monster, commonly known as “Nessie”. There have been numerous sightings over the years and since the 1930’s people have been coming hoping to catch sight of the elusive monster. If you are visiting Loch Ness you may want to have a look as well!

If you don’t catch a glimpse of Nessie your trip will not be wasted, as the Loch Ness area is one of the most stunningly beautiful areas of the Scottish Highlands. It lies along the Great Glen which was formed during the last ice age. This is an area with unforgettable scenery, quiet roads, peaceful woodland walks and waterfalls, castle ruins, highland villages, the Glen Way walking route, wonderful cycling routes such as the Great Glen cycle route and of course, cruises on Loch Ness.

Whilst Loch Ness and the Highlands are well known for their beauty, they are also known for their rapidly changing weather. It would be our privilege to supply you and your family with all your outdoor clothing needs to fully enjoy your trip to Scotland.

Walks around Loch Ness

Family walks

If you and your family are keen to experience the beautiful area around Loch Ness itself, we recommend a number of less strenuous walks:

  • Inverfarigaig – Foyers – Loch Ness – Inverfarigaig : A fantastic, easy 6.5 mile walk overlooking Loch Ness, with great view points for a bit of monster spotting. This walk on the Southern shore starts out high above Loch Ness, it has wonderful views and ends with you actually walking along the shore of the loch itself.
  • The Falls of Foyers : A 2.4 mile short, sharp walk from Upper Foyers to Lower Foyers on the Southern shore of Loch Ness. The paths are narrow and steep, but well maintained and this is an easy walk. The gorge is beautiful and the waterfall, especially in winter is spectacular. This is a real favourite with our family when we have an hour or two to spare. You can combine this walk with the one above.
  • Bunloit- Alltsigh (part of the Great Glen Way) : An enjoyable 5.6 mile high level walk which offers great views of Loch Ness. If the weather is good, at one point you can almost see the entire length of the loch. The walk is undulating and we would say is of moderate difficulty but if you have the time (and some good walking boots !) is worth doing. Easy to reach from the main A82.
  • Dores- Aldourie- Dores : A short 3 mile circular walk, suitable for all the family at the northern end of Loch Ness, offers excellent views of the length of loch and is within easy distance of Inverness.
  • Drumnadrochit – Craigmonie – Divach Falls : If you want to combine a family walk with a visit to Official Loch Ness Monster exhibition in Drumnadrochit this could be the walk for you. This 5 mile walk leaves from the centre of Drumnadrochit village on the north shore of Loch Ness and takes you to Craigmonie Hill (make sure you take time enjoys the superb views of Loch Ness) before progressing up a steepish road climb to Divach Falls.
  • Caledonian Canal ( Fort Augustus – Kytra Loch) : A gentle 4.9 mile stroll suitable for all the family along the edge of the Caledonian Canal. Leaves from the lovely highland village of Fort Augustus at the southern end of Loch Ness. You walk with the canal on one side and enjoy the beautiful scenery across River Oich on the other.

Adventurous walks

There are four official long walks in Scotland that you may want to try:

  • West Highland Way – 95 mile walk linking Milngavie and Fort William
  • Great Glen Way – 73 mile walk between Fort William and Inverness
  • Speyside Way – Links the Moray coast to the edge of the Grampian mountains
  • The Southern Upland Way – 212m mile walk linking Portpatrick on the south west coast with Cockburnspath on the east

Climbing Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is Britain’s highest mountain at 4,406 ft and part of the spectacular Nevis Range. The easiest route to climb the mountain is via the Mountain Track. This is a real mountain challenge, with the appropriate gear being required. The walk will take between 6-9 hours and in ideal, clear conditions offers superb views throughout. Ben Nevis can comfortably be climbed between April and the end of September, but is certainly no place for novice climbers between October and April when the mountain is generally covered in thick snow, visibility is poor and the weather can change in minutes. Even in the summer months climbers should be prepared for rapidly changing weather and the fact the temperature at the top of the summit is typically 9 degrees cooler than in Fort William. For more information on climbing Ben Nevis safely visit the Nevis Partnership or Mountaineering Scotland.

Cruises on Loch Ness

As our company name suggests, we began by running cruises on Loch Ness. Unfortunately, we no longer offer cruises on Loch Ness today, but there are a number of great companies that will enable you to experience the fantastic scenery around Loch Ness from a unique perspective. Have a look at some of the cruise operators to choose what is best for you!

  • Castle Cruises Loch Ness : Hourly boat trips leaving from Temple Pier, Drumnadrochit off the main A82. Sailings daily from April – Oct (subject to weather).
  • Jacobite Cruises : Offer 1, 2 and 3.5 hour cruises from the Clansman Harbour near Inverness, subject to weather. Cruises can also be combined with a range of tours to sights like Urquhart Castle.
  • Cruise Loch Ness : Hourly boat trips from 10am – 4pm, April until October, subject to weather. Reduced winter timetable. Cruises leave from the beautiful village of Fort Augustus.
  • Loch Ness Cruises : Hourly cruises on the “Nessie Hunter” from Easter until the end of December (subject to weather). Cruises start at 9am and finish at 6pm and leave from Drumnadrochit, off the main A82.

