One of the most iconic and world-renowned locations in Scotland, Loch Ness is shrouded in tales and legends of the Loch Ness monster lurking deep in the water. Aside from fascination of seeing Nessie, Loch Ness is also an incredible landscape for outdoor activities, rushing waterfalls, cycling routes, walking trails, and plenty of hidden gems.

Here are just a few we think you'll love!

Waterfalls

Around the mesmerising Loch Ness, you'll find numerous tumbling waterfalls that are a real sight to see! Plodda Falls is a hidden gem surrounded by towering trees in a quaint woodland setting. Enjoy the short but adventurous walking trails through the forest to the ideal viewing spot. In Drumnadrochit, head up Craig Monie for spectacular views over Loch Ness and then keep wandering to discover Divach Falls.

Tuck into a tasty picnic as you witness the dramatic Dog Falls. With rushing rapids and scenic woodland walks nearby, you're set for a great afternoon of exploring. Along the south side of Loch Ness, the Falls of Foyer feature a sheer 140ft drop into a gorge below that eventually flows down into Loch Ness. These waterfalls are spectacular to see all year round and a great place for a photo opportunity or two. There are also many scenic walks nearby and plenty of native wildlife to keep an eye out for too.

Watersports

Scotland's lochs are ideal for trying out a range of watersports, and Loch Ness offers some great opportunities to get involved in. Head out on the loch with Cruise Loch Ness to see the landscape from a different perspective, all whilst hearing the many tales and stories that have made the area legendary. Loch Ness by Jacobite also offers a variety of cruises that allow you to delve into the history, and mystery, of the loch, with stunning landscapes and a chance to get up close to Urquhart Castle from the water too.

Perhaps you'd like to try out canoeing? The Great Glen Canoe Trail encompasses 60 miles of the Caledonian Canal that you can explore by sea kayak or open canoe. Elsewhere, In Your Element offers thrilling guided canoe trips as 1hour tasters or 2.5hour experiences from Fort Augustus at the south side of the loch.

Find out more about watersports on Loch Ness.

Walking & Cycling

A great way to explore the stunning landscapes that circle Loch Ness is to get out on foot or bike. There are many trails nearby which feature the best locations to admire panoramic views. Head to Suidhe Viewpoint on the south east corner of the loch where you can see for miles around as well as the B862 road, also known as the General Wade's Military Road, part of the turbulent Jacobite history of the area. Enjoy a peaceful stroll along the Three Lochs Circuit through the quiet countryside of south Loch Ness. Admire the scenery, picturesque views and stretch your legs in some of the most iconic landscapes in Scotland.

One for walking and cycling, the circular Loch Ness 360 trail encompasses a variety of stunning locations, including the city of Inverness, Drumnadrochit, Invermoriston, Fort Augustus, Foyers and Dores. The trail stretches 80 miles (129.5km), so why not hop on your bike to cover more ground and scenic sights in a carbon neutral way? It is the perfect route for two wheels, with 6 designated sections to explore, and features spectacular scenery, plenty of stopping off points, and quirky and unique things to see along the way too.

Find out more about walking and cycling near Loch Ness.

History

Aside from the mystery and tales of Nessie, Loch Ness also boasts a detailed and fascinating history with many attractions and landmarks to visit. Head to the historic town of Fort Augustus at the south end of the loch where you'll be met by immense views northwards up the loch and surrounded by historic buildings across the town.

Here you can visit the Caledonian Canal Centre. A world-class visitor hub, the centre offers a variety of facilities, including local information, a gift shop with locally sourced goods, and a café serving homemade Scottish produce. Or you can quickly grab a fresh coffee or local artisan ice cream from the Black Isle Dairy if you're on the go and have lots to see. You can also learn about the wealth of local heritage and internationally renowned local features of the Caledonian Canal, Great Glen and Loch Ness whilst you're here too.

Find more things to do near Loch Ness.

Landscapes

The Scottish Highlands undoubtedly boasts some of the most magnificent landscapes in Scotland, and the world. We might be biased, but we think it's true! The renowned Loch Ness is surrounded by rolling hills, lush greenery, spectacular glens and plenty more to get out and admire.

Glen Affric is just a short trip west of Loch Ness, near Cannich, and features a mix of native woodlands, sparkling lochs and lochans, towering Caledonian pine trees and plenty of trails that let you explore this magical area. Nearby, Strathglass Glen stretches from Glen Affric towards Beauly and is another fine landscape to explore.

Elsewhere, head into the magical woodlands and forests that border Loch Ness. Abriachan Forest Trails are excellent to explore all year round, with the blossoming buds in spring, and the crisp red leaves in autumn. Farigaig Forest has trails a plenty and features an opportune spot for soaking in the fantastic views over the loch, as well as colourful wildflowers, butterflies and an array of wildlife to see along the way.

Food & Drink

All that exploring has bound to have worked up an appetite. In and around Loch Ness you'll find cosy restaurants, family-run cafes and quaint tearooms serving up delicious homemade dishes made from only the best locally sourced Scottish food.

Hop onboard the Highland Lassie where you can tuck into a loch cruise dining experience. The Oakwood Restaurant is open to residents and guests, so tuck into a delectable feast around the Captain's table in the warmth of the saloon, or take in the stunning scenery and dine alfresco on the jetty to admire the views of the Caledonian Canal.

Relax on the banks of the Caledonian Canal with a pit stop at An Talla. Enjoy a sumptuous coffee and cake before browsing the retail area to take home a souvenir with you. Cosy up by the wood-burning stove at the Loch Ness Inn and tuck into some hearty grub at the end of a long day exploring. Or for a slightly different experience, pay a visit to Cameron's Tea Rooms & Farm Shop near Foyers for a variety of lunches, home baking, teas and coffees, all with a splendid view and a herd of Highland Coos to see.

Find more places to eat and drink near Loch Ness.

Explore Loch Ness and uncover the exciting range of attractions and unique things to do.