Meet the Locals – Highland Cows, Red Deer and More at Loch Ness

Meet the Locals – Highland Cows, Red Deer and More at Loch Ness

Uncovering the Wonders of South Loch Ness

As I gazed out over the shimmering waters of Loch Ness, my heart swelled with excitement. This was my first time visiting the Scottish Highlands, and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the rugged beauty and rich tapestry of local life. With the sun finally breaking through the clouds, I set off to explore the less-traversed southern shores of the famous loch.

Stepping Back in Time at Gask Cairn

My journey began just a few miles south of Inverness, where I stumbled upon an ancient Neolithic cairn and stone circle. Gask Cairn, with its impressive 88-foot diameter, was the largest of a group of these mysterious monuments, hinting at the deep-rooted history of the region. As I traced my fingers over the weathered stones, I couldn’t help but wonder about the rituals and beliefs that had once drawn people to this sacred place.

Nessie Watching at Dores Beach

Leaving the ancient site behind, I headed to the picturesque Dores Beach, a pebbled stretch along the shores of Loch Ness. The expansive view of the loch made it an ideal spot for some serious Nessie hunting. While I didn’t spot the elusive monster, I was captivated by the tranquil scene – swimmers and ducks gliding across the water, the sweet scent of coconut-scented gorse blossoms filling the air.

Discovering the “Change House” Trail

Continuing my journey west, I followed the “change house” trail, a scenic footpath that hugged the loch’s shoreline. As I meandered through the lush forest, I stumbled upon the remains of an old change house – a rest stop where travelers once changed their horses. Though the structure had long since crumbled, the setting was anything but wretched, with wildflowers blooming all around and the sparkling loch just a stone’s throw away.

Chasing Waterfalls at the Falls of Foyers

My next stop was the impressive Falls of Foyers, a thundering cascade that had captivated the famous poet Robert Burns during his visit in 1787. Zigzagging down a steep path, I emerged in a verdant gorge, the upper and lower falls on full display. Pausing to catch my breath on the benches dotted along the trail, I imagined the awe and inspiration that had struck Burns all those years ago.

Hearty Hospitality at Camerons Tea Room

Suitably refreshed from my waterfall adventure, I headed to Camerons Tea Room & Farm Shop, a local favorite tucked just outside of Foyers. The warm welcome and friendly banter instantly put me at ease, and the delicious cheese and haggis panini, accompanied by steaming bowls of soup, was exactly what I needed to refuel. But the real treat came when I met the resident deer and Highland cattle, who seemed to be just as eager to make new friends.

Setting Sail on Loch Ness

After a leisurely lunch, it was time to take to the water. Joining the Cruise Loch Ness, I settled onto the open deck, whisky in hand, as we set off to explore the loch. While Nessie remained elusive, I did spot a majestic golden eagle soaring overhead, a true highlight of the tour. As we glided across the calm waters, I was captivated by the tales of Jacobite outlaws, saints, and, of course, the legendary monster of the deep.

Cozy Quarters at Foyers Bay Country House

As the sun began to dip, I made my way to my home for the night, the charming Foyers Bay Country House. This elegant Victorian villa, nestled in the lush grounds overlooking Loch Ness, felt like a true home away from home. Owners Elly and Chris welcomed me with open arms, and I couldn’t wait to curl up in my cozy room and savor a wee dram while taking in the stunning views.

Exploring the Tragic Tale of Jane Fraser

After a restful evening, I ventured out to explore the village of Lower Foyers, where I stumbled upon a poignant memorial linked to a tragic love story. The tale of Jane Fraser, a young woman who pined for her lost love by the shores of Loch Ness, left me feeling bittersweet, yet deeply moved by the enduring power of the human heart.

A Final Farewell to South Loch Ness

As my time in South Loch Ness came to an end, I found myself reluctant to leave. From the ancient wonders of Gask Cairn to the breathtaking natural beauty of Loch Tarff, every moment had been filled with discovery and delight. And though Nessie remained elusive, the area’s rich history, warm hospitality, and stunning scenery had more than made up for it.

As I drove away, I couldn’t help but feel a tug at my heartstrings, knowing that I would soon be back to explore more of this captivating corner of the Scottish Highlands. After all, as the saying goes, it’s not where you’re from that matters, but what you do when you get here. And I couldn’t wait to see what other adventures awaited me in the land of lochs, legends, and Highland cows.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top