Visitors from all over the world beat a path to Loch Ness in the hope of glimpsing the secretive monster.
But yesterday a well known travel guide revealed that the famous loch has another secret, a local pub and restaurant.
Lonely Planet is publishing a list of 50 “undiscovered and overlooked” destinations in Europe, and the Loch Ness location, the Dores Inn, is one of five in the UK.
The Lonely Planet entry reads: “While tour coaches pour down the west side of Loch Ness, the eastern shore is relatively peaceful.
“Here you will find Dores Inn, a beautifully restored country pub with a garden that even has its own Loch-Ness-Monster-spotting point. The menu specialises in quality Scottish produce.”
Husband and wife Michelle and Quentin Stevens have run the inn since 2008 and are delighted, if a little surprised, at the accolade.
Mrs Stevens said: “The Dores Inn is not a secret in Inverness, and any diners would be advised to book, but I think visitors are surprised and delighted when they discover our place.
“It is fantastic news to be on this list, it has fairly brightened up my afternoon.”
The couple have carried out considerable improvements to the historic building, and installed terraces where diners and drinkers can take in the view right down the loch and still be sheltered from the west wind by glass screens.
According to Lonely Planet, which is publishing the list,
The other UK entries in the list are:
Wilton’s Music Hall in east London, “a glorious and truly atmospheric surprise”.
Kinmel Arms in Abergele, Conwy, Wales, described as a “top-notch enclave of fine food, real ale and boutique accommodation”.
Battle in East Sussex – The guide says: “The Battle of Hastings may be well known as the bloody stand-off in 1066 that inspired the Bayeux tapestry, but few make the journey to see where it happened.”
As well as observing “evocative fields where the arrows flew”, visitors are encouraged to explore “the village’s deliciously quaint streets” and “the glorious Sussex countryside”.
South Cotswolds – with most tourists opting to explore the North Cotswolds, the overlooked South Cotswolds are flagged as a region not to be missed. The guide says: “This area is a hidden gem, with scenic villages and tranquil landscapes – and rarely a coach tour in sight.”