19 June 2017

A Family Holiday to Loch Ness - Part 2 - Waterfalls & Battlefields

On day two of our family holiday to Loch Ness, in the Scottish Highlands, we come across waterfalls and battlefields, as we head into nature at the Falls of Foyers and also get a history lesson at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus



We woke to a different view this morning from last evenings sunkissed Loch at the end of day one of our holidays. The evening sunshine must have been followed by some overnight rain, however, this had stopped by morning. 

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

South Loch Ness Trail

Not deterred the boys enjoyed a dip in the hot tub before we headed out. This time we turned left out of Loch Ness Highland Lodges to follow the road around the Loch. First, we went through Fort Augustus, the village at the south west end of Loch Ness, before following the South Loch Ness Trail. This route has a warning that it's a single track road but it has plenty of passing places and even on a bank holiday weekend was very empty of cars - by our standards anyway.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


The road takes you high above Loch Ness and passed many different Lochs. At one viewpoint on the right day, you can see seven Lochs at once. Look the other way and there is Ben Nevis in the distance. 

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


Falls of Foyers

As you drive along the South Shore of Loch Ness make sure you choose the lower road as this takes you to beautiful Falls of Foyers. We discovered they were well worth a stop.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


Here you will find a free car park, toilets, a store, cafe and a red telephone box. Across the road is the entrance to the falls. 

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


It's only a 200m walk to the higher viewing platform and 300m to the lower platform. 

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


The footpath has well-maintained steps and is steep - especially when coming back up - but worth the effort. 

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


We were really impressed with these falls and I especially liked the poetry that adorns the path to the falls.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


Just after the falls, you drive right alongside the Loch and you can see in the distance Urquhart Castle across the loch.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre 


We headed on through Dores (a place which we would return later in the day) as our destination was the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre close to Inverness. This is a National Trust Scotland property and a powerfully moving site where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to its tragic end. 

For visitors, there is lots of parking - free to National Trust Scotland and National Trust members. This centre opened ten years ago and tells the whole Battle of Culloden story in an innovative and interactive way which appeals to all the family. In the Battlezone, you can experience first-hand what it was like to be in the middle of the action at the Battle of Culloden.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


The Battle of Culloden took place on Culloden Moor on 16 April 1746. It was the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising and the last Battle to be held on British soil. It was both quick and bloody, it started with an unsuccessful Jacobite Highland charge across the flat boggy ground, totally unsuitable for this previously highly effective manoeuvre. The Jacobites troops were soon routed and driven from the field, the battle only lasting about an hour.

The Battle of Culloden saw some 1,500 Jacobites killed or wounded, while government losses were lighter with 50 dead and 259 wounded. Lord George Murray the brilliant Jacobite military commander, unfortunately for the Jacobites - was not in charge of the Battle of Culloden, as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" the Jacobite campaign commander had fallen out with him. The battleground chosen by the Prince and his advisers was totally unsuitable for the Highland Jacobite army, leading to the first and only defeat of the Jacobite forces.

As well as the exhibition centre you can walk around the actual battlefield where you'll find memorials to those who died.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

I wouldn't say this is an attraction particularly aimed at children but having said that the boys were really interested in the history, especially our 10-year-old. The exhibition is interactive using audio-visual aids to bring the battle to life. The story of each side in the battle is told on different sides as you walk through the exhibition culminating is a film before you head out into the actual battlefield. 

My boys decided not to watch the short film - there is a warning on the door that it may not be suitable for children - however both me and hubby watched it, and it was a film that was really well made. You stand in the middle of a room with a different film shown on each of the four walls making you feel like you are in the middle of a battlefield and the battle commences - with sights and sounds bringing it to life. 

Before we left we also bought a book on the Armstrong's to read up on our own Scottish heritage.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Rope Swing, Ice Cream and Fish and Chips


After our history lesson, we headed back to the village of Dores and walked along the beach at the top end of Loch Ness, where you can also see the legendary Nessie Hunter. 

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


By now the sunshine of the previous day had returned and we enjoyed an ice cream at Dores Inn and the boys played on a rope swing over the stream. 

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


We took another route back along the south shore this time giving us more but different panoramic views of a Loch Ness took us past even more Lochs including Loch Duntelchaig and Loch Mhor.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


We stopped off at Fort Augustus for fish and chips and had a quick stroll before heading back to the Lodge to soak in the hot tub before bed.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus

With a rope swing, ice-cream and fish and chips to end the day sometimes it really is just the simple pleasures that make a holiday great.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


On this route, you also pass a supermarket which is very handy for stocking up when you are on a self-catering holiday.

Have you been to Loch Ness?

Deb x



7 comments:

  1. I love trips like these - especially those that include fish and chips. Looks like some glorious views, Loch Ness is on my to do list as a family so we'll be seeking out the viewpoint for the seven lochs!

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  2. I think fish and chips should be obligatory for any trip to the water, the loch ness always gives me chills I don't know why. Looks like you had a fantastic time.

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  3. Stunning scenery and fascinating history, I'd love to visit Scotland: it's on my bucket list!

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  4. That waterfall is gorgeous!!!
    I would love the ice cream right now x

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  5. It looks like you had a fab time and we really need to visit Scotland again!

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  6. Sounds like you had such a great time exploring! What gorgeous photos as well xx

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  7. Sounds like such an outdoors holiday! I'm pretty sure I went here when I was younger but don't recognise it so I'll add it to my list to retur ox

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