Plan. Visit. Discover
Explore where to go and what to see and do to help build the best itinerary.
Explore where to go and what to see and do to help build the best itinerary.
Our destination is packed full of history!
Whether it's castles, forts, ruins, stone circles, churches, battlefields to name just a few, you will have no trouble filling your itinerary of interesting, historic places to visit. View where they are positioned across the area on the map to the right and it will help you plan your trip so you can visit as much as possible during your stay.... although there is no rush, you can leave a few for a return visit!
Or read the features and articles below that have been inspired by visits to the area that have covered our historic attractions.
Exploring by water doesn't just mean Nessie hunting!
You can discover our waters by going as fast or as slow as you wish! From relaxing cruises with a nice coffee to adrenaline pumping rib rides, there is an option for everyone! You can sail our famous loch in search of our mystical legend Nessie or take to the local firths to spot an abundance of wildlife, birds and of course the most sought after sighting of the local bottle nosed dolphins. Sailings from Inverness, Dochgarroch and Fort Augustus, you can choose from the locations and businesses who offer tours by clicking on the "View on map" link to the right.
To learn more about the local boat tours, read the features and articles below.
Something we are not short of is outdoor space, our destination is an outdoor enthusiasts playground!
If you are looking for things to do and places to visit outside, this is the option for you to help you plan your trip and explore everything the great outdoors has to offer!
Outdoor activities range from watersports like canoeing and paddleboarding, cycling, golf, fishing, outdoor historic attractions and visitor centres to natural hidden gems. There is so much choice and something for all the family so no one misses out!
Click the "view on map" link to open up all the choices or be inspired by the features below written on experiences and adventures locals, bloggers and photographers have had in our area.
Well sometimes the Scottish weather can put a dampner on plans but fear not, there are plenty of indoor activities and attractions across the destination to keep you occupied.
Visitor centres, exhibitions and museums will provide fun and learning on our local history, culture, arts, myths and legends. The theatre, cinemas, leisure centre and ice skating will keep all the family occupied, entertained and smiling. Don't forget there is always a shopping trip to be had to secure the best gift or holiday treat to help remember your trip by.
To see all the indoor activities available click on the "View on map" link or read about what has been experienced in the features and articles below.
We are so lucky to have so much stunning nature and wildlife on our doorstep!
Spotting wildlife isn't always easy as the clue is in the word "wild" but we can point you in the right directions. We have deer, red squirrels, numerous bird life, otters, seals and the popular bottle nosed dolphins who come by to our firth during the spring and summer.
As well as this nature option, also take a look at the hidden gems filter as you will also find some local spots of natural beauty off the beaten track to explore for wildlife.
Click on the "View on map" button to get all the options or read up on the experiences of nature that our bloggers have experienced in the destination,
Learn all about the traditions and culture of the Highlands of Scotland.
Clans, tartans, history, people, language, food, landscapes and much much more.
Take in the shows and exhibitions around the area in attractions like The Clansman Centre in Fort Augustus, The Highlanders Museum at Fort George and The Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre.
Our tummies are important when there is so much adventure and exploring to do!
We have such a great choice of food and drink options available that if you did nothing else your trip would be full from just eating in different places.
Whether you are looking for a simple and delicious coffee and cake stop to an outstanding fine dining experiences, you will find something to suit all budgets and tastes on offer.
Click on the "View on map" button to open up all the options in the area.
If you enjoy taking more relaxed approach to exploring and want to be guided around the area or an attraction, this filter will help you choose a business that can take away the hassle of planning it all yourself!
From private tours, bus tours, cycling and walking tours, there are options for all needs and requirements. Also really handy if you arrive to the destination and have no transport, this opens so many options of discovery for you!
To help you locate the right local business to provide what you need, click on the "View on map" link to open all the choices available in the destination.
Find out about pet friendly accommodation, activities and businesses that welcome your furry family along!
When you have the whole family to entertain it is useful to have as many ideas and options as possible of things to do, well you are in luck!
There is an excellent choice of family friendly attractions and activities available across the destination that come within all budgets and varieties so that everyone gets to do something fun that they enjoy during your day trip or holiday.
Click the "View on map" button to open the map of choices and also take a read of the family friendly itineraries and articles to help you choose what activities and attractions are right for you.
If you like to explore a destination by motorbike, car or motorhome you can head off into any direction and we hope you have plenty of time as there is so much to see.