Things to see and do

Fort Augustus
We have a real soft spot for this little town which was the location of our ferry company base for our services on Loch Ness until 1999. On the most southern tip of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus is situated on the Great Glen Way and the Caledonian Canal and is half way between the Capital of the Highand’s Inverness and Fort William. Fort Augustus sits in the heart of the Highlands and offers stunning views down Loch Ness, many beautiful walks and an excellent golf course, or if you prefer, idle your time away watching the boats negotiate up and down the famous flight of locks.

Clansman Centre
Run by friends of ours from the old days, entering through the doors of a 19th century schoolhouse, you will take a step into the 17th century. Besides a shop, which specializes in Celtic and locally produced crafts and includes a Scottish armoury, we have recreated the interior of a Highland turf house, where an authentically dressed clansman brings the past back to life. This dangerous looking character explains how families ate, lived and survived here in days of old, takes you through the clan system and local culture, demonstrates the Highland dress (all the mysteries of kilt, plaid and tartan) and teaches you the art of killing or maiming, using ancient weapons.
No boring history lesson, but an entertaining, interactive and informative experience.

Urquart Castle 
The magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the banks of Loch Ness, remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state.
Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower house that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen.

Glen Affric
Glen Affric, has been described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland. It stretches for 30 miles from Kintail in the west to within a couple of miles of Cannich in Strathglass. The burns tumbling down the mountains on the north side of Glen Shiel and from Beinn Fhada culminate in two major streams. Together the streams combine to create the River Affric.

Divach Falls
A family walk from the village of Drumnadrochit, on the north shore of Loch Ness. Drumnadrochit is the main Monster-spotting centre, so carry your binoculars and camera. The walk climbs to the viewpoint on Craigmonie then goes on to the Divach Falls. The view from the viewpoint, looking over the village to Urquhart Bay and Loch Ness, is superb.

Bught Gardens
The Floral Hall, Gardens and Coffee Shop is a unique visitor attraction that offers a tranquil break amidst beautiful floral displays. It was opened in 1993 by Prince Edward and has been inspiring local gardeners and visitors from all over the world ever since.
Our climatically controlled glass house features winding pathways along which you can discover a superb array of subtropical plants, a cascading waterfall and a pool full of friendly Koi Carp.

Glen Ord Distillery
A visit to Glen Ord, on the edge of the Black Isle in the Highlands west of Inverness, is a delight to both the eye and the palate. Watch the distillers at work creating malt whisky which is sweet, malty and dry on the palate. There is also a well stocked gift shop.

Cawdor Castle
Cawdor. A magical name, romantically linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth. A superb fairy-tale Castle, and just what every visitor is looking for … Scottish history that you can touch and see and sense for yourself. Cawdor Castle is not another cold monument, but a splendid house and the home of the Cawdor family to this day.

Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre
Fort Augustus, at the heart of the Great Glen, is a hive of activity – bustling with boaters, locals and visitors. Take time out to enjoy the Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre. A small but unique venue showcasing the history of Thomas Telford’s Caledonian Canal from its beginnings to its present day rejuvenation.

The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition
The exhibition was opened by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It takes visitors through seven themed areas on a journey from the dawn of time to the third millennium.
An insight into the loch’s wider significance. Designed and narrated by Loch Ness Project leader, the naturalist Adrian Shine.
Whilst keeping the mystery centre stage, it is placed firmly into the context of a loch with rare & unusual properties: some still motivate expeditions while others can “create” monsters.

The Original Loch Ness Monster Visitor Centre
The visitor centre presents you with the up-to-the minute facts and documented evidence together with an account of the area’s historical and cultural background, documented evidence and photographs.

Fort George
Fort George sits behind its massive grass-topped artillery defenses on an isolated spit of land jutting west into the Moray Firth at Ardersier.
Fort George offers a fascinating day out. Visitors approach from the landward side where the slopping grassy banks designed to absorb artillery shells all but hide the fort from view. The visitor centre and shop is in the old guardhouse.

Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre
The exciting new Culloden Battlefield visitor centre and exhibition opened in December 2007. Through recent archaeological and historical research the National Trust for Scotland discovered that the previous centre was sited on the third Government line of the battlefield. With the Trust’s resolve to return the battlefield to as close as we know it on 16 April 1746, the centre was moved. The new centre and exhibition allows the whole Culloden story to be told in an innovative and interactive way which appeals to all the family.

Ben Nevis & Fort William
Ben Nevis, or the ‘Ben’ as it is fondly known locally, sits majestically at the head of Loch Linnhe, its presence obvious from all corners of Fort William and some parts of Lochaber.
The dramatic effect of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, is emphasised by the fact that it begins its rise from sea-level on the shores of Loch Linnhe, to tower 4,406ft (1,344m) above the town of Fort William, providing an almost paternal presence.

Days Out With Children In The Highlands.
A great site with loads of activities and attractions that are great for keeping the kids occupied!

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