Loch Ness contains more water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined, making it the most voluminous lake in the UK. This corner of the Highlands is world-famous for its dramatic scenery, great adventure sports and nearby castles and solitary lighthouses dotting the landscape.
Where is Loch Ness? This beautiful loch located near Inverness is shrouded in mystery. With over 1,000 eye-witness accounts, sightings and unexplained evidence, scientists continue to be baffled by the existence of Nessie. See for yourself on a boat trip and Nessie cruise from Inverness, Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit.
Travel to & Around Loch Ness
Loch Ness runs from the south of Inverness down to the town of Fort Augustus.
Getting to Loch Ness
You can travel from within Scotland to Inverness with ScotRail, or directly to Inverness with LNER from dozens of stations along the east coast line like London King’s Cross, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh taking in some of the best scenery the country has to offer along the way. Sit back and relax and enjoy the comfort of the environmentally-friendly Azuma fleet in First Class or Standard alongside the offer of fine food and drink from a range of local suppliers from across the UK.
Or journey overnight in your own room with a bed. A relaxing and time-saving way to reach the Highlands, the Caledonian Sleeper travels between London and Scotland.
Bus and coach
National bus companies include:
- Megabus - with a huge amount of stops throughout the UK linking to Inverness.
- Citylink - Connecting Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Oban, Skye, Dundee and Perth.
- National Express - Hundreds of stops across the UK and Europe that connect to Inverness.
- Stagecoach - Stagecoach operates across the UK.
They will take you from major UK cities to Farraline Park Bus Station in the centre of Inverness.
The A9 is the main access road to Inverness from the south, Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow and also from the north. The A82 is an alternative and more scenic route from the south (Glasgow) via Loch Ness through the Great Glen to Inverness.
The B862 on the south side of Loch Ness links the small picturesque villages between Fort Augustus and Inverness, and also links to the A9 south to Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow and points further south.
Inverness Airport is located some 7 miles east of Inverness and 21 miles from Loch Ness.
There are many direct flights into Inverness with Easyjet, British Airways, Loganair, KLM and more.
Local transport connections from Inverness Airport into the city are available from outside the airport terminal building. These include bus and taxis services. Local and national car hire is also available.
Getting around Loch Ness
Why not walk, cycle or horse ride on the new Loch Ness 360 Trail, a 80 miles long scenic circular route taking in the route of the Great Glen Way on the north side and South Loch Ness Trail on the south side?
If you like to discover an area by foot you will not be short of places to wander. You can also choose to be guided on a walking tour with companies such as Walk Inverness and Walking Tours Inverness offering guided walks daily from the city centre.
In the city, if you don’t have your own bike with you, you can easily hire one from Ticket To Ride or use the Hi-Bike service.
The best way to experience Loch Ness by bike, is on the brand new Loch Ness 360° Trail. This epic route around the whole of Loch Ness starts and finished in Inverness. If you don’t have 6 days to complete the 72-mile trail, you can simply choose any one of the sections. Why not be guided on a cycling tour around the route with 42 Cycling?
You can use the helpful Hi-Travel active travel map | PDF 1.9MB for all the recommended cycle routes.
Bus and coach
Local bus and train services are available to provide transport to and around Inverness, Loch Ness and Highland areas.
Check out the Go-Hi app which lets you manage and pay for all your journeys in one place.
You can also use the Traveline Scotland Journey Planner.
For the popular town of Drumnadrochit head down the north side of Loch Ness on the A82 towards Fort William.
After just a few miles you will catch your first glimpse of the loch on your left-hand side. Stop at Dochgarroch or the Clansman Harbour for Loch Ness cruises, check out the visitor centres and gift shops in Drumnadrochit and don’t miss out Fort Augustus for more cruise options and a look at the locks.
If you prefer to see the “quiet” side of Loch Ness, head down the South Side of Loch Ness on the B852 towards Dores and Foyers, where you will find lovely walks, quiet picnic spots and amazing viewpoints! Not to mention, the South Loch Ness Trail, which is the perfect way to explore the area.
There are a range of Taxi firms available in Inverness including Inverness Taxis and Inverness City Taxis.
There are licensed taxi ranks at Inverness Airport, Inverness Bus Station and Inverness Train Station. You can order local Loch Ness tour cars and taxis in advance.
You can up your chances of seeing the Loch Ness Monster by hiring your own cruiser to sail where you want to go. There are piers, jetties and mooring places along Loch Ness. Most are free of charge. If you don’t want to sail yourself, there are some excellent well established Loch Ness cruises that last from a couple of hours to all day (and overnight!).
Places to stay near Loch Ness
Choose from unique self-catering lodges, welcoming B&Bs and charming loch-side cottages where you can wake up to stunning views of Loch Ness.
Or try friendly hostels, scenic camping, caravan sites and glamping accommodation for an affordable yet unforgettable experience.
A tip from your local expert
Help and advice
You can also get advice from our accredited iKnow partners, with excellent local expertise, travel advice and insider tips about must-see attractions and great accommodation in the local area.Find our iKnow Partners in this area
Food & Drink
Places to eat around Loch Ness
Find lots of places to eat and drink from fine dining to street food.
There are options for all tastes and budgets and often something new to try!
Map of Loch Ness
Explore Loch Ness
Tours, Routes & Trails
There are some incredible scenic routes around Loch Ness.
Travel on foot, by bike or even by kayak and enjoy a great escape to this beautiful spot of Scotland.
Get the most out of your break with these unusual things to do.
The Loch Ness Monster - Is Nessie real?
More information on the monster's background and potential whereabouts.
Discover why a visit to Inverness & Loch Ness is perfect to rest, relax and re-charge your mind, body and soul.
9 hidden gems you mustn't miss around Loch Ness
Enjoy the wild, uninterrupted side of Loch Ness with a few of our favourite hidden gems near Inverness.
See where to can catch a glimpse of a variety of Scottish species including majestic red deer, black grouse, golden eagles, osprey and ptarmigan.
Events in Loch Ness
Find out about all of the great events happening in and around Loch Ness, from Etape Loch Ness to Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival or the Loch Ness Marathon.
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