Inverness’ Cacophony of Concerts

Piper In InvernessHaving walked through the centre of town on a Saturday afternoon in Inverness, you can’t help but notice during tourist season the pipers on the corner – and as cliché as they are when thinking of anything stereotypically Scottish – you can’t help but be proud of the rich diversity of the musical culture expressed here in the Capital of the Highlands!

Admittedly the bagpipes have been a set-piece of Scottish history and musically expected in the Highlands from as early as the 1700s, with everyone being aware of the traditional Great Highland bagpipes. So much so that they are embraced in a variety of ceremonial and traditional occasions throughout, not only Scotland, but also within the British army and in pockets of Europe.

But Scottish music is so much more than the bagpipes, and never before has this been showcased or expressed as openly as it is today. The home-grown musical talent of the Scots is no secret with the likes of Mark Knopfler, born in Glasgow, Annie Lenox from Aberdeenshire, Lulu brought up in Glasgow, and more recently KT Tunstall of St. Andrews, all having been embraced by the national public throughout the UK from the 1960s right through to today!

And not only through the popular music of the day, but within Classical circles too, most notable today the inclusion of the percussionist Evelyn Glennie in the Olympic opening ceremony, shows that the UK are recognising Scottish musicians as having significant influence over the country’s music scene. And many extraordinary musicians are excitingly within easy reach of Inverness this summer with the Highland Chamber Orchestra playing at Strathpeffer Pavilion on Sunday 2nd September.

And likewise Scotland has always been embracing of musicians and the popular music of the day, engaging as much as any of the major English cities with touring concert dates of popular artists. But notably Inverness, being in the Highlands has until recently been missed from these tours, I guess deemed too remote to pull a crowd. As of Rod Stewarts concert date here in 2010 though, this has finally been dispelled, and this year Inverness embraces more well known bands than ever before with an exciting final weekend in August.

Concerts from Status Quo, Jools Holland, and the extremely popular youth sensation JLS are all being held in Inverness this month (tickets for the JLS concert are currently available to win as detailed by Mi Inverness, Entertainment and are expected to be, if are not already, sell out events, showing undoubtedly that the appetite of the people of Inverness and the Highlands for a wider, more accessible array of music up until recently has been massively underestimated to say the least.

So let’s embrace a new found musical freedom of expression. Regardless of age, style or musical taste, Inverness has something for everyone this Summer, there’s a cacophony of concerts on the horizon! Why not join us?


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Top Reasons To Take A Railway Journey Through Inverness

For those that take to the rails on a daily basis for the wearying commute to work, the phrase “rail holidays UK” probably doesn’t evoke especially romantic or enticing images. It’s more likely to conjure a memory of that tubby man sitting opposite that snores like a dyspeptic hippo, or the young fella sitting adjacent listening to his iPod at such a volume that anyone within earshot is treated to a barrage of nerve-shredding white noise (think of a bottle full of miniature marbles being shaken interminably).  But thankfully, there’s a cure – taking a rail trip through the breathtaking landscapes of Inverness.

Here are some reasons why a railway journey through Inverness can restore the pleasures of letting the train take the strain, as that old TV ad used to put it.

1. Travelling to Inverness by rail is a delight. No snoring commuters or young men trying to deafen themselves, just comfortable seats and enchanting vistas as your train speeds through spectacular scenery on its way to the most northerly city in Scotland. Driving such distances simply mars the experience; it’s tiring. But who cares if a little spontaneous shut-eye is called for when one’s derrière is nestled warmly on a comfy train seat?

2. The delights continue upon arrival. This is a real chance for hemmed-in, scrunched-up, stressed-out urban refugees to experience the almost astounding vastness and grandeur of the Scottish Highlands. Why not see some of it by booking a seat on the Kyle Line? The 63 miles of railway running from Dingwall to the Kyle of Lochalsh coveys the spellbound passenger through no fewer than 31 tunnels carved through solid rock, and over 29 bridges offering jaw-dropping views of the Highlands en route. A train runs to and from Inverness three to four times a day and the Kyle Line itself is occasionally graced by visits from glorious old-timers such as the Orient Express and the Flying Scotsman.

