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When we think about boat trips, many of us will automatically think about trips along some of the more better known rivers in Europe such as the Danube or the Seine. However, what about a boat trip that will take in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world? That is exactly what is on offer to those who opt for Caledonian Canal boat trips. At any time of the year, a Caledonian Canal boat trip will mean you get to view stunning beauty in breath-taking surroundings.

The Caledonian Canal was constructed by Thomas Telford at the beginning of the nineteenth century and serves to connect the east and west coasts of Scotland. Two-thirds of the 60-mile long canal was formed by four lochs – Loch Ness, Loch Lochy, Loch Dochfour, and Loch Oich. The remaining third is man-made. The reason for the construction was initially to create employment in the Highland area but, over time, it has become a tourist attraction, with more than half a million visitors coming to the region every year.

Any visit to the Highlands of Scotland would not be complete without a trip on the Caledonian Canal. Whether it be a short 1 hour cruise or 6 hours all the way from Banavie to Fort Augustus, this journey will provide you with the chance to see some amazing scenery. Take the opportunity to put your photography skills to work by snapping some of the beautiful mountains, glens, and lochs.
The great thing about a cruise along the Caledonian Canal is that it is an enjoyable experience for the entire family. If you have small children, they will love the experience of being on a boat.  They can visit the wheelhouse and have their photo taken whilst “steering the boat” or keep busy with our “Little Pirates” activity sheet and crayons.  Our informative commentary will detail the most interesting parts of the history of the canal from famous Clan Battles to interesting monuments and castles . And why not enjoy a cup of tea or a cup of steaming hot fresh coffee as you travel along the peaceful canal taking in what Scotland has to offer.

The Four Lochs

Loch Ness

The world famous Loch Ness is a place that most tourists want to visit when coming to Scotland. It is here that the supposed Loch Ness Monster can be found! Our trips go as far up as Fort Augustus, right at the entrance to this famous Loch.  Those taking Caledonian Canal boat trips will usually have their cameras at the ready in the hopes of spotting ‘Nessie’, as the mythical creature has been affectionately named, you never know she may have ventured that little bit further to explore the canal!  The loch is the second largest in Scotland after Loch Lomond,having a surface area of 56km2. Special places of interest along the loch are Urquhart Castle and a number of lighthouses, which can be seen at Fort Augustus and Lochend.

Loch Oich

The highest point of the Caledonian Canal can be found at Loch Oich, which is located between Loch Ness and Loch Lochy. This freshwater lake is home to a plethora of wildlife including the many bird species, fish, mammals, and amphibians. The loch becomes home to Atlantic salmon each autumn as it is used for spawning nests.During construction of the Caledonian Canal, Thomas Telford raised the level of Loch Oich by several feet.

Beautiful Loch Oich, is part of the Caledonian Canal journey.

Loch Lochy

Loch Lochy measures approximately 1km in width and is the third deepest loch in Scotland. It was here that the Battle of the Shirts between the Donald and Fraser Clans was fought in 1544. It was also said to be home to the mythical ‘River Horse’, a supernatural being that would emerge from the loch and then take the form of a horse so it could feed on the banks.

Loch Dochfour

Loch Dochfour is probably the least well known of the four lochs that form part of the Caledonian Canal. At its widest point it is less than a kilometre wide and the full length is approximately 2km. However, there are a couple of places of interest along its banks for those enjoying their Caledonian Canal boat trips. Dochfour House and farm can be spotted along the western bank, while on the east you can see Darroch wood, which forms part of the Ardblair Trail.

Many of us here in the UK are oblivious to the beauty on our doorstep. Scotland has some of the most amazing sights in the world. Lush green hills and mountains create stunning vistasfor these picturesque lochs and, best of all,they are onlya matter of a few hours away from most of us. Tourists from North America and Europe flock to these boat trips every year while, most of us in the UK are completely unaware of their existence. Clyde Cruises offer fantastic deals on these wonderful cruises and boat trips, and they are perfect for everyone. If you appreciate real beauty and would love some stunning snaps for your photo album then you should definitely book a boat trip sooner rather than later.

One of our recent TripAdvisor comments:

There was a running commentary offering interesting facts about the sights. There was tea and coffee aboard and little snacks. Inside seating and outside seating to choose from. It was a very pleasant trip

Most people who have experienced one of these canal trips will tell you that they plan to do another one as soon as possible!

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