Mention Loch Ness and most people will think of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. No Scottish holiday is complete without a hopeful visit to this Loch. Over 20 miles long, a mile wide and 700 feet at its deepest, Loch Ness is the largest lake in Scotland by volume – no wonder it is hard to find the elusive creature! Our crews began practising for their hunt early yesterday as the picture above shows.
This particularly beautiful area is a magnet for holiday makers and filled with historic attractions, natural wonders, and superb eateries. The pretty village of Drumnadrochit, located at the head of Urquhart Bay on the northern shore of Loch Ness, is particularly popular with Nessie hunters and is a great location for exploring the Highlands. As Kingfisher and Nightsong cruise the Loch they can relax and spot the historic landmarks and stunning scenery en route.
Urquart Castle, once one of Scotland’s largest, sits on a rocky promontory with an open outlook up and down Loch Ness. It saw great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress when the power struggles for control of the castle passed its ownership back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence. The Lords of the Isles regularly raided both castle and glen up until the 1500s. The last of the government troops garrisoned here during the Jacobite Risings blew up the castle when they left so today only Urquhart’s iconic ruins remain.
Having stopped for a hearty lunch in the lee of one castle, the teams moved on to stop for the night at another ancient settlement, Fort Augustus. A fort was built here between 1729 and 1742, by General Wade in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising, and was named after The Duke of Cumberland. Wade had planned to build a town around the new barracks and call it Wadesburgh but the settlement grew and took the name of the fort instead. The fort was captured by the Jacobites in April 1745, just prior to the Battle of Culloden
Fort Augustus is situated on the most southern tip of Loch Ness on the Great Glen Way. This historic and scenic hamlet is a popular tourist destination and offers spectacular views down Loch Ness. At Fort Augustus visitors may enjoy a visit to the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre which details the history of the canal or explore the Clansmen Centre, where appropriately attired guides demonstrate 17th century clan weaponry.
Our two vessels sailing for Macmillan pause here overnight, to enjoy a good meal and rest up in preparation for a change of scene tomorrow, starting with another stretch of canal and its locks in the morning.
Anyone interested in taking part in a Sail for Macmillan should contact Colin and Jan of Premier Sailing, who will be happy to share more details and if you wish you may express an interest in taking part in 2018, without obligation.
Donations to support the cause may be given to the Just Giving page.