DrumnadrochitScottish Highlands on the west shore of Loch Ness which largely subsists on "Nessie" tourism. It also has the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle. Every coach tour of the Highlands comes here.
The village is on the A82 between Inverness and Fort William. The usual approach is by road from Inverness, 15 miles north, which has an airport and rail services.
Two buses pass through the village, operated by Citylink and Stagecoach. Bus 919 runs along A82 between Fort William and Inverness via Spean Bridge, Laggan, Fort Augustus, Invermoriston, Castle Urquhart and Drumnadrochit, four times M-Sat and twice on Sunday. Bus 917 runs from Inverness to Portree on Skye via Drumnadrochit, Castle Urquhart and Invermoriston, then branches west on A87 towards Kyle of Lochalsh. This runs twice daily.
The core of Drumnadrochit is around the junction of A82 and A831. The south end is nominally the separate village of Lewiston. It's all walkable.
The A82 between village and castle is busy but there's a sidewalk. Buses 917 and 919 stop at castle and village.
phone: +44 1456 450573address: Drumnadrochit IV63 6TUThe "serious" version: Loch Ness really is a remarkable place, without all the Nessie hokum. This exhibition describes the natural history of the place, and puts the legend in context.
phone: +44 1456 450342address: IV63 6TUThe "theme park" version: explore Nessie's caves, Nessie's castle, Nessie's summerhouse . . . Nessie even has a miniature railway, who knew?
- Nessie (banner photo) basks in the pond outside the exhibition centre, no charge to view. Frankly it resembles the corpse of a swan: did it eat something it shouldn't?
phone: +44 1456 450551address: Drumnadrochit IV63 6XJImpressive ruins of 13th-16th C castle sited on Strone Point overlooking Loch Ness. Time was, if you traversed the Highlands then you had to pass this way. St Columba (6th C) worked a healing miracle here, and soon afterwards had the first recorded encounter with the Monster, in the river near Inverness. Everyone else brought an army and tried to capture or wreck the place: the English, the Scots, more English, more Scots under Robert the Bruce, then raiders from the Lord of the Isles, and more raiders. After the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 it was garrisoned against the Jacobites and held out against a siege. The garrison left in 1695 and blew it up to prevent the Jacobites using it, and that was the end of the castle. The Jacobites returned the compliment in 1746 when they abandoned and blew up Inverness Castle.
- Loch Ness boat trips: these sail from Drumnadrochit itself Apr-Oct, and year-round from Fort Augustus and from the north end of the loch (based in Inverness).
- Horse riding: Highland Riding Centre is at Borlum Farm, off A82 south of village.
- Walk or cycle the Great Glen Way and other trails: see Loch Ness.
- Glenurquhart Highland Games are held in mid-August in Blairbeg Park. The next event is Sat 22 Aug 2020.
All the Nessie kitsch you could ever want. And there's a Scotmid Coop in the village.
phone: +44 1456 450678address: The Green IV63 6TUTraditional Scots fare and great selection of whisky. With accommodation here and next door in Oakdale B&B.
All the hotels have well-stocked public bars.
- Loch Ness Bay Camping is at Borlum Farm just south of the village, £10.50 ppn, van pitches & hook-ups £16 ppn. They also have two self-catering cottages.
phone: +44 1456 450807address: Coiltie Farmhouse, IV63 6UNHostel in 18th C farmhouse. Bar is for residents only.
- There's around a dozen B&Bs in the village, including:
phone: +44 1456 459466address: East Lewiston, IV63 6UJClean friendly B&B.
phone: +44 1456 450235address: West Lewiston IV63 6UWCentral heating in all areas, riverside garden, off-street parking, non-smoking, secure bike storage, laundry service, WiFi.
phone: +44 1456 450645address: The Village Green, IV63 6TXB&B with four rooms en suite.
phone: +44 1456 450080address: Kilmore Road, IV63 6UHHotel in 18th C manse, 11 rooms en suite. Dinner served to 20:00, mains from £13. They brew their own beer, "Hanging Tree".
phone: +44 1456 450218address: IV63 6TUHotel with 29 rooms, open mid-March to Oct.
phone: +44 1456 450467 or +44 7879 273835 (mobile)address: Upper Achmony IV63 6UXSelf-catering chalets on hillside above village, open all year. No pets.
- For a scenic loop take A831, which runs west into the hills to the tiny village of Cannich in Glen Affric; it then follows the glen north towards Inverness.
- Follow A82 south to Invermoriston, where A887 branches off over the hills to join A87, for Kyle of Lochalsh and the bridge to Skye.
- South end of the loch is Fort Augustus, with routes beyond to Oban, Glencoe, Loch Lomond and Glasgow.
- Just north of the loch is Inverness.