Thursday, 11 August 2011

Nessie-sary Walking And Cycling Trail Now Open

Excellent news here about the opening of a trail for walkers and cyclists down the south side of Loch Ness.

Coachloads of tourists jam up the twisty turny A82 on the north side in the summer, buzzing around the honeypots of Drumnadrochit, Urquhart Castle and Fort Augustus. And not to mention the piss-poor lay-bys.

The south side's always been the real gem. A pint at the Dores Inn on the beach, squirrel bridges, creepy Boleskine House, lovely walks at Inverfarigaig, great hydro history and waterfalls at Foyers and spectacular views on the Wade road above Loch Tarff.

Opening up these gems for walking and cycling is key to developing Highland tourism. Motoring about the place is getting awfy pricey so the less time behind the wheel the better.

Well done to the destination management group of tourism businesses around Loch Ness for getting things moving in the right direction. I wonder what could be achieved if Inverness and Nairn had a similar group. There's one in Moray. Why the gap?

I noticed during last week's trip down the A82 (more about this to come) that signs have now appeared saying Welcome to Loch Ness. I recall the MC for VIP occasions Willie Cameron giving the local authority and tourist board chiefs what for at a swanky dinner when he pointed out there were 29 signs around Loch Ness, a world famous visitor destination, saying No Overnight Parking. But none saying welcome to Loch Ness. Haste ye back!

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