|29th April 2018
We were not really too sure what this trip was going to be like. 3 weeks after Helen's shoulder operation, we were boarding our EasyJet flight to Inverness. If nothing else, the weather was forecast to be a million times better than in the South East of England. The flight is a mere 65 minutes, barely long enough to take off, have a coffee, go for a wee and buckle back up!
Inverness airport is as you would expect, a single carousel, a couple of places for coffee and the usual car hire suspects. After a very quick chance meeting with Helen Beveridge, another open water swimmer from Inverness, we were on our way to Loch Ness. The drive is very picturesque with lots of greenery, snow capped mountains and, true to their word, plenty of sunshine.
We’d mapped out a route that would allow time for 2 swims, both of which had access to hot drinks and food. After a 30 minute drive we reach our first stop, The Dores Inn on the north east shore. The Inn is home to a wonderful sweeping shingle/pebble bay that has a lovely calm feel to it. There weren’t any changing facilities to speak of but we came prepared for that - Robbie Robes to the rescue. The water looked incredibly clear and was a toasty 6.5 degrees. The beach shelves off VERY quickly and you are in the dark depths before you can even catch your breath. Actually swimming in it is surreal - the darkness beneath is a little unnerving - you have no idea if you’re going in a straight line, or even travelling forwards and rumour has it there is a pretty big monster in there!!
The bay itself was pretty quiet, although it likely would be busy in the high season. There were a couple of speedboats but they weren’t really that close to where we were swimming - maybe take a towfloat with you if you ever plan to visit this location just to be on the safe side. After much serious swimming and a minimal amount of larking around we took ourselves off to The Dores Inn for a spot of lunch. Would definitely recommend the food here and the service was really good.
And so to our next stop, the Shore Campsite in Foyers. This is a 25 minute drive further south. Very picturesque and definitely worth doing, even if you’re not going to swim. The campsite was quiet, as you’d expect for the time of year and the reception team were very obliging when we asked if we could park the car while we went for a swim. There is a small tree-lined beach here and the gently shelving pebbles/rocks underfoot made for a more...'untidy' entry. Nevertheless the water was still incredibly clear and we enjoyed a more solitary swim here. We caught up with Nessie, took a quick photo and then made our way back up to the cafe for a hot chocolate and a piece of local shortbread. The owner was convinced we’d walk a thousand miles for that shortbread....we wouldn’t say that exactly but it’s made it into this blog, so it must be ok! You could very easily lose yourself in the beauty of this location. It’s hard to believe that we could be swimming in Loch Ness in less time than it would take us to drive to Dover.
We are looking forward to our next trip!
|AS YOU'RE HERE: The HOWSC website is maintained and run by HOWSC members and relies on voluntary contribtutions. Do you have something you'd like to share? Maybe reflections on a recent swim, tales of adventures in far flung places, an account of your watery accomplishments? Photographs, videos, poetry, prose, art and more will all be gratefully received and published on the website for all to admire. Contact Mark Reed to discuss or submit your contribution. We look forward to hearing from you.|