Hunting for monsters, on Loch Ness!
Updated: Apr 21
Loch Ness...is it kitschy? maybe, is it touristy? yes, did I REALLY want to add this to my Scotland trip? also yes!!!!
If you're like me, you've watched a few documentaries about Nessie, at some point in time. I do love a good mystery, and legends about monsters pique my interest too. Many people don't believe there is a monster in the loch, (my husband included) but at the risk of sounding a bit fanciful, I think there just might be some leftover creature from days gone by. Cryptozoology they call it, "a pseudoscience and subculture that aims to prove the existence of entities from the folklore record" (wiki)
Loch Ness is beautiful, and any time I can get out on the water I'm happy. So, the whole experience was a win for me.
We visited Loch Ness, as part of a Highlands of Scotland Tour leaving out of Edinburgh. Rabbies is the tour group we chose for our Highlands/Loch Ness tour. Now normally I am not a very interested in joining tours, but it saved us from having to rent a car. As first time drivers in a country where they drive on the opposite side of the road, it also gave our driver a bit of time in a passenger seat....before braving the driver's seat! The Rabbies tour was great! They offer small van tours, so you get a more personal experience. Our tour guide, Grant, was great...a thick Scottish accent, and a quick wit to go with it. He kept us laughing the whole day.
If you choose to show up on your own, here are a couple of different options for boat tours:
Our tour (Cruise Loch Ness) left from Fort Augustus.
Near the boat loading dock is The Clansman Centre where you can "take a step back in time to the 17th century." They've recreated the interior of a highland turf house, with authentically dressed clansmen to bring the past into the present. The shop specializes in Celtic and locally produced crafts and gifts. If you have a few minutes before or after your boating excursion, take a peek inside.
The view was so much better in person. Here's some video footage!
Loch Ness is 744 feet deep. There's a monitor on board, so you can keep track of the water depth.
and.....we found her! Just kidding. They have these fun decal stickers on the windows.
The cruise is short, but sweet. They will usher you back into port to the sound of bagpipes. I LOVE bagpipes!
We enjoyed our time out on the Loch. I'll always be glad that I can say I have been to Loch Ness. Although we didn't really spot Nessie, I think she is down there, swimming the depths of the beautiful and haunting Loch Ness!
Regrets: Because we chose the tour of the Highlands that included Loch Ness, I wasn't able to see Urquhart Castle, old castle ruins situated picturesquely on the banks of the loch. The next time we go to Scotland, we ARE getting a car, and we are heading north! The further north you go, the less people you will find. Between 70 and 80 percent of Scotland's population live further south,
in the Central Belt, where Glasgow and Edinburgh are located.