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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.