Drumnadrochit is a village in the Scottish Highlands on the west shore of Loch Ness which largely subsists on "Nessie" tourism. It also has the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle. Every coach tour of the Highlands comes here.
The village is on the A82 between Inverness and Fort William. The usual approach is by road from Inverness, 15 miles north, which has an airport and rail services.
Two buses pass through the village, operated by Citylink and Stagecoach. Bus 919 runs along A82 between Fort William and Inverness via Spean Bridge, Laggan, Fort Augustus, Invermoriston, Castle Urquhart and Drumnadrochit, four times M-Sat and twice on Sunday. Bus 917 runs from Inverness to Portree on Skye via Drumnadrochit, Castle Urquhart and Invermoriston, then branches west on A87 towards Kyle of Lochalsh. This runs twice daily.
The core of Drumnadrochit is around the junction of A82 and A831. The south end is nominally the separate village of Lewiston. It's all walkable.
The A82 between village and castle is busy but there's a sidewalk. Buses 917 and 919 stop at castle and village.
- 1 Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, Drumnadrochit IV63 6TU, ☏ +44 1456 450573. Daily Nov-Mar 10:00-16:15, Apr-Jun & Sept Oct 09:30-17:45, July Aug 09:30-18:45. The "serious" version: Loch Ness really is a remarkable place, without all the Nessie hokum. This exhibition describes the natural history of the place, and puts the legend in context. Adults £7.95, conc £6.75, child 6-15 £4.95.
- 2 [dead link] Nessieland, IV63 6TU (jcn of A82 & A831), ☏ +44 1456 450342. Daily July-Aug 09:00-21:00, Sept-Jun 09:00-17:00. The "theme park" version: explore Nessie's caves, Nessie's castle, Nessie's summerhouse.... Nessie even has a miniature railway, who knew? Adults £6, child £3.
- Nessie (banner photo) basks in the pond outside the exhibition centre, no charge to view. Frankly it resembles the corpse of a swan: did it eat something it shouldn't?
- 3 Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit IV63 6XJ (on loch side two miles south of village; Scottish CityLink bus 917 runs hourly from Inverness Bus Station (35 min) en route to Portree on the Isle of Skye), ☏ +44 1456 450551. Apr May Sep 09:30-18:00, Jun-Aug 09:30-20:00, Oct 09:30-17:00, Nov-Mar 09:30-16:30 ; last entry 45 min before closing. Impressive ruins of 13th- to 16th-century castle sited on Strone Point overlooking Loch Ness. There was a time when if you traversed the Highlands then you had to pass this way. St Columba (6th century) worked a healing miracle here, and soon afterwards had the first recorded encounter with the Monster, in the river near Inverness. Everyone else brought an army and tried to capture or wreck the place: the English, the Scots, more English, more Scots under Robert the Bruce, then raiders from the Lord of the Isles, and more raiders. After the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 it was garrisoned against the Jacobites and held out against a siege. The garrison left in 1695 and blew it up to prevent the Jacobites using it, and that was the end of the castle. The Jacobites returned the compliment in 1746 when they abandoned and blew up Inverness Castle. Cafe open June-August. Online: adults £12.00, child 5-15 £7.00 or conc (65+) £9.50, family tickets available; at the gate: £1 extra per ticket.
- Loch Ness boat trips sail from Drumnadrochit Apr-Oct, and year-round from Fort Augustus and from the north end of the loch (based in Inverness).
- Horse riding: Highland Riding Centre is at Borlum Farm, off A82 south of village.
- Walk or cycle the Great Glen Way and other trails: see Loch Ness.
- Glenurquhart Highland Games are held in August in Blairbeg Park, with the next on Sa 26 Aug 2023.
All the Nessie kitsch you could ever want. And there's a Scotmid Coop in the village.
- 1 Fiddlers Highland Restaurant, The Green IV63 6TU, ☏ +44 1456 450678. Daily 12:30-14:30 & 18:00-21:00. Traditional Scots fare and great selection of whisky. With accommodation here and next door in Oakdale B&B. Main courses from £15.
- 2 Cafe Eighty2, A82. Charming and colourful local cafe. Good vegan and gluten-free options. £8–10.
All the hotels have well-stocked public bars.
- Loch Ness Bay Camping is at Borlum Farm just south of the village, £10.50 ppn, van pitches & hook-ups £16 ppn. They also have two self-catering cottages.
- 1 Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge, Coiltie Farmhouse, IV63 6UN (south side of village), ☏ +44 1456 450807. Hostel in 18th C farmhouse. Bar is for residents only. Dorms from £20 ppn, doubles from £50.
- There's around a dozen B&Bs in the village, including:
- 2 Aslaich B&B, East Lewiston, IV63 6UJ, ☏ +44 1456 459466, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 16:00-19:00, check-out: 09:00-10:00. Clean friendly B&B. Doubles from £45.
- Greenlea Bed & Breakfast, The Village Green, IV63 6TX, ☏ +44 1456 450645. B&B with four rooms en suite. B&B doubles from £60.
- 3 The Benleva, Kilmore Road, IV63 6UH, ☏ +44 1456 450080. Hotel in 18th C manse, 11 rooms en suite. Dinner served to 20:00, mains from £13. They brew their own beer, "Hanging Tree". Doubles from £70.
- Drumnadrochit Hotel, IV63 6TU (next to exhibition centre), ☏ +44 1456 450218. Hotel with 29 rooms, open mid-March to Oct. Doubles from £50.
- 4 Drumnadrochit Lodges, Upper Achmony IV63 6UX, ☏ +44 1456 450467, +44 7879 273835 (mobile), fax: +44 1456 459049, email@example.com. Self-catering chalets on hillside above village, open all year. No pets. Full week from £800 per lodge, shorter lets available.
- For a scenic loop take A831, which runs west into the hills to the tiny village of Cannich in Glen Affric; it then follows the glen north towards Inverness.
- Follow A82 south to Invermoriston, where A887 branches off over the hills to join A87, for Kyle of Lochalsh and the bridge to Skye.
- South end of the loch is Fort Augustus, with routes beyond to Oban, Glencoe, Loch Lomond and Glasgow.
- Just north of the loch is Inverness.
|Routes through Drumnadrochit|
|Fort William ← Fort Augustus ←||SW NE||→ Inverness|