All roads, flights, railways, and other routes lead to the Highlands and Loch Ness! But which one is best for you when planning your trip in 2018? Here is some travel guidance we hope will be helpful to you.
In Edinburgh and Glasgow, there are day-tour companies like Timberbush, Scotline, Rabbies, Highland Experience, Haggis Tours, and Highland Explorer. These leave the cities on a daily basis and come directly to Loch Ness to allow you to enjoy a cruise with us before heading back.
You can also visit here as part of a comprehensive coach tour of Scotland.
Cruise ships berth at the Port of Invergordon and passengers often take a half day trip to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.
Inverness is at the heart of the Highlands and is a great base to tour the rest of the country. Loch Ness is less than half an hour from the city centre and we have created a list of things to do and places to visit from here.
Inverness Airport is only about 15 minutes from Inverness and both the bus and railway station are central.
There is a great taxi service based at the railway station and Inverness Taxis have an office in Church Street where you can organise private tours including an executive service.
There are also private hire drivers and guides. The Highlands of Scotland Tour Guide Association (HOSTGA) will take you on an itinerary of your choice or one they design. This can include trips to Isle of Skye, Fort William and Ben Nevis, Ullapool and Applecross on the west coast, Cawdor Castle, and Cairngorm Mountain.
Flights to Inverness are available from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Amsterdam – with extra capacity in the summer – Belfast, Bristol, Manchester, Dublin, Birmingham, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Benbecula, and Sumburgh.
All flights within the UK are under two hours.
The A9 is the main road from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth. A popular stopping point on the way is the House of Bruar, offering country-style shopping with restaurant and food deli.
There is also Dalwhinnie Distillery, Cairngorm National Park, and Kincraig Wildlife Park where you may see the polar bear cubs. Then there’s Aviemore, heart of Scotland’s ski industry, and Tomatin Distillery before heading down to Inverness.
From Aberdeen, the A96 takes you to Inverness passing many interesting little towns like Keith, Elgin, Forres, and Nairn where the late Charlie Chaplin used to spend his holidays.
Coming up the west coast from Glasgow, you will travel on the A82, a scenic journey going through Glencoe where they filmed Skyfall and also Harry Potter scenes.
You will pass through the town of Fort William below the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and Aonach Mor – branded as “Nevis Range” – where the UCI World Mountain Bike Championship will be held this year on June 2nd and 3rd.
From Fort William, you drive along the Great Glen and past Loch Ness, arriving in Inverness in a little over an hour.
National bus companies run from all over UK linking in with others to take you to the Highlands. There are Stagecoach, Megabus, Citylink, and National Express, arriving at the bus station in Farraline Park next to the city library.
Inverness is well served by rail and there are some scenic journeys like the West Coast Line to Kyle and the Great North Line to Thurso that can be accessed from the city.
There are main rail links with all major cities and Inverness is also the terminal for the Caledonian Sleeper, travelling nightly from and to London. Board at night in London and arrive fresh in the morning in the capital of the Highlands.
Walking and Cycling
You can walk the West Highland Way to Fort William then join the Great Glen Way to Inverness or you can cycle, but try to stick to designated cycle tracks as the roads can be extremely busy.
The Caledonian Canal links the west coast of Scotland with the east at Inverness. You can hire cruise boats from companies like Caley Marina and sail the route through the Great Glen. There are piers, jetties, harbours, and moorings all along the length and cruising can be a most enjoyable and different way of seeing the landscape.
You can also sail the North Sea and arrive at the Port of Inverness.
Whatever your method of transport and means of arriving, we here at Loch Ness by Jacobite will be more than happy to both welcome you and assist with your travel arrangements.