Loch Ness & Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

Loch Ness is perhaps one of the most renowned lochs in the world! It seems everyone has heard of the famous Loch Ness Monster, otherwise known as Nessie. The loch is long, narrow and deep, measuring 23 miles in length and 740 feet in depth.

As “legend” would have it, there was a monster sighting as far back as St. Columba in the year 565. The first “recorded” sighting of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to May 2, 1933, as reported by Alex Campbell, water bailiff for Loch Ness as well as a part-time journalist for the Inverness Courier. Campbell wrote of traveler George Spicer’s alleged sighting of the Loch Ness Monster crossing the road in front of his car.

Over the years, there have been many reports of Nessie sightings, but there has yet to be any solid proof.

On a newsworthy note, it was announced in early 2018 that DNA testing will be taken from Loch Ness and examined to help determine if there is any scientific evidence to support the Loch Ness Monster legend. This leaves us once again wondering if Nessie did or still does exist. Time will tell!

Our Loch Ness tour from Inverness first stopped at the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, before traveling further on to Loch Ness.

The Exhibition Centre was located in the quaint village of  Drumnadrochit and consisted of an exhibition tour, the Loch Ness Monster café, and a gift shop.  

The self-guided tour led us through several rooms where we embarked on a tour of the famous history of the Loch Ness Monster. There were presentations, photographs as well as memorabilia.

After taking the tour, we visited the gift shop where anything Nessie could be purchased. They had a large assortment of toys and plush for kids, as well as tartans, tweed items, jewelry, and whiskey. There was also a café at the Exhibition Centre. We didn’t eat at the cafe, but they did offer homemade meals, beer, and other spirits.

I would love to come back to Drumnadrochit sometime so I can spend more time exploring the village and other sites around the loch.

If traveling independently, you may also purchase Loch Ness boat expedition tickets at the Exhibition Centre. Our boat trip was already included in our tour.

From the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, we traveled the short distance to Loch Ness, explored Urquhart Castle, then boarded the boat for our expedition on Loch Ness.  

The boat provided inside seating as well as upper and lower decks. We ventured inside the boat, purchased a drink, and then were invited to sit with a Welsh couple in their eighties. These spunky travelers were very welcoming and loved spontaneous road trips. As engaging as they were, it just stopped raining so I excused myself to step outside and onto the upper deck.

Loch Ness was captivating! With fresh air in my face, I took in the dramatic loch views of the glimmering water, hillsides filled with trees and the continually changing clouds in the sky. Having spent summers on a lake as a child, I always appreciate the raw beauty a lake can offer. 

I took comfort in the eeriness of Loch Ness. It felt both enchanting and ominous. Perhaps it is all the history and mystery that surrounds Loch Ness.

Unfortunately, no Nessie sighting for this girl, but I highly recommend taking in an adventure on Loch Ness. Near the lake would be a great location if you are in search of an extended stay in a more rural setting. This scenic area offers hiking, water activities, and spectacular views.

I would love to return to this area on my next trip and do some more exploring. 

Sources:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/23/scientists-dna-hunt-loch-ness-monster-scotland

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