Invermoriston Bridge and Folly

If you love history, engineering, and Scottish history in the great outdoors, then we have the perfect Highland hidden gem for you… There’s a tiny little village near Fort Augustus, at the opposite end of Loch Ness to Inverness, that makes for a wonderful stop-off on your journey around Loch Ness. So look out for signs for Invermoriston. And whilst you might blink and miss it, you must stop off here!

Yes, step out of the car for a glimpse into the past, as well as gorgeous riverside walks and views of the beautiful old Invermoriston Bridges and Folly. Hidden across the road from a little car park you will find two historic, humped bridges, the Invermoriston Bridges. And just a little further down river spot the Invermoriston Folly here. And if you are feeling adventurous, you could even set out to discover the secrets of a ghostly set of footprints nearby… but that’s another story!

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Invermoriston Bridges Loch Ness

There are two beautiful humped bridges over fast flowing Scottish waters...

The History of the Invermoriston Bridges

There are two bridges for you to explore in Invermoriston. The first was built back at the beginning of the 1800s by renowned Scottish engineer Thomas Telford. This is the man responsible for building hundreds of bridges all over the UK. And Thomas Telford was responsible for the road networks you can enjoy today around Loch Ness and Inverness. This particular bridge of his at Invermoriston was part of the wider effort to connect the Highlands up to the rest of Scotland, making trade and tourism easier.

In total, it took eight years to complete. It’s a beautiful structure, comprised of two stone arches that meet in the middle of the River Moriston. The water gushes below over the flat rocks and you can imagine how hard a job it would have been to build this two hundred years ago. This is Invermoriston Falls and is quite the sight any time of year.

Although Telford’s bridge at Invermoriston can still be walked over, it is quite well worn and damaged in places. So care should be taken with sensible footwear. But it is the perfect place for photographs and a popular influencer location in Scotland.

As the original bridge slowly began to crumble, a new one was constructed in 1933, which is the bridge utilised for the main road and cars of today. This is a similar style of bridge and offers great views of the original bridge and its structure.

Invermoriston Folly

From both of the Invermoriston Bridges, if you look downriver, you will find the Invermoriston Folly tucked in the trees. This is a small structure built by a former laird by the side of the river. It was initially used as a shelter so his guests could watch the great salmon migration upstream. This old summerhouse is balanced on the edge of the river cliff – precariously, some might say! However, it does offer magnificent views of the river and falls and is one of the best things to do in Invermoriston.

It’s a good place, to this day, to come and watch the salmon swim back upstream to their breeding grounds. And to watch salmon leaping in beautiful pools in Scotland is always a great way to spend a few hours. The best time of year is around the end of October. And this is a wonderful time to visit as the falls are in full autumnal colour. But be prepared to get up early, or stay late, to be in with the best chance of seeing some salmon action.

Wondering what Invermoriston Bridges and Folly look like?

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Step further into history near Invermorison

Take a walk to see the ghostly Preacher's Footsteps near Invermoriston Bridges...

Invermoriston Things To Do

Whilst you are exploring this area, another great thing to see is the ghostly Preacher’s Footsteps near Glenmoriston. So take a walk and see if you can find them! It’s just a ten-minute drive away to Torgyle, and is the site of some very mysterious goings-on. Yes, here you can discover a set of footprints imprinted forever in the ground. And it is said, by the locals, that these footprints have been there for over 200 years! Find out more about the Preacher’s Footprints and where to find them.

How to get to Invermoriston

Invermoriston is by the northern shoreline of Loch Ness, towards its southwest corner. So simply follow the A82 out of Inverness until you get there. And then it’s time to explore and, if it’s sunny, get your feet wet!

It’s also possible to hop on a bus from Inverness to Invermoriston. Find out the best time for you on the Citylink website. And as you travel down by the water, don’t forget to keep an eye out for its most famous (and shyest!) resident, the Loch Ness Monster!

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Visit Inverness City in Scotland

If you are planning a holiday to Inverness city in Scotland you will want to know what to visit and where to go. With so much on offer this vibrant Scottish city, The Capital of the Highlands has so much to offer. This great city centre has a superb choice of shops as well as great eateries, bars and cafes. Additionally, there are lovely city walks and plenty of history in which you can submerge yourself in. So read on to find out more about what there is to see and do in the city of Inverness.

