The HighlandsRegions of Scotland

The Loch Ness Centre Visitor Guide

Welcome to the heart of the Scottish Highlands, where myths and legends come to life at the fascinating Loch Ness Centre. This superb attraction not only dives into the famous myth of the Loch Ness monster but also the history, geology, and wildlife of the surrounding area.

Whether you’re a die-hard Nessie believer, a curious sceptic, or a history enthusiast, this captivating attraction promises a journey of discovery that will leave you questioning what really lurks in the depths of Scotland’s most mysterious loch.

Loch Ness Exhibition Centre
Loch Ness,
IV63 6TU
Opening Hours:Open 364 days a year (closed on Christmas Day)
April - October 10.00 - Last entry: 17.00
November - March 10.00 - Last entry 15.00
Admission Price:Adult £8.95
Concession £7.95
Child 6-15 £4.95
Children under 6 free
Family (2 adults and up to 2 children) £24.95
Parking:Free car park on-site
Contact:+44 (0) 1456 450573
Facilities:Toilets, gift shop, disabled access, cafe, baby changing, ATM


The Loch Ness Centre is an ideal stop-off point after a busy day exploring Loch Ness, especially if you want to know more about the surrounding area, because this attraction aims to explain the geology of the loch as well as debunk some of the myths that surround the legend of the monster.

It’s a well-known fact that Loch Ness is the largest body of fresh water in the UK, and it’s unsurprising that countless stories of mysterious monster sightings have surfaced over the years from its dark, peat-stained depths. The first sighting of Nessie goes back to the 6th century, when St. Columba wrote an account of a man who’d been dragged underwater by a strange creature.

While there were a few sporadic tales afterwards, it wasn’t until 1933 that the first photo of Nessie was taken and subsequently published in a national newspaper. After that, visitors from far and wide started to visit Loch Ness to try to spot the monster for themselves, and occasional sightings to this very day still ignite a fascination with the loch and its mysterious underwater inhabitants.

You can learn about the history of the Loch Ness Monster in this article: Is The Loch Ness Monster Real?

The Loch Ness Centre features a collection of displays and artefacts that discuss everything you could ever want to know about Scotland’s most famous loch. The attraction presents the legend of Nessie through theories as to what Nessie could be and where it could have come from, leaving visitors to make up their own minds about what the creature could be.

Loch Ness Exhibition Centre

The Highlights

1: One of the highlights of visiting the Loch Ness Visitor Centre is undoubtedly its interactive exhibits. The centre offers a comprehensive view of the history, folklore, and science of Loch Ness. Using a combination of audio-visual displays and hands-on exhibits, visitors can learn about the various expeditions conducted to find the legendary Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie.

2: Located in the Scottish Highlands, the Loch Ness Visitor Centre offers breathtaking views of Loch Ness and its surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy the serene beauty of one of Scotland’s most famous lochs and take in the natural splendour of the Highlands. The location itself is a highlight, providing a tranquil, picturesque setting that complements the centre’s educational exhibits.

3: The Loch Ness Visitor Centre is known for its knowledgeable and friendly staff. Guides are available to answer any questions and provide detailed insights about Loch Ness and its infamous inhabitant. Whether you’re a believer in the Loch Ness Monster or a sceptic, the staff’s expertise makes the visit even more enjoyable.

Visiting Tips

1: If you want to explore Loch Ness from the roadside, you might consider driving along the A82, which follows the loch for its entire length on its western edge.

2: Combine a visit with a boat tour of Loch Ness. I highly recommend the Loch Ness cruise around Urquhart Castle as I’ve done it twice and loved every minute of both cruises. Click here to make a booking with Get Your Guide.

3: Read A Guide to Urquhart Castle to discover the iconic fortress that sits on the shore of Loch Ness. Or read A Guide to Loch Ness for an overview of one of Scotland’s most iconic tourist destinations.

Loch Ness Exhibition Centre

Tourist Information

This exhibition does a great job of making the area’s geological past interesting and engaging for visitors of all ages. With lasers, digital projections, and special effects, the 500-million-year history of Loch Ness is brought to life, and scientifically sound theories for where Nessie came from are looked into.

We know there have been many hoaxes over the years that have been exposed, but what about the hundreds of reliable eyewitness accounts? The Loch Ness Centre will help you decide for yourself what’s fact and what’s fiction.

