Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s largest and most famous lochs, known around the world thanks to its elusive monster Nessie.
Just a short distance from Inverness, this impressive stretch of water is 23 miles long and over 700 ft at its deepest, making it Scotland’s largest loch in terms of volume.
Loch Ness runs from Loch Dochfour to Fort Augustus, it is bordered by picturesque villages such as Foyers and Dores and you can drive along the western edge of the loch on the A82. Overlooking the water from the western shore is Urquhart Castle, a former royal castle that has witnessed some of the most dramatic periods in Scottish history. Walk around the iconic ruins for a first-hand look at the cells and towers, or learn about the castle’s role in the Wars of Independence and the Jacobite uprising at the excellent visitor centre.
Claimed sightings of the Loch Ness Monster date back to 1933, though there have been rumours of a beast in the waters since the 7th century. The mysterious story unfolds with interactive and digital displays at the award-winning Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition Experience in Drumnadrochit, just a few minutes’ drive from Urquhart Castle.
Bus tours and boat trips are one of the best ways to experience Loch Ness, allowing you to relax and take in the majestic landscapes from the comfort of the viewing deck. Cruises depart regularly from Inverness, Drumnadrochit and Fort Augustus - opt for an evening trip for a chance to see the setting sun reflected in the legendary waters.
With its stunning views and untouched landscapes, Loch Ness is ideal for walking and hiking and is also the site for the annual Baxters Loch Ness Marathon. The loch is also a popular spot for sailing and fishing enthusiasts, with salmon, pike, trout and more living in its fresh waters.