Inverness: A Great Base For Exploring The Highlands of Scotland
Nestled on the banks of the River Ness at the head of the Great Glen, this tiny, charming city is considered the gateway to the Highlands. The four-hour train journey from Glasgow takes you deep into the heart of Scotland, beginning at Inverness. As the train cuts through the stunning, atmospheric countryside, where grassy verges dip into cragged rock formations below, the air becomes colder and thinner; it is one of the most beautiful train journeys you can take in the UK.
Inverness provides the door to the wind-swept, dramatic Highlands but also, in its own right, is an enchanting and historic city to visit. There is so much to do in and around inverness and so we have compiled the ultimate tick list while you’re holidaying in the Scotland.
Before you set off make sure to plan your trip by booking up your accommodation and any activities you wish to do that are likely to book out. You might also want to consider some holiday cover while traversing the more rugged areas of the UK. Don’t let any stumbles or mishaps ruin your holiday.
The Inverness Castle is a relatively new build, as it was constructed in 1847 to replace the castle blown up by the Jacobites. Its smooth caramel brickwork is far more modern and softer than older Scottish architecture.
The Old High Church is the oldest church in the city and is open for services most days and every Friday you can take a free tour of its interior.
The main Museum and Art Gallery has a collection of medieval stones, wildlife exhibitions and an array of historic weapons.
A stroll through the Ness Islands gets you out of the city limits and is particularly peaceful and captivating. On rainy, overcast days the islands are glistening green and refreshing but during the summer months the bright sun reflects the grassy hues casting a dappled light across the paths.
Check out the tourist office for different activities going on; from golfing to watersports, you will something fun at any time of year.
Rent a bike from any of the outlets (there are quite a few hire shops) jump on and cycle through the Ness Islands, waterfront or along the river with a guide.
If you planning on doing a lot on holiday it may be wise to invest in some travel insurance for these activities and adventures.
History enthusiasts will be in their element at the Culloden Battlefield, which lies on the outskirts of Inverness and was the scene of Bonny Prince Charles final defeat in 1746.
There are two mountain resorts in close proximity to the city, which are Cairngorm, 30 miles away, and the Nevis range. Each caters to a wide range of snow sports and perched on the mountains are many welcoming restaurants. The Nevis range is easy to reach by car in Fort William and you will ascend by a stretching cable car gondola over the jagged mountains.
Loch Ness is just 6 miles from Inverness and should be part of everyone’s to do list. The folklore about the Ness monster has imbued the loch with an austere and haunting quality. The scenery is verdant and achingly beautiful. The place to start would be Drumnadrochit, a small village sitting on the shores of Loch Ness. For a dark spooky walk head down to the loch where the old ruined castle lays and the howling wind and ominous loch are eerily silent.
By Natalie Laurence