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Steeped in history

And an array of great landmarks to explore when you visit

Explore Inverness history and its landmarks

With a wealth of history and plenty of famous landmarks, there is much to explore in the city of Inverness. For starters, the River Ness runs through the heart of the city and offers a nice walk along its banks. Here you can take in landmarks such as Inverness CathedralInverness CastleOld High Church and eventually Ness Islands. Here at Ness Islands, you can explore an enchanting array of little islands joined by Victorian bridges. And it is lit up in the evening making it a magical place to be. Furthermore, there are a few Outlander locations you can visit within the city. Abertarff HouseLeakey’s BookshopOld High Church and Inverness Castle all have links with this famous series.

Shopping

The city centre has a great selection of independent shops as well as big-name retailers and brands. And with the ‘Old Town’ you can shop amongst a historical backdrop. If you want an indoor shopping centre then head to High Street where you will find the Eastgate Shopping Centre. With a plethora of high street shops and top brands, you have a great deal of choice to suit your style and needs. Additionally, there are an array of eateries so you can fuel up. Other indoor shopping centres include the Victorian Market in Academy Street set in an ornate Victorian-style building. Here you will find lots of lovely shops to peruse including, souvenirs, clothing, jewellery, chocolate and more.

If you are looking for the more quirky type of shop, Leakey’s Bookshop is a must-see. Here this Harry Potter style store will enchant you! Harris Tweed Isle of Harris can be found on Inglis Street where you can see this world-famous cloth in products such as jackets, handbags, soft furnishings and many other accessories. And if you head out of the city centre you can enjoy Inverness Shopping Park. Again, you will find your big brands as well as plenty of eateries.

Food and Drink

With a great range of places to enjoy some food and drink Inverness has something for everyone. Regular High Street chains to independent restaurants, bars and cafes all offer a variety to choose from. Enjoy some Scottish fine dining at Rocpool, pizza at Cheese & Tomatin, seafood at River House Restaurant, Indian food at Saffron Indian and authentic Turkish at Aspendos. Then why not head for a drink somewhere in one of the city pubs or bars? From trendy city wine bars to cosy traditional village pubs every need is catered for. Bars such as Hootananny’s and Gellions Bar also host live music to get your feet tapping! And if you fancy a night out on the tiles, The Den at Johnny Foxes is a great venue to head to.

Plenty to see and do on your Inverness holidays!

So when you come to Inverness city on your holidays you don’t need to travel far to be entertained. Whatever it is that you fancy doing there is something for everyone. And if you want to explore further afield then you can check out our things to do section to see all the Inverness and Loch Ness attractions. And if you want help organising your itinerary then contact us and let us plan your personal trip when you visit The Capital of the Highlands.

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Foyers Village by Loch Ness

Foyers is a small village on the shores of Loch Ness. In a quiet and peaceful spot on the southern side of the loch. Its name comes from the Gaelic word “Foithir”, which means “shelving slope”. The main attraction in Foyers is the Falls of Foyers, a 165 ft fine cascade waterfall, which flows into the River Foyers. This is also a café and gift shop here. Foyers is a wonderful place to visit for a walk to the falls and along the Loch Ness shores.

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Falls of Foyers walk

This walk to the Falls of Foyers follows a looped path, starting and finishing at Upper Foyers car park. Although a relatively short walk, there are lots of steps and the path is rocky in parts. The viewpoint gives spectacular views of the falls and is one of the top attractions on the south side of Loch Ness. At 165 ft tall, this is an impressive sight, which has inspired many poets over the centuries. Look out for rocks along the path, inscribed with poetry.

Waterfall Café & Gift Shop

The perfect resting point. This is a cosy and inviting place to stop for refreshments after walking to the Falls of Foyers. Serving a selection of sandwiches, soups, cakes, and hot and cold drinks. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available and dogs are welcome too. You can also pick up gifts and souvenirs in the gift shop.

