Issues to do in Inverness Scotland

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Inverness, also referred to as the capital of the Highlands, is the northernmost metropolis within the UK. Along with its personal metropolis sights, Inverness can be the start line for the favored North Coast 500 driving route and is a useful base for visiting a variety of standard Scottish sights together with Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield.

There are additionally loads of issues to do in Inverness itself, and we at all times advocate that guests to this a part of Scotland spend not less than a day exploring the highlights of the town and its surrounds.

To assist along with your planning, we’ve put collectively this information of our favorite issues to do in Inverness, which covers all our favorite sights and sights in and across the metropolis. We’ve been to Inverness over a dozen occasions and know the town and the realm round it very nicely.

Inverness additionally makes an incredible base for day journeys to close by sights, and you’ll see our information to the finest day journeys from Inverness right here. Now although, let’s have a look at our favorite issues to do within the metropolis, after which we’ll share some helpful suggestions that will help you plan your go to.

Issues to Do In Inverness

This record of issues to do in Inverness is ordered first by issues to do within the metropolis itself, after which there are a number of sights close by that we expect guests must also take into account together with on their Inverness itinerary.

 

Inverness Fort

Discovered proper within the centre of the town, on a dramatic hilltop overlooking the river, you actually can’t miss Inverness fort. You’ll get some nice views of it when strolling alongside the river.

Immediately’s imposing crimson sandstone edifice dates from 1836, though a fort has stood on this location since 1057. Up till 2020 the fort was used as a court docket, nevertheless there are plans in place to open the fort as a vacationer vacation spot.

For now although, there are solely a few issues you are able to do at Inverness Fort. First, you’re welcome to wander the grounds without cost. Second, you may pay a price to go up the north tower of the fort, which presents good views of the town and surrounding countryside. You possibly can e book your ticket on-line prematurely right here.

Inverness Castle

 

Ness Islands

The River Ness runs by way of Inverness, linking the world well-known Loch Ness with the ocean. In the event you stroll  south alongside the east river financial institution from the town centre, following the Ness Stroll, you can find a beautiful outdated Victorian footbridge. This may join you to the Ness Islands.

These are a small group of islands within the centre of the river which make for a beautiful stroll amongst nature. They’ve some fairly massive timber on them, and they’re very peaceable to go to. You possibly can cross between the islands, after which onto the western shore of the river. This may carry you to the subsequent location in our information.

Alternatively, you may proceed on the Ness Stroll alongside the west river financial institution and return to the town centre. Ness Stroll is a 3.1 km (1.9 mile) loop path.

Ness Islands Inverness

 

Inverness Botanic Gardens

At any time when we go to Inverness, we at all times do our greatest to pop in to the Inverness Botanic Gardens. It’s not an enormous attraction, however we actually get pleasure from wandering the shows they’ve. Plus, there’s an excellent on-site cafĂ©!

There are two major indoor areas, a tropical home (at all times good to go to in winter particularly!), and a cactus home. There are additionally outside gardens with extra native vegetation on show. Additionally they promote vegetation right here as nicely.

The botanic gardens are free to go to, though donations are appreciated. You possibly can learn extra about opening occasions and what’s on right here.

 

Cactus House Inverness Botanical Garden

 

Inverness Cathedral

Discovered simply throughout the river from Inverness Fort, Inverness Cathedral is essentially the most northerly cathedral in mainland Britain. It was constructed from a crimson stone and was constructed within the Gothic model, with building accomplished in 1869. The architect was Alexander Ross and this was the primary cathedral to be utterly constructed and consecrated in Nice Britain because the Reformation.

Inverness Cathedral was the primary It’s actually a formidable constructing, and nicely price a go to.

This Scottish Episcopal Church may be very a lot an lively place of worship, internet hosting all the things from common mass by way of to weddings, baptisms, and different occasions. It’s additionally open for guests, and there’s a café and reward store on website. We advocate checking the calendar of occasions earlier than you go to.

St Andrews Cathedral Inverness

 

Inverness Museum and Artwork Gallery

If you wish to study in regards to the historical past of Inverness and the Highlands on the whole, then you’ll undoubtedly wish to go to the Inverness Museum and Artwork Gallery. The museum assortment was began all the way in which again to 1881, though the current day museum location is considerably extra trendy than that!

