10 Hidden Gems Around Loch Ness to Discover

10 Hidden Gems Around Loch Ness to Discover

10 Hidden Gems Around Loch Ness to Discover

As I stood on the banks of the legendary Loch Ness, gazing out across the inky black waters, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment. Where was the fabled Loch Ness Monster that had drawn so many visitors to this corner of the Scottish Highlands?

Surely, I thought, there had to be more to this place than just a mythical beast. And as I began to explore the region beyond the famous loch, I discovered a trove of hidden gems that showcased the true natural wonders of this captivating landscape.

Uncovering the Secrets of Dunlichity

My journey began in the unassuming hamlet of Dunlichity, where a signpost marked the entrance to this quaint community. As I wandered through, I stumbled upon the austere little church, which turned out to be a treasure trove of local history.

In the graveyard, I discovered a walled enclosure that served as the burial site for the Chiefs of Clan McGillivray and other families of Clan Chattan origin. But the real curiosity was a small watch house, built in the 1820s to guard against the nefarious practice of body snatching.

As I ran my fingers along the coping stones of the enclosure walls, I could make out the grooves left by the sharpening of broadswords – a reminder that this humble church had once been a rallying point during times of battle. And just down the road, I stumbled upon an ancient stone, hollowed out to serve as a baptismal font, with legends of its healing powers stretching back centuries.

Discovering the Serene Beauty of Glen Affric

Determined to uncover more of the region’s hidden gems, I set out for the stunning Glen Affric, often referred to as the “most beautiful glen in Scotland.” As I followed the 10-mile circuit around Loch Affric, I was surrounded by towering snow-capped mountains and the remnants of an ancient Caledonian forest.

Stopping for a picnic lunch at Strawberry Cottage, I gazed out over the serene waters of the loch, marveling at the untamed beauty that surrounded me. It was a far cry from the bustling crowds and tourist traps of Loch Ness, and I couldn’t help but wonder why more people didn’t venture off the beaten path to explore this hidden gem.

Traversing the South Loch Ness Trail

Eager to see more of the lesser-known wonders of the region, I turned my sights to the South Loch Ness Trail, a stunning multi-day hike that takes you through some of the most remote and breathtaking parts of the Scottish Highlands.

As I made my way along the trail, I was rewarded with unbelievable views of Loch Ness from vantage points that most tourists never see. From the Fair Haired Lads Pass to the meandering Farigaig Forest, each step of the journey offered a new and unexpected delight.

And just when I thought I couldn’t be more impressed, I stumbled upon the “Corkscrew” – a section of the trail that wound its way up the hillside, offering a truly unique perspective on the iconic loch below.

Embracing the Quiet Side of Loch Ness

By the time I reached the end of the South Loch Ness Trail, I had a newfound appreciation for this region beyond the famous monster. Sure, Loch Ness itself is an impressive sight, but as the folks at Secret Scotland pointed out, it’s certainly not the most beautiful loch in Scotland.

Instead, I had discovered a quieter, more serene side of the Highlands, where hidden lochs, ancient forests, and stunning viewpoints waited to be explored. And as I reflected on my journey, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that I had taken the time to venture off the beaten path and uncover the true gems of this magical region.

So the next time you find yourself drawn to the mystique of Loch Ness, I encourage you to look beyond the monster and discover the countless other wonders that the Scottish Highlands have to offer. Trust me, your adventure will be all the richer for it.

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