The Loch Ness tour was the last leg of our 3-day extravaganza. After two days beautifully spent at Portree and in the highlands of Skye, we bid adieu to our BnB owner and started off towards one of the most famous lochs of Skye, Loch Ness.
Here is a list of places you would encounter on your Loch Ness tour:
There are many ways to reach Loch Ness from Skye. Yet, our guide insisted on making our journey fun. So he loaded the traveler on a ferry and there we were, enjoying the beauty of the landscape, going across the calm waters to reach our destination. Ferry rides operating here are economical and fun. Therefore, they are worth a shot.
Ferry to Loch Ness
After a little drive ahead, we reached Loch Ness, the second largest loch in Scotland, after Loch Lomond. It is the largest water body running from Great Glen to Fort William. Loch Ness is indeed a beautiful loch, but it also associates with it the legend of Nessie, the famous monster known to have petrified the natives. Since years, Nessie has been described as a huge monster inhabiting this water body. Natives have spotted its long neck and humps in the loch. However, many claims dismiss this to be a hoax and mundane thinking.
The visitor center at Drumnadrochit is the main information center of Loch Ness, showcasing the documentaries and legend of this dark monster lurking since ages.
The Urquhart castle stands on the shores of Loch Ness, and has been a witness to a number of battles between the Scots and British. It is one of the largest royal castles in Scotland, and the northern and southern enclosures of the castle display many of the scant remains and intact structures. Get around the castle to know the history of Scotland better!
Tickets for entrance to the castle:
Child aged 5-15: £5.40
Our next stop was at Inverness. As the name suggests, Inverness is a city built ‘on the Ness’. Or it would be appropriate to call this a city at the mouth of Loch Ness. We stopped at the High Street, to get a better insight into the city. While historic structures and magnificent castles add to the beauty of this place, it is no less a perfect spot for shopping and exploring eateries. Here are some of the restaurants worth trying:
Saffron Indian Restaurant
Fig and Thistle
The high street is comprised of a number of small rues with more than 500 shops. Also, the recently expanded Eastgate Shopping Center would give you a number of avenues to explore. Also, near to The High Street lies the historic Culloden Battlefield and the ancient Caledonian Canal.
Other things to do at Inverness during the Loch Ness tour:
A walk around Ness islands: These islands are built on the river Ness and a walk around them would give you glimpses of ancient tree species and some wildlife as well!
Victorian Market: It lies close to the High Street and is a go-around for locals and natives. It encases a number of small shops in a Victorian style building.
Our next stop was at Pitlochry, a small town in the heart of Scotland. It has a vibrant feel and pretty architecture. A walk around the town would give you a glimpse of this small amazing town!
The Pitlochry market is a hub of some amazing souvenirs, delectable ice creams, and Harry Potter stuff! Get a list of some other interesting shops to explore:
There are various coffee shops and eateries in the heart of the city. Some of them are worth a try:
The Old Mill Inn
McKays Fish & Chips
We wouldn’t have wished the trip to end, yet watching the sunset at the Queensferry crossing was a memorable part of the Isle of Skye tour. The Queensferry bridge is a road bridge in Edinburgh, built near the Forth Bridge. It has been named after the First Forth estuary it stands in. While the Queensferry bridge is a depiction of modern skills and is still under construction, the Forth Bridge has a historic demeanor.
Its design has been deemed to be innovative and impressive and it has been granted Unesco World Heritage Site status. Opened by the then Prince of Wales, the Forth Bridge was the longest cantilever bridge in the world, entirely made of steel. The construction was so difficult that nearly 70 workers got killed during its creation.
We clicked a few photographs of this unique construction. The sun setting over the bridge was quite a marvel to look at. With the trains zooming past, the whole arena looked splendid.
With these facts and figures, our guide finally declared the end of this beautiful tour. As strongly as the co-travelers had bonded in this tour, it was not a surprise that bidding each other goodbye had become an impediment for all us. Also for our very dedicated guide, Andrew, who also shed a tear or two.
Yet every journey needs to end, so as to begin a new one. And therefore, we dispersed at Edinburgh once again, and it was hard to believe that it had been three days since we had been off!