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After leaving Fort Augustus and taking the minor road around the south side of the Loch, you negotiate the steep Suie brae and then emerge on to this wonderful plateau which follows the line of the Military road built as a result of the Jacobite Rebellions. It really does look like the roof of Scotland - you are level with the tops of the imposing hills on the opposite side of the Loch (on far left) and your view is similar to what the soldiers would have seen when they were building the original road more than 250 years ago.


The City of Inverness lies behind the hills directly in front, almost 30 miles distant.


And there IS a loch in the picture - that's Loch Mhor in the distance, right of centre, which is used to genrate hydro electricity. I understand it powers the Grid during the day, sending its waters through turbines down to Loch Ness ,and it is replenished overnight by use of surplus electricity, pumping the water back up from Loch Ness.

It was initially used to power the former Aluminium Factoty at Foyers and because of that this area attracted unwelcome attention from the Luftwaffe in WW2.

Dores Inn taken from torr gardens. Oct 83

I'd talked a bit in the interview with Great British Landscapes

about the influence of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. It kind of inspired me to take a walk along the southern shores of Loch Ness today, where I grew up and explore that idea of objet trouve and common forms in nature!

Darn ... just missed Nessie again!


Nessie's first famous recorded sighting was by St Columba in 565AD. Although there have been rumours down the centuries, it was in 1933 that the monster really hit the headlines. The A82 was being constructed, which involved much drilling and blasting along the west bank of the loch. During this '33 and '34 there were numerous sightings and this led to and inconclusive investigation.


Loch Ness is the largest loch in the UK, at 24 miles long, 1 mile wide and up to 740 feet deep. And, take it from me, it is freezing!!! 7 rivers flow into the loch, which lies in a natural geographical fault which stretches the width of Scotland. In 1822 the Caledonian Canal, built by engineer Thomas Telford, was completed, enabling ships to travel from the east to the west of Scotland. Later that year a photograph was taken by a London surgeon that seemed to show a sinuous head and neck rising out of the water.


Over the years there have been many sightings, photos and investigations - some resulting in interesting 'proof', others drawing a blank. But there are still sightings (some very sober, serious folk in our congregation clame to have seen something!), and there is always and air of mystery when you visit the loch.

Unexpectedly good sunset after a showery day.

The mountains on the opposite side of Loch Ness from Dores covered in snow.

Dores Inn on a snowy winters day.

Looking back along Loch Ness, from just outside Pottery House.

torr gardens. from dores inn car park

The view down Loch Ness from Dores beach on a snowy winters day.

Taken at Dores, near Inverness, looking up Loch Ness