The Forbes family had tenanted Foyers Mains, a 39ha farm on the south side of Loch Ness, for generations when Donald and his wife Lyn had the opportunity to buy it in 1994.
With a growing awareness that tourism provided the best opportunity for sustainable growth in an area of outstanding beauty, Donald decided to diversify his agricultural business and in July 2013 Loch Ness Shores became a reality.
Donald and Lyn have created a sustainable business, open all year round, bringing hundreds of new visitors to the area, even during the winter months.
The camping and caravanning site has easy access to the loch for those who want to fish, from the shore or a boat, with permits for salmon fishing also available. The Great Glen Canoe Trail passes the site and Donald and Lyn offer free camping on the shore adjacent to the campsite. However, many of the paddlers take the opportunity to come on site and take advantage of the facilities, which won two prestigious awards in 2015; the national winner of the Eco Friendly category and overall winner of the Loo of the Year for Holiday Parks, recognising the innovative use of renewable energy and the quality of facilities on offer.
The extensive paths and wildlife attract walkers, cyclists and those on horseback, who stay in the wonderfully appointed Wigwam Cabins. Donald and Lyn’s preference for buying local and Scottish, whenever possible, extends to all the buildings on site and the products they sell in their site shop.
Ensuring the continued benefits for the area from the additional visitors who frequent the campsite remains a priority, alongside the sustainability of their own business. Donald said: “It is not what I expected to be doing in my retirement; it is even harder work than farming. But the benefits to an economy that has been in decline for the past fifty years has certainly been very significant.”
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