Those visitors who want to take a journey out on the open water can book a trip on ‘Deepscan’, the research vessel named after the £1 million scientific study carried out on the loch in 1987. In the study, 24 vessels simultaneously sailed the length of Loch Ness while recording sonar readings in an attempt to find the monster once and for all.

They never found it, but a latter-day trip on Deepscan will take you on a tour around the loch and show you the main sights, like the famous Urquhart Castle.

While the focus of much of the exhibition is on the scientific study of the geology of the area, it never gets boring, and this mixture of education and entertainment is guaranteed to keep visitors occupied for a good hour or two. The attraction also boasts full disabled access, lots of parking spaces, a nice wee garden, and it has been recently renovated, so everything is in tip-top condition to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Loch Ness Exhibition Centre

Photos courtesy of The Loch Ness Centre.

Things to Do

Nessie Hunting: The Loch Ness Centre takes you on a deep exploration of the Loch Ness mystery. You’ll learn about the numerous searches for the elusive Nessie, the science behind the investigations, and the technology used in the quests. It’s a thrilling journey into the unknown, and you might even end up believing in the existence of the legendary monster!

Historical Journey: The centre offers a comprehensive history of the Loch Ness area, starting from its geological formation till the present day. Through captivating exhibits, you’ll uncover tales of ancient warriors, discover how the loch was used during World War II, and learn about the modern-day fascination with Nessie.

Interactive Exhibits: Experience the loch like never before with the centre’s interactive exhibits. You can listen to people’s real accounts of the monster, see what makes the Scottish Highlands such a special place, and explore the building where the myth began.

Scottish Wildlife Discovery: The centre isn’t just about Nessie. It’s also a gateway to learning about the diverse wildlife found in and around Loch Ness. From birds to aquatic animals, the centre’s exhibits provide an informative look at the rich biodiversity that the loch supports.

Loch Ness Boat Cruises: Complete your visit with a memorable boat cruise on Loch Ness. The centre offers boat tours that let you experience the loch’s breathtaking beauty firsthand. With stunning views of the surrounding Highlands and the chance to spot Nessie, it’s an experience not to be missed. Just don’t forget to take your camera!

loch ness

Things to Do Nearby

Loch Ness. 3-minute drive.
The largest freshwater body of water in Britain is famous for the sightings of a mysterious monster. The River Ness, which flows north and beyond it to the city of Inverness, feeds the loch, while to the south is the village of Fort Augustus which is a popular destination for sightseeing tourists.

Urquhart Castle. Drumnadrochit, Inverness IV63 6XJ. 6-minute drive.
Iconic 16th-century castle situated on the western bank of Loch Ness. The castle was owned by both English and Scottish over the course of hundreds of years till it was partially destroyed in 1692. The Historic Environment Scotland visitor centre houses a permanent exhibition about the loch and the castle as well as a restaurant with outside seating and a gift shop.

Urquhart Bay Wood. A82, Inverness IV63 6XN. 5-minute drive.
An alder woodland located on the shore of Loch Ness with footpaths throughout it. This is one of the few remaining wet woodlands in Scotland where the entire woodland becomes flooded after a rainfall.

The Garden on Loch Ness. Kilianan, Loch Ness Side, Inverness, Highlands and Islands IV3 8LA. 8-minute drive.
A plant nursery and woodland garden that has an array of native and exotic plants.

Craig Monie. Inverness IV63 6XD. 5-minute drive plus a 30-minute walk.
A hill to the south of Drumnadrochit that provides uninterrupted views across Loch Ness. Note that the hill is open to the public but it is covered in managed fir trees which are forested at any time and there is no clearly marked path to the top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at the Loch Ness Centre?

Only guide dogs are allowed inside the Loch Ness Centre, but all dogs are allowed outside the centre as long as they are with a responsible owner.

Does Loch Ness have a visitor centre?

Loch Ness itself has a visitor centre called The Loch Ness Hub (address Drumnadrochit, Inverness, IV63 6TX). There is also a privately run tourist attraction called the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition in the village of Drumnadrochit.

Does it cost money to go to Loch Ness?

There is no fee to visit Loch Ness. However, there are fees to take pleasure cruises on it and there is an entrance fee for the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.

What visitor facilities are there at The Loch Ness Centre?

Car park, toilets (with disabled toilet), disabled access. Hotel and shops nearby. Visit the website for updated information on available facilities.

Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.