A Loch Ness craft trail is being created to showcase local artisans in one of the country’s most popular tourism spots.
Community group Loch Ness Hub is working with artists and craftspeople to establish the trail and welcome customers to their studios to provide a greater visitor experience.
A pilot project will be held this weekend when three local businesses – K Price Art, A’fiodh Tuairnear, Highland Wood Turning, and Highland Celtic Art – will hold open studios on Saturday and Sunday.
Loch Ness Hub manager Russell Fraser said: “As part of communities leading in tourism, we wish to promote slow and authentic tourism.
“Encouraging visitors to visit artisan’s studios not only puts people in front of the artists, but it also means they are visiting the more hidden gems in the area.
“The Loch Ness Craft Trail will provide a platform to have those artisans with their own studios to be seen and recognised. “
Local artist Marjory Tait, of Highland Celtic Art, said: “We are delighted to be working with Loch Ness Hub in promoting small businesses within the area.
A more meaningful experience
“Visitors not only have the opportunity to buy directly from the crafts person but have a memory of seeing them at work in their studios. This makes the whole experience much more meaningful.”
A share issue last year raised £110,000 in just four weeks for the Loch Ness Hub in Drumnadrochit, which will be a tourism information and travel centre, as well as a base for baggage transfers.
The project was set up by the Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association (Gurca) following a successful bid for a community buy-out of the former Tourism Information Centre in the village.
Gurca launched the project after VisitScotland vacated the building in 2018, with a community asset transfer widely supported.
The group has also taken over Loch Ness Travel and promotes and provides information and ticket sales for businesses and attractions within the Glen Urquhart and wider Loch Ness area.