Creative Content Writer & former Tour Guide at HAGGiS Adventures. Scottish travel blogger and adventure lover. Kay travels Scotland on public transport, and has visited 41 Scottish Islands. She loves to live up to stereotypes by dying her hair ginger, and regularly consuming haggis and whisky. A Scottish history geek and all-around chatterbox, she can literally talk for Scotland.
Cool Facts about Loch Ness
Loch Ness is something of a celeb, thanks to the tales of its resident monster. If you haven’t heard of Loch Ness, you’ve clearly been hiding under the same rock as Nessie!
Monsters aside, Loch Ness is awesome. The surrounding scenery is epic, and the area has seen more than its fair share of drama throughout history. No wonder it’s a hot favourite on visitors’ bucket lists.
Whether you’ve already posed for a photo with the Loch Ness sign, or you’re dreaming of its shores, let’s get to know this famous loch a wee bit better.
What is a loch?
Loch is the Gaelic word for lake, and there are over 31,000 lochs in Scotland. When you’re talking about our bonnie bodies of water, it’s important that you nail the pronunciation. Check out this wee video from a crazy, wild-swimming Scotsman and start practising!
Things you might not know about Loch Ness...
1. It contains 263 billion cubic feet of water.
Okay, let’s put that into perspective. Loch Ness is not the deepest loch in Scotland (Loch Morar), nor is it is the largest by surface area (Loch Lomond). The whole ‘monster claim-to-fame’ just isn’t however, so thankfully Loch Ness also happens to be the largest body of water of the whole of the UK! There is more water in Loch Ness, than in all the lakes in England and Wales put together.
Who even comes up with these facts?!
2. Its pitch black!
Thanks to the glorious ‘liquid sunshine’ which Scotland is so well-known for, the rain carries peat from the surrounding hills down into the water. These wee peaty particles mean that visibility under the water is poor, with the darkest of depths. Excellent conditions for a monster in hiding, if you ask us.
3. The loch never freezes.
The murky waters of Loch Ness remain at a rather year-round temperature of five degrees. It doesn’t heat up, it doesn’t freeze over; it’s just chilly – all the time.
4. There’s this really awesome hostel just a short walk away.
Biased?! No way. We just know we’ve got a good thing going on. Morag’s Lodge is our very hostel, and it’s a fond favourite with HAGGiS passengers. Tucked away above the Highland village of Fort Augustus, Morag’s Lodge is a cosy and comfy retreat, with home-cooked meals, local beverages, and a welcoming team who know how to throw a decent party.
Tartan toga and pub quiz, anyone?
5. Loch Ness sits on the Great Fault Line.
Okay, so we don’t claim to be experts in geology, but this is cool. Loch Ness is one of four lochs on the Great Glen; an epic valley carved by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Underneath the valley is the Great Glen Fault, which was formed sometime 430-390 million years ago. Oh, and did we meant you can see the fault from space?
Told you it was cool.
6. A famous rock star bought a house there.
Boleskine House sits on the south side of Loch Ness, and was home-sweet-home to notorious occultist Aleister Crowley at the turn of the 20th century. Crowley was known to locals as the ‘Beast of Boleskine’ and named by the press as the ‘Wickedest Man in the World’, for the various rituals, black magic, and acts of debauchery he carried out from the house.
Jimmy Paige from Led Zepplin was clearly a fan of Crowley, as he bought the house in the 1970s and kept it for around 20 years. Boleskine House has been a site of strange happenings ever since Crowley took up residence, and was recently destroyed in an unexplained fire. Spooky!
7. The first recorded sighting of the Loch Ness Monster was by a saint.
In 565AD, St Columba (allegedly) came face-to-face with the water beast, when it reared its ugly head, and tried to eat his Columba’s servant. There have been various accounts of monster sightings since then; we suspect many have been made after a few too many drams! The famous ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’ from 1934 was later revealed to be a hoax, featuring a toy submarine and dinosaur head. Good one.