Visiting Inverness And Loch Ness

Shutterstock © Inverness

A few weeks ago, I posted about my plans to travel to Loch Ness. Well, here I am with a report of how it went!

To avoid disappointment, I’ll first reveal that we didn’t spot Nessie – not a tail, a fin, or even a strange dark shape on the water.

She must have been out elsewhere!


On our first day, we set out to explore the city.

Inverness was just a short car journey from where we were staying on the Black Isle – just over Kessock Bridge stretching across the stunning Beauly Firth.

Our first stop had to be Leakey’s Bookshop – a perfect location for readers of the “Friend”!

The shelves in this second hand bookshop seem to go on for miles and you can find whatever subject your heart desires whether it be crime fiction or arctic exploration.


Photograph by Abbie Phillips.

We had lunch, then walked down to Ness Islands. As we walked next to the river, we could feel Storm Malik brewing – the winds were so strong they almost blew me away!

The storm arrived the next day and we decided to be safe and stay in. Luckily, we’d brought books to read and a beautiful view to enjoy.

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

Once the storm calmed down the following day, we headed for Loch Ness.

Reading about it really doesn’t do its size justice. It’s immense (and I could definitely imagine a little family of Nessies living there quite comfortably!).

Our favourite stop around the Loch was Urquhart Castle. Boasting over 1000 years of history, this site is truly special.

There is something about standing where so many people have stood before, all down the years, that is so captivating.

Loch Ness

Photograph by Abbie Phillips.

The small museum has a collection of artifacts found at the castle and surrounding areas and they even have a replica trebuchet which was built and demonstrated in 1998.

Clootie Well and Chanonry Point

After reading Willie Shand’s feature about traditional home remedies in Special #220, I was intrigued. In it, he talked about healing places called “Clootie Wells”.

The belief goes that when you tie a rag to a tree at a Clootie Well, your illness will be cured when the rag rots away.

It’s a hopeful place – after visiting the one at Munlochy, I do hope that all those who have hung a rag there have felt their ailments fade.

Finally, our last stop was Chanonry Point – the best place in the UK to see bottlenose dolphins.

Unsurprisingly, the dolphins that visit here are the biggest in the world, having adapted to suit the cold waters of the North Sea.

We didn’t spot any, but we did stand on the beach and take in the view, imagining the dolphins dancing on the waves come summertime.

Chanonry Point

Photograph by Abbie Phillips.

Click here to find more inspiration for your next trip.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.