Key Places - Loch Ness & The Great Glen Way - Self-Guided
5 Day: Self-Guided: Off Road Tour
Inverness lies at the north eastern end of the Great Glen (Gleann Mòr). The city is the area’s largest metropolis and regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Meaning ‘mouth of the river Ness’ in Gaelic, the city is located where the Ness River flows out of Loch Ness into the Moray Firth (famous for its resident pod of Bottlenose dolphins).
Inverness is near to two key historic battle sites: the 11th-century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway which took place on The Aird to the west of the city and the 18th-century Battle of Culloden (the last battle fought on British soil. Inverness Castle now stands were, legend has it, was once the seat of 11th Century Gaelic king Mac Bethad Mac Findláich who murdered king Donnchad Mac Crinain, as fictionalised by Shakespeare in ‘the Scottish play’.
There are many other historic buildings, notably in the Old Town and Victorian Market. St Andrew's Cathedral, built from Red Tarradale stone, with a nave of five bays, divided by columns of Peterhead granite has an imposing position on the River Ness. You can take a circular walk from the castle along the river and through the Ness Islands. Other attractions in the city include Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, tropical gardens at Inverness Floral Hall and a Titanic Inverness Maritime Museum.
Above the city lies Craig Phadrig, an ancient hill fort and once the stronghold of Pictish Kings. From here you can enjoy forest walks and magnificent views of the Moray Firth.
The Great Glen Way
The Great Glen follows a natural fault line created in ancient times by a tectonic collision the raised the land mass of the Scottish highlands and opened a dramatic crevice across the entire country.
The Great Glen (An Gleann Mor) follows 80 miles of lochs and rivers from Glencoe and Fort William in the south to Inverness in the north. It's an incredible route created by nature through the Scottish Highlands, with dramatic scenery and verdant forests.
Highlights include Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal – Thomas Telfords ingenious harmonisation of technology with the lay of the land.
The Great Glen was strategically important in controlling the Highland Clans particularly during the 18th century Jacobite uprisings as can be seen from the location of Fort William in the south, fort Augustus in the middle of the glen and Fort George just north of Inverness.
"Where is Loch Ness? This beautiful loch located near Inverness is shrouded in mystery. Tales of a large monster living deep beneath the dark expanses of Loch Ness have circulated the world since the first photograph emerged in 1933. With over 1,000 eye-witness accounts, sightings and unexplained evidence, scientists continue to be baffled by the existence of Nessie. See for yourself on a boat trip and Nessie cruise from Inverness, Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit.
Did you know that Loch Ness contains more water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined, making it the most voluminous lake in the UK? This corner of the Highlands is world-famous for its dramatic scenery, great adventure sports and nearby castles and solitary lighthouses dotting the landscape. So take a Loch Ness break and enjoy a monster holiday!" Visit Scotland
Perched on the shoreline. The castle commands spectacular views across the water, especially from the top of its tower. It was the site of many battles and raids during the years it was in use, often switching hands and eventually being blown up by departing government forces in 1692 so that it could not be used by the Jacobites. There is also a full sized, working trebuchet siege engine in the castle grounds. More Here!
"Cycling the redspokes Loch Ness and the Great Glen Way was a dream come true. The stunning scenery, from the serene Loch Ness to the lush Great Glen, made every..."