Why Loch Ness?

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“Why Loch Ness?” is a question I got from many Scots I spoke with before my trip.  The answer was a resounding, “Oh that’s right, you’re American.”  Of course it should have been, “monsters, duh!”

The possibility of monsters is what attracted me to Loch Ness in the first place, but after hearing time and time again, “why?” “It’s just a loch.” and “There are much prettier lochs to visit in Scotland.” I lowered my expectations a bit.

The drive from the Glasgow airport to the Highlands was worth the trip in itself.  Despite the gloomy weather, the view from the car was staggering!

View on the drive from Glasgow to the Highlands in Scotland

View on the drive from Glasgow to the Highlands in Scotland

View on the drive from Glasgow to the Highlands in Scotland

View on the drive from Glasgow to the Highlands in Scotland

View on the drive from Glasgow to the Highlands in Scotland

The route north is incredibly beautiful.  It was hard to believe that Loch Ness would be underwhelming… and it wasn’t!  You guys are all wrong.

How is this, “just a loch”?

Loch Ness, Scotland

Loch Ness, Scotland

Loch Ness, Scotland

The mountains, the Urquhart Castle ruins, the calm still water (when monsters aren’t disrupting it), this is literally one of prettiest places I’ve ever been.  I guess it speaks to the beauty of Scotland that it’s people are so blase about this view.

There are plenty of non-monster related reasons to visit this area too.  Visit Inverness Loch Ness has some great ideas, but here are a few reasons I’d recommend going.

The townspeople are crazy polite,

right down to their street signs.

Even the street signs are polite in Drumnadrochit, Scotland.

They capitalize on their monster fame in the most charming way possible!

Loch Ness Brewery at the Benleva Hotel in Drumnadrochit, Scotland.

That’s right, monsters and beer, the two greatest things there are in this world, together.

Loch Ness Brewery at the Benleva Hotel in Drumnadrochit, Scotland.

The beers even have adorable names like “hoppyNESS”, and “darkNESS”

They also have an excellent merchandising team that’s not afraid to give the people what they want.

Loch Ness, Scotland

They have a castle.

A REAL LIFE CASTLE!  I know it’s not a big deal in the U.K., they’re lousy with castles, but I don’t care how much I travel it’s still impressive to this American.

Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness in Scotland.

Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness in Scotland.

This was the day I realized that I dress like a cartoon Beatle when I get cold.  I’m from Florida, I still haven’t figured out weather.

I’m sure all of the lochs in Scotland are spectacular, but I’m glad I wasn’t talked out of this one.  I got to do something that would really impress 6th grade me (and current me), and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful and pleasant places I’ve ever been.

Seriously Scotland, you’re underselling it!

I was helped in the planning of this trip by Colin Mairs of Excursion Scotland.  As well as guided tours in 4 languages, Excursion Scotland offers a travel consulting service to help you plan your perfect self-guided tour of Scotland.  Learn more at www.ExcursionScotland.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ExcursionScotland .

34 thoughts on “Why Loch Ness?

  1. Hiya!

    I’m also American but have lived in Wales for 3 years, so I know a lay of the land as far as how travel works and such. But a friend of mine and myself have never been to this part of Scotland and we’re thinking of renting a car AHH. I’ve driven in the states for many years but knowing how the roads are here, I am nervous about driving here. How was the experience driving to Scotland for you?

    Thanks!

    Kayla

    • Mags

      Well, I’m not really used to driving on the left and popped a tire immediately! lol. After that it went a lot better though. The narrow winding roads in the rain were not my favorite however. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary.

  2. I’ve never been to Scotland but would love to go. This looks like a great place to see while there. Since I’m a warm weather girl, I’d probably choose the summer!
    Marie recently posted…12 Best Beaches in Bali, Indonesia for an Awesome VacationMy Profile

    • Mags

      I’m with you. I’m a warm weather girl all the way, but I loved Scotland. I actually did go in the summer and I still had to pack my winter coat!

  3. We were just in Loch Ness over the summer and stopped at a cafe alongside the road where a customer was talking to the shopowner about Nessie. They were having a lively conversation which they quickly invited me to join in and gave me tons of tips on what to do in the area. I think the Scots love their Nessie!
    Corinne recently posted…Weekend Travel Inspiration – Paul TherouxMy Profile

    • Mags

      They sure do! and I love how friendly the people there are. Everyone seemed like they wanted to chat and were full of tips!

  4. I guess if you’ve seen it so many times, it does eventually become just a loch, but to those of us who haven’t seen it yet, it’s really awesome.
    Laura Lynch recently posted…Shortcut Guide to Vancouver BCMy Profile

    • Mags

      It’s so true. No one is impressed by their own back yard.

  5. We’ve not long returned from a Scottish road trip. Stopped off at Loch Ness and went to the very impressive Urquhart castle. Loch Ness is a total bucket list for so many. Ok it might not be the prettiest but it’s HUGE. Recommend everyone visit even if it’s just once!
    Roma recently posted…Rugby World Cup 2015 – Where to watch the RWCMy Profile

    • Mags

      It thought it was so worth it, and while maybe not the “prettiest”, it was still gorgeous!

