Dark, deep and narrow, Loch Ness stretches for over 23 miles between Fort Augustus and Inverness. Every inch of its crisp cold waters have been extensively explored in search of Nessie, the elusive Loch Ness monster. Nessie continues to frustrate and beguile in equal measure, and in all honesty ‘Nessiemania’ achieved overkill many moons ago. However, Scotland’s (if not the world's) most famous loch has a remarkable array of natural beauty and outdoor activities, that keeps campers coming back, even if Nessie doesn’t play ball.
Enjoying stunning views of the nearby forest and mountains is the appropriately named Loch Ness Shores. Located on the quieter south shore near the village of Foyers, this 99 pitch, open-all-year campsite is run by the welcoming husband and wife team of Donald and Lyn, whose excellent local knowledge ensures campers can make the most of their stay. The site has impressive eco-credentials too. Innovative green technologies are used to light and heat the onsite facilities, which include a decent amenity block (with under floor heating) and home-from-home shower rooms.
The surrounding flora and fauna is one of Loch Ness Shore’s major draws. With regular sightings of red squirrels, badgers, wild goats, otters, deer, and over 40 species of wild birds, campers are advised to keep their binoculars at the ready. Wildlife hides are available and walks – ranging from a short leisurely stroll to Foyers Pier, to a wide range of forestry paths – offer fantastic sighting opportunities for all.
Open to both C&CC members and non-members, Loch Ness Shores also offers the opportunity to ‘glamp’ in one of their five wooden wigwam cabins, all boasting snug caravan-style beds. But whichever accommodation you opt for, you’re sure to enjoy this beautiful, tranquil location in one of Britain’s most scenic spots. So scenic in fact it’s a wonder why Nessie hasn’t dropped by for a cheeky weekend of camping. Ah well, Nessie’s loss is most certainly your gain.
In Your Element (0333 6006008) and Explore Highland (07808 071810) offer visitors to Loch Ness Shores various paddle sport activities, including open canoeing, and river kayaking adventures. These are available for half or full day depending on your level of experience. Most activities are suitable for children between the ages of 10 and 18, when accompanied by an adult. Ace Adventure (0330 555 0313) are a specialist White water rafting and outdoor activities provider, based near Aviemore. Jim and the team cater for a wide range of activities; from high adrenaline thrills to relaxed wilderness and wildlife experiences.