The Local Area
There’s so much more to Loch Ness and Inverness than timeless tartan, legendary Haggis and fabled beasties. Here in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness and Inverness is home to a number of award-winning whisky distilleries, legendary visitor attractions, world-famous golf courses, historic happenings and (of course) a monster myth or two.
The picturesque village of Beauly is five miles (10mins by car) down the glen from AIgas. The name Beauly came from French beau lieu, meaning ‘beautiful place’. You can park in the market square and explore the boutiques and enjoy a coffee with local produce at one of the eateries. We personally love Corner on the Square or Café Biagiotti! The 13th century Priory is well worth where you can learn about the history of this quaint place. And for a sample of Scottish music and dance, tune in to the local pipe band and highland dancers put on a performance every Thursday evening during the summer months.
The Highland capital is 15 miles away (20mins by car)! You can park in the city centre and stroll around the sites including Inverness Castle and the newly refurbished Town House. There is a good range of visitor attractions here in the form of art galleries, a Sports Centre (with climbing wall) and Aquadome (with flumes and wave pool), cinemas, museum, theatre and the Botanic Gardens. If you fancy a leg stretch, wander along the River Ness and through the islands. For a spot of retail therapy superb shopping can be found in the Eastgate, Victorian Market and the pedestrianised High Street. On the western edge of the city you can take a boat ride with Jacobite Cruises along the Caledonian Canal to Loch Ness.
Aigas lies beside the peaceful River Beauly at the foot of Strathglass, a wide valley with a flat fertile floor met by steep heather-clad and wooded hillsides. The river meanders gently along the length of the valley from Fasnakyle, passing the villages of Cannich and Struy on the way. Five miles west of Aigas near Struy, you can explore the National Nature Reserve of Glen Strathfarrar. Here, one of the largest remnants of ancient Caledonian Pine forests can be found and some of the huge population of Red Deer may be seen.
Glen Cannich and Glen Affric
From the village of Cannich, remote Glen Cannich may be explored leading to Loch Mullardoch, which has one of the largest dams in Britain. A few miles further west of Cannich lies Glen Affric, another National Nature Reserve, internationally renowned for its outstanding natural beauty. There is an abundance of trails, hill walks and the impressive Plodda Falls waterfall.
No holiday in Scotland is complete without a visit to Loch Ness. Over 20 miles long, a mile wide and 700 feet at its deepest, Loch Ness is the largest lake in Scotland by volume. Urquhart Castle is perched on the banks having seen great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Visit the charming towns and villages like Fort Augustus, Foyers, Cannich, and Drumnadrochit, or just relax and enjoy the great outdoors.
Dolphins and Local Beaches
On the east coast, boat trips can be taken from Inverness Harbour (and Cromarty on the Black Isle) to spot the Moray Firth Dolphins. Stretches of golden sand beaches can be found within an hour drive at Rosemarkie, Shandwick, Nairn and Dornoch. Some of the more remote west coast beaches are also easily accessible – Gruinard, Gairloch and Redpoint (90 mins by car).