The museum is discovered subsequent to Inverness Fort within the coronary heart of the town. It covers all the things from the geology and pure historical past of the realm, by way of to the historical past of the individuals who have referred to as this space residence over the centuries. It is a superb place to orient your self on the realm, and it’s set out in a method that means that you can comply with a timeline of the event of the panorama and tradition.

Because the identify suggests, the museum can be residence to an artwork gallery. This reveals a spread of non permanent reveals displaying the work of native, nationwide, and worldwide artists. You possibly can see what’s on right here.

Opening occasions fluctuate relying on the time of yr, and you’ll see these right here. The museum is free to go to, however donations are appreciated.

Inverness Museum

 

The Victorian Market

In the event you get pleasure from purchasing or picturesque outdated markets (or each!), then a go to to the Victorian market ought to undoubtedly make your record of issues to do in Inverness.

Because the identify suggests, this lined market dates from the nineteenth century. Since opening, it has been residence to a variety of impartial retailers. Immediately, in addition to quite a lot of retailers, there are additionally cafes and different companies like hairdressers.

Even for those who aren’t considering of shopping for an area memento or grabbing a espresso, the market remains to be price a wander as it’s fairly picturesque inside. It’s open on daily basis and free to go to. You possibly can see opening occasions on the web site, though remember that particular person retailers have their very own opening occasions.

In fact, there are many different choices for purchasing in Inverness, and it’s an excellent place to refill do you have to be planning a visit someplace just like the Cairngorms or across the North Coast 500. You may get all the things from groceries to outside provides within the metropolis.

Victorian Market Inverness

 

Abertarff Home

Courting from 1593, Abertarff Home is the oldest home in Inverness. Meaning this home has witnessed quite a lot of native historical past, from the Jacobite risings by way of to 2 world wars!

The home is true in the midst of Inverness, and is immediately owned and operated by the Nationwide Belief for Scotland. A go to will allow you to step again in time, and there’s an excellent exhibition about life in Inverness within the 1600s you may expertise.

Abertarff Home is free to go to. You possibly can see opening occasions and additional info on the official web site right here.

Abertarff House Inverness

 

Leakey’s Bookshop

In the event you get pleasure from secondhand books, we expect a go to to Scotland’s largest second hand bookshop is a should on your time in Inverness. Leakey’s Bookshop is present in what was beforehand an outdated Gaelic church, and it’s residence to over 100,000 volumes.

The shop is unfold throughout two flooring, with books stacked all through. In the event you have been to dream of how a second hand e book retailer would possibly look, this may be it. It’s heated by an impressively sized wooden furnace which hulks within the centre of the shop, and entry to the mezzanine flooring is through a beautiful spiral stair case.

Naturally it’s free to go to, however we’d in fact encourage you to purchase a e book for those who resolve to go to. With so many to select from, we’re positive you’ll discover one thing to get pleasure from!

Leakey's Bookshop Inverness

 

Eden Courtroom Inverness

Simply behind Inverness Cathedral is Eden Courtroom, a formidable multi-function constructing which serves as a house for the efficiency arts in Inverness. You’ll discover theatres and cinema screens which recurrently host reveals and movies, in addition to an on-site restaurant and bar.

In addition to common reside theatre performances, you’ll additionally discover plenty of galleries which showcase the work of native artists, a few of which can be accessible on the market. Eden Courtroom additionally hosts festivals and quite a lot of courses.

We’ve not had an opportunity to expertise a efficiency right here but, however we did have a meal within the on-site restaurant which was beautiful. It’s undoubtedly price popping in, and for those who’re interested by reside theatre, do take a look at what they’ve on while you go to.

Eden Court Inverness

 

Pictish Path

In the event you go to the Inverness Museum, you’ll study in regards to the Picts, a gaggle of people that inhabited north and east Scotland from across the third to ninth centuries AD.

They’re notably well-known for his or her carved stone monuments, which characteristic a spread of symbols and patterns. The which means and goal of those markings are nonetheless unknown, however you may expertise them for yourselves by following the Pictish Path.