3. Inverness itself is a potent cure for anyone who experiences commuter-induced stress upon seeing or hearing the phrase “rail holidays UK.” There are fabulous walks along the River Ness, a bleakly beautiful Iron Age fort atop Craig Phadraig, and a mesmerisingly beautiful glen, the legendary Glen Affric, which dwarfs and humbles the human observer in its immense wilderness.

4. But there’s more to Inverness than hauntingly beautiful wilderness. There’s also excellent shopping for those who suffer cold turkey if deprived of retail therapy for too long. There are dozens of independent shops selling jewellery, clothing and gifts, ranging from the quaint to the voguish, and a charming Victorian market slap bang in the heart of the city centre.

5. No trip to Inverness could be complete for anyone with even a vestigial interest in whether Nessie exists or not. Take a day trip to the sublimely beautiful Loch Ness and put that scepticism to the test. Even if the great beastie doesn’t make an appearance, the trip will have been entirely worthwhile; it’s one of those places that remain achingly beautiful even on a grey, rainy day.

So, these are five reasons to take a railway journey through Inverness. And that’s without mentioning the magnificent West Highland Line, voted “Best Rail Journey” in 2009 by the Wanderlust Travel Awards for its incomparable beauty and spectacle.


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Landscape Photography Workshops

Landscape Photography Workshops in the Highlands of Scotland are the perfect way to experience some of the most stunning scenery whilst improving your photography skills at the same time. Mastering some new techniques will allow you to capture the awesome beauty just how you picture it with your eyes.

Quiet Landscapes Scotland provide landscape photography workshops throughout the Scottish Highlands taking in location such as Loch Ness, and the Scottish Islands including Harris and Lewis. Quiet Landscapes is owned and run by multi-award winning Master Photographer Margaret Soraya and whether you are a beginner or an advanced enthusiast you’ll be learning in a fun and relaxed environment with guaranteed results.

Margaret is passionate about both landscape photography and the beauty and quiet landscapes of the Highlands and she can plan day trips on demand as well as private tuition. If you would like to master your camera and improve your skills while enjoying some of Scotland’s most iconic locations and magnificent scenery you can email Margaret at [email protected] or visit her website for Landscape Photography Workshops.


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Fireworks Display In Inverness

Fireworks Display in Inverness will be taking place on Friday 5th November 2010 at Bught Park.

The biggest bonfire in the Highlands will be lit at 7.30 pm and the Fireworks will be let off shortly afterwards normally at 8.00 pm. The Fireworks are expected to be the most spectacular fireworks event of the year and the residents of Inverness vote this annual extravaganza as the Best Live Event Of The Year.

The event is an excellent evening of entertainment for all the family and is one not to be missed. Guy Fawkes would be proud!!

Please try to arrive early to get the best viewing positions and wrap up warm!!


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Walking In The Scottish Highlands

Walking In The Scottish Highlands

WOW Scotland offer guided Walking In The Scottish Highlands giving you the opportunity to discover the stunning scenery that the Highlands of Scotland has to offer.

Walking Tours in The Scottish Highlands

WOW offer Walking Tours in the Scottish Highlandsto breathtakingly beautiful areas such as the Cairngorms and the North West Highlands and no previous experience is necessary as the tours are tailored to everyone’s ability. The walking tours have a duration of 4-6 hours but there are plenty of photo and snack breaks and the location chosen will offer the best weather conditions.

Guided Walks in The Highlands of Scotland

The Guided Walks in the Highlands of Scotland offered by WOW Scotland are led by Gordon Pearson who is a fully qualified mountain leader and has a passion for the outdoors. Throughout the guided walks he will share his in depth knowledge of wildlife, history and all things Scottish. Guests travel in a comfortable 7-seater people carrier and the journey times are between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours each way. WOW can also provide equipment including walking boots, waterproof jackets and trousers, rucksacks, hats and gloves.

Walking Tours in the Scottish Highlands

Walking Tours in the Scottish Highlands leave at 9.30am from outside Inverness Tourist Information Centre on Bridge Streetand generally arrive back between 5pm and 7pm. Trips cost from £35.00 per person including transport and equipment. For booking please visit the WOW Scotland Website or telephone 07919 157067.

Walking Tours In The Highlands Of Scotland

Walking Tours In The Highlands Of Scotland

Walking In The Scottish Highlands
Walking In The Scottish Highlands

 


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