Nestled on the famous east shores of Loch Ness, Drumnadrochit features world-class accommodation and many exciting attractions in and around its surrounding areas. It is the ideal base to explore and experience the best of Scotland’s highlands.
The pretty village’s name, Drumnadrochit, derives from the old Gaelic, ‘Druim na Drochaid’, meaning the ‘Ridge of the Bridge’. The small village lies south of the famous Enrick Bridge, which enabled its construction in more ancient times.
The town itself boasts various attractions such as a funky post office converted into a restaurant and souvenir/gift shops. Make sure to visit Nessie Land!
So, if you’re looking for things to do in Drumnadrochit, I’ve got you covered. Follow this in-depth guide to find everything you need to know about the picturesque village and all the exciting things you can get up to while there!
The Drumnadrochit Village Green
After settling at your accommodation in Drumnadrochit, take a 10 minute walk to explore the village green.
This quiet spot is perfect for a family outing and boasts charming areas for picnicking with the kids or horse riding across the beautiful scenery of Glen Urquhart.
You’ll find tons of lovely locals ready to fill you in on all the important tourist information and must-see visits, such as the community library, catering cottages, Drumnadrochit Hotel, and other fabulous furnished accommodation.
It’s a great start to your stay in Drumnadrochit!
The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition
The Loch Ness Centre is an exciting education facility offering exciting activities for the kids — plus, all children under six years old enter free of charge.
The Loch Ness Centre’s theatrical style activities will give the kids plenty of room to explore and have fun while adults can unwind at the Cobb Café while enjoying good coffee and snacks.
The Exhibition Centre also features a few shops that may pique your interest. Be sure to explore The Nessie Shop, where you’ll find wonderful Loch Ness souvenirs. You can also book boat trips at the Loch Ness Centre — in person or online.
I recommend exploring the famous Loch Ness by boat. It truly is an unmissable experience, and if you’re lucky, you might spot the mysterious Loch Ness Monster!
If you’re holidaying in Drumnadrochit, I recommend visiting one of the country’s jewels: Urquhart Castle.
Situated on the west shore of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle is one of the iconic symbols of Highland pride in Scotland. Many claim it is among the greatest castles in Scotland.
Visiting Urquhart Castle makes for a perfect day out with family. Climb with the kids to the top of Grant Tower, where you’ll find some of the best views of Loch Ness. Then, why not round the day off nicely with a delicious lunch at the Lochview Café?
This 1000 year old medieval castle is as glorious as it is beautiful, so you’ll want to take a whole day to explore the magnificent castle properly.
Hike the Craigmonie Trail
West of Urquhart Castle lies Craigmonie. This forest reserve is home to some of the most breathtaking views of the Scottish highlands; the forest is renowned for its stunning scenery and beautiful wildlife.
The forest is also home to one of Scotland’s most incredible hiking trails. Built by The Craigmonie Woodland Association, the Craigmonie Trail is an artfully created network of pathways that take you through the vast forest overlooking Loch Ness.
If you love the outdoors, then the trail is the perfect base for a spectacular hiking opportunity: explore its magical forest while admiring the beautiful sight from afar.
The Falls of Divach
Craigmonie Trail leads to The Falls of Divac. You’ll immediately feel a sense of calm and tranquillity take over as you get closer to this jewel of the highlands.
The famous Scottish waterfall majestically falls 30 meters into the Divach Burn, which flows into Urquhart Bay.
Combined with the most stunning views and teeming wildlife, the Craigmonie Reserve offers some of Scotland’s best outdoor experiences.
The Glen Affric National Reserve
Here is another spectacular Scottish wilderness experience — the national reserve features some of the most spectacular glens in the country. So, while you’re in Drumnadrochit, I recommend a road-trip visit to this haven of the great Scottish outdoors.
The famous glen is just half an hour east of Drumnadrochit — which can be reached by bus or car — and features stunning views and a lush, rolling green landscape.
The Corrimony Chambered Cairn
On your way to the reserve, you’ll pass Corrimony, which is home to the famous Corrimony Chambered Cairn. This 4,000 year old gravesite was built by an ancient Pictish tribe and is a historically renowned landmark.
You’ll need to take the Corrimony turn-off to get there. As you make your way, you’ll travel through the picturesque glens of Drumnadrochit, passing through lush birchwood country. This drive is absolutely magical.
I highly recommend a visit to Glen’s Plodda Falls before circling back to the heart of the reserve.
This magnificent natural formation is one of two waterfall locations in the reserve. You’ll need to stop at the Plodda Falls car park, where you’ll walk along a way-marked pathway that leads to the spectacular cascade.
Once you’re there, you’ll get to explore the attraction — Plodda Falls boasts fantastic views and some great spots for taking pictures.
Instead of circling back to get to the heart of the reserve, I recommend taking the road adjacent to the trail — it will take you past Guisachan House.
This gorgeous country road was built in the early 17th century and meanders through breathtaking country, past rolling mountains and stunning Scottish hills.
The River Enrick
At the heart of the glen flows the River Enrick. You’ll want to take a moment to admire the river that runs north through the highlands for 20 kilometres.
This waterway is particularly special because of the sheer distance it spans through the highlands and because early inhabitants settled their villages all along its banks.
