Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 60-minute drive south to the banks of Loch Ness. Once you arrive at the castle grounds, you’ll be welcomed at the Visitors’ Center where you can see the exhibitions and a film presentation.
Will you eventually spot Nessie, a large marine creature believed by some people to inhabit Loch Ness?
Urquhart Castle is situated on a rocky promontory jutting into Loch Ness. During its turbulent history, the castle was plundered by the MacDonald clan of the Western Isles and eventually blown up in 1692 to prevent its occupation by Jacobites. Today, all that remains is a lone keep and crumbling walls. However, legends persist that a cave beneath the castle is the home of ‘Nessie’, the Loch Ness Monster. The path leading up from Urquhart Castle offers superb views of the ruins and the loch. You can also browse the interesting Visitor Centre and gift shop.
The deep lake, (‘loch’ in Gaelic), has drawn visitors from all over the world in search of the Nessie, the “monster” as some called it. The loch is 23 miles (about 37 kilometers) long, one mile (1.6 kilometers) wide and 755 feet (230 meters) deep. At Urquhart Castle, you can learn more about the Loch and the Monster.
We then drive to Inverness, the “Capital of the Highlands”, located where the tranquil River Ness meets the Moray Firth. Learn more about this historic city on a one-hour guided city walk. Visit the different sites which all have their own stories and famous visitors – Macbeth, Robert the Bruce, Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, Culloden Battlefield, Dolphin Sprit and Cromwell Tower, to name a few. Then return to the ship.
Starting time: 8.00 AM
Duration: about 4.5 hours
Activity level: 2 /5