Great Glen, Scottish Highlands

(Above image is a capture of the Glen Mor landscape with Loch Ness.)

This evening, I am focusing on Scotland’s Great Glen (Great Valley) which hundreds of thousands of visitors travel up and down each year of which probably only a small minority fully appreciate the geological history and various facets of the Glen.

Visitors from North America will be intrigued to know the geological fault which formed the Glen probably occurred about 400m years ago when Scotland was connected to N.E. North America. Scotland became separated from N. America some 200m years ago when the Mid-Atlantic Ridge formed, separating what is know the Great Glen from the once contiguous N. American fault which runs through the length of N.W. Newfoundland and into the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Most visitors encounter the Great Glen when visiting Loch Ness to view the scenery and look for the elusive monster. However, there is a much bigger picture to consider as summarised below.
Lochs (lakes): Travelling from S.W. to N.E. the road will connect visitors with the following lochs:
  • Linnhe
  • Lochy
  • Oich
  • Ness
Image of Loch Linnhe looking south.

Caledonian Canal: A stunning piece of early 19th century engineering and construction which made use of the above lochs and provided a route for vessels from Fort William to Inverness thereby avoiding the need for ship to travel round the treacherous N.W. coast. This project also created a large number of jobs at the time and alleviated the drift in emigration from the Highlands. Now mainly used by pleasure craft.

Here is an image of a flight of locks at Fort Augustus

Well of the Seven Heads: An intriguing monument  by Loch Oich which records executions of seven persons for the murder of members of the Keppoch Family.

View this video clip for more information.


Here are images of the famous Loch Ness.

This shows the northern half from Castle Urquhart including a saltire (Scottish flag) on the water surface caused by the waves from tour boats.

Castle Urquhart

This is the southern section taken from Fort Augustus looking north.

Loch Ness from Fort Augustus

Towns: Principal towns which will be encountered in the Great Glen are:
 Image of Inverness looking North.

Clearly, the Great Glen is a major visitor ‘magnet’ which has much to offer.


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