24 Mar Welcome to our Loch Ness Cruise and Tour
Highlander Ways – the only way to both see and immerse yourself in what is one of the greatest mysteries in the annals of myths and legends in coincidentally what is Visit Scotland’s Year of Stories.
It is such a great story, based on a magnificent setting – Loch Ness, here in the heart of the Highlands of Scotland, an arena filled with history, romance, spectacular scenery with varied styles and types of accommodation, supported by lots of local food and drink.
Leaving the city of Inverness with its fortification of Inverness Castle sitting prominently on the hill above the River Ness with the statue of Flora Macdonald looking west and over towards the Cathedral and Eden Court Theatre. Flora Macdonald was the lady who disguised Bonnie Prince Charlie and spirited him away after his defeat at The Battle of Culloden on 16th April 1746.
The tour then crosses the Caledonian Canal built by Thomas Telford and opened in 1822, exactly 200 years this year, a magnificent engineering achievement and it is twinned with The Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada. The Canal is approximately 60 miles long from coast to coast with 22 miles man-made, and follows the line of The Great Glen, the natural fault line that divides the Highlands of Scotland and includes Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy.
Then, board your cruise with our tour partner, Loch Ness by Jacobite, at Dochgarroch at the last lock on this section of the canal and sail down to Urquhart Castle, passing Old Bona Lighthouse, now a self-catering cottage run by Scottish Canals.
Disembark at the Castle jetty and make your way to see the well-preserved ruins and learn the history of this monument at the cinema within the visitor centre. Whilst there you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Loch, especially from the tower which is a great vantage point to do some Nessie spotting!
Joining the Highlander Ways coach again after your Urquhart Castle visit, we head over Cul-na Kirk-meaning “at the back of the church” in the Gaelic language and through the Highland village of Drumnadrochit which means in Gaelic-“Ridge over the Bridge”. The village was frequented by the literati and glitterati of Europe at the turn of the century; Millais the artist, Trollope the writer, Robert Falcon Scott-Antarctic explorer and James Barrie who wrote Peter Pan to name a few.
Progressing over the moorland and ancient Pictish settlements, keep your eyes peeled for Buzzards, Red Kites, Sparrow Hawks and possibly Osprey who look for fish at the small lochs at the top of Cul-na Kirk.
We then drop down to the lands of Beaufort Castle, formerly home of Clan Fraser, and Belladrum Estate which is home to Tartan Heart one of Scotland’s premier three-day music festivals taking place this year-28-30th July.
You’ll return to Inverness city centre, inspired after a day of soaking in the scenery, history, and culture of this special part of the Highlands.