Loch Ness: History, Beauty And Relaxation In Scotland
Long known as the home of Nessie, the “Loch Ness Monster”, Scotland’s most famous lake is an ideal place to visit not just for Nessie sightings but for many other reasons.
Centrally located Loch Ness is less than an hour’s drive from Inverness (one of Scotland’s fastest growing urban areas and also worth a visit)-this 23-mile long lake is more than 700 feet deep, making it Scotland’s largest lock and well capable of housing a 30 foot monster.
On its borders are scenic villages including Dores and Foyers which can be seen as visitors drive on the west side of the lock by taking the A82. On the western shore of the loch lies Urquhart Castle, a former royal castle that has been there throughout Scotland’s tumultuous history. Visitors can stroll around the ruins to examine the towers and cells and hear about the part the castle played during the Jacobite uprising and the Wars of Independence, thanks to the superb visitor’s center there.
The Scottish landscape is stunning and visitors should make sure to enjoy the scenery by visiting nearby towns and villages including Foyers, Fort Augustus, Durmnadrochit, or Canich. Walks can be as easy or as challenging as the a visitor likes, from the stroll along the shore or a more challenging trek such as the Loch Ness Trail or even the Great Glen Way, a 70-mile long walk that includes some of the most spectacular Scottish landscapes.
And don’t forget about Nessie. It is believed that the Loch Ness Monster has been a resident of the lake since the 7th century, and sightings have been claimed since the early 1930s. Even if you don’t manage to catch a glimpse of Nessie, you can learn more at two interactive centers, Nessieland and the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition Experience. They are only a few minutes away from Urquhart Castle and make a nice break from walking and taking in the scenery.
If your feet get tired from all the walking, you can easily hop on a bus for a tour or a boat to watch the scenery pass by while on deck. There are regular cruises that leave from Inverness, Fort Augustus, or Drumnadrochit. For a really special experience, take a trip in the evening and watch the sun set over the famous waters of Loch Ness.
Loch Ness is a popular spot for walkers and hikers, but also with runners – the yearly Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is held here. The area is also an ideal place for sailing and fishing- a fisherman can easily hook pike, trout, salmon, and other types of fish that live in the fresh water there.
Loch Ness is truly a Scottish site the visitor shouldn’t miss-whether for the history, legend, scenery, or just a chance to relax and soak in the landscapes, Loch Ness has something for everyone.