Excerpt from the book Scottish Highlands, Caribbean Islands, and more
Driving down the western side of Loch Ness I was vaguely aware of a large body of water through the trees on the left-hand side of the road. At Drumnadrochit I became acutely aware of a thriving industry based on the Nessie legend. I decided to leave this tourist paraphernalia behind and head for the shores of the loch itself. Urquhart Castle was built in the 13th-Century and was taken by Edward I but later lost to Robert the Bruce. Urquhart was repeatedly attacked during the 15th and 16th centuries by the Lords of the Isles arriving from the West although it wasn’t until 1692 that the castle was largely destroyed in the fight between the Williamite and Jacobite groups.
Visitors were milling around the shop buying souvenir whiskys, tea towels, and guidebooks. The ruins are not extensive and are fairly easy to traverse, but most people tend to concentrate on looking out over the loch and trying to spot something unusual. Some talking telescopes might help in this process.
The Castle was originally built to protect the Great Glen and the views are extensive. The loch disappears north-eastwards towards Inverness over the horizon and is about a mile wide at Urquhart. A boat heading towards the horizon can soon fade from view and yet its wake is still seen heading sideways to the far shore. The wind blows in gusts across the water and raises waves; the sun shines on part of the loch and creates patterns of grey. In places the water looks pitch black and I had to remind myself that the loch is over 700 feet deep in parts. Try as I might I couldn’t see any monster-shapes in the water though other people have been more successful in seeing things than I have.