Urquhart Castle along lakes of Loch Ness
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Loch Ness Holidays

While the enduring folklore surrounding Loch Ness is reason enough to visit, the famous loch can also lay claim to being the second deepest in the UK and is often regarded as one of the most spectacular natural vistas in Scotland.

The glacier-carved valley of the Great Glen provides a stunning backdrop when visiting throughout the year, with the central point of its 23-mile stretch opposite Urquhart Castle reachable for a day trip within a 20-minute drive from your self-catering Loch Ness accommodation here at Ness Side Estate.

With so much to see and do at Loch Ness, we’ve handpicked some of the unmissable highlights of a Loch Ness holiday that will leave young and old alike leaving with a sense of mystical wonder that will stay with you long after leaving the region.

Uncovering The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster

Known affectionately throughout the world as ‘Nessie’, many travel here after hearing of the legendary tales and sightings of a large marine creature believe to inhabit its 230-metre-deep waters, with decades of photographs and sonar readings detailing a “monster fish” or “dragon-like” protrusion from the water adding to the intrigue.

So entwined in Scottish folklore is the story of a prehistoric animal dwelling in the depths of Loch Ness, that scientists, historians and nearby residents desperate to catch a glimpse have dedicated large periods of their lives gazing over its waters for evidence that the myth is more than simply a fictitious anecdote.

Cruise Loch Ness’ Mysterious Waters

Such is the allure of the area when enjoying a break in our luxury holiday cottages near Loch Ness, that you may well want to take a closer look and enjoy a cruise tour of the loch.

Daily and evening cruises are possible as a great way to discover more about not only the history of the loch, but also the significant landmarks and wildlife that makeup this magnificent landscape – with an array of cruise and speedboat options from the jetty point at Fort Augustus helping you make the most of your day out.

View the picture-perfect scenery during the day as you sit back with a drink or add further exhilaration to proceedings with an evening cruise complete with sonar equipment beams emitting live images as you sail the loch!

Explore Historic Urquhart Castle

Alongside providing a comfortable home for Nessie, Loch Ness also houses one of the most striking monuments to be found across Scotland, with Urquhart Castle a fine example of the Highlands and its breathtakingly dramatic.

Providing scintillating views over the loch, witness 1,000 years of history as you climb the Grant Tower that was once a former medieval lookout post and reimagine the hedonistic banquets that would’ve been regularly held in the great hall – with the site believe to be the former home of one Robert the Bruce in the early 1300s.

Take in a short film and observe a variety of artefacts each revealing more about a destination that’s witnessed some of the most extraordinary moments in the country’s history, including the Wars of Independence and numerous power struggles saw bloody battles take place at the very site of this ancient stronghold.

Great Glen Way and Highland Adventures

If you’re a keen walker or hiker, you may want to consider the Great Glen Way whilst enjoying our accommodation near Loch Ness.

This picturesque walking route spans approximately 79 miles through the Scottish Highlands, with a key stretch of the trail taking in the peaceful banks of the loch.

Traverse one of Scotland’s Great Trails, as you breath in the crisp Highland air and admire the irrepressible beauty of the region - making for a restorative activity also offering wonderful panoramic views of Loch Ness.

You can join this section of the trail after visiting Urquhart Castle, from where the path follows the well-signposted towpaths along the Caledonian Canal and its choice of high route options providing a stern test for seasoned hikers in addition to low routes perfect for those new to lengthy walks.  

Self-catering near Loch Ness

Ness Side Estate boasts luxurious self-catering accommodation near Loch Ness. With riverside lodges, holiday cottages and apartments, there's a range of options suitable for group getaways, family escapes and couples' breaks. Enjoy private fishing on the Estate and access to the most magnificent sights in The Highlands from this charming, tranquil base.