The village of Dores is located 10km South west of Inverness and is often referred to as the gateway to South Loch Ness. Dores comes from Gaelic; probably dubhris, meaning ‘dark wood’, although dorus meaning a door or entrance has also been suggested.
Dores beach stretches most of the way across the Loch out to Tor point, and offers the visitor some of the most spectacular views down Loch Ness towards Fort Augustus. The popular Dores Inn is situated on the edge of Dores beach, is famous for it's great food and atmosphere and is popular with tourists and locals alike. Dores beach is also home to the famed Nessie watcher Steve Feltham, who's caravan base is behind the Dores Inn, Steve has a place in the Guiness Book Of Records and the longest running Nessie watcher.
Up to the WWII the village boasted a prominent smoke stack belonging to the Old Mill which serviced the large scale felling taking place in the area, in fact there was even a small railway which brought the wood down from the hills to the mill. By 1939 the mill was no longer in use and villagers felt it wise to remove it as it might attract the attention of Luftwaffe bombers following an attack on Foyers, further along the Loch.
A pottery existing for a short time in the village, started by Mary Watts, wife of famous 19th century artist G.F. Watts, the objective being employment and to teach local people artistic skills. However the pottery (Aldourie Pottery) only remained in production for around 8 years from 1900, the main reason being the garden pots made there, (also known as Cobra Pots, due to the snake design which wrapped around them) were not frost proof and the cost of bringing in better quality clay was prohibitive. The old Pottery buildings remained on the site, frequently used as a village hall, until the present hall was built on the site in 1952.
In more recent years Dores has become well known the the music festival, Rock Ness, which takes place every June in the fields behind Dores beach, which form a natural amphitheatre looking down the length of the Loch.
Dores also boasts the smallest Post Office in the UK.
Dores – Well Of The Phantom Hand
About ½ mile outside the village of Dores on the road side, a small, moss covered stone marks the site of this ancient well.
Folklaw says that as weary travellers bent down to take a drink from the well an outstretched phantom hand appeared behind their head in the reflection in the waters.
Foyers situated approx. 20 miles south west of Inverness, climbs the hills next to Loch Ness rising from Lower Foyers on the waters edge to Upper Foyers almost 150m above the Loch.
In 1895 the North British Aluminium Company decided to use the waters of the River Foyers to generate electricity and so built a plant in Lower Foyers, with materials being transported by boat along Loch Ness, and the community of Foyers grew up around it. Production continues until 1967 and then in 1973 the electricity generating equiptment was upgraded for full scale power generation and the plant produces hydro electric power to the day feeding the national grid.
Today Foyers is better know for the spectacular Fall of Foyers (Scottish Gaelic: Eas na Smùide, meaning the smoking falls), which drop 165ft on the rover Foyers. The falls are serviced by a network of paths giving wonderful views of the falls from two different levels.
Foyers has the only shop on the South side of Loch Ness, as well as a popular cafe, both of which are situated above the Falls Of Foyers.
Half way between Foyers and Inverfarigaig hidden from view in the trees is:
who's most famous owner was Aleister Crowley, also known as the Beast Of Boleskin. Crowley bought the house in 1899 but it was his practises in the occult for which he is best known, he was a self proclaimed magician, but the nespapers of the day reported accounts of black magic , devil worship and human sacrifice. There are local rumours of a tunnel linking the house with the graveyard situated above Loch Ness, some say to allow spirits to rise up to the house, others say it was to allow the remains of sacrifices to be taken to the burial ground.
Jimmy Page of Led Zeplin fame was reputed to be obessesed by stories of Crowley and owned the house from 1971 until the early 1990's.
Boleskin House is privately owned and is not open to the public.
Inverfarigaig (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Farragaig) is a hamlet at the mouth of the River Farigaig, on the south east shore of Loch Ness.
Now a small community surrounded by Forestry Commission woodlands, however there is evidence of ancient occupation of the area, including the remains of a fort on top of Dun Dearduil.
Inverfarigaig sits on General Wade's military road, however the only remaining evidence of this is the Inverfarigaig Bridge, built in 1732, reputed to have cost £150. The bridge remains to this day, however it is sadly neglected.
Today Inverfarigaig is known for it's excellent network of paths which spread out up the hills and along Loch Ness to Foyers and up to the beautiful Lochan Torr An Tuil, from the Forestry Commision car park and information hut on the side of the Farigaig River. These paths also link up with the South Loch Ness Trail.
Errogie is a small hamlet situated at the north east end of Loch Mhòr on the edge of the Monadhliath mountains, above Loch Ness.
Gorthleck (Scottish Gaelic: Goirtlig) is a small hamlet on the north shore Loch Mhòr on the edge of the Monadhliath mountains, above Loch Ness. Gorthleck comprises the hamlet of Lyne of Gorthleck and Gorthleck House.
Farr (Gaelic: Fàrr) is a large area in Strathnairn, about 12 km south of Inverness, in the Highland of Scotland.
Glendoe Hydro Scheme
The Glendoe hydro scheme is situated in the hills above Loch Ness and Fort Augutus. Work building this power station started in 2006, with the first power generated in 2008, however after a rock-fall in a tunnel shortly after it's official opening by Her Magesty The Queen in 2009 the scheme was closed for remedial work, recomencing generation in august 2012.
Glendoe's main operational feature is that it can start generating at full capacity in just 90 seconds. The site has the capacity to generate power for up to 53,000 homes and in a year of average rainfull can generate 180GWh of electricity.