Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness ©
Loch Ness is situated in the Great Glen that links Inverness on the east coast to Fort William in the west. The most famous lake is 24 miles (39km) long, half a mile (1km) wide and 700ft (213m) deep and is home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster (affectionately called Nessie), which many claim to have glimpsed from the shore, despite the ongoing skepticism of scientists. There are fine walks around the mountains and glens that surround the loch and many head for the scenic ruins of Urquhart Castle or the Nessie exhibition at Drumnadrochit. The four lochs that make up the Great Glen are linked by the Caledonian Canal, which was built in the early 1800s to enable ships to pass from the North Sea to the Atlantic without having to navigate Scotland's harsh north coast. The most traditional and comfortable way to travel along the glen is by boat, and a flotilla of canoes, yachts and cruising boats are available for hire in Inverness and Fort William. The more energetic may opt to walk or cycle along the 70-mile (113km) Great Glen Way. The walk will take four to seven days. Whether for the enticing mystery of the monster or the stunning natural beauty of the area, travellers relish a visit to Loch Ness.