An Ultimate Day Trip Guide to Loch Ness in The Highlands From Inverness (2023)
Inverness has always welcomed travelers and wanderers for its serene charm. However, this Scottish city holds something bigger and brighter to offer. Right off the limit of Inverness is a captivating world of landscapes and history waiting to be explored. Yes, we are talking about Loch Ness in The Highlands.
Loss Ness and the stunning Highlands are popular for their rugged landscapes, serene lochs, and rich history. The mysterious monster myth here attracts tourists from near and far. But what are you waiting for? Join us as we embark on a journey to Loch Ness in The Highlands from Inverness. This day trip will include everything from ancient castles to breathtaking vistas and mythical creatures. The adventure that may seem complex boasts the beauty of simplicity.
Let’s unveil the Scottish Wonders in just one day. Here’s all about a day trip from Inverness to Loch Ness in The Highlands.
Distance and Location of Lochness in the Highlands from Inverness
The distance from Inverness to Loch Ness in The Highlands can differ for everyone, considering from which point you are starting and to where. But to simplify it, we have a quick itinerary that may help:
The Starting Point, Inverness, is the capital of the Scottish Highlands. This beautiful city acts as the base/ launchpad for this adventure into nature. The distance from Inverness to Loss Ness is no more than 7 miles. This legendary freshwater lake is not from then a stone’s throw away from Inverness. The journey, though, is small, but it is staged with excitement, adventure, and surprises.
Upon approaching Loss Ness, one can encounter the picturesque Urquhart Castle, a historic ruin. This scenic stop is nestled on the northern shore of the Loch. Further, as you meet Loch Ness, your journey into the Scottish Highlands will become deeper. Lush green valleys, rolling hills, and rugged mountains will surround you, creating a visual spectacle at every turn.
Along the way, you’ll encounter the charming village of Beauly. This quaint little village is popular for its historic Beauly Priory and picturesque streets. The site exudes centuries of serenity and history.
Since now you have an idea about the distance and journey towards Loch Ness in The Highlands from Inverness, let’s begin.
How to Reach Lochness in the Highlands from Inverness?
There are multiple ways to reach Loch Ness in The Highlands from Inverness.
- Guided Tours: If you are looking for a stress-free option, opt for guided tours from Inverness to Loch Ness in The Highlands. You can find multiple tour options online. Such experiences involve transportation, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic journey. Further, with a pre-planned itinerary, guided tours ensure adventure for most of the day.
- Self-Driving Adventure: If you are looking for a flexible option that can offer you flexibility from Inverness to Loch Ness and Highlands, then self-driving is a viable option. You can either rent a car or drive your own to your customized itinerary. Drive down B862 from Inverness to Dores. This 15 to 20-minute drive involves a quiet route, and due to enough signposts, you cannot get wrong. Or drive from Inverness to the north side of the Loch by taking the main A82 road. This route involves a couple of stops that allow exploring the Loch via a cruise.
- Public Transport: For a budget-friendly trip from Inverness to Loch Ness and nearby, opt for public transportation. The most reliable option is a bus ride from Inverness Bus Station, Farraline Park. The number 16 bus travels all the way to Dores, Inverfarigaig, and Foyers.
Cycling and bike riding flat 8 miles to the Loch and back is another exciting option.
Best Time to Visit Lochness in the Highlands
Visiting Loch Ness in The Highlands from Inverness for a day trip is an experience year-round. Here’s how each season has its unique charm and how it can impact your overall experience:
- Spring (March to May): It is when the temperature is moderate, ideal for outdoor exploration. Spring in Loch Ness is the shoulder season; therefore, there is a lesser crowd. It is when the landscape fills with colorful flowers and budding trees.
- Summer (June to August): It is when the weather is warm and ideal for hiking and other outdoor recreation. Summer, however, is the peak tourist season and thus crowded. But with the longest daylight hours, it is the best time to maximize a day trip.
- Autumn (September to November): During Autumn, the Highlands transform into a photographer’s dream. With a stunning tapestry of autumnal hues and a peaceful atmosphere, it is perhaps the best time to be here. However, during the later autumn season, be prepared for cold weather.
- Winter (December to February): While the days are shorter, it is an ideal time for winter enthusiasts. Loch Ness during winter can be enchanting. It is when you can enjoy hearty Scottish cuisine and the warmth of Highland pubs.
Day Itinerary for Lochness in the Highlands
Here’s a quick and practical Itinerary for a day trip from Inverness to Loch Ness in The Highlands:
Morning 8:00 AM Depart from Inverness, and you will be able to make the most out of your day.
By 9:00 AM, arrive at Urquhart Castle, a historic ruin on the shores of Loch Ness. From here, enjoy the breathtaking views of Lock. Also, do not forget to explore the castle’s remains.
At 10:30 AM, enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness and experience its tranquil waters. If lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive Loch Ness Monster. Also known as Nessie, this long-necked, aquatic beast remains a mystery but one of the reasons for the increasing tourism here.
At 12:00 PM, take a small food break and head to a local restaurant or café near Loch Ness. Or you can head to the nearby village of Drumnadrochit for a quick meal. Either opt for fresh seafood or enjoy traditional Scottish dishes like haggis, neeps, and tatties.
By Afternoon, 2:00 PM, depart for Beauly, a charming village in Highland. Take your time to visit the historic Beauly Priory or walk across the picturesque streets of the village.
By 3:30 PM, head to the Culloden Battlefield, the site of a pivotal battle in Scottish history. Make sure you check out the visitors’ center as well.
Until 5:00 PM, reach Fort George, an impressive 18th-century fortress overlooking the Moray Firth. It is where you can end your day trip.
By 6:30 PM or a little later, as the day winds down, return to Inverness.
This itinerary offers a well-rounded experience that combines natural beauty and historical significance altogether. Whether you are interested in nature, history, or both, this day trip will make up for it all.
Local Cuisine and Dining Options at Lochness in the Highlands
If you are confused about where to eat at Loch Ness, here are a few options to consider:
1. Fiddler’s Highland Restaurant:
Near Loch Ness, the Fiddler’s Highland Restaurant is located in Drumnadrochit. The restaurant is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere. Their menu is full of traditional Scottish dishes and a variety of whisky options. It is an ideal place to enjoy classic Scottish cuisine in a cozy setting.
2. Rocpool Restaurant:
Nestled in Inverness, this Rocpool Restaurant offers a modern and upscale dining experience. Their menu is full of dishes focused on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. If you are looking for a more contemporary dining experience after returning to Inverness, this is an excellent choice.
3. The Boathouse:
A popular restaurant near the southern end of Loch Ness, the Boathouse is a must-visit. It is nestled in the scenic village of Fort Augustus and is known for offering stunning views of the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness. Dining here combines mouthwatering food with a scenic setting. Their menu is mainly focused on a variety of seafood.
4. The Slaters Arms:
This traditional Scottish pub is situated in Beauly, a charming Highland village. The place has a friendly atmosphere and hearty pub food. It is an excellent joint if you want to enjoy classic pub fare with a pint of local ale.
Since you have all the information with you, begin with the trip.