Nearby Landmarks

Boleskine House is located just outside the village. This Scottish manor house was once owned by author Aleister Crowley and later by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. After suffering fire damage in 2015, the house is now being restored. There is also an ancient burial ground at Boleskine, an interesting graveyard with many legends surrounding it. Look out for the three bullet holes on the tombstone of Donald Fraser. Legend says the shots were fired during a funeral, which took place just after the battle of Culloden. Soldiers shot at mourners after one of them stole a loaf of bread from their passing military cart and threw it to the dogs.

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Dores on Loch Ness

Dores is a tiny Highland village on the southern shores of Loch Ness, 10 km southwest of Inverness. It has a church, village hall, welcoming country pub and a stunning beach.

This historic Loch Ness village dates back to the 1st century. Its name comes from the Gaelic meaning “dark woods”. Visit for lovely scenic walks, amazing views over the loch and perhaps a spot of Nessie hunting!

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Grab a bite to eat

Enjoy amazing Loch Ness views at the Dores Inn village pub

Dores Inn

The Dores Inn is the only pub in the village, located right on the shores of Loch Ness. The family-run pub and restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, Its menu offers local delicacies, such as fresh seafood and traditional haggis, neeps and tatties.

It is a great place to enjoy some refreshments while gazing out over Scotland’s most famous and mysterious loch.

Dores Beach

The long shingle beach stretches away from the pub, giving spectacular views south west down Loch Ness and the Great Glen. Many come here to take in the vast beauty of the loch. And maybe even catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster!

The famous Nessie Hunter himself, Steve Feltham, is based in the village. He has been looking for the Loch Ness Monster full time since 1991. His van is permanently parked by the beach and he describes his view of Loch Ness as the best that anyone could wish for! You can follow Steve’s adventures here on the Nessie Hunter blog.

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Walks and Views

What to see and do at Dores village by Loch Ness

Nearby Attractions

The Aldourie Castle Circuit is a popular woodland walk between Dores and neighbouring village Aldourie. Starting at Dores Church car park, it takes in views of Loch Ness and Aldourie Castle Estate.

From Dores, there are great views across the water of Meall Fuar Mhonaidh, the most prominent hill in the area.

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Meall Fuar Mhonaidh
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Invermoriston Village

Invermoriston is a Highland village on the northern shores of Loch Ness. On the main road there is a hotel, bar and bistro and a few local shops and amenities. Its main attractions are Invermoriston Falls and Thomas Telford’s 19th century bridge, which crosses them. With lovely scenic views, this is a popular place for walks in the area.

Invermoriston is just under an hour’s drive south west from Inverness, via the A82. The drive takes you along the shores of Loch Ness, passing through the village of Drumnadrochit, home of Nessie herself!

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History of the Bridge

The historic Invermoriston Bridge, built by Thomas Telford

Invermoriston Bridge

The Invermoriston Bridge opened in 1813, after 8 years in construction. The famous Scottish engineer, Thomas Telford, built it as part developments to the roads along the shores of Loch Ness. Improving the existing military road between Inverness and Fort Augustus. The design has two stone arches and makes use of a huge rocky outcrop in the middle of the river for strength. Today, the bridge is damaged and no longer in use. A new single-span bridge replaced it in 1933. However, you can still walk over the old bridge for great views both up and downstream.

Invermoriston Falls

Invermoriston Falls (sometimes called River Moriston Falls) runs directly under the bridges. This is not a single waterfall, but a series of rapids that rush and flow along the rocky river.

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Visit Invermoriston

Walk to the falls and bridges in Invermoriston, Scottish Highlands

Visiting the Falls and Bridges

Invermoriston is just less than an hour’s drive south west from Inverness, on the A82. There is a car park in the village, directly off the A82. From behind the village hall, it’s fairly short walk through a woodland area towards the river and falls.

There are some great viewpoints, where you can see the new bridge and the old bridge together. You’ll find lovely views of the falls and two bridges from the old summer house.

It’s possible to walk over both bridges, but take care if walking over the old bridge, as the stonework is damaged.

