Welcome to Loch Ness, a world-famous visitor site located in Scotland’s Great Glen.
Firstly, Loch Ness takes its name from the River Ness. This may be derived from nesta, a very ancient and, possibly pre-Celtic, name which may mean ‘roaring or rushing one’.
Loch Ness is the greatest volume of freshwater in Britain and ranks second only to Loch Lomond in surface area. The loch is 22.6 miles (37Km) long and about 1 mile (1.6Km) wide. Greatest depth is 750 ft (230m).
The loch is part of the Great Glen, (Gleann Mhor in Gaelic) which is a massive, steep sided trench carved out by the last Ice Age some 18,000 years ago.
Because of its scenic location and connection with the famous ‘Loch Ness Monster’ the loch and its environs is a very popular tourist destination.
Catswhiskerstours works closely with guests to design and deliver customised tours. The information below is provided to assist guests with tour planning.
Loch Ness is part of the Great Glen which comprises a major valley 1 to 3 miles (1.6 to 4.8km) wide and over 50 miles (80km) long. This coincides with the Great Glen fault, a major line of weakness in the earth’s crust which dates back some 410million years to a time when Scotland was connected to what is now Newfoundland. The floor of this valley was gouged out by glacial erosion during the last ice age which ended some 10,000 years ago.
Today, Loch Ness together with neighbouring lochs Linnhe, Lochy and Oich forms part of the Caledonian Canal, a 60 mile waterway dating from 1822 which takes commercial ships from one coast to the other.
Tell me about the Loch Ness Monster!
Sightings of a Water Beast allegedly go back to the time of St. Columba in 565AD. The most famous sighting is that recorded in the famous ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’ of 1934 which purported to show the long necked embodiment of a plesiosaur. However, some 60 years later this photograph was exposed as a hoax. Much time and effort and has been expended by a wide range of people from academics and scientists to eccentric amateurs but no credible evidence of a monster has ever been produced. However, it’s a nice story, and perhaps one day fortune will smile on one of Catswhiskers clients who will return home with a definitive image (or video) of the Loch Ness Monster and retire in luxury on the proceeds. Dream on!
Apart from Monster Watching what can I see and do around Loch Ness?
Many visitors are content to visit Castle Urquhart, a historic castle with a superb vantage point for viewing the loch. This is, indeed, an excellent stop for visitors with a tight schedule. However, for those with the luxury of more time, there is a wide range of visitor attractions and opportunities for sports and activities as summarised below.
A few miles from the northern tip of the loch is Inverness, ‘Capital of the Highlands’ with excellent shopping, castle, museums, restaurants and cinema.
A signposted hiking and cycle path which covers the entire length of the Great Glen via course of the Caledonian Canal.
Situated to the west of Loch Ness, this is a nature reserve where ancient pinewoods provide a home for varied wildlife. Activities include hiking and mountain biking.
Over four acres of plantings including hellebores, primulas and hardy geraniums.
100ft high falls close to the heritage village of Tomich.
Corrimony Bird Reserve
Native woodland with walking trails. Close by is an ancient burial cairn.
Information on the elusive monster. Located at Drumnadrochit
Close to Drumnadrochit, this is one of the highest waterfalls in the area.
Beautiful glen through which runs River Moriston. At Invermoriston are the falls which cascade under the 1813 Thomas Telford bridge.
A fascinating town at southern tip of Loch Ness named after an 18th century military commander. Visit the Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre including a magnificent flight of locks.
Highland Rare Breeds and Childrens Farm
Rare animal breeds, Highland cattle, deer and more. Close to Fort Augustus.
Just north of Fort Augustus is the viewpoint which offers spectacular views over Stratherrick.
Falls of Foyers
About half way up the east side of Loch Ness can be found the 100ft waterfall which was immortalised by Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.
Inverfarigaig (Dun Dearduil)
Just north of the Falls of Foyers can be found a network of forest walks. Close by is the iron-age fort of ‘Dun Dearduil which offers spectacular views over Loch Ness
A tiny loch situated at the north east of Loch Ness. A wildlife (bird) reserve famous for rare Slavonian grebe.
There are a wide variety of Loch Ness cruises available lasting from one hour to three and a half hours.
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We look forward to hearing from you!