Specific driving routes and itineraries will soon be available to view but for now please read the articles below written by locals and bloggers who have visited and explore he area by car.
With the stunning scenery and historic locations around the destination it's no wonder that they have featured in many books, films and series.
More recently the Outlander stories have made a few of our local historic attractions a must visit, including Clava Cairns where many go to touch the standing stones to see if they get taken back in time to meet their very own Jamie.
Who doesn't love a little treat or gift to take home to remind you of your holiday?
As well as the main shopping area of the city centre that is home to the Eastgate shopping centre, the High Street and Victorian market you will find lots of local independent shopping opportunities around the destinations within hotels, attractions and local villages.
We always use the ethos support local and you are sure to find something special and unique as a great memento.
Click on the "View on map" button to see some options.
The city comes alive at night with its bars and restaurants and we also have the fabulous Eden Court theatre that has many touring shows, comedians and music shows.
But if you like something a little different like star gazing or looking for the northern lights, you can escape the city and go to some of the rural locations to take in the incredibly starry skies with a hope of catching the northern lights on a lucky night!
If you like a round of golf there are many local courses to choose from.
Due to demand, some forward planning and booking would be advisable to avoid disappointment.
View the range of courses by clicking the map button.
Meet the oldest and most handsome breed of cattle in the world! Highland Cows are generally top, if not very high up on the list of things to see and get a photo of!
Our Highland Cow map filter shows you where you should see them throughout the year across our destination.
(Please note that sometimes they can be moved into different fields.)
If Whisky is your tipple or you want to try a dram, there is plenty to choose from and you will get a huge range in the local bars, pubs and hotels.
Taking a tour of a distillery is a great experience, learning all about the history and process of our famous spirit and of course to get a tasting!
We all like to find something a little off the beaten track.
We are lucky to have some really lovely gems in our area, some more hidden than others but gems all the same. From waterfalls to woodland walks with lovely views, they generally have a great nature connection so that you can hopefully witness some of the beautiful local wildlife.
As well as this map filter, you can look at the Nature and wildlife option where you may see some other ideas for your itinerary.
Locations to top up drinking water
It’s charming high street is home to the impressive ruins of the Beauly Priory situated a small wooded area, popular with outlander fans from its mention in the books and series by Diana Gabaldon. Close by is the River Beauly where you can take a relaxing scenic stroll before visiting the local independent gift shops, deli and cafes for a much needed refreshment or the local hotels and restaurants for something more substantial.
Beauly is a peaceful location to base yourself if you are exploring the surrounding local areas and want a more relaxed environment, it has a great range of accommodation options to suit every travellers needs.
They may not be big dwellings but what they don’t have in size they have steeped in history!
Culloden is home to the battlefield where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end. The visitor centre is a must see exhibition and you cannot help but feel the emotion of the battle when walking the grounds. Culloden is also home to the Clava Cairns another historic site dating back 4000 year.
Cawdor is an extremely quaint little village situated further East from Culloden. Cawdor castle and it’s stunning gardens are situated in the village centre and is a popular visit for locals and visitors year on year.
It is home to the world famous historical attraction of Urquhart Castle that brings visitors globally to explore the ruins nestled on the shores of Loch Ness. Accessible by land or boat the castle ruins capture the imagination of anyone who visits and they are treated to the most stunning panoramic views of the Loch to make Nessie spotting a whole lot easier! Discover more about the mystical legend of the loch at the Loch Ness Exhibition centre. Years of historical facts and findings will help you decide if you think there is more to Loch Ness than meets the eye!
With accommodation available to suit every budget, a wonderful choice of local restaurants and pubs serving delicious food, attractions and activities to keep you going for weeks, don’t just rush through, take your time and stay a while, you won’t regret it!
The waters of Loch Ness form part of the Caledonian canal that flows through the village from Fort William to Inverness. The
The 60 miles of the Caledonian Canal that flows Fort William to Inverness passes through Fort Augustus where you can spend the day watching the boats tackle the impressive set of canal locks that step down to Loch Ness and learn about its history at the canal heritage centre.
Fort Augustus is another great place to base yourself for a wider adventure in the area, cruise the loch with a boat trip choosing from a relaxing sail to a heart pumping rib experience. Learn about the traditional Highland way of life at the clansman centre, spend your days walking the many local paths to find the hidden gem waterfalls and views.
