Getting the most out of your Loch Ness walks

Loch Ness in one of the most beautiful – and most visited – lochs in Scotland. Around one million people visit every year, but only a fraction of them actually get to see everything the area has to offer. Rugged beauty, awe-inspiring landscapes and rare wildlife are just some of the magical experiences available around the water’s edge. Loch Ness walks are calming, exhilarating, beautiful and adventurous – especially if you follow our trail guide.

The best way to get around Loch Ness

A view of Loch Ness over trees

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for walkers who want to see more of Loch Ness. Set out in six steps, with each step taking no more than one day to complete, it means you can spend a week travelling the trail, or dip in and out over a few visits to the area. If you’ve only in the area for one day, just choose your favourite trail and away you go! If you would like to try a Loch Ness cycle trail instead, we have an overview for you too. 

Spending time on each section means you are getting the most out of Loch Ness. There’s far more to the area than Nessie (as much as we love her)!

Day 1 – Inverness to Drumnadrochit

This section of the route starts in the centre of Inverness. You’ll head along the Great Glen Way, then out into the Highland wilderness. Loch Ness itself will come into view, and you can visit the famous Urquhart Castle for spellbinding views across the water.

View of Urquhart Castle from Loch Ness

Day 2 – Drumnadrochit to Invermoriston

This section of the trail takes you further south around Loch Ness towards Bunloit.  There is a choice between a  low route, which is suitable for all users, and a high route for walkers.  On your way to Invermoriston, you’ll come across the sculpture “The Viewpoint”. It’s a perfect time to pause for a moment, and perhaps even take that Instagram selfie!

Cyclist passing The Viewpoint sculpture on the Great Glen Way high route

Day 3 – Invermoriston to Fort Augustus

Starting near Thomas Telford’s bridge you’ll head through woodland and moorland before revealing more views across the loch. This stretch also allows for great views down to Fort Augustus, the Great Glen and Caledonian Canal. At Fort Augustus you’ll find a peaceful place to watch barges on the canal. 

Day 4. Fort Augustus to Foyers

As you start to head back north, you’ll follow the South Loch Ness Trail (SLNT). This forms part of the circular route around Loch Ness. It’s an uphill climb to start with as you head towards Glendoe. This route takes in Loch Tarff, the Suidhe viewpoint and views of South Loch Ness and Stratherrick. You’ll finish near the Upper Falls of Foyers.

The Falls of Foyers, waterfall on the River Foyers

Day 5. Foyers to Dores

This section takes you towards Inverfarigaig on a minor road known locally as the “corkscrew”. The zig-zag bends and eventually turns into a farm track with great views back where you came from. This is a trail that will take you towards Dores, and give you wonderful views of Urquhart Castle, sitting across the water, as you go.

View of Loch Ness, just off the trail at Inverfarigaig

Day 6. Dores to Inverness

With your Loch Ness walk nearly over at Dores, you can see the headquarters of Steve Feltham, the Nessie Hunter. From here you’ll head towards Inverness, catching views of the Moray Firth and Kessock Bridge as you go.  Before long, you’ll head towards the River Ness and back onto the start of the Great Glen Way.

The Nessie Hunter's van at Dores

You will be able to follow a path past the Ness Islands and all the way back to Inverness Castle, where you can bask on a job well done.

Plan your trip and start your Loch Ness walks adventures!

Whether you have just achieved one section of the trail, or the whole 360, it’s quite an accomplishment!

Remember, you can pick and choose which Loch Ness walks to do, or you can use it as a rough guide if you want to add even more to your trip. Select which route takes your fancy below.

We love seeing photos all year round of Loch Ness walks and those who followed the 360 trail. Tag us on social media for everyone to see!

The Six Sections Of The Trail