This begins in Inverness on the Knocknagael Boar stone, which is discovered within the Highland Council HQ on Glenurquhart Street. The stone is on show behind a glass window which is seen from exterior the constructing, so you may go to it at any time of day. There are additionally eight extra stones on show within the Inverness Museum.

You possibly can in fact proceed to comply with the Pictish path, which runs north alongside the coast to Dunrobin Fort Museum. That is a simple path to comply with, and one thing further so as to add do you have to be driving the attractive North Coast 500 highway journey. You possibly can obtain a Pictish path map right here.

Pictish Stone

 

Eat Out

As the biggest metropolis within the north of Scotland, Inverness has the widest selection of eateries on this a part of the world. We’ve loved eating at plenty of places throughout Inverness, with the restaurant at Rocpool Reserve a specific favorite.

There are a great deal of choices to select from although, from Scottish influenced European eating on the Mustard Seed, to pub meals on the Fort Tavern, to extra unique choices like Indian, Thai, and Chinese language.

Our solely suggestion is to make sure you e book prematurely. Lots of the extra standard eating venues e book up nicely prematurely, particularly in case you are visiting over a weekend or through the busier summer time season.

Rocpool Reserve Hotel Restaurant

 

Loch Ness

We’re now going to move exterior Inverness, and undergo a number of of our favorite issues to do close to Inverness. These can all be reached both as a part of a day journey, by automotive, and most often, by public transport. We even have extra concepts as a part of our information to the finest day journeys from Inverness.

First on the record, Loch Ness. The town of Inverness known as Inbhir Nis in Scottish Gaelic, which interprets to mouth of the river Ness. This river connects the Loch with the ocean, and varieties part of Scotland’s Nice Glen, a 62 mile lengthy glen that hyperlinks Fort William to Inverness.

Loch Ness is arguably essentially the most well-known loch (the Scottish phrase for lake) in Scotland. It’s the biggest physique of recent water within the UK by quantity, and can be residence to one of many world’s most well-known cryptozoological creatures, the Loch Ness Monster. You’ll additionally discover the favored ruined Urquhart Fort alongside the lake.

There’s heaps to see and do round Loch Ness, from taking a cruise by way of to exploring an outdated fort. You possibly can see our full information to issues to do in Loch Ness for extra inspiration.

Loch Ness is simply 8 miles from Inverness by highway, and might be reached by automotive or a handy hop on hop off bus.

We will additionally advocate this wonderful tour of Loch Ness with Rabbie’s (an Edinburgh primarily based tour firm), which now we have taken and loved. The tour circles Loch Ness so contains the highlights plus a number of lesser recognized stops.

Loch Ness Inverness

 

Culloden Battlefield

The Battle of Culloden, fought on sixteenth April 1746, was the final massive scale battle to happen on British soil. Fought between the Jacobite military underneath the command of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and British troops underneath the command of the Duke of Cumberland, it sounded the loss of life knell for the Jacobite rebellion and a significant shift in energy within the Scottish highlands.

The battlefield itself is discovered simply 6 miles east of Inverness, and so is straightforward to go to from the town. There are two major issues you are able to do right here. First, you may wander the battlefield itself. Varied markers are laid out depicting the places of the totally different forces, and there are additionally plenty of memorial stones in reminiscence of those that fell.

There’s additionally a wonderful on-site customer centre operated by the Nationwide Belief for Scotland. This may stroll you thru the occasions main as much as the battle, in addition to take you thru the battle itself. That is finished through a sequence of reveals, which embrace an immersive 360 diploma theatre expertise.

We will extremely advocate taking the time to go to the customer centre previous to occurring the battlefield, because it lends numerous context to what you’re seeing. There’s restricted info exterior on the battlefield itself.

You possibly can go to the battlefield itself without cost. There’s a cost for the customer centre expertise, which we extremely advocate. That is free for Nationwide Belief members. You possibly can see extra on the official web site right here.

You possibly can simply attain Culloden by each automotive and public transport from Inverness. It’s additionally included on plenty of excursions from Inverness, reminiscent of this one.