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Nairn Town

Nairn is a small historic fishing town, located about 17 miles east of Inverness. An ideal base for exploring the Highlands, with lots of great walking and cycling, water sports, local events and golfing. Popular as a holiday resort since the Victorian times.

Nairn’s sandy beaches make it a great family holiday destination. Located on the magnificent Moray Firth, be on the look out for dolphins leaping from the water.

 

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Nairn Beaches

Enjoy Nairn's beautiful sandy beaches on the Moray Firth

Beaches and Promenade

Nairn Beach, also known as Central Beach, is a huge, sandy beach in the town. Overlooking the Moray Firth towards Cromarty, it is the perfect place for a picturesque stroll. A promenade runs the length of the beach.

There’s also East Beach beyond the harbour and Whiteness Beach (The Secret Beach) just along from Nairn Golf Club.

Wildlife and Nature

The area is a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife spotters, with an array of creatures to look out for on land and sea. The Moray Firth is home to seals and bottlenose dolphins. You might see them from the beach, but you can get a closer look on a boat ride from Phoenix Sea Adventures. There are a great variety of birds to watch for, such as cormorants, osprey, herons, guillemots, peregrine falcons and red kites. Visit the protected RSPB reserve at Culbin Forest to see a wide variety of birds and other wildlife, including red squirrels.

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Things to do in Nairn

Attractions and activities in Nairn for all the family

Other Attractions and Events

The town is a popular golfing destination, boasting two championship golf courses. These are Nairn Golf Club and Nairn Dunbar Golf Links. Both offering stunning views over the Moray Firth.

You’ll find outdoor play areas, a putting green and crazy golf, cafes and restaurants and a swimming pool in the town. Also visit Nairn Museum to learn more about the fascinating history of the town and surrounding area.

Throughout the year, the town has a busy calendar of local events. Such as Nairn Book and Arts Festival, Festival of Jazz and the Highland Games.

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Beautiful Beauly

Beauly is a small town on the River Beauly, near Inverness. An excellent Highland base with many attractions, popular with history lovers and hill walkers alike.

Lying close to Inverness and Loch Ness, it is the perfect place to stay for a walking holiday in the Highlands. And with links to Mary Queen of Scots and the Lovat Fraser clan, it is surrounded in history and legend. Most famous its 13th century priory, located in the village.

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A Beautiful Place

"C'est un beau lieu" - legendary words of Mary Queen of Scots

Beauly History

Local legend has it that Mary Queen of Scots inspired the town’s name. On a visit during 1564, she exclaimed in French: “c’est un beau lieu” (it’s a beautiful place) and the name Beauly was born. However, another theory is that the French monks who founded Beauly Priory in 1230, first named it. Nevertheless, we all agree, it is indeed a beautiful place!

In the late 13th century, Beaufort Castle (or Dounie Castle) near Beauly, fell into the hands of the Fraser Clan. It is the traditional seat of the Lords Lovat. So there is much history of the Lovat Frasers, which surrounds the town. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the area from fans of the Outlander book and TV series, in which the Fraser clan features.

Historic Landmarks

Beauly Priory is the oldest surviving structure in the town, dating from 1230. Although in ruins, parts of the abbey remain, along with many burial monuments and tombs. There is also an ancient elm tree in the grounds, believed to be one of the oldest in Europe.

Beaufort Castle, although not open to the public, is an impressive building from the outside. A walk along the River Beauly offers amazing views. The current castle was built in 1880, however there has been a castle on that site since the 1100s.

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Walks and Attractions

Explore local walks and attractions in the Scottish Highlands

More things to do

There are lots of great independent shops, including Campbell’s of Beauly, The Old School and Iain Marr Antiques. Along with a small number of pubs, cafes, take aways and bakeries.

There are also many amazing walks nearby, such as Phoineas Hill, Reelig Glen, Plodda Falls, Dog Falls, Loch Affric, Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar. These local routes offer breath-taking views of the magnificent Scottish Highlands and it’s easy to see why walkers love this area so much.

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Welcome to Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus is a small village on the most southern tip of Loch Ness. A picturesque place with lots of see and do, and also the gateway between Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal.

