Explore Loch Ness: Hiking and Kayaking from Your Tent Door

Explore Loch Ness: Hiking and Kayaking from Your Tent Door

The Loch Ness Calling

Loch Ness is my favorite place to wild camp in the Scottish Highlands, and I’ve been returning here for over 30 years now. Each visit is a new adventure, yet the loch’s timeless allure never fades. As I pitch my tent at the Dores Beach end of the loch, I can’t help but marvel at the sheer scale and beauty of this legendary body of water. Whether I’m hiking through the ancient woodland or gliding across the still surface in my kayak, Loch Ness casts an enchanting spell that keeps me coming back, time and time again.

Dores Beach: Your Basecamp for Adventure

The Dores Beach area is the perfect basecamp for exploring the wonders of Loch Ness. Just a 6-mile drive from Inverness, this picturesque stretch of shoreline offers the ideal blend of convenience and seclusion. As I set up camp, I can’t help but feel a sense of excited anticipation – the possibilities for adventure are endless.

A short walk from my tent, I find the Dores Inn, a cozy pub serving up hearty meals crafted from fresh, local ingredients. Though the inn’s toilets and water tap are only available during operating hours, it’s a handy resource to have nearby. I make sure to avoid parking in their lot, as the gate gets locked up tight after closing time. Instead, I opt for the ample on-street parking in the village, which puts me just a 500-meter stroll from my campsite in the adjacent woodland.

Exploring the Loch by Kayak

One of my favorite things to do during my Loch Ness adventures is to take my trusty kayak out onto the water. At 26 miles long, this loch offers endless opportunities for exploration. I simply can’t get enough of gliding across the still surface, taking in the breathtaking scenery from a unique perspective.

As I paddle, I keep my eyes peeled for the local wildlife. Loch Ness is teeming with all sorts of fascinating creatures, from soaring birds to elusive deer. I’ve captured some amazing footage with my drone, showcasing the loch’s natural beauty from above. And you never know – I might even catch a glimpse of the legendary Loch Ness Monster!

Loch Ness is my favourite place to wild camp, I’ve been returning here for over 30 years now.

Hiking Through the Ancient Woodland

When I’m not out on the water, I love to explore the woodland that surrounds my campsite. The flat, accessible paths make for easy hiking, and the serene atmosphere is simply unparalleled. As I wander through the towering trees, I’m often greeted by the soothing sounds of songbirds and the rustling of leaves in the gentle breeze.

One of the highlights of these woodland hikes is the chance to spot some of the local wildlife up close. I’ve had the privilege of photographing deer, rabbits, and a variety of fascinating insects and fungi. It’s such a thrill to immerse myself in this natural wonderland, far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Visiting the Loch’s Historic Sites

While the natural beauty of Loch Ness is the main draw, the area is also rich in history and cultural significance. Just a short distance from my campsite is the iconic Urquhart Castle, a striking medieval ruin that overlooks the loch. I’ve enjoyed many a visit to this historic site, marveling at the impressive architecture and imagining the stories that these ancient walls could tell.

For those interested in learning more about the Loch Ness Monster, the Loch Ness Exhibition Center is another must-see attraction. Here, you can dive into the captivating legend and explore the various theories and sightings that have captured the public’s imagination for decades.

Loch Ness is one of my favorite places to go kayaking, with amazing scenery and wildlife all around.

Preparing for Your Loch Ness Adventure

As with any wilderness excursion, it’s important to come prepared for your Loch Ness adventure. Make sure to pack all the necessary camping gear, including a sturdy tent, sleeping bag, and cooking equipment. And don’t forget to bring your own entertainment – I often pack my kayak, drone, and a good book or two to keep me occupied during my stay.

One important thing to note is the long drive around the loch. At 70 miles, it’s a significant distance, so be sure to refuel your vehicle before setting out. Luckily, there’s a Tesco supermarket just 6 miles from my campsite, so I can easily stock up on supplies as needed.

Loch Ness is a truly magical place, with endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Embracing the Loch Ness Lifestyle

As I sit by the shore, watching the sun dip below the horizon, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude for the privilege of calling Loch Ness my home away from home. This captivating loch has a way of slowing down time, allowing me to truly immerse myself in the present moment and connect with the natural world around me.

Whether I’m hiking through the ancient woodland, gliding across the still waters in my kayak, or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery, Loch Ness never fails to fill me with a profound sense of wonder and tranquility. It’s a place that has become a part of me, a sanctuary where I can escape the stresses of everyday life and reconnect with the simple joys of being.

So, if you’re looking for a truly unique and unforgettable camping experience, I can’t recommend Loch Ness enough. Pack your gear, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to be enchanted by the magic of this incredible Scottish Highlands treasure. Who knows, you might even spot the elusive Loch Ness Monster along the way!

Loch Ness is a truly special place, with a timeless allure that keeps me coming back year after year.

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