Hotels, guest houses, self catering and camping options available to make sure you are well rested for all the fun, as well as tasty locally sourced food and drink on offer to keep your energy levels to ensure you have the best experience possible.
Situated on the south side of Loch Ness you will find the delightful small village of Foyers. Although smaller than other communities around Loch Ness, this one is home to one of the most stunning natural gems of the area, the falls of Foyers. The waterfall has a drop of 89ft and can flow from a small delicate trickle to a raging force, this can be seen and photographed from two viewing areas that are accessed by steps down through a rich woodland. The waterfall walk can take you down following the River Foyers and to the banks of Loch Ness.
There are some breath-taking local walks with Loch views a plenty, Foyers is a great place to base your stay if you are looking to unwind and relax but want to be in close proximity to all the other activities and attractions around the area. A well earned rest will be required after all the activity and Foyers has a brilliant offering of places to stay, delicious dining options as well as simple refreshment stops for a slice of cake and a nice coffee!
If seeing a Highland cow is on your bucket list, you can find them here all year round at Camerons Tea rooms and farmshop.
Whether it’s walking, cycling, paddleboarding or kayaking, or even a just a drive to take a breath in the stunning scenery or visit one of the natural hidden gems that are plentiful in the area, this glen is a memory making visit!
Included in the hidden gems accessed through the picturesque village of Tomich is the jaw dropping Plodda falls, with its 150 ft drop into the River Glass. If you have a good head for heights, the viewing platform is a must, look down if you dare!
Taking the road further into Glen Affric through pretty Cannich village you will come onto a small single track road before reaching Dog Falls, another set of rambling waterfalls that has a fabulous viewpoint walk that gives you an incredible view over the glen.
Loch Affric is a very popular walking and cycling route that is also connected to the Kintail way, ancient Caledonian pine woods, mountains, wildlife and birds of prey are just a few things that will fill your heart with joy and your camera full of amazing photos!
The surrounding villages of Cannich, Tomich and Struy have a great choice of accommodation on offer and you can treat yourself to all the calories you want after spending the days exploring in the pubs, restaurants and cafes in these villages.
A perfect mix of a vibrant small city scene with an escape to the surrounding natural beauty of the area within minutes!
Discover modern Highland life by testing all your senses, mouth watering food and drink with every choice from 5 star fine dining to comforting pub grub. Savour all the sights with a birds eye view from the castle looking down onto the beautiful River Ness that snakes its way through the cities heart centre. Breath in the fresh Highland air with a relaxing stroll to the Ness islands, a slice of nature in the city where you can take a seat, watch the world go by and the locals fishing for salmon in the river. Soak up the sounds of Highland culture after dark with a fun evening of local live music accompanied with a delicious dram, or a trip to Eden court, the main theatre, cinema and arts venue in the Highlands. Treat yourself with a gift to remember the whole experience. Whether you like high street shopping or something more unique from the independent local retailers found in the Victorian market.
After all the excitement of a days adventures you have a superb range of accommodation providers available from camping and Glamping, cozy bed and breakfasts to 5 star hotel luxury, there is something to suit all budgets and requirements. One thing is for certain, you will leave Inverness with a yearning to return again and again!
Loch Ness is the famous 23 mile long body of water that starts in Inverness and finishes at Fort Augustus connected at each end by the Caledonian canal. The loch is home to our mystical legend Nessie also known as the Loch Ness monster.
Loch Ness is known as an area in itself but you can visit many villages that surround its shores that complete our destination. You will find more details on them listed individually in the locations filter in this section to help inspire your itineraries and trip planning.
You will not be stuck for things to do, numerous places to stay and great food and drink offerings, the most useful advice we can give is.... don't rush! Don't just drive on by and think that you have "done" Loch Ness, we promise you, you won't have scratched the surface!
Take some time to read through the experiences from our locals who have written articles and bloggers who have visited and created features and videos on their adventures of discovery around the area. These will help you plan the best itinerary to suit you and make sure you have the best time when you come and visit!
Let us take you on a journey through Loch Ness...
Our Highland Travel Bucket List
Kate is the blogger behind Love, from Scotland, the Scotland travel blog which shows you how to get outside and explore Scotland.
Driving on Single Track Roads in Scotland
Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day in Inverness and Loch Ness
Where is Loch Ness?
Discover the legend hidden in a loch full of mystery.
