Discover Loch Ness, one of the most famous sites in Scotland. Located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness stretches from Inverness all the way down to Fort Augustus. This enchanting loch is best known as the home of the infamous Loch Ness Monster, Nessie, but catching a glimpse of this ancient sea monster isn’t the only reason to visit this magical location.
With the lockdown still firmly in place, we all long for a time when travel and adventure can be part of our lives again. Luckily, we’ve devised the perfect way for you to enjoy a bit of Scotland and plan a trip to remember without leaving your living room.
Join us on a virtual tour and explore the mystery and landscape of our best-selling tour of Loch Ness and The Highlands.
Cairngorms National Park
Loch Ness/Urquhart Castle
Admire Sweeping Views at the Forth Bridges
We start our journey by heading over the iconic Forth Bridges. Towering side-by-side across the Firth of Forth waters, the bridges represent the pinnacle of engineering from three very different centuries.
Forth Bridge (to the right), is the oldest and opened in 1890. It’s the first major steel structure in the world and the world’s longest cantilever bridge. The Forth Road Bridge (in the middle) opened in 1964 and is over 2.4 km long. It was the fourth-longest in the world when it opened. Then there’s the Queensferry Crossing, the youngest, which opened in August 2017 and cost a whopping £1.35bn to build!
Take in the marvellous view as we travel across the waters into the Kingdom of Fife.
Explore Perthshire and Pitlochry
Next, our Loch Ness Scotland tour takes us past Loch Leven and into Perthshire. We’ll go past the Fair City of Perth and make a stop in the delightful Victorian town of Pitlochry. Sitting in the heart of Highland Perthshire just below Ben Vrackie, the speckled mountain, Pitlochry is the perfect place for a quick getaway.
Pitlochry hosts several annual events, like the Highland Games or Etape Caledonia cycling race. Or you can visit the Enchanted Forest in nearby Faskally Wood. If the dazzling light visuals against the natural backdrop of the forest don’t leave you awestruck, we don’t know what will.
If you’re just passing through you can simply visit one of the lovely local coffee shops. Enjoy a nice cuppa and a pastry before jumping back on the tour bus.
Breathe the Fresh Air in Cairngorms National Park
We continue our tour through the dramatic scenery of the Grampian Mountains into the wilderness of the Cairngorms National Park. Stretching across a colossal 4,528 sq km (1,748 sq miles), it’s the largest national park in the UK and is bigger than the whole country of Luxembourg.
The Cairngorms offers snowsports, watersports and endless hiking trails, making it the mecca of outdoor adventures. There’s even a sled dog centre, or if you’re feeling brave you also find the UK’s only bungy jumping site here.
This breathtaking landscape leads all the way into Inverness, the “Capital of the Highlands”.
Look for the Loch Ness Monster at Loch Ness
Loch Ness is the most famous loch in Scotland, mainly as the home of the mythical Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. Rumours of the creature’s existence began in the sixth century and curious travellers are still coming here to see if they can spot her. Aim your binoculars to the water and see if you can get a glimpse for yourself.
Although, if the search for sea monsters isn’t your thing there’s plenty of other things to do in Loch Ness. Why not enjoy a cruise on the loch or a visit to beautiful Drumnadrochit?
Make sure to admire the stunning Urquhart Castle. Urquhart Castle is over 1000 years old and has seen some of the most dramatic chapters in Scotland’s history. From the castle grounds, you’ll get a spectacular view of the loch (and Nessie, if you’re lucky).
Experience Dramatic Beauty on the Road from Great Glen to Fort William
Next, we’ll travel along the length of Loch Ness, through the glorious landscape of Great Glen all the way down to Fort William.
Located on the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe, Fort William provides stunning views of the majestic Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. Fort Williams is known for its proximity to great outdoors and acts as the gateway for everything from hikes up Ben Nevis to snowsports in Nevis Range.
If you’re not the outdoorsy type, why not visit the West Highland Museum? Or you can take a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train.
You can also visit the Ben Nevis Distillery, which is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. Slàinte Mhath!
Take a Moment to Reflect at Glen Coe, the “Glen of Weeping”
After a wee dram at the distillery, we’ll travel onto the volcanic glen of Glen Coe.
Glen Coe is one of the most beautiful and fantasy-like places in Scotland. It’s also the site of one of the most heartbreaking tales, which is why it’s also known as the “Glen of Weeping.”
In 1692, several members of the Clan MacDonald were tragically betrayed and murdered in cold blood by soldiers operating under Archibald Campbell, 10th earl of Argyll. The massacre took place following the Jacobite rising in 1689 and the MacDonalds were slaughtered for not promptly swearing allegiance to the cause.
Campbell’s men had mixed feelings about their orders and some protested by breaking their swords. Despite their trepidation, Campbell’s soldiers killed 38 MacDonald members and put their villages to the torch. The MacDonalds who survived fled the glen and another forty died from exposure. Some say you can still hear their cries…
With Glen Coe’s majestic mountains and breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder that so many famous movies, like Harry Potter and Jame Bond’s Skyfall, have been filmed here.
Admire Rannoch Moor’s Rugged Beauty
We’ll wrap up our virtual tour by travelling through the rugged terrain of Rannoch Moor. Rannoch Moor extends for some 50 square miles and is one of the most unspoilt and desolate areas in Europe.
You can make a stop in Kinloch Rannoch and visit the Rannoch Station Visitors Centre. There you can learn about the fauna and flora of Rannoch Moor, and how the railway line was built. The West Highland Railway, between Glasgow and Fort William, is often voted one of the best rail journeys in the world.
After a stop in the little village of Tyndrum for refreshments, the last part of the journey will head towards Doune and Stirling, where there will be wonderful views of its historic castle and the towering Wallace Monument.
Discover Loch Ness and the Highlands with Scottish Tours
Thank you for joining us on our virtual journey through some of our favourites places in the Scottish Highlands. Book onto our Loch Ness and The Highlands to experience this tour in-person or enjoy our virtual tour to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.