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Getting to Loch Ness from Inverness
I will be in Edinburgh for one week and taking the train up to Inverness to stay for another week. I have already booked day trips with tour companies to take me out to Culloden and surrounding area and another for a 12 hour long day trip out to the Isle of Skye. I would also like to go to Loch Ness and see Urquhart Castle and perhaps a couple of the small villages further down the loch. My question is whether you would suggest I sign up for a guided tour that leaves from downtown Inverness and shuttles us all the way around the loch with places to stop and get out for exploration and photos, or if Loch Ness can be done easily via public transportation. Keeping in mind that I would like to take a boat tour on the loch, visit the castle, and general exploring. Is the loch easy to get to from Inverness or are the public transit buses a bit of a headache? Also if public transit is easy enough to get there, is it easy to get from one point to the next around the loch? Also, I read one time and with no website for additional info, that there is a boat that leaves from Inverness and travels down the river via the canal to Loch Ness. Has anyone done this? Is it even real?
I'm also having the same struggle with Cairngorms and the Funicular. There is no tour that goes there and public transit out there seems to be a bit of a headache. Anyone have experiences otherwise or advice? Thanks!!