Aldourie Woods and Dores Beach10 Jun 2021
We’re fortunate in having lots of options for walks near Inverness. The woodlands at Aldourie are a great place to relish some fresh air and exercise just a short distance from the city. You’ll need a car or bikes to get there. There are lots of options for walking routes, all manageable in a half-day. One of our favourites offers an opportunity to dip your toes into Loch Ness, and there’s a fine wee pub at Dores serving real ales and meals.
Follow the B862 towards Dores (from the city centre go up Castle Street and turn right at The Castle Tavern). After about 7 miles turn right opposite Aldourie Primary School and park in the signed temporary car park a couple of hundred metres or so on the left.
Walk on down the road and turn left at the gate at the end. Follow the track through woodland to emerge at the side of Loch Ness where there’s a small bay and pier. This is a good picnic spot.
Continue onwards on the track parallel to the shore, through mixed woodland. Eventually it bends gently left. At this point keep an eye out for a narrower track branching off left at an angle uphill. This is the route you should take, but there’s also an optional extension.
If the prospect of a refreshment/lunch stop appeals or you’d like to visit Dores beach, then instead of taking the uphill path continue straight on, following the main track rightwards through a pedestrian gate and onwards towards the village of Dores. There’s a fine open view down Loch Ness from this track and easy access to the pebbly beach. Why not linger for a bit and enjoy a paddle in the loch? It even gets warm sometimes!
The Dores Inn is easy to find at the far end of the beach.
To return to the main route, retrace your steps along the path above the beach and through the pedestrian gate, but instead of following the main path take a narrow path leading straight on into the woods where the main track bears left. This soon bends left and climbs gently uphill to re-join the main route, which you should follow by turning right.
The route soon passes through a stand of beech woodland with fine views over open countryside. After a left turn followed by a narrow section you will emerge at a junction of tracks. Turn right here and follow the track as it undulates gently through mixed woodland. A few hundred metres after a 90-degree left bend beside a field gate keep an eye out for a field gate on the right (usually left open) which will lead you on a marked path through grassland back to the car park.
The walk described should take about two hours without factoring in time for rest stops. If you have access to an OS Map you will see that there is ample opportunity to extend the outing into a longer route.