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Loch Ness: More Than Just the Monster Myth
Loch Ness is known as the largest fresh water lake in Britain and the second largest loch in Scotland with a surface area of 22 square miles. Surrounded by the misty peaks and plush green land, Loch Ness serves to be an epitome of beauty. Within close proximity are the ruins of Urquhart Castle and small, neat villages which sketch an impeccable picture of any fairylike or magical description we might have read in our childhood.
- Loch Ness stretches 23 miles and lies between Fort Augustus and Inverness, which is known as the Great Glen Fault Line, the largest glen in Scotland.
- The water in the loch never freezes because its temperature is quite stable.
- The exact depth of the loch is still unknown, but it can be said that it is over 750 ft deep.
- Loch Ness has only one island, Cherry Island at Fort Augustus.
- Due to the high content of peat particles, the water of Loch Ness is extremely dark in colour.
- More than forty streams, rivers and waterways join Loch Ness, which flows into the sea through River Ness and Caledonian Canal.
- “Operation Deepscan” has by far been the most exhaustive exploration performed at Loch Ness in which various unidentified sonars were recorded under water.
Over the years it has been believed that a pre historic creature lives in the waters of Loch Ness, referred to as the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie. The sighting of Nessie was first recorded in 565 AD, when the creature was rumoured to have eaten a farmer nearby before being forced back into the lake. With time, the tale was spread and pictures started to surface, claiming the existence of the legendary Nessie. However, till now, no concrete evidence has been found, proving the existence of the creature. Many suggest that the presence of circus elephants in the area might explain this bizarre phenomenon.
Loch Ness boasts a variety of marine life beneath the deep blue water. Since many rivers and streams flow into the lake, hence a variety of fish can be found in the loch. One of them is the Atlantic salmon which breeds in the rivers that feed the loch. However, over fishing of this specie has caused a decrease in its population. Another type of fish that Loch Ness boasts is the Artic Charr, which is a relatively small fish, and the deepest one ever caught in the British freshwater. Apart from the two species, eels, minnows (small sized shoaling fish), pike (carnivore fish), sticklebacks (small bony fish) and trout can be found in the lake.
Things To Do In Loch Ness
- Shop for souvenirs at the Visit Centre, located inside the Urquhart Castle. However, Fort William shelves a wider variety of Scottish dresses and traditional vestiges for tourists to choose from.
- Hike at the Great Glen Way (almost the same length as the lake) or walk through the South Loch Ness trail, an idyllic track for walkers. A scenic drive or cycling trip around the lake is also a popular activity among tourists.
- Visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and travel through time via awe inspiring theme work.
- The trip to Loch Ness is incomplete without a visit to the famous and magnificent Urquhart Castle, encompassing the Scottish history. The ruins of the castle date back from the 13th to the 16th century, the period which marks its golden days. Built in the 13th century, it played a vital role in the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 14th century. The ideal location of the castle, at the Strone Point adds to the existing magical feel of the ancient architecture.
- Other activities include fishing, cruising, boating, sailing and golf which can certainly make the holiday exuberant and fun. Sports lovers can add thrill and adventure to their trip through off road quads, wind surfing, mountain biking, skiing and paragliding.
Scotland has promoted tourism in Loch Ness by providing facilities and activities which one would certainly enjoy in the area. Consequently Loch Ness has become a “hot spot” for tourists especially during summers. It is a place to hike, see, eat and shop for souvenirs. One can easily book a cab from the minicab providers or executive car hire services and plan a trip to the beautiful bowl of deep blue water, resting amidst the lush green highlands, entailing a captivating story of the mythical creature, a glimpse of Scottish history and mindboggling natural views.