Celebrity spotting and monster hunting

Loch Ness is the place to be if you fancy celebrating spotting as well as monster hunting.

In fact, there’s a good chance you will rub shoulders with the rich and famous on one of our Loch Ness cruises as everyone agrees it’s the best way to experience this magnificent location.

Over the years, we’ve had many notable visitors. They include:

Princess Anne

The second child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited the area to open the new harbour on Loch Ness at Urquhart Bay. She is one of the busiest members of the Royal Family with over 20 engagements per week. She is also Patron of the Scottish Rugby Union.

Yash Chopra

The Indian film director, who died in 2012, was once described as the Steven Spielberg of Bollywood. He was also a script writer and film producer. He visited Loch Ness with fellow director Manmohan Singh and cruised Loch Ness on the Jacobite Queen.

Billy Connolly

One of Scotland’s finest comedians, he is also a talented actor and very proud of his Scottish roots. Although he lives in America, Billy had a mansion in Strathdon and often entertained his actor friends there. Visits to Loch Ness were always on his agenda, and trips with Judi Dench, Robin Williams, and Steve Martin in 2001 attracted the media and local press.

Ted Danson

The American actor is famous for his role as Sam Malone in the TV comedy Cheers. In 1994, he came here to film the movie Loch Ness where he plays the part of Dempsey, an anthropologist who comes to debunk the legend of a lake monster. The mission soon turns to a tale of mystery and fantasy, also starring Joely Richardson. It was written by John Fusco who was inspired by a visit years before to Loch Ness.

Werner Herzog

A famous German film director, producer, writer, author, actor and opera director. His most famous film is Fitzcarraldo. Werner arrived at Loch Ness with American Film Director Zak Penn to star in a spoof film called “Incident at Loch Ness”. He kept a low profile but raised a lot of media interest.

John Cobb

The English businessman who was tragically killed on Loch Ness on September 29th, 1952 in his jet-powered boat Crusader whilst attempting the world water speed record. John Cobb was known locally as the Gentle Giant and taken to the hearts of the local people so much so that, after his demise, a memorial was erected close to Urquhart Castle.

Alex Harvey

A famous Scottish Rock and Blues musician whose career spanned three decades. His band SAHB – the Sensational Alex Harvey Band – were well known all over Europe. Alex came to Loch Ness in 1976 searching for the Loch Ness Monster. He never found it but recorded an album “Alex Harvey Presents The Loch Ness Monster”. Alex sadly died in 1982 but the album became a sought-after collectors’ piece.

Tim Dinsdale

The aeronautical engineer was a famous Loch Ness Monster hunter whose film in 1960 created a sensation. It is believed by some to be solid proof of the existence of Nessie. He took part in about 50 expeditions and wrote many books on the subject and became one of the best known names in the arena of the Loch Ness Monster. Commander RT Gould Gould wrote the early definitive work “The Loch Ness Monster”. He began investigating the Loch Ness Monster in 1933 and carried out his research by riding round the loch on his motorcycle and collecting stories and sightings.

David James

He was a British member of parliament who had sailed round the world in 1937 and was a firm believer in the Loch Ness Monster. He founded the “Loch Ness Phenomenon Bureau of Investigation” with naturalist Peter Scott in 1962. Annie Lennox The well-known singer, formerly of The Eurythmics. Born in Aberdeen, she and her family have cruised Loch Ness while on holiday.

Roy P. Mackal

The former US Marine, with a degree in biology, began serious research into Loch Ness in the 1960s. He became scientific director of the Bureau of Investigation and wrote the book “The Monsters of Loch Ness”. Mackal went on to be regarded as a world authority on sea serpents.

Robert Rines

An American lawyer who became known as the greatest monster hunter of all time, even purchasing two houses in this area where he and his team stayed when carrying out their research. His photographs “Gargoyle Head” and “Flipper” became world famous but were reported years later as having been doctored, the flipper having been re-touched and the head being a root of a tree!

Sir Peter Scott

He was one of Britain’s finest ornithologists and the son of Robert Falcon Scott who went to the Antarctic. Sir Peter gave the scientific name of Nessiteras Rhombopteryx to the Loch Ness Monster so it could be registered as an endangered species. It was later pointed out that this was an anagram of “monster hoax by sir peter s”.

Charlie Sheen

The American actor with high-earning capacity and a wild-man reputation visited Loch Ness in 2013 with some friends to hunt for Nessie. Sheen hoped to recreate a scene from Jaws the movie which had been a childhood ambition. He bought a rowing boat, large hook, bottle of single malt and a leg of lamb to go night fishing for monsters. He caught nothing, but thoroughly enjoyed his trip!

Queen Victoria

The British Monarch had a great affection for Scotland, having acquired Balmoral Castle and estate in 1847. Queen Victoria visited Loch Ness in 1873 when she sailed down the loch in the Gondolier and disembarked at Dochgarroch on the Caledonian Canal where we sail from today. The Queen is attributed with being the catalyst for tourism in Scotland today.

Marmaduke Wetherell

Wetherell was a big game hunter who entered the Loch Ness arena in 1933 with the backing of the Daily Mail. He originally tried to fool people by creating footprints using an elephant’s foot umbrella stand. This was eventually discredited by the newspaper. To get his own back, he instigated the famous “Surgeon’s Photograph” which became one of the greatest hoaxes of all time on the subject of the Loch Ness Monster. It remained definitive “proof” until being revealed as a hoax in 1994.

Lt. Col. RK Wilson

Wilson was credited as the photographer of the “Surgeon’s Photograph”. He was used as a credible person as he was an eminent Harley Street gynaecologist. The picture was actually set up by a man called Christian Spurling, a photographer who created the Nessie using plasticine and a toy submarine. The photo fooled the world for 60 years until Spurling admitted the hoax. Wilson was so embarrassed by his involvement that he left the country and settled in Australia.

Robin Williams

The late American actor spent a day at Loch Ness in the company of Billy Connolly. Robin had spent time in Scotland before, filming Being Human. On his trip to the loch, he spent time with Steve Feltham, the world-famous monster hunter who has lived at the loch in a converted mobile library for over 20 years.

Constance Whyte

The lady who sparked much of the modern-day interest in the Loch Ness Monster with her well researched book “More than a Legend”, published in 1957. You can read about this and other facts in our article “20 Things About Loch Ness”. Constance was a firm believer in the existence of a creature in Loch Ness and was the springboard for much of the research, expeditions, exhibitions, documentaries, films, and adverts that have followed.