Are you looking for things to do in Loch Ness?
If Nessie happens to be away on monster business during your visit to Scotland´s largest and most famous loch, you won’t be at a loss for things to do.
Located 37 miles from Inverness, the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding area makes for idyllic hiking, cycling or a lazy picnic by the shore. Historic castles and places of interest, fishing and water sports are among the many activities you can enjoy beside the UK’s largest body of water.
The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition
Top of the list for visitors to the Highlands and Loch Ness is the Loch Ness Centre. The 5-star award-winning attraction set across 7 themed areas that use authentic under archive footage and the very latest technology to explore the research and folklore surrounding the monster’s history through the exploration of 500 million years of Loch Ness history.
Special effects and lasers are used to delve into the legends and myths surrounding Loch Ness. Cruises on the Loch Ness research vessel are available during the summer. There are lots of monster activities for children and a huge, everything Scottish retail centre for your whisky and the new kilt, restaurants and cafes, a day out not to be missed.
Come and meet Nessie in her own environment, see the evidence of her existence with photos and film of the sightings.
At Nessieland you can sit on a dinosaur, explore the exciting Nessie Caves, follow the Nessie Trail and tour the area on the Nessie Rover adventure.
There’s an adventure playground, an overhead miniature railway and fascinating interactive activities for the children. With coffee, snacks and souvenirs, there’s all you could wish for on a day out with the family at Loch Ness. Pets are welcome.
Dating back to the 13th century, the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle house a thousand years of Highland history in a wild, beautiful setting.
You can climb the atmospheric Grant Tower and see the cell where the poet Domhnall Donn was imprisoned, take yourself back in time to the magnificent banquets held in the great hall and relive Urquhart’s long and bloody history through the exhibitions, replicas and collections of films.
Set on a headland, with panoramic views, Urquhart is one of the most popular castles with visitors. There is an accessible visitor centre and disability scooters available. Pets welcome.
Falls of Foyers
The spectacular 140ft Falls of Foyers are set in a dramatic gorge in the tiny village of Foyers on the southern side of Loch Ness. This beautiful, popular location is surrounded by woodlands, home to red squirrels and a haven for nature lovers, walkers and photographers. A path leads along the gorge to the Loch Ness shores and there’s tea and cake in the café at the entrance.
The Caledonian Canal Centre
Discover the rich local heritage at this world-class centre which attracts local and international visitors all year round. A variety of interactive displays and activities centre around the historic Caledonian Canal, Loch Ness and the Great Glen.
Sample the delicious homemade food and ice-cream from the Black Isle Dairy and buy your souvenirs at the gift shop. There are also holiday lets available.
The Village of Drumnadrochit
This lovely village, popular with Nessie hunters, is located at the top of Urquhart Bay on the northern Loch Ness shore. Nestling among the glens, this is the perfect base for exploring the Highlands. Drumnadrochit offers an abundance of things to do locally including horse riding, and fishing trips.
Walking and Hiking
Meall Fuar-mhonaidh: A landmark at 699m high, the highest point at Loch Ness, this is a fantastic hike for experienced walkers. With breathtaking views from the summit taking in the whole length of Loch Ness and Ben Nevis in the south.
The South Loch Ness Trail: One of the most popular trails around Inverness and Loch Ness, the whole walk takes about 2 or 3 days through rugged, beautiful landscape and woodlands. There are the most incredible views across the Loch.
Glen Affric: Majestic snow-capped mountains and ancient forests, Glen Affric has been described as the most beautiful Scottish glen. Your visit to Loch Ness would not be complete without at least driving to the car park for the view. The 10 mile hike around the full circuit takes in the full majesty of the glen, and then you can rest among the splendour with a picnic at Strawberry Cottage.
The Great Glen Canoe Trail and the Great Glen Way: Close to Loch Ness, here are 2 enormously popular trails with facilities available for paddlers, walkers and cyclists along the route. Other activities include climbing, abseiling and weaselling. What’s weaselling? Rock hopping or scrambling.
Based at the Highland Club in Fort Augustus, Monster Activities is set in spectacular surroundings and offers a fantastic range of exhilarating outdoor activities. You´ll find great food and a glass of whisky in the village restaurants and cosy pubs. All activities are strictly supervised and tuition is available.
- White Water Rafting
- Abseiling: for all ages
- Clay Pigeon Shooting: guns, cartridges provided
- Canoeing and Kayaking: range of kayaks and tuition
- Tomahawk and knife throwing
- Air rifles: tuition on target shooting
Climbing Outdoor Discovery
Close to the Cairngorms National Park, there is lots of fun for everyone over the age of 4 at Outdoor Discovery. Equipment hire and friendly experts are on hand to help you try:
- dry ski and snowboarding with tuition
- surfing simulator
- climbing wall, trampoline
- junior quad biking, grass sledging
- inflatable Laser Tag venue – play hide and seek with lasers
3 Wise Monkeys Climbing Centre
An hour’s drive from Loch Ness, at 3 Wise Monkeys Climbing Centre the climbing wall routes are coloured to suit all abilities, from experienced climbers to complete beginners and children. Instructors are available and no time limit. If climbing isn’t your thing, you can relax in the comfy chill-out zone with a coffee and watch your monkeys. There’s tasty food in the café.
Loch Ness Cruises
Castle Cruises: A one hour round trip, ticket includes pick up from the ticket office, the informative, entertaining guided cruise takes in dramatic Urquhart Castle.
Fish Loch Ness: For the ultimate fishing experience on 23 miles of water, here´s a guided fishing trip with all equipment provided and expert tuition. You might catch a Brown Trout, Ferox Trout, Sea trout, Pike or even an Atlantic Salmon. Good luck!
Loch Ness Cruises: All aboard the “Nessie Hunter” for an entertaining, informative family-run cruise and the distinct possibility of catching a glimpse of Nessie if she’s feeling brave. The cruise takes in Urquhart Castle and Fort Augustus Abbey. A great option for the children.