  6. I like 6th-grade you and am glad you didn’t let them talk you out of going. I’ve heard that Scotland is really beautiful … how can that landscape be boring to anyone? Go figure! LOL
    Cherri Megasko recently posted…Bering Sea Gold Star Shelby Johnson Shares AllMy Profile

    • Mags

      It’s amazing what you get used to when you see it all the time. I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been!

  7. I am all about the old church and the stone castle! Sooo cool. Looks like a great adventure.
    Jema recently posted…Quirky Cadillac Ranch Attraction is ColorfulMy Profile

    • Mags

      There was so much beautiful scenery. I only wish I had more time to explore… oh, and that it wasn’t raining.

  8. I received the same comments when I chose to visit Loch Ness. It may not be the most beautiful Loch in Scotland. but it’s for me very symbolic and it was still a very beautiful area so I don’t regret my choice at all! Also, it was easy to reach on a tour. I actually found it special and was happy to have all the monster stories around it. And as you said, I remember the drive was beautiful 🙂
    It’s often that as locals we sometimes forget the power of “symbol” about a place.
    Eloise recently posted…Travels & Full-Time Job: 3 Steps To Find the Right BalanceMy Profile

    • Mags

      The “symbol” is definitely what brought me there too, but symbolism aside I thought it was a beautiful place.

  9. I always wanted to compare the Highlands of Scotland to the Highlands of Nova Scotia. They look beautiful!
    Lesley recently posted…2015 Bucketlist UpdateMy Profile

    • Mags

      That sounds lovely. I still haven’t made it to Canada, but I’ve seen a lot of beautiful photos that make me want to go.

  10. I would definitely visit Loch Ness! Not only for the monster, but it looks beautiful 🙂 I love all of the quirky beer names as well, and that speeding sign is so cute! Scotland is high on our list.

    thanks!
    Dariece recently posted…Going Offline: Our Digital Detox Experience in Upstate New YorkMy Profile

    • Mags

      Scotland has always been on my list, but I loved it so much more than I could have imagined. It’s seriously one of my favorite places now.

  11. I LOVED Loch Ness…the drive was stunning and worth it alone. It was always a childhood dream of mine to go there, and I’d gladly visit again if I return to the Scottish Highlands.
    Erin recently posted…Best Orange Sunshine by Brasserie Bours – #OTTBeerDiary Day 290My Profile

    • Mags

      I feel the same way. I know I will make it a point to go back. Let me know if you need a travel buddy 😉

  12. Nature is so amazing in Scotland!!! Although the weather is not my favorite I really enjoy the dreamy landscape – feels like you are in the middle of a fairytale 😉
    Tatiana // The Happy Jetlagger recently posted…Santa Catalina: The secret heart of Palma de MallorcaMy Profile

    • Mags

      It is beautiful. I actually really lucked out with the weather. It was raining the first day (when I had to drive there of course) but other than that we had pretty nice weather. Just cold.

  13. Love that you found so much to enjoy even when the weather wasn’t cooperating. Very cool about the low key way they sell the Ness. Put this on my radar for sure.
    Elaine J. Masters recently posted…12 Feasts for the Soul – New Orleans Food and SpiritsMy Profile

    • Mags

      It’s a really fun trip. Thanks for reading!

  14. Great photos! Although I might just agree with the Scots..there are more majestic lochs there, but this one for us does hold such special powers! I love Scotland in general and you can never do wrong with that cold, foggy sky with the green lushness under foot!!
    Karilyn recently posted…My Top 7 Travel EssentialsMy Profile

    • Mags

      I certainly plan on going back and exploring the other lochs too. If this one is “just a loch” I can’t wait to see the others!

  15. I loved this amazing place Loch Ness. Never heard of before. Stunning pics and great post specially that Castle.It has everything that fascinates me as traveler. Would love to visit. Thanks for sharing.
    Himanshu recently posted…30 Black & White Images Of Spiti ValleyMy Profile

    • Mags

      It’s really beautiful. Obviously monster hunting is a must, but the castle has a very interesting history as well. I had so much fun poking around there.

  16. It’s gorgeous! I’m sure 6th grade you is extremely proud!! This is making my travel bug even crazier lol.
    Whitney Ramirez recently posted…Get Happy About DRESSBAR at dressbarnMy Profile

    • Mags

      Maybe you can slip away and do some more exploring after you’re done with your German adventure!

  17. Isnt it funny how we all think the places we live aren’t nearly as impressive as other?! Yet your backyard, region, etc, so beyond stunning! This place looks absolutely gorgeous, they certainly are underselling it! Those views just getting there certainly would make it worth it regardless! 😀
    Dawn Kealing recently posted…SaharaCase & Gorilla Tempered Glass – Review & GiveAway!My Profile

    • Mags

      It’s so true. I live near Disney World and don’t even look up any more when fireworks start going off every night. It’s kind of sad in a way that we can’t appreciate what we’ve got!

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