Picnic With a View – Scenic Spots at Loch Ness

Picnic With a View – Scenic Spots at Loch Ness

Picnic With a View – Scenic Spots at Loch Ness

Ah, the Scottish Highlands – where the air is crisp, the landscapes are rugged, and the legends come alive. And at the heart of this enchanting region lies Loch Ness, a body of water that has captivated the imaginations of visitors for centuries. As a proud local, I can tell you that there’s no shortage of stunning vistas and picturesque picnic spots around this iconic loch. So, grab your tartan blanket, pack a basket of delectable local treats, and join me on a journey to uncover the most scenic spots for a picnic with a view.

Dores Beach: A Window to the Loch

Let’s start our adventure at Dores Beach, a pebbled paradise on the southern shores of Loch Ness. As you stroll along the shore, the shimmering expanse of the loch stretches out before you, inviting you to kick back and soak in the tranquility. This is the perfect spot for a leisurely picnic, with the chance to spot the elusive Nessie if you’re lucky.

Loch Ness 360° describes Dores Beach as a place where “you are able to look right down the length of Loch Ness. It really gives you a feeling on how big this body of water really is (23 miles or 36km to be precise).” And who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of the famous Nessie hunter, Steve Feltham, as he keeps a vigilant watch from his nearby home on a converted bus.

As you spread out your tartan blanket and unpack your picnic, take a deep breath and let the salty, coconut-tinged scent of the gorse bushes transport you to a tropical paradise. It’s a truly enchanting spot that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

The Falls of Foyers: A Thundering Delight

Venturing a bit further west along the southern shore, we come across the dramatic Falls of Foyers, a breathtaking 140-foot waterfall that cascades into a serene gorge below. The Loch Ness 360° trail describes this natural wonder as a “ground-shaking experience – literally! The ground shakes under the volume of water thundering down and a misty cloud of moisture hangs in the air. It’s enough to shake you to your core and admire the raw power of nature.”

This is the perfect spot to spread out your picnic and watch the falls in all their glory. But be warned, the trail leading to the viewing platform is a bit of a challenge, so you might want to pack a few extra snacks to fuel your hike. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even explore the nearby Foyers Lodge, a cozy retreat that offers the perfect place to rest and recover after your waterfall adventure.

Suidhe Viewpoint: A Panoramic Delight

As we continue our journey, we come across one of the most breathtaking viewpoints in the Loch Ness region – the Suidhe Viewpoint. Perched on the southern side of the loch, this vantage point offers uninterrupted views of the Highlands in all directions, making it the perfect spot for a picnic with a view.

The Loch Ness 360° trail describes the Suidhe Viewpoint as a place where “you can get uninterrupted views across the Highlands in all directions. Try to spot Loch Knockie, Loch Nan Lann, Loch Tarff and Loch Kemp – as well as Loch Ness, of course!” It’s no wonder this spot tops many visitors’ lists when exploring the area.

As you climb the final stretch to the viewpoint, your efforts will be rewarded with a panoramic feast for the eyes. Spread out your tartan blanket, uncork a bottle of local wine, and savor the breathtaking vistas that surround you. It’s the kind of picnic that will leave you feeling truly connected to the rugged beauty of the Highlands.

Urquhart Castle: A Historical Backdrop

No visit to Loch Ness would be complete without a stop at the iconic Urquhart Castle, a stunning ruin that juts out into the loch, commanding attention from all who gaze upon it. While this site may be a popular attraction, it offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a picnic with a historical backdrop.

The Loch Ness 360° trail suggests climbing up the Grant Tower for “an unmissable view over the loch and take in all its glory.” And if you’re looking for a more secluded spot, the VisitScotland website recommends exploring the banks a little bit to find the perfect photo spot, with the castle and loch in the frame.

As you savor your picnic surrounded by the ancient walls of Urquhart Castle, you can’t help but feel a sense of connection to the rich history that has unfolded here. It’s a truly unique and unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the stories that have shaped this enchanting region.

Exploring the Hidden Gems

While the iconic viewpoints along Loch Ness may be the main draw for many visitors, the real gems often lie in the quieter, less-traveled areas. Secret Scotland’s website highlights the hidden charms of the southern side of Loch Ness, where a network of quiet roads connects scattered farming communities and small lochs that make for perfect picnic spots.

One such gem is the Dunlichity area, where you can discover a historic church with a walled enclosure that serves as the burial site for the Chiefs of Clan McGillivray and other Clan Chattan families. As you wander the graveyard, keep an eye out for the old watch house, built in the 1820s to guard against the notorious “body snatchers” who would remove and sell corpses for medical dissection.

Another hidden delight is the Clava Cairns, a Neolithic site just a few miles south of Inverness. These ancient stone circles and ring cairns serve as a reminder of the rich history that has shaped the landscape, and provide a serene and meditative backdrop for a picnic in the countryside.

So, as you plan your visit to Loch Ness, be sure to venture off the beaten path and explore the lesser-known gems that dot the region. You never know what hidden treasure you might uncover, and what enchanting picnic spot might become your new favorite.

Embracing the Loch Ness Lifestyle

As you’ve seen, the Loch Ness region is brimming with breathtaking viewpoints, thundering waterfalls, and historic sites that make for the perfect picnic backdrops. But there’s more to this area than meets the eye. The VisitScotland website highlights the nearby Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar as hidden gems, offering “superb high-level walking, with views to Skye, Torridon and beyond.”

So, why not embrace the Loch Ness lifestyle and turn your picnic into a full-fledged outdoor adventure? Pack your hiking boots, your binoculars, and your sense of wonder, and set out to explore the stunning glens and lochs that surround this iconic body of water. Who knows, you might even spot a majestic golden eagle soaring overhead, or discover a hidden waterfall that takes your breath away.

And when you’re ready to refuel, simply spread out your tartan blanket, crack open a bottle of local cider, and savor the flavors of the Highlands. Trust me, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a homemade picnic while surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Scottish countryside.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your picnic basket, head to Loch Ness, and get ready to experience the true magic of the Highlands. Whether you’re searching for Nessie, chasing waterfalls, or simply soaking in the breathtaking vistas, this region has something to captivate every visitor. So, let’s raise a glass to the wonders of Loch Ness and embark on a picnic adventure you’ll never forget.

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