We are lucky enough to live in the Highlands, this fabulous playground created by Mother Nature. Below our some of our absolute favourite places to visit in the area around Ancarraig, accompanied by our own collection of personal photos. If you’d like to know more about any of these places, please don’t hesitate to contact us for some advice.
On Our Doorstep….
Craigmonie and the Falls of Divach
A woodland walk starting in the village of Drumnadrochit and climbing up to the hilltop viewpoint of Craig Mony, with a a wonderful view of the village below and out to the waters of Loch Ness, perfectly framed by Scots Pine. A slight deviation from the route takes you to Drum’s own waterfalls at Divach, which hold their own against their more well known cousins at the Falls of Foyers across the water. The cafes on the village green and the Loch Ness Inn can all be easily reached at the start or end of this walk for that well earned cake and a coffee! Click here for the route.
Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition
In the village of Drumnadrochit and open all year round, this fantastic exhibition takes you back in time to the formation of the Great Glen millions of years ago, right though to current day, telling tales of Nessie through time and explaining the science behind them. With the benefit of hi-tech multimedia and 7 themed scene-scapes, you’ll be transported from deep inside an underwater cavern, to aboard a submarine and more, experiencing the mystery, history and legend for yourself. A must-see for Nessie Hunters of all ages! Phone: +44 (0) 1456 450573
The Great Glen Way
Our favourite part of this famous route runs right from our door half way to Invermoriston, affording spectacular and dramatic views along a huge length of Loch Ness from the elevated woodland track. It’s 4 miles there and 4 miles back along the same route (or further if you like!), so you can have your breath taken away twice! With plenty of wildlife to be spotted along the way, it’s a great track to walk, run or cycle – don’t forget that we hire out mountain bikes for just £10 per day too so you needn’t bring your own.
Easy Day or Half Day Trip……..
Dores Beach and Dores Inn
Recently taking the number 6 spot in a list of the top ten views in the UK, Dores beach is a beautiful pebbly shore on Loch Ness offering stunning views 22 miles down the Glen towards Fort Augustus. The Dores Inn is the only pub/restaurant situated directly on the southern banks of Loch Ness and offers hearty food and a good selection of drinks. The sunsets from either the beach or the pub garden take some beating! Dores is 50 minutes from Ancarraig via Inverness or 1hr20 the scenic route via Fort Augustus (recommended!) Phone: The Dores Inn +44 (0)1463 751 203
At the south western end of Loch Ness is the beautiful historic settlement of Fort Augustus, home to an impressive and famous flight of 5 locks, joining the Caledonian Canal with the dark waters of the Loch. There are a host of shops, pubs and cafés to keep you busy, as well as a Waterways Museum where you can learn more about the canal and the history of the village. If you prefer, you can idle your time away watching the boats negotiate up and down the locks, which can be quite amusing! The best part of Fort Augustus for us is the very point where the waters meet, as it offers spectacular views up the length of the loch back towards Inverness. On a quiet winter’s day when no one else is around, this spot is heaven on earth – it’s only 30 mins from Ancarraig and is a great stop on a circular drive around Loch Ness.
Renowned as the most beautiful estate in Scotland, Glen Affric is situated within the Highlands National Nature Reserve. A magical mix of native woods, glistening lochs and haunting moorland, Glen Affric features over 30 miles of ancient pinewoods and is one of the largest ancient Caledonian pine woods in Scotland. You can wander amongst the pine trees accompanied by the chirpy calls of woodland birds. Elsewhere you might encounter ospreys, secretive otters or red- and black-throated divers. Visit in autumn and you’ll be inspired by the mosaic of colour and the echoing roar of red deer stags. Glen Affric is just outside the village of Cannich, just 30 minutes drive from Ancarraig.
A Bit Further….
Isle of Skye via Kyle of Lochalsh and Eilean Donan Castle
Incredibly scenic drive taking 3 hours each way from Ancarraig. Skye is renowned for some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the UK, and the journey there doesn’t disappoint either! Driving right past the world famous Eilean Donan Castle is a bonus and a perfect spot for a snapshot. Aside from the magnificent mountains, tumbling rivers, colourful rugged moor land, rich sea-lochs and intricate coast, there is bountiful wildlife on Skye – its cliffs being the best place in the UK to see the Golden Eagle and the Sea Eagle.
Applecross Peninsular via Applecross Pass
Applecross is a remote peninsular on the western coast, with beautiful bays and roaming stags. The Applecross pass is one of the highest in Britain, reaching 2,053 ft, and heads into the clouds on Alpine hairpin bends, then drops down to the quiet street, from where there are incredible views out across the bay to Raasay and Skye. We recommend coming back via the winding coast road from Shielding, but not before stopping for some food at the Applecross Inn, famous for its fresh seafood right from the waters on its doorstep. Applecross is 2.5 hours from Ancarraig. Phone: Applecross Inn +44(0)1520 744262
Taking the number 2 spot on the top ten views in the UK is the Three Sisters mountain range in Glen Coe. Jaw dropping and majestic mountains envelope you on all sides in this glorious valley where parts of Harry Potter were filmed (as well as the famous Glenfinnan viaduct 50 minutes further north). There are a silly amount of outdoor activities to keep you busy, if you can take your eyes off the view! To name a few, you can choose from boat trips, Munro bagging, diving, coasteering, skiing, ice climbing, mountain biking, river bugging, Land Rover Safari and more, phew! It’s 1hr45 to Glen Coe from Ancarraig.