fun things to do with kids in inverness scotland   Travel for Kids
  | The Highlands

Inverness & Loch Ness

One summer our kids wanted to look for the Loch Ness Monster, so we took the train up to Inverness. Along with exploring Loch Ness, there's also the historic battlefield of Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie was trounced by the British, Cawdor Castle, and dolphin watching on Moray Firth.

  Loch Ness
    Loch Ness cruise– If you're going to do one thing in Inverness, it's take the kids on a boat ride (1, 2 or 3 hour cruises) down Loch Ness to look for Nessie. The legends of "Nessie" go back aways.
    The oldest legend, from 565 AD, concerns St.Columba. One of his disciples was swimming across the lake, when the monster rose up "with a great roar and open mouth." St. Columba commanded Nessie to drop the guy and the monster obeyed.
    Nessie may not put in an appearance, but you'll have a great afternoon cruising this lovely loch. For cruises: Loch Ness by Jacobite .
Urquhart Castle
    Urquhart Castle – On the edge of the Loch Ness sits the ruins of Urquhart castle. It hasn't crumbled all on its own – part of it was blown up in 1692. Don't be surprised if you hear a bagpiper piping tunes that evoke the ghosts of clans past – he's real. You can run up and down the grassy ruined rooms or just sit peacefully on the stone ramparts, watching the wind ruffle waves on Loch Ness.
    Loch Ness Centre (Drumnadrochit) – In this fascinating multimedia exhibition, you'll hear about different legends of Nessie, and scientific research to get to the bottom of this mystery. This very long, very cold, deep lake has been studied by expeditions in small submarines and by sonar detection. The very geology of the lake sets the scene for legends of the very elusive creature, thought to be a dragon in ancient times, and more recently, a plesiosaur.
    Walk along the River Ness – The River Ness is a wonderful spot for a stroll through town, with views of Inverness Castle on the hill. Next the river, there's a small cemetary, Chapel Street Cemetery, with old gravestones and interesting inscriptions.
    Dolphin watching on Moray Firth – From the Inverness Marina, pick up a cruise along the Moray Firth to look for bottle nosed dolphins. Along with dolphins, you'll see seals, porpoises, and sea birds such as osprey and terns.
Around Inverness

Fun food


If your kids like salmon, we had the best Scotch smoked salmon, for lunch, for tea, for dinner. Also, shortbreads, scones and other pastries are delicious. Also, when you see it on the menu, try the Clootie Dumpling pudding. It's "sort of like a sponge pudding with raisins and currants in it. You mix all the ingredients in a batter, put them in a cloth (cloot) and steam the whole thing. When it's done, you slice it, and eat it with hot custard."




Lots of fun things to buy, including the ever popular tam hats in various plaids, silvery jewelry, clan insignia, sweaters, and various bright green Nessies.

kids books loch ness scotland
what do we know about the loch ness monster  

Loch Ness is filled with tales of the Loch Ness Monster, a mysterious creature living in the deep, dark lake. There are legends of water beasts from centuries past, but also numerous eyewitness reports in recent times. “I saw the nearest approach to a dragon or prehistoric animal I've have ever seen in my life.” People have taken movies and underwater photos, used submarines and sonar, analyzed DNA data from lake. The search for Nessie continues ... (Illustrated chapter book)


The Water Horse
Dick King-Smith

Two kids find a strange egg on the beach, and when it hatches, they hide it in the bathtub. But their grandfather knows the little beastie is going to grow quite large, too large for a bathtub, the goldfish pond, even the local loch. A funny, warm-hearted Loch Ness monster adventure from author Dick King-Smith. (Chapter book)


The Water Horse
Nessie the Loch Ness Monster childrens books  

Humorous story of Nessie, does she exist? Facts and legends, from the monks of St. Benedict's Abbey who noted sightings in the lake, to theories that Nessie is the mother of lots of wee monsters. (Picture book)



Emily and her brother Jessup return to Castle Keep, and the Boggart, a playful spirit, is still up his old tricks. The kids join forces with the Boggart to help Nessie escape from Loch Ness. (Chapter book)


the boggart and the monster
treasure of the loch ness monster  
Treasure of the Loch Ness Monster
Lari Don, Natasa Ilincic

Isabel and Kenneth search for a treasure in the ruins of Urquhart Castle. After finding a key to hidden doors, inside the castle they discover golden eggs! The kids carry the eggs to their boat, and row back across the lake. Suddenly their boat is smashed by a large green beast ... Delightful story, beautifully illustrated. (Picture book)


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