Loch Ness
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Loch Ness: Tours & Tickets

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5 Loch Ness Monster Myths and Legends

Scotland's Loch Ness Monster has been the center of myth and tall tales for 1500 years. Though the Highlands are spectacular to see, its famous loch continues to lure visitors in hopes of a chance encounter with this elusive creature of the deep.

What lurks beneath the surface

What lurks beneath the surface

Some say that Scottish lore about mythological creatures living in its waters, such as kelpies, selkies and "water horses," fuels the fire of a monster prowling Loch Ness.

The saint that saved the day

The saint that saved the day

The first encounter was in 565 AD, when St. Columba drove a water beast away with the power of his voice and prevented it from devouring one of his companions in the water.

A grainy picture paints a thousand words

A grainy picture paints a thousand words

Road work along the shore in 1933 seemed to rouse Nessie from the deep, and a year later a black-and-white photo revealed a slender neck and small head emerging above the surface.

Jurassic proportions

Jurassic proportions

Nessie's features ironically resemble a plesiosaurus, a sea reptile that looks like a lizard with flippers and lived in the early Jurassic period 200 million years ago.

Let sleeping monsters lie

Let sleeping monsters lie

Extensive use of technology has yet to find the mythical monster. Though if ever caught, ancient legend predicts a catastrophic end of the region--it's food for thought!

Our insider tips

Getting to Loch Ness

If you're renting a car, take the A82 highway to reach the visitors' center in Drumnadrochit, which is on the northwest shore of Loch Ness. If you're relying on bus service, there are daily departures from Inverness (30 minutes) and Fort Williams (1 1/2 hours).

Loch Ness activities

The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition in Drumnadrochit exhibits the history of the region and the hunt for Nessie. The biggest attraction is, of course, a one-hour cruise on Loch Ness, complete with sonar equipment and underwater cameras just in case. Apart from the monster-mania, Urquhart Castle is nearby and worth a visit. Though blown to bits in 1692 and left in ruins, it provides amazing views of Loch Ness from its elevated location.

When to go

Scotland's weather is variable. You could wake up to grey and rain, but then bask in sunshine by lunchtime. May and June are recommendable months to visit, as the weather is generally fine, and the days are long. Consider September, as well, when the crowds are less and fall is in the air.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Hours will depend largely on your means of transportation. Tours of the loch will have limited times.
  • Is it expensive?
    Prices vary by tour or mode of transportation, as well as the activities you plan to do there.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It's not necessary, but for a short visit, a guide can point out the best locations to see.
  • How to get there
    Loch Ness is reachable by car or bus, with many tours passing through from major cities.
  • Additional information
    Be prepared for rain while visiting and pack accordingly! Pay attention to transportation times when planning your visit!

What people are saying about Loch Ness

Gray Line - With the singing driver Brendan

Very entertaining and funny ride through one of the most beautiful and nicest countries in the world. Brendan is very knowledgeable about the Scottish history and always had a joke ready. We recommend Gray Line to do this ride, especially with Brendan.

The driver (Dougie) was very well prepared and caring.

Sometimes the information was too much as one can only absorb so much information after a while. Nevertheless his sense of humour and knowledge must be commended. He often said he loved his job and how he carried out his duties, reflected this. He made the entire experience worthwhile, informative and enjoyable. The coach was well appointed which made someone with a mild disability comfortable.

This is not the most popular tour in Scotland for nothing

Yes, you sit in the bus for a long time. But they tell you stories and the view outside is just spectacular. And when you actually get to your interest points, it's fantastic. The guide was, as one would expect, realy really nice, funny and informative. Just do it!

Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh Reviewed by Sebastian, 05/01/2019

This should be in everyone's bucket list who believes in La dolce vita

Owen - Yes that's the name of the wonderful guide, who took us from medieval royal mile to all the way to mythological loch Ness via breathtaking sceneic glens & bens & lochs. As a family it was an awesome time spent together. Thank you so much for these fantastic memories. And yeah, Owen should have a PhD in whiskey. Enbra uni - are you listening?

Laura was amazing professional guide and driver

Our driver + guide was Laura. Her story telling about history added very special memories and values to our highlands tour. We do recommend to join this tour with Laura.

Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh Reviewed by Anonymous, 04/27/2019

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