The river, sparkling in the morning sun and brooding at dusk, is well worth visiting.
Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhain (Loch Ness)
Many claim this awesome, glistening loch is the main event of the glen. The loch’s wonder doesn’t only originate from its natural beauty: since the 1950s, the grand old loch has generated hydro-power for the surrounding village communities.
Kitted with facilities and picnic tables, you’ll want to sit down and enjoy a few refreshments while you admire the splendour of the Drumnadrochit highlands at a most important location.
Fort Augustus is located just a 20 minute drive outside of Drumnadrochit, on the southern tip of Loch Ness on the Great Glen Way.
Tourists love this hamlet for its scenic views and serene atmosphere.
If you enjoy hanging out in the wilderness and want to see some of the most beautiful spots in the Highlands, make sure you stop here, as there are loads of things to do in Fort Augustus.
In 1884, Martin leased Balmacaan, a well-known game preserve in the parish of Glen Urguhart, Inverness-shire Scotland, a mile from Drumnadrochit.
Now, the historic woodland of Balmacaan Estate draws visitors to explore its grounds, including the remains of the demolished Balmacaan House. This eerie estate is said to be haunted by ghosts who still search the grounds for the house.
Balmacaan Estate teems with activities and sights, so you should definitely set aside an afternoon to search its expansive grounds.
Deep in the centre of Drumnadrochit and Glen Urquhart is the beautiful Glenmoriston Church, across from the village hall. It is the religious sanctuary in this pretty village.
The village hall was originally funded by Bradley Martin, a wealthy American industrialist of Balmacaan House, and now serves as a centre for community events and affairs.
Why not take a peek inside and speak with the locals while admiring the incredible architecture and atmosphere of Glenmoriston Church.
John Cobb Memorial
Just south east of Urquhart Castle, along Loch Ness, is the tragic John Cobb memorial, a commemorative location that honours the daring efforts of John Cobb.
One of Drumnadrochit’s most intriguing sites, this memorial honours the life of John Cobb, who died trying to beat the water speed record in 1952. He did break the record but at the cost of his own life.
It’s easy to drive past, so you should keep a look out as you travel along the A82 for this fascinating memorial.
Nessieland is the perfect place to take the family for an afternoon of fun with Loch Ness Monster themed playgrounds and attractions to delight your children.
Nessieland is the prime destination for a Loch Ness Monster themed holiday, complete with a themed hotel and a chance of exploring Loch Ness with their cruises along the spectacular loch.
For the holiday-goers who love sports, you will find no place in Drumnadrochit village more thrilling than Blairberg Park.
Teams from around Inverness gather on weekdays and weekends to practise and play rugby and see which villages are the best.
Have an evening free: Get your adrenaline pumping as you cheer for the most entertaining sports in the Scottish highlands.
On the opposite side of the loch from the village of Drumnadrochit is the peculiar Gorthleck House, a 20-acre garden styled like a traditional Japanese garden with flowers amongst a rocky ridge.
You can either drive around the loch, stop by Inverness on your way, or take a scenic boat trip across.
Explore the well-maintained gardens of Gorthleck whilst the stunning scenery of Inverness and Glen Urquhart surround you.
The Ness Deli
The Ness Deli, just down the road from Nessieland, is the pride and joy of quaint Drumnadrochit dining.
The homely deli sports fantastic artwork on its walls painted by local artists from all over Glen Urquhart and Inverness, all of which are available for purchase (check their website for more info).
This Cafe & Bistro has ravishing foods and drinks on its menu, like homemade pies and soups, a definite must on your way through Drumnadrochit.
Falls of Foyers
The Falls of Foyer drop a staggering 165-feet in the mighty Loch Ness and provide a gorgeous sight to behold as you walk the area’s trail.
This pretty waterfall is situated on the other side of Loch Ness from Drumnadrochit and offers incredible natural and wildlife sights as you tread through its woodland walkways.
Visible from much of Glen Urquhart and the village of Drumnadrochit, Meall Fuar-Mhonaidh towers its rounded head above everything around it.
This hill is an impressive 3-hour ascent that offers unparalleled views from its summit, with much to explore along the way.
A short trip from Drumnadrochit, this hike is ideally situated for those who want to see Inverness’s beauty around them.
A spooky accommodation across from Drumnadrochit is the occult Boleskine House, once home to the raving Aleister Crowley!
Unfortunately, the House is not currently open to accommodation as fire devastated the area in 2015, but renovation plans are in progress.
Nevertheless, the ruins of the Bolekine House are enough to send shivers down your spine even in its debilitated state.
The Garden on Loch
Just north of Drumnadrochit is the floral Garden on Loch, home to many of the rarest flowers in the area.
Whether you’re looking for specific flora or just want to appreciate the splendour of their colours, the Garden on Loch has it all at reasonable prices.
Make sure to visit Garden on Loch next time you’re in Drumnadrochit.
Other Things To Do in Highlands
- Things to do in Aviemore
- Things to do in Carrbridge
- Things to do in Fort Augustus
- Things to do in Fort William
- Things to do in Gairloch
- Things to do in Isle of Skye
- Things to do in Lochinver
- Things to do in Loch Ness
- Things to do in Nairn
- Things to do in Thurso
- Things to do in Ullapool
- Things to do in Wick