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Driving around Loch Ness and Inverness , is a car essential?

(35 Posts)
Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 21:41:13

What's it like driving and parking around Loch Ness and Inverness please? Planning on going in June when presumably it's busy

I hate driving where I don't know and the hassle of parking and was wondering if we stayed in Drumradnochit is it possible to get taxis locally? Or is a car essential?

MelanieCheeks Fri 01-Jan-16 21:43:08

Do you know the distances involved? Drive! It'll not be that crowded, and you'll be able to find a parking place. Which things or places will you be visiting?

DianaTrent Fri 01-Jan-16 21:47:03

I know that area fairly well. I've never had much trouble driving or parking; it's pretty quiet compared to built up places. There are plenty of taxi companies in the Inverness area and bus services too though, so you'd be OK if you prefer not to, although getting everywhere by taxi would be expensive of course. The bus services are quite infrequent so you'd have to plan your day around them a bit.

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 21:48:20

Uruguay castle, Loch Ness exhibition , chanonry point (dolphin watching) maybe the waterfalls.

I just get really anxious about driving in remote locations with just myself and my son.
I thought if I stayed in drum then the attractions aren't that far

rollonthesummer Fri 01-Jan-16 21:49:07

Uruguay castle grin

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 21:51:33

Diana do sat navs work generally work around the loch? I have found a lovely place to stay but it's a bit remote and envisage me getting lost or breaking down.

If we stayed in drum would a taxi have to come from Inverness? Or are there no local firms? That would work out very expensive.

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 21:54:08

Rollonsummer a taxi to Uruguay castle would be too expensive smile

Bloody predictive text!

dementedma Fri 01-Jan-16 21:55:12

Yes. Drive.

YouMakeMyDreams Fri 01-Jan-16 21:55:56

To get from Drumnadrochit to Chanonry point you will need a car. You theoretically could do it by bus but you would be using two services that are infrequent there is a fair distance between the two. It would be a bus into Inverness then a bus north to the black isle. I live just a little bit north of the black isle and buses are a nightmare. Hourly service at best but not every hourly bus goes exactly the same route each hour things like that. Then there may be lots of hanging about because the two buses may not match up time wise.
I obviously go into Inverness a lot have no problems whatsoever parking.
The reality is that here cars are pretty essential even the tourist areas are headed up assuming that people generally have a car because the distances involved are so big.
You will live the dolphin watching they come in so close.

Piffpaffpoff Fri 01-Jan-16 21:59:55

The road to Urquhart Castle is a main road, likewise Chanonry Point, they are by no means remote. Plenty of traffic and civilisation along the way etc. The road along the 'other' side of the loch is less busy but it's not what I would call a 'remote highland road'. I would say to make the best of the area you would need a car. Taxis - if available - would be costly.

Where, roughly, are you thinking of staying? If based in Inverness, might there be organised bus tours you could take each day? I know you can go to Orkney for the day for example (although that leaves a stupid-o'clock, for obvious reasons), and you could take the train to Kyle of Lochalsh and back, it's a terrific journey.

YouMakeMyDreams Fri 01-Jan-16 22:01:26

Sarnau works well all over the Highlands it's reasonably easy to pick up gps. Also you won't be driving on a load of country roads tbh. There is plenty big main roads between places.
Which falls are you visiting?
If you need a tour guide grin I can send dh because I'm useless.
How old is your ds there arebloads sf great places to go and see. They have a local ranger scheme up here as well that Purton lots of free activities in the woods and outdoor areas for kids too. They have a full seasonal programme every year.

Lightbulbon Fri 01-Jan-16 22:02:14

It's not a busy place, not even in the summer.

Get breakdown cover if your worried about that.

Piffpaffpoff Fri 01-Jan-16 22:03:44

Day trip bus tours from Inverness - this was the first one that came up on a Google search, I'm sure there will be others.

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 22:05:59

Piff if driving we would stay on the quite side of the loch as there are some beautiful cottages on the loch edge

If not driving would either stay in Inverness and do a tour or In Drumradnochit and get a taxi if possible.

Thank you for your help everyone.

Is there anywhere you would recommend going whilst we are there?

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 22:08:51

youmakemydreams son is 9 and would love stuff like that.

SmallLegsOrSmallEggs Fri 01-Jan-16 22:08:54

If you really hate driving I would suggest a bus tour or minibus backpacker type tour as tbh the road along the loch can be quite stressful. It isn't very busy in a traffic jam way but it is fast.
However otoh navigation is fairly easy - not that many junctions relatively speaking.
Afaik you can also get a boat tour that takes in Urquhart castle but not sure if that only goes from the inverness end.

I'd stay in inverness (more central) or just over in North Kessock/black isle but I am a bit biased as I am not a huge fan of Drum.

MelanieCheeks Fri 01-Jan-16 22:13:44

Can I ask what your reasons are for going there?

YouMakeMyDreams Fri 01-Jan-16 22:16:46

You really cannot get a taxi honestly. You could easily talk about spending £100 a day to get to some of the places you're going to get there and back. And buses you are turning 30 minute drives into 2+ hours on the bus. If you are generally used to town driving I can see why you'd be nervous but you really won't encounter a load of country roads the places you want to visit aren't particularly remote just very spread out by miles the loch alone is massive to get round and public transport is poop.
When are you coming up?

rockabella Fri 01-Jan-16 22:35:31

You can do day-trip bus tours for Inverness but I would use the car. Taxis in the Highlands are generally quite expensive due to the distances involved, and most roads that tourists would use are well signposted these days as many Highland businesses rely on the tourist trade.

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 22:39:35

I'm coming 6th June , our school get two weeks off half term where most other schools only get 1 so I presumed it would be quieter on 2nd week when most schools back in.

Melanie my son wants to see Loch Ness and he like exploring beaches and lakes

Is there any other places to see near to Inverness that people recommend?

Twitterqueen Fri 01-Jan-16 22:42:44

#You absolutely need a car. It's not that difficult, really. The roads dictate a slow (40/50) speed with no overtaking so it shouldn't be stressful.

If you can't drive comfortably in this region I would question whether you should be driving at all.

Piffpaffpoff Fri 01-Jan-16 22:45:47

Glen Affric is pretty stunning and has a number of way marked walks of varying length, it's about half an hour beyond Drumnadrochit. Nairn has a great beach. Fort George is really interesting, my 8yo loved it. Depending on how far down Loch Ness you are staying, a trip up the gondala at Nevis Range is good, but it's a bit of a drive.

Salene Fri 01-Jan-16 22:47:37

You can do a Jacobite cruise up the loch from Inverness that's nice.

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 22:49:44

Twitter I'm nervous about narrow country windy roads as I'm used to driving about town.
40/50 speed limit is fine it's the narrow country bendy roads at national speed limit I hate where someone behind you drives right behind you trying to get past.

Fantasyland Fri 01-Jan-16 22:51:57

Thank you piff and salene I'm off to google them

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