Once it is safe to visit Scotland again, explore Loch Ness and its surroundings! The most famous of the lochs is not the only wonder of the region; besides Nessie, the loch ness monster real, the Inverness area is full of rare gems, which you are probably more likely to find!
Here is a selection of our favorite places on loch ness in Scotland…
1. ENJOY PANORAMIC VIEWS OF LOCH NESS
If you are looking for a spectacular vantage point of Scotland’s most iconic loch, head to its wilder and picturesque southern shore. Nestled at the foot of the rocky promontories of Dun Dearduil is the village of Inverfarigaig. Stop there and stroll to the edge of the loch, home to Inverfarigaig Pier, which was built by the famous Scottish engineer Thomas Telford. This pier offers panoramic views over Loch Ness, as well as a great place to picnic. Inverfarigaig is the site of a fort from the Iron Age houses and also the best example of a single-arch bridge designed by General Wade, dating back to the XVIII th century, who played a key role in the Jacobite revolutions.
Nearby, the road climbs steeply to the spectacular Suidhe viewpoint. It is one of the highest peaks traversed by the Loch Ness 360 ° Trail, as well as the perfect place to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area.
2. PADDLE THROUGH THE WILDERNESS
Enjoy the loch ness boat tour in the bombastic scenery of the Highlands. The Great Glen Canoe Trail follows the route of an ancient road that runs along the Caledonian Canal between Fort William and Inverness, crossing Loch Ness.
You can also relax by fishing in the Oich and Moriston rivers, which are home to a large population of king salmon, or the River Ness, which flows for almost 10 km between Loch Ness and the Beauly Firth.
3. GO ON A HIKE
Explore the Loch Ness 360 ° Trail, a newly developed hiking route that winds in a loop around Loch Ness.
Approximately 130 km in length, this hiking, biking, and running route connects the Great Glen Way and South Loch Ness Trail routes in a single loop that runs around the perimeter of Loch Ness. You can start (and complete) the route in Inverness, the ‘capital of the Highlands’, or join it at any point. If you are looking for a rather short hike, take one of the six sections of the route: each of them offers unique views and experiences.
This tour passes close to another route, namely the Affric Kintail Way. This is a route in the middle of nature that will delight hikers and mountain bikers! It stretches between Drumnadrochit (on Loch Ness) and Morvich in the Kintail massif.
4. DIVE INTO THE HEART OF THE FORESTS
Trees as tall as towers, rich wildlife, and thriving nature that offers breathtaking views over the south shore of Loch Ness: this is what Farigaig Forest has in store for you. It is a true paradise of colorful wildflowers, butterflies, and red squirrels. Follow the forest trails to lookout points overlooking the many lochans (“little lochs”) and the ruins of the old Dun Dearduil Fort.
On the north shore of Loch Ness, take a detour through the Abriachan Forest and its many short and long-distance routes. It also offers views of Loch Ness, and its routes are dotted with sculptures and other places of interest, including a replica of a Bronze Age hut, a shieling, and a treehouse.
5. CASCADING EMOTIONS
Scotland is full of waterfalls, some of which are crossed by hiking routes.
On the north shore of the loch, Plodda Falls is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s rare gems. 46 meters high, it is the highest and most impressive waterfall in the region. The new platform built over the Affric River offers a panorama of Glen Affric National Nature Reserve.
Not far away is the Divach Falls, which you can access via a trail. As well as being the perfect place for a picnic, you can combine this hike with a walk to Craigmonie, another viewpoint over Loch Ness.
A little further south is Foyers Falls, on the south shore of Loch Ness. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Highlands and has been welcoming visitors and hikers since Victorian times. In fact, the beauty of these falls inspired our national poet Robert Burns, who composed a poem in their honor.
6. ESCAPE TO GLEN STRATHFARRAR
Designated a ‘National Nature Reserve’ in 1977, Glen Strathfarrar (near Beauly) is one of Scotland’s wildest and most beautiful valleys: a peaceful place away from traffic, offering a relaxing experience.
Surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains, this location is perfect for cycling in the valley, hiking along the Farrar River, or on the edge of Loch Monar. This glen has some great hiking routes for experienced walkers, including ridges that overlook the Isle of Skye, the Torridon Mountains, and beyond. The region has dozens of peaks, which will delight Munro-bagging enthusiasts.
7. DISCOVER HIDDEN LOCHS
From Loch Mullardoch north of Loch Ness to picturesque Loch Duntelchaig off its southern shore, the Inverness region is home to many remote lochs just waiting to be discovered.
The Lochan Torr year Tuill is a beautiful Lochan region. Although the name literally means ‘loch of the rocky valley’, it is commonly referred to as ‘magical loch’ by locals. Loch Bran is managed by Scottish National Heritage and is home to Britain’s largest population of dragonflies and damselflies. On the outskirts of Fort Augustus is Loch Tarff, a charming little loch surrounded by hills and scattered pine groves. Keep an eye out for a glance of arctic loons in the summer, and red deer, which stray the loch all year round.
8. UNCOVER MYSTERIES OF ANCIENT TIME’s
Make your way to Boleskine Cemetery, which overlooks Loch Ness from its south shore. Rich in history, this cemetery contains fascinating tombstones and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding nature. On the opposite side of the road is the debris of Boleskine House, which was then purchased by Jimmy Page, guitarist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Note to Outlander fans: this cemetery is the final resting place for members of the Fraser clan in the region. It contains a memorial erected in honor of Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, who was the last beheaded man in the Tower of London. In the Outlander saga, Lord Lovat is Jamie Fraser’s grandfather.
Take a detour to the nearby Dunlichity Cemetery. This is where members of the MacGillivray and Shaw clans are buried. According to legend, Jacobite soldiers sharpened their swords on the walls of the church before setting out to fight on the Culloden Plain and these sword marks are still clearly visible today.
And if you’re a fan of the Outlander series, don’t miss Corrimony’s Burial Chamber, where you can walk among a circle of standing stones and enter an ancient tunnel leading to the 4,000-year-old burial chamber. And who knows, maybe you will be transported to the past!
9. ENJOY A TUNE OF TRADITIONAL MUSIC
While you cannot attend a ceilidh or traditional music concert as of yet, there are various ways to experience Highland culture and folklore. In Inverness, don’t miss the Macgregor’s Bar or the Hootenanny, two pubs with a unique atmosphere! Support the local music scene and purchase traditional music albums during your stay, including those by Blazin Fiddles, Lauren MacColl, or Duncan Chisholm.
The Highlands brings together the best of Scotland. They represent Scotland as many of us imagine it: breathtaking landscapes, outdoor activities, unique gastronomy, and warm people. Don’t forget to share the rare gems you have encountered around Loch Ness in the comments.
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