The Complete Guide to Visiting the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition in the Highlands

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Last updated on May 23rd, 2020


The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition attempts to explain the geology of the local area as well as the monster myth and is an ideal stop-off after a busy day exploring the vast Loch Ness.

Category: Exhibition, Loch, Museum

Suitable for ages: 5 to 10 years, 11 to 18 years, 18+ years, 65+ years

Ideal for: Couples, Families, Groups, Solo travellers

I rate it: 8 out of 10

Loch Ness

About the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition is an ideal stop-off point after a busy day exploring Loch Ness and the surrounding area, and the 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 not really surprising that countless stories of mysterious sightings have surfaced over the years from its atmospheric peat-stained depths.

You might be surprised to learn that the very first sighting of Nessie goes all the way back to the 6th-century when St. Columba wrote an account of a man who’d been dragged underwater by a strange creature, and 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 inhabitant. You can learn all about the history of the loch and its monster in my guide Is The Loch Ness Monster Real?

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The Loch Ness exhibition is genuinely interesting and I loved the fact that it hasn’t gone all-in on presenting the legend of Nessie as fact, instead offering plenty of alternative theories as to what Nessie could be and where him/her/it could have come from.

If you’ve got kids and you’re in the area there’s no reason not to visit The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.

Loch Ness

Things to do at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

What this exhibition does very successfully is bring the fascinating geological history of the area to life in a way that both adults and children will find fun and informative.

Through a series of lasers, digital projections and special effects the 500-million-year-old history of Loch Ness is explained in vivid detail, and possible explanations for where Nessie came from are explored in a scientific manner.

We know there have been many hoaxes over the years that have been exposed, but what about the hundreds of reliable eye-witness accounts? The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition will help you to 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 which 24 vessels simultaneously sailed the length of the loch while recording sonar readings in an attempt to find the monster once and for all.

Loch Ness Operation Deepscan
Operation Deepscan – 1987

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

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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 (edutainment?) is guaranteed to keep both parents and children occupied for a good hour or two.

The attraction also boasts a quality cafe if you need to recharge hungry bellies before heading home and an on-site hotel provides accommodation if you’re looking to spend a little extra time in the area.

Finally, there’s the obligatory gift shop for gifts and mementoes where you can pick up Scottish treats including fine whisky, cashmere clothes and children’s toys.

The highlights

  • This attraction offers a good blend of fun and fact. The story of Loch Ness and the monster is genuinely fascinating.
  • Kids will love it – and so will adults thanks to the varied mix of exhibits and displays.
  • It’s a perfect attraction for Loch Ness if the weather closes in.

Visiting tips


Photos

Photo Gallery
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Streetview

Scotland 360 Photo Tour
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Address and map

Drumnadrochit,
Loch Ness,
Inverness-shire,
IV63 6TU

From Inverness follow the signs for the A82 heading south. You will pass along the side of the loch for about 14 miles before reaching Drumnadrochit. The Loch Ness Center is clearly visible upon entry to the village, on the right-hand side.

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Click map for directionsGoogle Map of loch ness exhibition centre


Tickets and opening times

Pre-book your Loch Ness tour tickets here.

Open 364 days a year (closed Christmas Day).

Closing time is 45 minutes after the last entry.

Winter10.00 – Last entry: 15.30
Easter – June09.30 – Last entry: 17.00
July / August09.30 – Last entry: 18.00
September / October09.30 – Last entry: 17.00

Contact details


Facilities

Getting there: Car park on-site

Getting around: Disabled access, Easy-access paths, Pushchair access, Stairs

On-site conveniences: Gift shop, Hot drinks, Restaurant or cafe, Snacks, Toilets


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Craig Smith

A proud native of Scotland, Craig Smith loves writing about the country almost as much as he loves exploring it. His aim is to visit every Scottish attraction and share his experiences with the world. Follow Craig's adventures on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.