Loch Ness is famed in modern times as the supposed abode of a strange long necked monster, but the area is also rich in folklore, which tells how the loch came to be formed.
In ancient times there was a fertile green valley where the loch now lies, within this valley was a well that supplied fresh and pure water for the local population. The well was covered with a large stone slab that had to be replaced, to stop the water from flowing into the valley. One day a woman was at the well collecting water when she heard the scream of her child in the distance. She ran to see what was wrong and forgot to replace the well cover, the water rushed out and preceded to flood the whole valley. All the people cried “Tha Loch Nis ann” which means there is a loch there now, and this was how Loch Ness got its name.
Another story tells how Saint Columba banished a water monster from the River Ness at Fort Augustus, perhaps the forerunner of the famous long necked beastie that haunts the loch in modern times.
St Columba had asked one of his brethren to swim out over the river to retrieve a boat moored to the other bank, half way across the river a monster surfaced, and letting out an unearthly roar preceded to chase the unfortunate monk across the river. St Columba shouted at the monster to depart, banishing it with the word of God for over a thousand years.
Directions: The Loch stretches from Fort Augustus to Lochend along the A82.