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Shortly, in the west, a strange isolated hill is seen.It is a gravel mound deposited by the glaciers ten to twelve thousand years ago.Loch Dochfour and, therefore, Loch Ness are sixteen metres (51 feet) above sea level. The water is acidic and the colour of very weak tea.

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Industry is light and varied with tourism being the single major income generator.

Good city planning is demonstrated by the bulk of industry being located in the north east side of the city, but the city centre exhibits some rather disastrous planning of yesteryear when concrete monstrosities were erected on the river side almost completely obscuring the attractive castle which houses the sheriff courts.

Let us start in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness.

Inver means "mouth of" and so Inverness means "mouth of the Ness river". It leaves Loch Ness at the Bonar Narrows, separates from the canal at Loch Dochfour Then continues its way to the firths of Moray and Beauly through gravel beds deposited by the glaciers of the last ice age and upon which Inverness now stands.

Made the Millennium City for Scotland in 2001 it has a growing population approaching 65,000.

It remained a town until recently despite having a cathedral.

It is lovely to see the loch in brilliant sunshine, but I always feel that the first encounter with the world's most famous body of freshwater should be in murky, overcast or even drizzly conditions when it seems to exert a heavy and oppressive presence.

The river Ness exits Loch Ness and becomes Loch Dochfour at the Bonar Narrows .

At Aldourie the loch is only about 600 metres wide and this narrow section continues for about three miles.

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