The Loch Ness Trail
4 days riding, 3 nights accommodation
Riding Difficulty: Easy (click for more information)
Approximate Distance Covered: 45 miles
The listed price includes accomodation and meals (B, L, D). Please note, this route requires that all riders must be able to ride at walk, trot and canter. Terrain can sometimes be boggy or steep and guests may have to lead their own horse periodically. Riders are encourage to help out with the morning routine of catching, feeding, grooming and saddling the horses for the day.
Loch Ness is one of the most famous lochs in all of Scotland and it is renowned around the world. It is impressive at 23 miles long and not only does it hold the title of having the largest volume of all the lakes and lochs in the British Isles, but it is the second deepest loch in Scotland (230m) and the second largest by surface area. In fact - Loch Ness contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined!
But the notoriety of this immense loch doesn't only stem from its sheer size. Its peaty, dark waters have also been the setting for countless myths and legends over the centuries - the most famous of which is the Loch Ness Monster.
What better way to search for Nessie than on horseback? Join us as we ride along the wild and magical shores of this ancient loch within the Great Glen. Our trail takes us along the shore as well as high above the loch as we circumnavigate this immense and impressive body of water. We will learn the history of the castle ruins on its shores, delve into the folklore surrounding it's dark waters and see the hills that used to be home to an iron age fort.
Drumnadrochit to Invermoriston: 15 miles
We collect our guests in Inverness and drive to the starting point of the ride in Drumnadrochit. We meet our ponies for the next 4 days and saddle up before heading off on our exciting adventure. From Drumnadrochit, we climb out of the village and join the Great Glen Way which is a famous long distance walking route that spans the entirety of the Great Glen which runs all the way to Fort William in the west. We follow this stunning path as it climbs higher and higher above the loch, giving us expansive views along this incredible loch. It is only when you climb high above the water that you realise the true scale of the Great Glen and Loch Ness. We pass stunning native Calendonian forestry and admire the sprawling arms of old Scot's pine trees. The views extend over Loch Ness towards the Monadliath hills to the south and along the length of Loch Ness to the hills of the west. We drop back down to stop for the night in the pretty riverside village of Invermoriston on the shores of the loch.
Invermoriston to Fort Augustus: 13 miles
Just in case you thought it couldn't get any better after the spectacular views of the previous day - we begin our next big climb up the sides of the Great Glen. We zig zag up through the forest to ride on the wild and open moorland high above Loch Ness, taking in the western end of the Loch. We descend through the forest before riding into the popular loch side town of Fort Augustus where we will stay for the night.
Fort Augustus to Whitebridge: 12 miles
Here we leave the Great Glen trail we've been following for the last two days and we join the newly created South Loch Ness trail which explores the less frequented Southern shores of the loch. Here we say goodbye to the loch views for the day as we climb into the hills on the southern shore of the loch. We see Loch Tarff (meaning loch of the bull) and ride up onto the Suidhe Chumein viewpoint for fantastic and far reaching views of our surroundings. We descend through the forest and cross a small river before finishing our days ride in the small village of Whitebridge. Today is a shorter day so guests can either relax and have a well earned drink in the bar or explore the beautiful and remote surroundings on foot.
Whitebridge to Dores: 18 miles
Today we ride mostly on forest trails and small roads as we make our way back Loch Ness. We are greeted with more stunning views as we approach the Fair Haired Lads pass, descending on a steep and winding track high above the loch. Here we see Urquhart castle on the opposite shore, the ruins of a castle that date back to the 13th century. It was at one point a strong hold for Robert the Bruce! It was blown up in 1692 when English forces blew it up to thwart the Jacobites - leaving it the ruin it is today. We find ourselves back in the forest again as we continue our descent. We ride closest to the loch here, so keep your eyes open for the very famous Nessie. Our ride ends at Dores, situated at the end of Loch Ness.
Price: 1180 GBP
Price based on sharing a twin or double room - single rooms may be available (but cannot be guaranteed) at an extra cost of 200 GBP however if you are travelling alone and willing to share a room, we often have other riders doing the same who are happy to keep costs down by sharing with another lone traveller of the same sex and wherever possible we try to match sharers by age etc too. Payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or credit/debit card via PayPal. Please contact us if you require our bank details for transfer.
Please email or phone us to check availability on the ride before paying deposits.