Visiting Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle in Scotland

Visiting Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle in Scotland

In the region of the Highlands extends the most popular lake in Scotland: Loch Ness. In this guide you will find everything you need to know to visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, located on one of its banks.

Let’s say, this is a place of mystery and that makes it unique, as well as the beautiful city of Hallstatt in Austria, an idyllic town that rises between the mountainside and the shore of Lake Hallstatter See, worthy of a tale of fairies

Over 40 km, the murky and deep waters of Loch Ness hide the legendary Nessie, a supposed Plesiosaur who is famous throughout the world.

And, who has not heard of the endearing and mysterious monster of Loch Ness?

Loch Ness has an elongated and narrow shape due to its location in an area of ​​valleys known as the Great Glen, where there are also other lakes. On one of its banks, it houses the ruins of the historic Urquhart Castle.

Starting places

There are several starting points from which to visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, the most common and accessible are: Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Visit Loch Ness from Inverness

The city of Inverness is the capital of the Highlands region of Scotland and the closest place to the famous lake.

It is located north of Loch Ness, just 20 km away, so you have it practically next door.

The Inverness River departs from the lake, crosses the city and flows into the North Sea. In this city you can find a wide range of excursions and day trips to Loch Ness.

Visit Loch Ness from Edinburgh or Glasgow

In the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow you can find a variety of tours to visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle back and forth in one day.

Of course, it is about 5 hours one way and as many back.

What to see and do on Loch Ness?

Loch Ness is long and narrow: it is about 40 km long and 2 km wide. This makes us wonder from what point it is better to visit it, either for the activities offered or the views.

There are different starting points in the same lake to start exploring:


This small town on the west bank, located more or less in the center of the lake, concentrates much of tourism.

From here, many cruises depart on Loch Ness, such as Loch Ness Cruises, which include a 5-minute bus from the village to the lake shore.

Visit the museums of the legend of Nessie

The Loch Ness Center & Exhibition and Nessieland, an ideal museum for families that tells us the story of Nessie in photos. A few miles from the town are the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

Fort augustus

It is a small town located southwest of the lake. It has privileged views of Loch Ness, with a very crowded viewpoint.

In this town we can also see the Caledonia Canal, a waterway that connects Scotland from coast to coast through lakes.

It links the east coast in Inverness, with the west coast in Corpach near Fort William.

It is an old maritime trade route to avoid bordering the North Sea, which because of its frequent storms and strong winds, was often dangerous for boats.

Visit the lake hiking or cycling

If you want to see Loch Ness from another perspective, there is a path for hikers.

This is the South Loch Ness Trail, which borders the east shore of the entire Loch Ness. It is a walk to walk or cycle and enjoy nature quietly.

Cherry island

It is the only island in Loch Ness. It is artificial and is an example of crannog, some artificial islands that were built in lakes in prehistory.

Its size has been greatly reduced due to the increase in the lake water level.

Visit Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Urquhart Castle stands on one of the shores of Loch Ness and is one of the main tourist attractions.
Inside this fortress dating from the thirteenth century you can see how medieval life was. In addition, a walk around its ruins gives us stunning views of the lake.

The castle of Urquhart was partially destroyed in 1692 by the English who supported the Parliament, who caused a fire to avoid being captured by the Jacobites, supporters of the monarchy of James II of England.

It is currently owned by the Scottish National Heritage and has been restored to open it to the public.

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