Best known for the alleged sightings of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, also known as “Nessie” - Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands extending for approximately 37km southwest of Inverness. Loch Ness is over twenty miles long and hundreds of feet deep in places. The loch is notorious for its murkyness, as the water is filled with slime, peat, and mud. The loch’s murkyness and depth may be one of the reasons why the Loch Ness monster has not been proven.
Lochview is one of Loch Ness Lodge’s premium cottages with sauna, jacuzzi bath, log fire and views over the loch and the tariff for 5 nights would be £495. It sounds fantastic and we have made our booking for Lochview Cottage from Sunday 14th – Friday 19th Feb 2010. To secure the cottage we made a deposit of £165, the balance of payment would then be due one month prior to our arrival date. Address: Loch Ness Cottages, Brachla. Loch Ness-side, Inverness. IV3 8LA.
Loch Ness Exhibition Centre
A VisitScotland graded 5 Star Visitor Attraction, the exhibition was opened by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes in 1980. It takes visitors through seven themed areas on a journey from the dawn of time to the third millennium. Using a highly effective mix of lasers, digital projection and special effects Loch Ness charts the history of the monster by exploring Scotland’s geological past, its folklore and the various research projects carried out on the loch. It also reveals the discoveries of some of that research including the environmental fingerprints left in the loch’s layers by both nature and mankind.
On the most southern tip of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus is situated on the Great Glen Way and the Caledonian Canal and is half way between the Capital of the Highand’s Inverness and Fort William. Fort Augustus offers stunning views down Loch Ness with many beautiful walks. The Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre is a British Waterways Museum about the history of the canal and the village.
In 1822 the spectacular Caledonian Canal was completed by Thomas Telford, linking Inverness to the west coast of Scotland. At the heart of Scotland’s Great Glen, the ‘Caley’ is one of the great waterways of the world, offering visitors spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife – including the Loch Ness Monster!
Locks on the Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus.
Glendoe Hydro Scheme and Power Station
Located near Fort Augustus, above Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland, the scheme was opened on 29 June 2009 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. It is the largest of Scotland’s recent civil engineering projects, predicted to produce about 180 GWh of electricity per year, enough to provide approximately 5% of the electricity consumption of the city of Glasgow. The power station itself, 2 km from Loch Ness and containing the turbine and generator units, is housed in a large cavern a quarter of a kilometre below the hillside, adjacent to a smaller cavern containing the main transformer.
In August 2009 the station was shut down and the power tunnel drained because of internal rock falls near the head of the tunnel. Although the equipment in the power station has been unaffected, Glendoe will not be able to generate power until repairs have been made. It is unclear what damage has been caused and SSE have reported that electricity generation is unlikely to proceed until well into 2011.
Sail to the heart of the mystery, learn the fascinating story of Loch Ness, enjoy comfortable inside and outside viewing on board the 5-star Jacobite fleet. With cruises and tours from one hour to a full day, Jacobite offers something for everyone, and with options to visit Urquhart Castle
Located close to the village of Drumnadrochit, the Castle is open all year. The visitor centre includes a display on the history of the site, including a series of finds from the medieval period, a cinema, a restaurant and shop. Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness. It is not known precisely when the castle was built, but records show the existence of a castle on this site from the early 1200s.
Much of what you see today was built by Sir John Grant, Chief of Clan Grant ~ AD 1509, including the lofty Grant Tower. Sir John found the castle in a sorry state when he became the owner on the downfall of the Lords of the Isles. He began rebuilding anew.
Grant Tower – from where you get great views of Loch Ness.
This reconstructed medieval seige engine – known as a trebuchet – stands in the grounds of Urquhart Castle. The trebuchet is a catapult, much used in siege warfare before the development of gunpowder.
Highland cows / hairy cows / hyan coos, are a must-see while in this part of northern Scotland! They sport a long, thick coat of reddish hair and one really has to wonder how they see through those bangs. They also have a set of rather deadly looking horns. These cows live in the rain, rugged terrain, and bitter cold of the Highlands and thrive where most cattle would die. These cows are actually pedigreed and are the oldest registered European beef cow – history dates them back in the area to at least the 12th century.
Haggis and Local Delights
Nessies Monster Mash is a predominantly malty, lightly hopped beer giving a satisfying fullness of flavour with a warming finish. A glass or two is a must before seeking an audience with the monster. Alc 4.4% vol. We had this during our cruise along Loch Ness.
We had a delicious dinner at Fiddler’s in Drumnadrochit.
Haggis is a dish containing sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours. We had some Cockburn’s Haggis with a corse grain mustard sauce and a dram of scotch whiskey.
I tried the Whiskey and Honey Roast Salmon – Scottish salmon steak cured with malt Whiskey, heather honey, cracked pepper and spices, then roasted and served on a large mixed salad with warm potatoes and honey, mustard, and orange dressing. Scott had the Scottish Lamb, Barley, and root vegetable casserole – Chunks of Scottish lamb shoulder slow cooked tradittionally in the Scot’s style with pearl barley, turnip, carrots, and leek, then served with potatoes and vegetables.