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Hotels in Loch Ness

Shrouded in legend, Loch Ness is a beautiful and charming place set in stunning countryside.

Book one of our Loch Ness hotels and discover historic attractions, natural beauty and myriad opportunities for outdoor activities amid the lakes, heather-covered moors and hills.

Outdoor activities

There are plenty of routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders through the countryside around Loch Ness. The Affric Kintail Way is a 44-mile cross-country route between Drumnadrochit and Morvich in the west, while the Great Glen Way runs from Inverness to Fort William. The South Loch Ness Trail runs for 28 miles down the side of the loch from Torbreck to Loch Tarff and offers stunning views. The route includes the spectacular Falls of Foyers, a 165-foot-high waterfall which feeds the loch.

The 60-mile Caledonian Canal, Scotland's largest, was built by engineer Thomas Telford at the beginning of the 19th century to link Inverness with Fort William. It is a beautiful place to go boating, canoeing, walking, cycling or fishing – as well as salmon and sea trout, you might also catch brown trout, eel, pike or lamprey. A wide range of wildlife is found on and around its banks, including red deer, red squirrels and wildcats, and a group of bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth. Birdwatchers should look out for buzzards, lesser spotted woodpeckers, eagles and ospreys.

Historic attractions

Standing on the shores of the loch is the medieval Urquhart Castle, now ruined but once one of Scotland's largest castles. You'll learn about life in the Middle Ages as you explore the castle, including the kitchens, cellars, guardhouse and five-storey Grant Tower, which has excellent views of the loch.

The Battle of Culloden, in 1746, was the last hand-to-hand battle fought in Britain and marked the end of the Jacobite Rising. In just an hour, before they were routed, between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites were killed or wounded, and the effects of the battle were felt for centuries. You can visit the battlefield itself as well as its visitor centre, where you'll learn about the battle and the events before and after it.

Eating and drinking

For homemade light lunches, breakfasts, cakes and scones, head to the family-run Glen Rowan Café in Invermoriston. A TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the café also has a selection of individually made handbags and cards by Scottish artists for sale. Another Certificate of Excellence winner is the Lovat Brasserie in Fort Augustus, which serves modern versions of Scottish classics. Sit outside and enjoy views of the River Moriston at the Redburn Café, which serves lunches, cakes and coffee – in the summer you might see the ospreys fishing. For Highland beef, wild venison and fish from the west coast, visit the Loch Ness Inn in Drumnadrochit, listed in the Michelin Guide and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner.

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