Loch Ness and Inverness are steeped in history, aside from the Loch Ness Monster. This vast Highland Loch lies along a natural geographic fault line that stretches across the breadth of Scotland. Geographically, it has always been an important site for military, political and commercial reasons – and almost certainly had settlers as long ago as 2000 BC.
In the first millennium, the Great Glen was populated by Pictish tribes who gradually converted to Christianity following the pilgrimages of figures such as St Columba. By the 1200s, the area was in considerable turmoil following revolts against the monarchy and the loss of Urquhart Castle to the English. Following the coronation of Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland in 1306, ownership of the castle passed back to the Scottish Crown – although Urquhart was to fall time and again to the Clan MacDonald. In the 1600s, the castle was abandoned, but the ruins still stand today – and provide an evocative reminder of Scotland’s violent past.
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