A peaceful picnic spot on the quiet south shore of Loch Ness, with stunning views to Urquhart Castle

Change House

Soak in the view at Change House

A great place to pause and soak up the panorama of Loch Ness and the Great Glen, enjoy a scenic picnic or stroll down to the stony loch shore. Feel the sweep of history as you take in the magnificent scenery – on the opposite shore there are the 500 year old ruins of a royal castle, and you’re close to the remains of a travellers’ rest visited by famous writers Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell in 1773.

Take a look at our guide map to the Great Glen (PDF 5.8MB) to explore Change House and other forests in this stunning area.

Parking Picnic area Walking Viewpoint

Life’s essentials

There are public toilets, parking and places to eat and drink in nearby Inverfarigaig and Foyers.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

South Loch Ness Trail

The South Loch Ness Trail passes close to Change House. This 28 mile (45km) route links Loch Tarff near Fort Augustus with Torbreck on the edge of Inverness. Most of the trail is easily accessible for walking, cycling and horse-riding. Much of the route follows the line of the historic General Wade’s Military Road along the loch shore.

General Wade’s Military Road

The road that hugs the loch’s south shore here was one of a number built by General Wade in the 1720s and 1730s. They were built by the British Government to try and bring order to this part of Scotland after the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, a dramatic attempt to return the exiled Stuart kings to the British throne. The aim of the new roads and bridges was to let troops move quickly around the Highlands to tackle any further uprisings. Fort William and Fort Augustus take their names from the barracks built along the glen, linked by the military road.

Urquhart Castle

You can’t miss the famous castle ruins on the shore of Loch Ness opposite Change House. This impressive stronghold, one of the largest castles in Scotland, was built between the 13th and 16th centuries. It played a part in the 14th century Scottish Wars of Independence and was a royal castle with links to Robert the Bruce and the MacDonald and Grant clans. Today Urquhart Castle is cared for by Historic Scotland.

The Great Glen Forest

Change House is in Erchite Wood, part of the Great Glen Forest that stretches along one of the most famous glens in the Highlands. There are many well-loved landmarks to look out for as you explore the glen and forest, including Ben Nevis, iconic Loch Ness, the Caledonian Canal and Urquhart Castle.

The Great Glen Way

A great way to explore the Great Glen and its forest is on the Great Glen Way, which stretches 79 miles (127km) between Fort William and Inverness. It’s a rewarding walk or cycle, mainly following towpaths and woodland tracks. You can also travel the glen by boat, canoe or kayak.

Contact: Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District

Address: Tower Road, Smithton, Inverness

Postcode: IV2 7NL

Telephone: 0300 067 6100


How to get here

Change House is on the south side of Loch Ness beside the B852.

From Inverness, take the B862 to Dores and then the B852 towards Inverfarigaig. The parking area is beside the road on your right after about 5 miles (8km).

From Fort Augustus, take the B862 to Whitebridge and then the B852 via Foyers to Inverfarigaig. The parking area is beside the road on your left after about 3 miles (5km).

The car park is at grid reference NH 550 284.

Using SatNav?

IV2 6XP is the nearest postcode, but it’s about 3 miles (5km) north of the car park on the B852.

Public transport

There is an infrequent bus service between Inverness and Fort Augustus that travels along the south shore of Loch Ness. You’ll find details at Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

Beautiful and iconic, Loch Ness is the largest loch in Scotland by volume, containing more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales put together. Its dark peaty waters are also said to be home to Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Keep your eyes peeled as you explore more of the highlights of the secret side of Loch Ness.

Enjoy panoramic Loch Ness views as you wind up through the peaceful mixed woodland of Farigaig. Your goal is the enchanting Lochan Torr an Tuill, the 'loch of the rocky hollow', tucked amongst soaring conifers.

It’s a short walk from Upper Foyers to the dramatic 165 foot (50m) cascade of the Falls of Foyers. The falls have been a visitor attraction since Victorian times and the River Foyers was also once an important source of power for the local aluminium industry. The Paths around Foyers leaflet has details of this and other walks.

Enjoy more of the River Foyers from the quiet and secluded car park at Dalcrag. It’s a lovely place for a picnic and a short stroll beside the banks of the river.

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