Loch Ness

Travel Guide
Urquhart Castle featuring a ruin, heritage elements and a castle

Scotland’s most legendary attraction, this mysterious loch is said to be home to a mythical monster.

Loch Ness is the largest lake in Scotland by volume. Surrounded by craggy mountains, woodlands and picturesque glens, the loch is hauntingly beautiful. Of course, its fame stems not from its natural scenery but from the infamous Loch Ness Monster, also known as Nessie. Walk along one of the many wonderful trails around the loch, take a boat tour on its waters and learn more about its fabled resident.

Numerous cruises cross the loch, which is 23 miles (37 kilometers) long and more than 700 feet (215 meters) deep. Tours depart from Fort Augustus and Inverness. Many boats include sonar equipment and underwater cameras, ready to catch a glimpse of Nessie.

Walk along the shore of the lake or follow one of the challenging surrounding trails. The 79-mile-long (127-kilometer) Great Glen Way stretches from Inverness to Fort William, passing some of the country’s loveliest scenery along the way. The South Loch Ness Trail traverses the loch’s less explored south shore. Hike or cycle along this 28-mile (45-kilometer) trail, while enjoying sweeping views of the loch.

You may not be able to glimpse the elusive Loch Ness Monster during your visit, but you can learn more about her at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. Stop at the center for a general overview of the loch with a focus on the legend of its monster. Sightings of the monster from A.D. 565 to the present are documented through photos, audio and video.

Check out the views of the loch from the top of Urquhart Castle’s five-story tower house. The castle’s location on a promontory overlooking the loch makes it a popular Nessie-watching spot. Destroyed and rebuilt numerous times over the centuries, most of the ruins date back to the 16th century. See displays of medieval artifacts recovered from the castle and watch a movie about its history in the video theater.

To get here, take the bus from Inverness to Fort William, which includes several stops along the shores of Loch Ness. No visit to Scotland is complete without a trip to this iconic loch.

Where to stay in Loch Ness

Loch Ness Drumnadrochit Hotel
Loch Ness Drumnadrochit Hotel
3 out of 5
Drumnadrochit, Inverness, Scotland
The price is £74 per night from 30 Oct to 30 Oct
Situated in Inverness, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition and Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre. Urquhart Castle and Corrimony ...
3.5/5 Good! (397 reviews)
"Comfortable accommodation and easy location to explore Loch Ness."

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2021

Loch Ness Drumnadrochit Hotel
The Loch Ness Inn
The Loch Ness Inn
3 out of 5
Lewiston, Drumnadrochit, Inverness, Scotland
The price is £81 per night from 2 Nov to 2 Nov
Situated in a rural location, this inn is within 1 mile (2 km) of Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre and Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition. Urquhart Castle and Corrimony ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (293 reviews)
"Great friendly pub, stayed in the new accommodation when walking the great gen way, as a party of 5. It is on the route, great choice of food and an even better bar (remember to book), what is not to like."

Reviewed on 5 Oct 2021

The Loch Ness Inn
Loch Ness Clansman Hotel
Loch Ness Clansman Hotel
3 out of 5
Brackla, Loch Ness-side, Inverness, Scotland
The price is £85 per night from 1 Nov to 1 Nov
Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre and Urquhart Castle. Corrimony ...
3.7/5 Good! (478 reviews)
"Overly hotel on the shores of Loch Ness. Friendly staff and excellent food. Ample car parking and there’s a dock for boats to take a trip on too. Highly recommend this hotel."

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2021

Loch Ness Clansman Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Millfield Self Catering Accommodation
Millfield Self Catering Accommodation
3 out of 5
Market Hill, Fort Augustus, Scotland
The price is £130 per night from 26 Oct to 26 Oct
Situated on the riverwalk, this cabin is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Clansman Centre and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Allt na Criche. Lochaber Geopark and Invergarry & Fort ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (23 reviews)
"Near to town centre and easily accessible. Good correspondence from the owner and the accommodation was very clean and well equipped."

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2021

Millfield Self Catering Accommodation
Loch Ness Cottages
Loch Ness Cottages
3.5 out of 5
Brachla, Loch Ness-side, Inverness, Scotland
Situated in Inverness, this cottage is within 9 miles (15 km) of Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre and Urquhart Castle. Corrimony ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (13 reviews)
"We loved that it was like a home from home feel. The only issues were checking in and out, initially we didn’t know which cottage we were in so had to call at the lodge to ask and had to ask at the sister hotel about check out. Could have just got a bit more info when we booked to solve this. All ..."

Reviewed on 8 Sep 2021

Loch Ness Cottages
Darroch View Cottage
Darroch View Cottage
3.5 out of 5
Darroch View, Invermoriston, 30 miles from Inverness, Inverness, Scotland
Situated on a lake, this eco-friendly cottage is 5.1 mi (8.1 km) from Allt na Criche and within 12 miles (20 km) of Clansman Centre and Urquhart Castle. Lochaber ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (15 reviews)
"Darroch View Cottage is a lovely looking cottage from the outside ,but as soon as you enter you get hit with a strong smell of damp ,we were told there’s nothing that can be done about it as it’s a 200 year old cottage which is fair enough , however by booking online the customer will never get an ..."

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2020

Darroch View Cottage
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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