Loch Ness is just eight miles from Inverness
A question often asked by members of the public planning a visit to Inverness is, “how easy is it to get to Loch Ness from Inverness”, so I thought I would try to answer it fully in this article. It is easy to overlook simple things for people living in a place, when describing it to potential visitors - as a local you just know where the bus and train station is and where the airport is and so on, so for the benefit of all first time visitors to Inverness, here it is. For those not sure where we are then see our article Where is Loch Ness.
Most people visiting Inverness, given the time, want to pay a visit to Loch Ness to see it for themselves before leaving and as Loch Ness is only eight miles from Inverness there are various ways of getting there. Obviously, if you have a car, it is just fifteen minutes’ drive on relatively traffic free roads, see article - Driving on single track roads. The best driving route to be able to see the loch at close quarters is by taking the B862 from Inverness to Dores (signposts show Dores). Once on the B862 it goes all the way to Loch Ness so you can’t go wrong. As you approach Dores you get a spectacular view of Loch Ness and a great picture opportunity, then at Dores village, there is the best beach anywhere on Loch Ness and, for good measure, the Dores Inn is right on the beach - but don’t drink alcohol and drive - the legal drink drive limit in Scotland is less than one pint!
Inverness bus station, Farraline Park, is just a couple of hundred yards from the railway station in the centre of town. The number 16 bus leaves the bus station approximately every two hours to Dores, Inverfarigaig and Foyers. The first bus is approx. 9am and the last bus from Inverness to Dores leaves at approx. 17.50 but bear in mind, if you are spending some time at Loch Ness, that the last bus back to Inverness leaves Foyers at approx. 16.20 and Dores at 16.40. If you miss that bus you will have an eight mile walk or a taxi, which would have to come out from Inverness to collect you. You can find some useful phone numbers for Inverness travel and transport companies on our travel page.
A popular way for those with calories to burn, to get from Inverness to Loch Ness is by bike - you can hire them in Inverness and have a lovely day cycling the relatively flat 8 miles to the Loch and back. Best take a snack and drink with you as shops are not an option at Dores, but the Dores Inn does serve delicious meals!
A raincoat too should be an essential, just in case you experience changeable Highland weather. The route to Loch Ness by bike is the same as by car except that there are cycle paths for most of the way to Dores, thus making Inverness to Loch Ness on a bike a very nice day out. Want to hire bikes?