Three nights stay on the edge of Loch Ness gave us a chance to explore Foyers, which is a lovely part of Scotland overlooked by many visitors. It sits on the quieter eastern side of Loch Ness, 10 miles north of Fort Augustus. Foyers is also the name of the river that runs into Loch Ness and has two waterfalls. One Upper Falls at 140 feet and one at Lower Falls at 30 feet. The area around the Falls offers some grand walks and some spectacular views of the waterfalls and surrounding area. Above the Upper Falls is the village that boasts a café that sells some good coffee and cake, which adjoins a general store which provides post office counter. Carry on down the road towards The Camerons Tea Room and Farm Shop for a circular walk taking you through the Camus Forest, keeping an eye out for the deer, down to Foyers Mains to the Burial Ground, out onto the shore to see the Fraser Monument and back to Loch Ness Shore.
The following day it was decided to walk the Loch side route up to the hamlet of Inverfarigaig, a walk that takes you past the redundant Aluminium works in Foyers, which at one time employed 400 local people.
In 1895 the North British Aluminium Company started to make use of the River Foyers to generate the electricity needed to process aluminium at the plant. All materials were transported to and from Foyers by boat and a light railway was built to connect the works and a wharf. A thriving industry developed, with a thriving community around it. But as early as 1904 the aluminium producers' attention turned away from Foyers to Kinlochleven, where easy access to the open sea was available, together with larger supplies of electricity following the building of the Blackwater Reservoir. Aluminium production at Foyers ceased in in 1967: though the plant was then used for a while to build narrow boats for English canals.
During this very agreeable walk, which goes past the new electric generator, we found a small path down to the Loch where, strangely, chairs were set out giving the impression that we were expected! I found the Loch it self a little foreboding, an uninviting stretch of deep dark cold water 755 feet deep at its deepest point, 23 miles long and containing more fresh water than all the Lakes in England and Wales combined. Perhaps it’s because of the legend of the Loch Ness monster or perhaps that the occultist Aleister Crowley lived close to its shores?