August – 2023 (Vol. 47, Number 02)
The Banner Says…
The fascination of the Loch Ness Monster
I always remember my very first visit to Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands and taking in the stunning scenery of the area and visiting the ruins of Urquhart Castle on the bonnie banks of the loch (a Gaelic word for lake). I also spent an above average amount of time skimming the loch for anything unusual in the cold and dark waters below. Of course, I was seeing if I would become world famous by being that person who spotted ‘Nessie’, something so many fail in year in and year out.
Regardless of what you think is the true story of Nessie, our imagination and sense of ‘what if’ can take hold when you are looking out at the vast open water before you at Loch Ness.
If you have yet to visit Loch Ness you may be surprised just how big it is, in fact it is the largest body of fresh water in all of the UK (by volume). With a depth of 788 feet/240 metres and a length of about 23 miles/36 km it is a vast and stunning body of water. And though Loch Lomond is larger and Loch Morar deeper than Loch Ness, this infamous loch contains more water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined!
However, the reason why Loch Ness is the most famous of Scotland’s over 30,000 lochs is because of the mythical creature we all know as the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie. Just recently the latest recording of a sighting of the monster was lodged for 2023. That now makes three claims of sightings to have taken place, in April, May and June from Scottish, American and French visitors. In 2022 six sightings were reported and you can read about each one and see any images to back up the claims at: www.lochnesssightings.com.
These recent sightings of course are not new, and the first reported dates go all the way back to 565AD when St Columba first saw the water beast and a legend was born. In our modern history nearly 1,200 sightings have been recorded and sightings really took off from the 1930s.
Not only has the legend of the Loch Ness monster fuelled our imaginations for generations, but it has also had a hugely positive impact to the local economy with estimates being the elusive monster brings in £41 million locally, with hotel nights, cruises, tours, tea towels, magnets and more.I even admit that before writing this article I did do my ‘research’ and scanned the waters, or should I say webcams, which you can watch at anytime at:
www.visitinvernesslochness.com/livestream, should you have any better luck at ‘Nessie hunting’ from your home and spot something which could be the monster please do get in touch!
Loch Ness Monster is still searched for on Google and other search engines on the internet hundreds of thousands of times a year from people all over the world. The allure is still there and maybe it is fuelled by our imaginations and the love of the story, but I cannot think of any other country in the world who has a creature that sparks so much interest, yet most have never seen and even more likely not even believing in.
To date no concrete evidence exists that Nessie is or was ever real, but that is ok as the legend is very much real.
In this issue
To locals it must feel like the world is descending on the streets of Edinburgh this month with all the Edinburgh festivals taking place. One of the premier events returning is The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, we have some details of the cast line up and some images whet your appetite and whether you are attending in person or perhaps waiting to see it later in the year on the big screen or at home I hope you enjoy one of the world’s greatest shows.
Should you happen to be in the Scottish capital over the next couple of months you may also wish to take a moment from the hustle and bustle and head to the Floral Clock. Located in West Princes Street Gardens and this year honouring the Flying Scotsman train it really is something to see, and smell, as you take in the world’s oldest Floral Clock.
This month we have the third instalment from David C. Weinczok’s favourite Scottish site series. This month David takes us far back in time to Scotland’s early history focusing on sites from the Roman through Viking Ages, often a time we do not hear about in history and the fact a visitor to Scotland can still connect with it is amazing.
Over generations stories have circulated across the world of a mythical creature roaming the deep waters in the Scottish Highlands. Scotland is good at folklore, and this surely must be up there with one of its most famous tales. The monster is known the world over and has garnered the fascination of millions of people.
There is of course a benefit to Scotland that the idea of Nessie continues, but it is the fascination of the story that is truly magic. When I next visit the Highland beauty spot, I know I will join many alongside me having a look, just in case… it is something that we can all take part in and enjoy and that in of itself is truly special.
Have you been to Loch Ness? Have you ever caught a glimpse of Nessie? Do you have you any comments from the content in this month’s edition? Share your story with us by email, post, social media or at: www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us
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