The only lighthouse on Loch Ness has a fascinating history!
We were delighted to hear the great news that a Loch Ness landmark, Bona Lighthouse, has been restored and is now available to rent from Scottish Canals as a holiday let.
The lighthouse stands at the north end of the loch where it meets the Caledonian Canal and was built (along with the canal) by Thomas Telford, one of the greatest civil engineers of the 19th century.
It was once the UK’s smallest manned lighthouse and the “light” was a lantern in the window – this is still a feature of the restored lighthouse, so you get a real feel for its history when you visit. To get to Bona, follow the signpost for Lochend from the A82 as you’re heading out from Inverness towards Drumnadrochit.
The name “Bona” is said to come from the Gaelic “Bon Ath”, which means the white ford. In the olden days, when the water level of Loch Ness was lower, Bona was a major crossing for drove roads running South.
Not many people know though that 200 yards east of Bona Lighthouse are the remains of Bona Castle. It is also known as Castle Spioradain. Spioradain comes from the Gaelic for 'spirits'. It is said that the castle was haunted by the ghosts of some Cameron hostages who were murdered there. It is also said that the trees growing in the ruins, rubbing together, made strange, ghostly noises which could account for the castle's name!!!
During the building of the Caledonian Canal, the old ramparts of Castle Spioradain were used as a quarry and the raising of the water level of Loch Ness after the completion of the Canal covered what remained of the old castle.
Lots of history to discover in one small corner or Loch Ness! You can also enjoy fantastic views down the Loch from Lochend.