I’ve always wanted to spend a bit more time to get to know Loch Ness.
Sadly about 3 (or 4) years ago, we had a bad wild camping experience (near Dores). It was the height of summer. We were in our late Mazda Bongo. The pop up roof was up where we slept in. And while we spent the night squatting midges on our sun roof before they had a feast at our expense, we were also disturbed by several drivers honking while passing by.
We absolutely love the freedom that wild camping has to offer in Scotland. And sometimes wild camping is all that there is if the spots are so remote (and breathtaking).
We did have terrible luck with wet, wind then snow during our 2 of our 4 nights, but with its award winning toilet block and encapsulating views, they were the icing on the cake! Not once did I feel cold when wanting to take a shower and I don’t know about you, but that’s a deal breaker for me, especially in the Winter.
There are plenty of electric hard standing pitches and all with great views.
Since we’re campervanners with a barking dog, we decided to take a back row seat in front to the River Foyers which was also equally as scenic.
Or, if you prefer a spot of glamping, there are plenty of exciting wooden pods (aka WigWams). There’s also an upper camping section which was closed for expansion and there were enough places on the lower level as it was February.
As always, we were rather self sufficient during our stay.
I can’t focus when I’m hungry, so I always stock up on plenty of goodies before any trip. But there’s a decent shop in the reception with bread, milk and other luxurious sweet and savory treats. We particularly loved the Scottish shortbread biscuits (yum yum!) and lemon drizzle cake. Oh and there’s a coffee machine inside too for real coffee and wi-fi. I needed to do some work for my blog, so this was perfect.
When it came to dog walks, we were all set. There’s plenty of water and woods around.
While the Falls of Foyers is only a 25 minute walk away, there were plenty of hills and paths to keep us interested.
Before setting off, we’d started the day with heavy rainfall, but it soon cleared up and the sun broke through its tall trees.
For most of it, we let Hans off his lead, but on our way up, we needed to err on the side of caution as we stumbled across some half fenced off sharp drops.
The viewpoints, however, are much more safe for pets and kids.
Once we reached the Foyers Falls, it felt like a force of nature. Its Scottish Gaelic translation of Falls of Foyers (Eas na Smùide), means the smoking falls and it really is apt. There’s a huge spray of mist that surrounds it while the water falls straight back in to Loch Ness. You can see it in action here in my recent video.
If you want to get to know Loch Ness a little bit more, you can hire a motor boat from the campsite (although I’m not sure our dog wouldn’t have appreciated it – he’s a bit of a scaredy-cat).
So instead, I discovered Cruise Loch Ness in Fort Augustus (about a half an hour’s drive away) that offered daily boat excursions for us and our four legged furry friend.
*Little tip: I personally would ring up in advance to find their running times and what slot if fully booked. Google said they opened at 10am which may just be to arrange a booking, (or at least just for the Winter). We hopped on the first slot at 1pm and there were only four of us sharing the trip. When we disembarked, we were surprised to see a boat full queuing up for the 2pm ride which didn’t look as comfortable!
Although I don’t believe in the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, I thought it would be a great opportunity for sight seeing.
At £14.50 each (our pooch was free), it was a great hour full of tales and beauty. And I was rather curious how Nessie appeared in people’s TripAdvisor photos(!)
There’s also a small bar downstairs for the sheltered part of the return journey where we bought a coffee, tea and whiskey for around £8. And plenty of merchandise for souvenirs, but I prefer capturing memories on camera instead.
Although the weather was only half on our side during the holiday, we loved how bliss and peaceful it was.
If you’re not members of the Camping and Caravanning Club, here’s why we are (and this is not sponsored):
- We love the exclusivity of sites where they’re less likely to be overcrowded
- They’re laid out to very high standards
- We found the cheapest camper van insurance with them
- It’s ALWAYS been cheaper to book a ferry through them compared to anyone else
If you’d like to come along with us on our journey, then here’s our holiday vlog!