For many Scottish visitors and for good reason, no tours of Scotland are complete without a visit to Loch Ness. A mysterious place complete with the elusive water monster Nessie, it is hardly surprising that our Loch Ness tours are extremely popular.
After all, Loch Ness is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. This is not just because of its beauty but because of the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
There are many fine places to explore, so here is our essential guide to Loch Ness tours.
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The gateway to Loch Ness from the south and a very pretty village positioned around the Caledonian Canal.
For many day trippers from the cities in the south including Edinburgh and Glasgow, Fort Augustus is their destination for their Loch Ness tours.
If you are visiting Loch Ness in one day from Edinburgh or Glasgow, we would suggest that you go no further. Going via Urquhart Castle or Inverness increases the mileage and travel time considerably.
You can enjoy a boat cruise from here from Cruise Loch Ness, or if you prefer to stay on land, there is food available in the village to suit all budgets, from the excellent take away called The Neuk (a corner in the old Scots language) to the medium priced The Lock Inn, The Moorings and The Bothy. There is also a petrol station on the north side of the village which doubles as a supermarket.
The small village of Invermoriston is just 7 miles North of Fort Augustus and it is well worth stopping for a short forest walk.
Park in the car park by the community centre and follow the path through the trees to the Victorian summerhouse which allows great photos of the River Moriston.
On the other side of the road is Thomas Telford’s bridge, dating from 1813. He was probably the greatest Scottish engineer of his time, he didn’t get married, he didn’t take holidays, he just got through a huge amount of mainly water based engineering projects. There is a small leather shop in the village by the main junction plus a general store. If you are lucky, there will be Highland Cows in the field, last year’s cows developed a taste for carrots. Definitely worth stopping here.
An interesting castle to visit and one of Scotland’s largest castles, it is a 13-16thC ruin, Urquhart offers a fascinating, albeit bleak history.
Operated by Historic Scotland, there is a fine visitor centre/museum, a great video to watch with a magnificent ending to the film, and perhaps the best thing of all is the views to Loch Ness from Urquhart.
There is a shop and restaurant, selling fairly staple fair. You can find out more by visiting the Historic Scotland website. Visits to Urquhart Castle are certainly popular on Tiny Tartan Tours Loch Ness tours and can be included on The Adventurer tour.
A tour of Loch Ness wouldn’t be complete with some genuine Loch Ness souvenirs right?
Well, at the Clansman Hotel, all the Ness branded souvenirs you could ever possibly imagine are sold here and more. A lot more! Definitely an impressive array.
This is also one of the departure points for the Jacobite Cruise on Loch Ness and it is possible to combine a boat cruise with a visit to Urquhart Castle.
The Highland’s only city with 65000 residents, it’s time well spent exploring Inverness with a wide range of things to do to satisfy all travellers.
There are scenic riverside walks and great eating and drinking. Don’t miss the chance to take in some of the live music on offer, at the tiny Market Bar, Hoot-n-Annie and the busiest bar in the Highlands, Johnny Fox’. Leisure facilities, museums and an impressive selection of shops, including the Victorian Market and Leakeys second hand bookshop.
Inverness is well located to allow easy access to lovely places in all directions. It’s also home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, the author’s team!
Dores Inn and Beach
Just 7 miles south of Inverness on the south side, a great vantage point and photo oppertunity from here.
Enjoy a walk along the beach with the loch lapping at your feet and after working up an appetite on that fresh Loch air, go for lunch to the
Forestry commission forest walks 20 mins south of the village at Inverfarrigaig, south of Dores and the waterfall at Foyers is certainly worth stopping for.
Of course, Tiny Tartan Tours can take you to explore this fascinating region. Ideally, you would leave two days to explore the Loch Ness area, although it is possible to enjoy Loch Ness as a day tour from Glasgow or Edinburgh by stopping at the southern tip of the Loch, Fort Augustus.
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