This is the second installment in my Wanderlust Fulfilled series, as well as my second post about our trip to Scotland. If you would like to read about our days in Edinburgh click here.
After tooling around Edinburgh, we hoped on bus, then train, then bus to make our way to Drumnadrochit, just outside of Inverness and located directly on Loch Ness. I should mention at this point that when I said we had been overwhelmed and were just kind of winging this trip, I was not exaggerating. We didn’t book our hotel in Drumnadrochit until the day before we left Edinburgh. We had scoured the travel sites and were getting pretty desperate as everything seemed to be booked. We finally settled on a hotel that seemed to have one room left and was a decent price. Only when we got to Drumnadrochit, they had never received our reservation, and they along with everyone else were fully booked. I will say, the staff was mostly nice about the mix up and called around until luckily one local B&B had had a last minute cancellation for the exact number of nights we needed a bed. Just one of the crazy experiences you get from travel!
Anyway, after that was all sorted out, and they found the one taxi driver in town to take us to the B&B, we realized how lucky we really were. The B&B we stayed at, Bridgend House B&B, was wonderful! Ros and her pup Molly were wonderful hosts, and instead of being just outside of town, we ended up staying right on the village green. We were easy walking distance to all the attractions, and restaurants. We got a table at the main restaurant on the green (Fiddler’s), normally a reservation is recommended, we just happened to get very lucky. Neal had a fun chat with the owner about whiskys, and the food was awesome! Great restaurant with a fun atmosphere and great service.
Our first day full day we just got out and walked around.
After the big city, it was nice to be able to see a more rural area of Scotland. We just walked through neighborhoods catching views of fields full of sheep, and peeks of the Loch. We found the local brewery, where we stopped for a beer and made reservations for dinner.
Of course the big draw of coming to Drumnadrochit was the Loch.
We took a boat tour from one of the local guides. It was super interesting and informative as he had been part of the research teams of scientists when sightings of Nessie had really started to take off. I had also read The Loch by Steve Alten which had really helped lead me to Drumnadrochit instead of one of the other villages in the area. Unfortunately we had no Nessie sightings, but we did get a visitor for a bit when we got to the area around the Urquhart Castle ruins.
Our last day in Drumnadrochit, we decided to take a bus back in to Inverness.
The only downside to staying in a smaller village is there is only so much to do. Luckily Inverness kept us distracted for the day. Mostly we just wandered. We stopped in the local library, because I love all of the books. I got giddy and fan girl-y when I saw the McGonagall’s restaurant sign, and had to stop to take a pic. One of the interesting things we saw on our wanders, were the graduates, from what we assume was the local college, parading through town in their caps and gowns, all their family and friends, and the staff, just walking down the street.
Remember I mentioned that Neal had gotten to talk to the owner of Fiddler’s about all the whiskys? Well because he knew we were interested in whisky, the owner stopped us on the sidewalk and invited us to a local whisky tasting event at his restaurant the last night of our stay. We were both pretty stoked when we arrived, expecting something like American Beer or Cider tasting festivals. Little did we know, we were invited to the private portion of local whisky tasting that happens a couple times a year. It was strictly locals only (other than us), and all were industry professionals, or had some other ties to the industry. It was crazy, and awesome, and we were so totally out of our league. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Drumnadrochit is on the small side, so it’s not a place I would recommend for a long stay. There’s just not that much to do. I also don’t know if it’s a place we would visit again (except if we were passing through to stay with Ros, and eat at Fiddler’s 🙂 ), but it’s definitely a place I would recommend you go at least once if you want to experience Scotland.
What do you think? Have you wanted to visit Loch Ness? Have you been to Drumnadrochit?