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Head deep into the heart of Loch Ness and explore this world-class region


By John Davidson

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Looking over Loch Ness.
Looking over Loch Ness.

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There’s more than a monster to Loch Ness. This beautiful area is home to glorious scenery, with activities galore and all topped off with our famous Highland hospitality.

And the best thing is, all this is within easy reach. Take a trip to Loch Ness and you can get a world-class escape without travelling the world.

Whether you want to get out on the water or get up high in the hills for the best view, enjoy fine food and drink with locally sourced ingredients or delve into the area’s fascinating history, there is something for everyone.

The loch itself is Scotland’s largest and is more than 600ft deep for much of its 23-mile length.

Loch Ness by Jacobite offers a range of trips on the loch, including pick-up and drop-off so that you can enjoy specific landmarks such as Urquhart Castle, which is run by Historic Environment Scotland.

The area is also home to Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last pitched battle on British soil in 1746, where a National Trust for Scotland visitor centre takes you through the fighting and the finds uncovered since.

The nearby Clava Cairns are over 4000 years old.

Michael Golding, CEO of Visit Inverness Loch Ness (pictured), said that while visitors from around the world were often attracted to the area by the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster, those closer to home would find plenty of more concrete reasons to enjoy a short break.

“Nessie and Loch Ness is probably the headline reason for getting global attention,” he said, “but Loch Ness also has the same amount of water as all the lakes in England and Wales combined and is the third deepest mainland stretch of water in the whole of Europe as well.

Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus where it joins Loch Ness.
Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus where it joins Loch Ness.

“So we’ve got the headline attractions but the history and culture is certainly a key attraction as well, with places such as Culloden Battlefield and Urquhart Castle, Clava Cairns and the Corrimony Cairn, that are thousands of years old and so readily accessible.

“And once people do come to the area they’ll obviously get to meet the people in shops and facilities that they go into and discover that there are incredible family-owned cafés and lovely, friendly people with great customer service skills that make you feel part of the community straight away.”

From south-side locations such as Dores, where access to the shingle beach makes it a popular spot for day trippers as well as tourists, to some of the hidden gems tucked away from the main routes, the area is open for business after what has been a difficult year for everyone.

Around the loch, in villages including Drumnadrochit, Invermoriston, Fort Augustus, Foyers, Dores and in Inverness, many businesses have earned VisitScotland’s Good to Go certificate to show they are Covid-secure and have put in all the measures to keep visitors, staff and communities safe.

Meanwhile, the new Loch Ness 360 trail offers walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders a chance to explore a unique off-road route that can be done in one go or split into short sections to enjoy at your leisure. The high-level paths on the Great Glen Way on the north side of the loch provide some of the most impressive views.

Artistic bench/shelter on Great Glen Way high-level route between Grotaig and Invermoriston.
Artistic bench/shelter on Great Glen Way high-level route between Grotaig and Invermoriston.

Mr Golding explained that as the autumn begins, the Loch Ness and Inverness area is ready to welcome visitors whether they want a quiet break or an action-packed weekend.

“Coming into the autumn, all of our activity providers are open, so if you want to go paddle boarding or kayaking, we’ve got those kind of activities on offer, as well as options like the Loch Ness 360 trail with incredible views that can’t be had from any other location,” he said.

So, take a break around Loch Ness in your stride and enjoy the space and serenity of this world-class destination.

Contact: admin@visitiln.com


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