A convenient stopping point on Loch Ness is at Urquhart Bay Harbour. This allows the opportunity to visit the village of Drumnadrochit – the centre of the Loch Ness Monster industry in Scotland! It's about 25 minutes walk from the harbour to the village centre and there are some visitor attractions, such as the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, as well as good restaurants and cafes, gift shops, grocers, convenient store, newsagent, post office and a pharmacy.
After leaving Drumnadrochit, the next overnight stopping point would be Fort Augustus in the south west or back to Dochgarroch Lock in the north east.
Restaurants, Bars & Cafes
Fiddlers - "Good food served simply". Salmon, beef or game & Scottish specialities. They also have a selection of over 500 malt whiskies to sample! 1.2 miles (about 25 min walk) from the harbour.
Tel: 01456 450 678
Loch Ness Inn – Restaurant within the Hotel in the village of Lewiston, next to Drumnadrochit. 2 miles (about 35-40 min walk) from the harbour.
Lewiston, Drumnadrochit, IV63 6UW
Tel: 01456 450 991
OYO Loch Ness Drumnadrochit Hotel - Cobbs Café, located within the hotel, does a range of hot meals at lunch time, as well as the usual soup and sandwiches, home baking and ice creams.
Tel: 01456 450 218
Benleva Hotel, (dog friendly) Pub & Restaurant - The Benleva Hotel is over 300 years old and a former Church Manse (Minister's residence), situated just ½ mile from the centre of Drumnadrochit village (about 2 miles or 40 min. walk from the harbour). The Benleva aims to offer the finest fresh food together with a fine selection of wines, Scottish real ales and malt whiskies all served in a homely, warm and welcoming atmosphere. There is also beer garden to the rear of the Hotel.
Tel: 01456 450 080
Cobbs Loch Ness Restaurant & Bar – Located within the Loch Ness Clansman Hotel at the Clansman Harbour. Great views across Loch Ness. No access by foot from harbour. Contact local taxi service.
Brackla, Loch Ness-side, Inverness-shire, IV3 8LA
Tel: 01456 450 326
Ness Deli – Licensed Bistro and Café. 1.2 miles (about 25 min. walk) from the harbour. Please check Facebook page for information.
Tel: 01456 450 282
Tearoom – Lovely tearoom within the small grocery store & post office, opposite the village green. 1.2 miles (about 25 min walk).
Tel: 01456 450 800
Cafe Eighty2 – Small, independent café, open during daytime hours. Breakfast, lunch, cakes. Located just before the village of Lewiston, 1.7 miles (about 40 min. walk) from the harbour.
Tel: 01456 450 400
Grocery store & Post Office – Small, independent grocers, post office, newsagent and tearoom, located opposite the village green in the centre of Drumnadrochit. 1.2 miles (about 25 min walk)
Tel: 01456 450 800
Scotmid co-operative - Groceries, off-licence, newsagent - located at the far end of Drumnadrochit along the main road, about 1.8 miles (about 35-40 min walk) from the harbour, open 7 days.
Great Glen Pharmacy – NHS pharmacy located next to the GP surgery at the far end of Drumnadrochit (betweenn Drumnadrochit and Lewiston). About 1.8 miles (about 35-40 min walk) from the harbour.
Tel: 01456 459 373
Loch Ness Gifts – Traditional Scottish and Nessie themed gifts. Located in the village, about 1.2 miles (about 25 min walk) from the harbour.
Tel: 01456 450 695
Celtic Crafts – Gift shop in the village centre. 1.2 miles (about 25 min walk) from the harbour.
Tel: 01456 450 395
Sights & Visitor Attractions
Village Green – The village green is at the centre of Drumnadrochit and is surrounded by a collection of largely white-harled cottages, café, restaurant, gift shop and a traditional little village shop and post office.
Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition – Established in 1980 within the complex of the Drumnadrochit Hotel, the centre has long been a favourite for visitors from all over the world. Written and narrated by naturalist Adrian Shine, leader of the Loch Ness Project research team (for over 30 Years), the exhibition has been developed in 7 themed areas that tell the story of Loch Ness, its mystery and everything about Loch Ness you cannot see by looking at it. There is a branch of The Whisky Shop with an extensive selection of Scottish whiskies, beers and ales located within the building. Kilts, Cashmere & Wool clothing and gifts are also available to buy. The award winning Drumnadrochit based Loch Ness Coffee Company Cobbs manages the catering for the Café on site. 1 mile (about 20 min. walk) from the harbour at the start of the village.
Tel: 01456 450 573
Urquhart Castle - The ancient ruins and former stronghold is magnificently situated on the banks of Loch Ness and is owned and managed by Historic Environment Scotland. The visitor centre comprises of exhibition, audio-visual presentation, shop, café and toilets. Please note that the easiest way to get to the castle from the mooring at Urquhart Bay harbour is by taxi. If you prefer to walk, it takes most likely a little more than 1 hr to walk the 3.3 miles from the harbour, through the villages of Drumnadrochit and Lewiston.
Although there is a mooring at the castle, the times where private or hire boats are permitted to use the mooring are limited and sometimes it may not be possible to tie up at all. Priority is given to the large, commercial vessels. Please check the info displayed at the mooring. If you are able to use the mooring, you are required to visit the castle grounds to pay the entry fees.
There are a few walks you can do in the area. Details at www.walkhighlands.co.uk.
Drumnadrochit – Craigmonie – Divach Falls Walk – Approximately 6.25 miles total. This walk, suitable for families, with signage all along .
Urquhart Bay Wood Walk - Approximately 1.25 miles, ideal picnic location.
Meall Fuar-mhonaidh - this is a wonderful climb up this hill (2293 ft), which boosts spectacular views so well worth the effort (provided the weather is playing its part)! Starting at the car park high up above outside Drumnadrochit (taxi recommended), the walk takes about an hour to/from the car park at the starting point.
Highland Trekking & Trail Riding - Another family run business, located in the village of Tomich in beautiful Glen Affric. On offer are hourly, half day and full day rides, 1/2 hour lead rides for the under 12's and also long distance trekking for the more advanced. Transport from Urquhart Bay Harbour or Drumnadrochit may be available for a fee. (about 30 min by car).
Tel: 01456 415 323
Taxis & Transport
Drumnadrochit Taxi Service – 01456 450 617, 07721 055 944
Approach to Urquhart Bay Harbour
Urquhart Bay Harbour
Loch Ness Centre
Horse riding above Loch Ness