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Loch Ness

    • The Great Glen Longitude 57.3° N Latitude -4.45° E
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    Glenmore Nan Albin place to visit The great Glen This is a large spectacular natural fissure that extends in a straight line across Scotland from Fort William in the south west and to Inverness in the north east, it is a long geological fault and forms a remarkable physical feature that divide Scotland.

    Thomas Telford constructed the Caledonian Canal between 1804 and 1822 connecting Loch Linnhe and the Moray Firth, it is said to be liable to shocks of earthquake, and Loch Ness was violently agitated at the time of the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

    There are a chain of Lochs along this Glen the largest is Loch Ness, Loch Dochfour, Loch Oich, Loch Garry, and Loch Lochy, they are linked by the calednian canal, which stretches for twenty two miles of the sixty miles of the Great Glen After the jacobite rising General Wade transformed the area by building his road system to keep the scots in check it is filled with a row of three narrow lakes, in no part varying greatly from a mile to a mile and a half in width. With its lofty mountain banks on either side, from Mull across the country to the Firth of Moray, Among the glens renowned for beauty are Glen Urquhart and Glen Moriston to the west of Loch Ness, Glen Feshie in the east, and Glen Nevis at the southern base of Ben Nevis.

    Glen Garry is to the west of Loch Oich, and gave its name to the well-known cap or "bonnet" once worn in the Highlands. In Glen Finnan, at the head of Loch Shiel, Prince Charles Edward raised his standard in 1745,commemorated by a monument erected in 1815 by Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale. The great straths or Glens are in the north and east, the chief among them being Strathfarrar, Strathglass and Strathnairn, and the heads of Strathearn and Strathspey. Deer forests occupy an enormous area, particularly in the west, in the centre, in the south and south-east and in Skye. From the number of trees found in peat bogs, the county must once have been thickly covered with wood.

    Strathspey is still celebrated for its forests, and the natural woods on Loch Arkaig, in Glen Garry, Glen Moriston, Strathglass and Strathfarrar, and at the head of Loch Sheil, are extensive. The forests are of oak, Scotch fir, birch, ash, mountain-ash (rowan), holly, elm, hazel and Scots poplar, but there are also great plantations of larch, spruce, silver fir, beech and plane. Part of the ancient Caledonian forest extends for several miles near the Perthshire boundary.

    There are red and roe deer, the Alpine and common hare, black game and ptarmigan, grouse and pheasant abound on the moors and woodlands. Foxes and wild cats occur, and otters can be found in the lakes and streams. There are also eagles, hawks and owls, while great flocks of waterfowl, particularly swans, resort to Loch Inch and other lakes in Badenoch. Many of the rivers and several of the lochs abound with salmon and trout, the salmon fisheries of the Beauly.

    The Great Glen A geological fault of the Great Glen slices across the Highlands, From Loch Linnhe in the south a series of freshwater lochs linked by stretches of the Caledonian Canal lead northwards to the Moray Firth, This natural communications corridor divides the Central and Northern Highlands, Loch Ness with its resident monster provides the major tourist attraction. Natural avenue.

    From earliest times this route was used to penetrate inland, Calumba went north to visit the Pictish King Brude at Inverness, Bruce appreciated the importance of its strongholds for repelling attacks or incursions by the Lord of the Isles and other recalcitrant northern chieftains.
    In the 18.C Wade exploited this natural line of communication, when he proposed a military road network linking the key garrison posts at Fort William, Fort Augustus and Inverness, Today the glen is one of the busiest tourist routes to the north.
    Caledonian Canal.
    This feat of civil engineering was built between 1803 and 1822 to connect the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean and save vessels the treacherous waters of the Pentland Firth and the long haul round Cape Wrath, Initially proposed and surveyed by James Watt the work was later supervised by Thomas Tellord (1757-1834).
    Of the total length of 60 miles, lochs account for 38 miles while the remaining 22 were man-made. Twenty nine locks were required to deal with the varying levels of the lochs, The most spectacular series, known as Neptune's Staircase, is at Banavie near Fort William.
    The canal is used principally by pleasure craft and is operated by the British Waterways Board. Enquire locally about cruiser operators: some offer monster hunting systems as an option.
    Several companies operate cruises on Loch Ness with departures from Inverness and Fort Augustus. For full details apply to the local tourist information centres.
    Nessie.
    The initial sighting was made in the 8C by a monk, Despite various expeditions some highly equipped with submarines, helicopters and sonar electronic cameras, Loch Ness has failed to reveal its secret, but the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition at Drumnadrochit provides an excellent introduction to the Nessie enigma.