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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 .

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Soon we start to pass through Lord Burton's estate and reach the man-made Loch Dochfour, created when the level of Loch Ness was raised by three metres (9 feet) to facilitate the construction of the Caledonian Canal.Dochfour is at the point where the river and canal part company on their journeys to the sea.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.It would make good sense to learn a little about the area.

As part of this we will now take a journey around Loch Ness orientate the reader.

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

Towards the end of the narrows you will find a long layby which contains some information panels and a cairn which marks the raising of the Wellington bomber discovered by the Academy of Applied Science using side-scan sonar in 1976.

Leaving the city centre along the road which follows the north bank of the river westwards, we pass the cathedral with its truncated spires, the modern Eden Court theatre and arrive at the lovely Ness Islands where the river meanders around a series of gravel islands crossed by attractive Victorian bridges.

On the south side of the river here are some of Inverness' most expensive homes and the north side is a green area of football pitches and leisure complexes.

Story has it that because funds ran out before the cathedral spires were completed, Inverness was denied city status.