A YOUTH hostel which boasts some of the most famous sightings of the Loch Ness Monster has been put on the market.
The 16-bedroomed property sits on banks of the loch, just yards from the depths that Nessie calls home.
With windows looking out onto the water, the hostel has been the site of several significant sightings of the monster over the decades.
It was from the banks beside the building where the most iconic image of Nessie – known as Surgeon’s photograph – was taken.
The business, which sits on the north shore, is made up of an original stone building and modern extensions and is on the market for offers over £395,000.
The hostel has two kitchens, a large common room, lounge and laundry room as well as almost an acre of grounds that slope down to the loch.
A path leads directly from the property to the loch side and is surrounded by a mix of trees and shrubs.
It is described by selling agent Savills as as having “wonderful views over Loch Ness” with the “opportunity to explore the legend of the Loch Ness Monster”.
It was from the upstairs windows where a famous sighting by a visiting Reverend and his family took place in 1933.
Nessie Hunter Steve Feltham explained: “Years ago the youth hostel was a tea room. There was a very famous sighting there from some women having tea.”
He continued: “At 11am on 23rd September Rev W.E Hobbes arrived at the Half-Way House Tea room, and walked in to find the room deserted.
“He called out and heard ‘We can’t come down yet, we’re looking at the monster’.”
The Reverend, who was with his wife and sister, rushed to the window and saw a creature with two humps, a tail and a “snake like head and neck, moving from side to side”.
According to the records the Reverend said: “My wife and sister were most excited.”
However, the proprietor of the tea house was less surprised, and even declared she had “seen the monster three times before”.
Just a few years later local man John MacLean reported seeing Nessie – also described as a creature with two humps and a tail – from inside the building.
The eye witness account from Tom Harmsworth’s Loch Ness information website states it was “a sighting of a head and neck at a range of only 20 yards”.
It continues: “Mr MacLean claims that the creature was in the process of swallowing and did so in the manner of a cormorant.
“Shortly afterwards the entire length of the monster with two humps and a tail became visible. The whole animal then lay on the surface for several minutes.”
The hostel was also at the centre of one of the most infamous hoaxes.
The iconic ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’ from 1934, a black and white image showing a neck and head coming out of the water, was taken from the banks beside the hostel.
The images were eventually declared fakes, made using a toy submarine and orchestrated by big game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell.
Wetherell had been publicly ridiculed after finding ‘Nessie footprints’ that turned out to be those of a hippopotamus-foot umbrella stand.
For revenge he allegedly sold his hoax photos to a daily newspaper . However some experts still believe the images are authentic.
More recent sightings in the area include one in 2006 when Mrs Murphy from Inverness, who was driving past the youth hostel, stopped after spotting something in the water.
According to records she saw a black cone shaped creature circle round in a whirlpool like motion which lasted about four minutes.
The hostel, currently in the ownership of the Scottish Youth Hostel Association and is open in the summer time, is run by a team of volunteers.
Keith Legge, Chief Executive of Scottish Youth Hostels Association, said with the youth hostel facing more competition the decision was taken to sell it.
First put up for sale two years ago it was removed from the market after no buyer was found and this week has been relaunched.
“It’s on the waterfront. It’s quite unusual from that point of view,” Mr Legge said.
“A lot of properties are on the other side of the road [from the water].”