Long considered the Capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is the most northerly city in the British Isles, and one of the fastest growing in Europe.
Whatever your sporting persuasion, there’s sure to be something to suit in Inverness. For golfers, there’s three quality courses in the area including the Castle Stuart Golf Links club, and for walking and cycling there’s always the canal. If water sports are your thing then you have the River Ness at your disposal, but of course another popular activity is a to take a short bus trip to Loch Ness to do some Nessie spotting.
If ghostly goings on appeal, then head to the banks of the River Ness where King Duncan, the ill-fated king murdered by Macbeth, is said to walk in his full regalia. The 11th Century castle depicted in the Shakespearian play was allegedly located in this area, on Auldcastle Road.
Academy Street and Inverness’ indoor Victorian Market are places to head for if you are in need of Belgian chocolates, toys, clothes and Scottish souvenirs. Or get your own Coat of Arms and family crest made up, courtesy of Inverness based Heraldic Art & Design.
INVERNESS TOP 10
10. Saint Andrew’s Cathedral sits on the banks of the river and regularly hosts concerts and organ recitals.
5. The picturesque Ness Islands can be walked to from Inverness Castle, on the south side of the Moray Firth.
9. Bught Park has a miniature railway which runs from Easter onwards.
4. The Old High Church is the oldest church in Inverness –attend the Prayers for Peace and Justice on a Friday lunchtime.
8. Inverness Marina is a haven for the yachts which travel up and down the Caledonian Canal.
3. Eden Court Theatre is the main cultural venue in the Highlands with theatre, drama and dance, as well as obligatory resident ghost – the Green Lady.
7.The Phoenix is perhaps the best trad pub in Inverness, with good food and a wide selection of Ales including the Orkney Dark Island.
2. Jacobite Cruises run trips along Loch Ness stopping at Urquhart Castle and the Loch Ness 2000 Monster Exhibition.
6. Ironworks is the main live music and entertainment venue in Inverness – comedy too with some big names.
1. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery has artefacts and displays of natural history plus modern Highland arts and crafts.
Head to the High Street for the Farmers Market with oodles of local suppliers and Celidh music in the background, every Saturday.
Sail Caledonia is a Scottish ‘Raid’ on the three major lochs and the Caledonian Canal – an expedition for boats powered by oars and sail in June, from Fort William.
Tain Gala Week is a July event of fun and merriment for all the family, with activities taking place across Inverness.
Culloden Battle Anniversary on April 16 celebrates the famous battle which took place in the local area – at the Culloden Battlefield site – with pipers, food and fun.
Rockness takes place in early June on the outskirts of Inverness. It’s a big music fest held over three days with international headliners mix it up with local talent.
City of Inverness Highland Games are the talk of the town and feature centuries old games with sporting competitions and balls.
Tartan Heart Festival in early August is held at Beauly’s lovely Belladrum Estate with a couple of days of rock and blues music.
The Glenurquhart Highland Games take place at Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness in late August.
In late September/October the Highland Feast Food and Drink Festival takes place in Inverness.
Get some sparkle back into your life at the November Grand Bonfire & Fireworks Display at Bught Park Inverness. Guy Fawkes’ failed plot is always a reason for a celebration in Scotland.
The Marymas Fair takes place at Northern Meeting Park where you can see the Marymas Queen crowned. It’s £4.50 a ticket to take part in the medieval fun during June.
WHEN TO GO
· Inverness follows the general Scottish climate with summer days which are generally mild and warm and most importantly, long. Winter days can be crisp and bright but are also cold, gloomy and all too brief. Winter can bring extreme weather with severe disruption to roads and public services.
· The Lowlands of Scotland have on average a year round temperature of 12 °C, rising to 18 °C in summer, and falling to 3 °C in winter.
· Rainfall can occur at any time of year, most commonly in the winter months.
· Inverness has an excellent road network from all parts of the British mainland, as well as to the Highlands, making Inverness a breeze to get to via car and coach.
· Regular daily flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow, the midlands and the south are available. Inverness Airport is located on the outskirts of the city, and a regular bus service runs from the city centre.
· Daily train services run from Inverness Railway Station, plus an overnight sleeper from London. The station is located in the city centre.
The capital of the rugged and hearty Highlands region of Scotland is flush with tourist charm. Home to great heritage landmarks, historic architecture and vast natural beauty, no visit to Scotland is complete without a tour of Inverness. From a dramatic perch over the River Ness, Inverness Castle is the most impressive landmark in the city of 52,000 people. Built on the foundations of a fort built in 1057, the early 19th century castle is the most current in a long line of architectural gems to grace the majestic Inverness cliff.
Other points of interest include Inverness Cathedral and Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Fine proof of a rich cultural scene, the museum and gallery house many vital exhibits that help tell the story of Scotland. For a typical Highlands experience, time your visit to Inverness to coincide with festivals and events like the Highlands Feast and Highlands Games. Of course, a trip to nearby Loch Ness should definitely be on any Inverness agenda.
Inverness has a typical Highlands climate, with moderate temperatures and heavy wind and rainfall throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 1-6°C
- Spring (March to May) 2-15°C
- Summer (June to September) 8-18°C
- Fall (October to November) 2-12°C
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