Drumnadrochit & Urquhart Castle

[Urquhart Castle]

The crowds of Loch Ness and its main tourist sites reach new heights at the village of Drumnadrochit. This seems to have become the main centre for Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts, with and a couple of Nessie-related attractions have sprung up accordingly: one probably worth a visit, the other disappointing in this writer's opinion. Just round the corner, Urquhart Castle is the only Historic Scotland attraction we've ever had to queue for besides Edinburgh Castle. This 13th century ruin is a true Scotland icon, romantically situated overlooking the loch with a bloody history owing to the Wars of Independence. Crowds spoilt our mid-afternoon visit - coming here early in the day might be a good bet. This is an area we hate to love, but always do. The nearby waterfall on the Divach Burn is reputedly impressive after heavy rainfall (we visited during a dry spell), slightly off the tourist trail and all the more peaceful for it.

[Falls of Divach during a dry spell]

Name: Falls of Divach ★☆☆
Description: 100-foot waterfall on the Divach Burn, best seen after heavy rain.
Location: Off minor road a mile south-west of Drumnadrochit, G.R.: NH 494274 / unique drags beats
Anything else? From the signposted layby, follow the narrow but clear path about 200 metres south to the viewpoint for the falls.

Name: Loch Ness Centre ★★☆
Description: If you must visit one attraction dedicated to all things Nessie, this is the one to go for. Surprisingly science-orientated.
Location: Immediately east of the A82 / A831 road junction in Drumnadrochit, G.R.: NH 510302 / shape princely popping
Open (2017): Daily
Cost (2017): £7.95 (adults), £4.95 (children)

Name: Nessieland ☆☆☆
Description: Slightly corny attraction relating to the Loch Ness Monster in a series of "caves": in our opinion a poor relation to the Loch Ness Centre, although with more interest for children.
Location: Immediately west of the A82 / A831 road junction in Drumnadrochit, G.R.: NH 507302 / scam pickup postings
Open (2017): Daily
Cost (2017): £6 (adults), £3 (children)

Name: Urquhart Castle ★★☆
Description: Loch Ness's famous castle ruin, alternating between Scottish and English hands throughout the Wars of Independence.
Location: A82 a mile south of Drumnadrochit, G.R.: NH 531286 / jumped fool encroach
Open (2017): Daily
Cost (2017): £8.50 (adults), £5.10 (children), free for Historic Environment Scotland members

[Heavy downpours over Loch Ness, beyond the ruins of Urquhart Castle]


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