Discover Inverness and Loch Ness by taking on a local sporting event!
Run along the legendary Loch... you may even spot Nessie!
Are you looking to explore Highland wildlife? If so then read on and see where to can catch a glimpse of a variety of Scottish species.
Our Favourite Winter Activities in Scotland
Dun Bonnet’s Cave in Foyers
Finding all the places to have a delicious Afternoon Tea in Inverness and Loch Ness
A guide to a traditional Burns Night in Scotland
Find all the places your dog can join you for food and drink in Inverness and the surrounding area.
When thinking about Scotland, there is a fair chance that whisky will be a prominent feature.
Explore the many prehistoric sites and standing stones near Inverness.
Hidden Gems in the Scottish Highlands
For anyone visiting Loch Ness, one of the best ways to enjoy the majesty and wonder of the Scottish Highlands is on foot.
Tours from Inverness
Come and Explore our Loch Ness and Inverness Gardens
Cycle Around Loch Ness and Inverness
A new app to take you on a historic discovery around Inverness.
Explore this hidden gem in Inverness – a must-do for wildlife enthusiasts!
Many of our Inverness and Loch Ness visitors arrive in the area by air or rail and although hiring a car is very popular, it’s not a must.
Glen Affric Walks this Autumn
Inverness Weather: We Reveal Some Surprising Facts!
Locate free fresh water top up locations around Inverness and Loch Ness
We can offer a whole host of different romantic holidays here in Scotland. A crackling log fire on a winter’s night, snow falling, oh so lightly, onto the window frames. The faint smell of pine smoke in the air and the flickering shadows dancing all around you, as you both snuggle up with a glass of your favourite tipple. Birch woods, dappled sunlight patterns and a carpet of bluebells, so rich in the springtime. Spread a blanket and savour a picnic that tastes so much better seasoned with the scent of woodland and all around a symphony of birdsong provides the entertainment from dawn till dusk. Stargazing the Highland skies in winter, free of light pollution. The inky blackness of the sky makes the stars stand out like jewels. And to complete the romantic scenario, you get a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Read more in our After Dark blog.
Sustainable tourism and travel with Trees For Life.
It's tranquil, surprising and satisfying. A March holiday in Inverness, the capital of Highlands. It's not full of visitors, yet the weather can really bless you with some warm, sunny days and even if it spits a little, there are plenty of things to do indoors.
Let us help you create the perfect bespoke itinerary for your trip to Inverness and Loch Ness!
We will try to keep it to 5 reasons...but there are many more!
Kayaking Holidays in the Scottish Highlands
Getting from Inverness to Loch Ness
How to avoid Midges in the Scottish Highlands
How to Celebrate Hogmanay in the Highlands
Our Top Three Hiking Trails
Wild Swimming in Scotland near Inverness and Loch Ness
Spring Activities in Inverness and Loch Ness
Inverness is the perfect base to explore every corner of the Highlands from, let us tell you how!
Learn about the local culture, traditions and unique experiences.
Get the best shots of the area for the "gram" - be in the know with all the Instagrammable places!
Discover what not to miss before you explore Loch Ness!
Get to know all about our famous coos and where to find them!
Visiting Inverness and Loch Ness the sustainable travel way
What to see and do after dark!
Enjoy a visit to Inverness and Loch Ness without hurting the bank balance and try these things you can do for free.
With so many things to do in Inverness, where do you start? This blog will help!
There's no need to rush the miles, stay a while and enjoy your time in our area!
If your trip to Inverness and Loch Ness is inspired by all things Highland culture and traditions then you must read this blog...
Sam is a Scottish travel blogger, writer and history geek with extensive knowledge of Scotland as a visitor destination.
Inverness is the epicentre and launchpad to loads of different cycling adventures...
There is no better way to experience the beauty and tranquillity of Loch Ness than with a camping holiday...
Inverness is a vibrant, bustling, and picturesque place filled with things to do and see...
There are no places in the country quite like Loch Ness...
Calum is a photographer, film-maker from the Highlands who is passionate about all things adventure and the outdoors.
Kathi is a travel blogger, podcaster and writer with a deep love for Scotland and an eye for itinerary planning.
Janice Hopper is a family travel blogger and freelance travel writer exploring Scotland
Ali is a freelance photographer and commercial drone pilot based in Glasgow
Neil is a travel writer, presenter and broadcaster specialising in his home country of Scotland.