Day Trip Route by Car South West of Inverness
Drive out of Inverness onto the A862 signposted for Drumnadrochit. This road will take you along the North Shore of Loch Ness. The first lay-by is worth stopping at as it has information plaques and plenty of space for you to take in the history and feel of the World's most famous 'Monster' Loch.
The Loch Ness Monster. The first recorded sighting of the monster was by St Columba in 565AD It was not until 1933 that the monster became world famous as the world newspapers reported the story. There are a remarkable number of eye witness accounts that ring true on close examination. So keep your eyes on the loch as you travel around, you never know you may be lucky and spot the monster too. Continue driving along the A82, you will find further lay-bys for you to pull off the road. These lay-bys give different viewing angles of Loch Ness, so be prepared to pull off and enjoy the spectacle (Don't forget your camera!).
Turn off the A82, to the A831 in Drumnadrochit. (You might like to stop and wander around this small village before proceeding on the tour.) Drive for about 9 miles on the A831; look out for a sign for Corrimony Chambered Cairn. Glen Urquart chambered cairn, built about 4000 years ago, is encircled by 12 standing stones. A particularly clear example of a prehistoric burial tomb. Good explanation plaque. Open all year. Free.
After visiting the Cairn turn left and follow the A831 to Glen Affric (from 'Ath-Breac' Gaelic for 'dappled ford'). A magnificent glen, large areas of native forests, trees of 200 to 300 years old, forest roads, walks, Dog Falls, 100 ft Plodda Falls, magnificent views, open all year.
Continue on A831 to Aigus Dam Fish Pass. This is a very different fish pass, allowing migrating salmon to swim up stream overcoming the obstacle of the massive Aigus dam wall. It works by the fish swimming in to a passage holding water, the trap door closes behind them and the passage fills with water taking the fish to the top of the dam where they can then swim off. Viewing chamber.
Continue to the A862 follow signs to Beauly, where you will find Beauly Priory. Founded in 1230, it became a Cistercian home around 1510. The church was roofless in 1633, the stone is said to have been used by Cromwell to build a fort in Inverness in 1650. A plaque tells of Mary Queen of Scots' visit here in 1564 and her travels in the Highlands. Descriptive plaques point out all the points of interest. Open daily. Free admission.
After Visiting Beauly turn back along the A862 following your route about 3 miles turn right towards Inverness. You will come to the village of Kirkhill, in its centre is The Old North Inn proud to serve unashamedly Scottish Cuisine. A good place to stop for a meal or a cup of tea or coffee. Continue on A862 to Inverness.