This is a pretty village where you can watch the boats go through the locks, with places to eat and drink, shopping and history. So it’s a wonderful place to stop and relax.

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History of Fort Augustus

From the original settlement Kiliwhimin to today's picturesque village

Original Settlement

Originally, this settlement was called Kiliwhimin. In the aftermath of the 1715 Jacobite Rising, Kiliwhimin Barracks was built. Nine years later, General George Wade built a new fort in the village. He renamed it Fort Augustus, after the youngest son of King George II, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. Today, very little remains of the Kiliwhimin Barracks. However, a small section of the curtain wall still stands, now located behind the Lovat Hotel. The replacement fort was abandoned in 1818 and the land was used to build Fort Augustus Abbey, which is now a luxury holiday rental.

See Fort Augustus Abbey below....

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Caledonian Canal

In 1822, Scottish engineer Thomas Telford completed his new project, the Caledonian Canal, connecting up the Scottish east and west coasts. The canal cut right through the village. Featuring the longest staircase lock flight in Scotland, known as Neptune’s Staircase.

Today, the Caledonian Canal is still very much in use, both for sailing vessels and walkers and cyclists. You can find out more about it at the Caledonian Canal Centre in Fort Augustus. As well as pick up some souvenirs and enjoy fresh local produce in the café.

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Attractions and activities

Discover Fort Augustus attractions and activities, including the Caledonian Canal

Things to do in Fort Augustus

The village has become a popular tourist destination. Its location by Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal, as well as the Great Glen Way walking trail and Great Glen Canoe Trail, makes it an ideal resting point for those exploring the Highlands.

Other attractions include Cruise Loch Ness, which offers daily boat trips on the loch. Also, the Clansman Centre, where you can go back to 17th century Scotland through recreated scenes and interactive experiences. And Fort Augustus Golf Club, a challenging 9-hole course open to visitors.

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Visiting Drumnadrochit

Drumnadrochit is a Loch Ness village, which lies on the north side of the loch on the A82. You can easily reach it from Inverness by car or public transport. The driving time from Inverness is approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Known as the “home of Nessie”, this village is most famous for its connection with the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.

On the shores of Loch Ness, with attractions including the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, Nessieland and Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit makes for a great day out near Inverness. Have a relaxing lunch or coffee overlooking The Green and take in the atmosphere of this historic little village.

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What’s in a name?

Coming from the Gaelic "Druim na Drochaid", meaning "The Ridge of the Bridge"

The ridge of the bridge

The name “Drumnadrochit” has always fascinated visitors to our area. For anyone not sure how to pronounce it, just follow the example of the locals and call it “Drum”!

The name Drumnadrochit comes from the Gaelic Druim na Drochaid, which means “Ridge of the Bridge”. This bridge over the River Enrick was why the first residents settled in the area in the seventeenth century. Today you can still enjoy a coffee or a cold drink in one of the cafés and pubs near The Green. This is the centre of the village, which was a sheep and cattle market in days gone by.

The Nessie Legend

One of the oldest buildings in the village is the one that houses the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. It has an interesting history as a courthouse and an inn. Of course, these days it hosts an exhibition all about Scotland’s legendary Loch Ness Monster.

Although the earliest mention of the mythical beast comes from a reported encounter with the Irish monk St Columba in 565 AD, the Nessie legend as we know it today goes back to the 1930s. The headline “Strange Spectacle on Loch Ness” in the local paper, Inverness Courier, captured would-be monster hunter’s imaginations worldwide. Today you can head for the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition or Nessieland to find out more about the legend and the many attempts over the years to find the loch’s famous inhabitant.

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Scottish History

Explore Urquhart Castle's 1000 years of history in Drumnadrochit

Urquhart Castle

For those visitors interested in Scottish history, the nearby ruin of Urquhart Castle and its visitor centre is a must-do. The castle is only about a mile from the village and the walk will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

The visitor centre will show you more of the castle’s 1000 years of history. Such as how rival clans, Jacobites and government troops frequently fought over it. And after the castle was blown up in the seventeenth century, local people used the stones to build their houses and farms.

See Urquhart Castle below

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