World-renowned home of the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, Loch Ness is a large freshwater lake extending for roughly 23 miles southwest of Inverness. It is popular for the scenic Scottish highlands and for fishing tourism: ferox, brown trout, sea trout and salmon are all native to the Loch.
Set above Inchnacardoch Bay, The Inch Hotel provides some of the best views of Loch Ness. It is a historic country lodge hotel with classic furnishings and a maroon and mahogany decor which imparts an essence of class. The restaurant has won an AA rosette for culinary excellence. Focusing on modern Scottish cuisine, The Inch’s sea bass is a special favourite among regulars.
If fishing is your thing, The Loch Ness Clansman Hotel operates four hour fishing trips. Any fish you catch can then be cooked for you by the chefs in their restaurant. The trips are run by an experienced ghillie (fishing attendant), so even inexperienced fishermen can take part. The restaurant looks out onto the loch, and is very serious about sourcing their products locally. Guests can choose between a great variety of traditional Scottish and more modern dishes, such as the local haggis bon bons served with a whisky cream sauce starter or the Monkfish three ways: nori-wrapped, beetroot poached & panko crumbed main.
With gardens and an exterior to compliment the Georgian style interior, The Loch Ness Country House Hotel is certain to create an unforgettable experience. The staff are very friendly, helpful and genuine. The two-course lunch is highly recommended and booking is essential. Afternoon tea and private dining are also available.
For a more contemporary feel, Rocpool Restaurant combines international tastes with Scottish produce in artistic meals such as India-inspired coriander & chilli monkfish stir fry with king prawns, tender stem broccoli & steamed jasmine rice with minted yogurt, crushed pistachio & lime; or Grecian sweet pea & halloumi fritters with oven roasted vine tomatoes, spinach & herb cous cous & fresh tsatsziki. Enjoy a wide range of choices for dessert, including vanilla crème brulee or white chocolate and coconut cheesecake with glazed banana and butterscotch sauce.
For a taste of more homely cooking, The Slaters Arms is a bar and restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere. Enjoy traditional Scottish treats such as chicken haggis in a whisky sauce with potatoes & vegetables or oxtail braised in red wine with potatoes & vegetables. They also serve food from around the world, including Spanish, Jamaican, Greek and Mexican. Seasonal dishes are also available, such as Cullen Skink – a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions – and seared salmon steak with potatoes & vegetables.
Winner of several Scottish Hotel awards Loch Ness Inn provides visitors with the opportunity to meet locals and eat meals sourced in the Scottish highlands. The venison used in their meals is caught wild in the hills above Loch Laggen. Selling traditional Scotch dishes such as Cullen Skink alongside haggis bobotie – a Scottish take on the South African dish – customers are truly spoiled for choice. Five minute drive from Urquhart Castle and within driving distance of Inverness, Chanonry Point (where dolphins can be seen in Moray Firth) and Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.
For fast and friendly service in an idyllic location, The Dores Inn is the place to go. On the shore of Loch Erne, this family-run business provides incredible views and a simple menu of traditional Scottish fare. In the carpark, The Loch Ness Monster hunter (Steve Feltham) sells handmade models of the monster. Since he has spent a quarter of a century hunting Nessie, he’s sure to be able to answer any queries you may have!
For traditional Scottish food in a lively atmosphere, Fiddler’s is the place to go. Offering such wonders as chargrilled chicken on Highland haggis with mashed tatties, bashed carrots and neeps, even the menu captures the sense of humour of the staff and the general jovial atmosphere of the restaurant. With an enormous distillery library of whiskies available, the variety is truly astounding – there are whiskies from all over Scotland, such as Auchroisk 1977, Loch Lomond (Grain) or Tobermory 15YO. They have a number of American and Japanese whiskies, not to mention award-winners too! Definitely the place to go for whiskey tasting.
A beautiful Victorian building set in abundant cultivated grounds, The Lovat Hotel was first recorded as being used as a hotel in 1869. The owners strive for eco-conscious running of the hotel, and as proof they use a biomass wood chip boiler and for every hotel room booked in the hotel they give 15p to a Trees for Life scheme. The restaurant in the hotel has won multiple awards in the last few years.
Specialising in Scottish/Mediterranean food, The Boathouse provides more than the average restaurant. The setting is truly outstanding, as The Boathouse is literally on Loch Ness, with large slats holding it in place right over the water just like a typical boathouse. The Boathouse is on the grounds of Fort Augustus Abbey, a 19th century Benedictine monastery with an interesting though turbulent past.