We had an early start this morning, woke up at 5:00am, grabbed a quick  breakfast and then started our road trip (heading North) to Loch Ness.

From Edinburgh Airport it took us 4-hours to get to Inverness, but the Scottish Highlands spoiled us with beautiful scenery along the way – snow peaked mountains, woods and lakes (or ‘Lochs’ as the Scotts call them).

Our first stop was Urquhart Castle. (Pronounced “Irkirt Castle”). The castle overlooks Loch Ness and was one of the largest in Scotland. The ruins we visited today, dates from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification. Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a big role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. Despite a series of raids the castle was strengthened, only to be largely abandoned by the middle of the 17th century.  In the 20th century it was placed in state care and opened to the public and is now one of the most-visited castles in Scotland.

Loch Ness

Loch Ness

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Loch Ness

After lunch at Urquhart Castle we drove another 45mins North to catch our boat for a cruise on Loch Ness. This was the ideal opportunity to search for the Loch Ness Monster. Loch Ness is a massive 37km long, 1.6km wide and about 300m deep – that’s a lot of room for any monster to crawl / swim around in.  Even though it’s the most famous in Scotland, Loch Ness is the second largest loch by surface after Loch Lomond but due to its great depth, it is the largest by volume in the British Isles. It also contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.

As mentioned earlier, Loch Ness is the home of the Loch Ness Monster, also known by the locals as “Nessie” –  a large unknown creature. Apparently the first sighting dates back to 550 AD but it wasn’t brought to the world’s attention until 1933 when the first photograph of Nessie was published:

Nessie

Even though Nessie didn’t reveal itself during our cruise, we still had a great experience sipping drinks and taking photos of the stunning scenery:

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At 15:00 we started our journey back and arrived at the hotel at about 19:00. It’s been a wonderful day and we’d highly recommend anyone visiting Scotland to also make a trip to the Highlands.

Tomorrow is our last day here, so maybe a good time to get some sleep 🙂

A&E