Culloden Battlefield

 

Fort George

After the battle of Culloden, the British authorities was eager to additional assert its management over northern Scotland. One of many methods it did this was by developing navy outposts, with the biggest and most spectacular of those being Fort George.

This nonetheless exists immediately as an lively military barracks, and it may also be visited as a simple journey from Inverness. It’s simply 11 miles to the east of the town, in a commanding location overlooking the Moray Firth.

The location is very large in scale, that includes partitions as much as twelve metres in peak which encompass a sequence of uniform but picturesque barrack buildings. You study in regards to the historical past of the fort within the Highlanders Museum, go to the journal room, historic barracks, chapel, and different areas, and have an opportunity to stroll the ramparts. There’s additionally the prospect to probably spot dolphins from the ramparts.

Fort George is open to the general public, and is managed by Historic Scotland. It’s free for Historic Scotland members, in any other case you’ll have to pay an entry price. You possibly can see opening occasions and costs on the official website right here.

From Inverness one of the best ways to succeed in Fort George is by automotive. You would additionally take a taxi. There is no such thing as a direct public transport to the Fort, and we’re not conscious of any group excursions which embrace it.

Fort George Inverness

 

The Black Isle

About ten minutes drive north of Inverness is a peninsula generally known as the Black Isle. It’s really not an island, neither is it black, nevertheless naming apart, it’s undoubtedly price a day or so of your time.

There’s a lot to see and do on the Black Isle. From dolphin watching at Chanonry Level to a brewery, distillery and even waterfalls, it’s not arduous to fill a day exploring.

You possibly can see extra in our information to the Black Isle, which has plenty of suggestions and ideas for spending a day right here.

You possibly can simply attain the Black Isle by automotive. Native buses operated by Stagecoach additionally function companies from Inverness to numerous places throughout the Black Isle. Lastly, we are able to additionally advocate the wonderful 1 day Black Isle tour that Rabbie’s operates.

Beauly Priory

 

Go to a Whisky Distillery

Many guests to Scotland wish to go to a working whisky distillery. These are a wonderful place to study all about how this standard beverage is produced, in addition to have a style of it.

Though there are numerous locations the place you should buy and style all of the native whiskies in Inverness, there aren’t any whisky distilleries situated within the metropolis. However there are a number of distilleries inside simple driving distance of the town.

The closest whisky distilleries to Inverness are the Glen Ord distillery, the Tomatin Distillery, and the Dalmore distillery. Inverness can be round an hours drive from the Speyside space, which is known for producing a few of the world’s most well-known single malt.

You possibly can drive to those distilleries in fact, however our urged possibility for visiting a whisky distillery in Scotland is to take a guided tour. These will let another person deal with the driving, so you may benefit from the excursions and sampling.

There are a selection of whisky distillery excursions departing from Inverness, reminiscent of this full day tour which visits the Speyside whisky distillery area, or this tour which incorporates Glen Ord and the Dalmore distilleries amongst others. It’s also possible to take a non-public whisky tour like this.

Glen Ord Distillery

 

Cawdor Fort

A half hour drive east of Inverness (or an hour by public transport), Cawdor Fort and Gardens dates from not less than 1454, though some parts of the fort could also be even older than that.

The fort has been within the Campbell household because the sixteenth century, and remains to be residence to members of Clan Campbell.

The fort and its grounds are open to the general public. It’s notably recognized for its gardens, of which it has three, the Walled Backyard, the Flower Backyard and the Wild Backyard. It’s also possible to go to lots of the major rooms of the fort.

You possibly can see opening occasions and costs for Cawdor Fort on the official web site right here.

Cawdor Castle

That sums up our favorite issues to do in and round Inverness. Now we’ll undergo some practicalities that will help you plan your Inverness go to.

 

How you can Get to Inverness

Inverness is a really nicely linked metropolis which is straightforward to succeed in from the remainder of the UK. By automotive it’s round a 3 hour drive from each Edinburgh and Glasgow.

There are additionally good lengthy distance coach connections to the town, with routes serving cities together with London, Leeds, Newcastle, Aberdeen and extra. You possibly can verify bus occasions and costs at megabus.com.

In the event you’d favor to fly, Inverness additionally has a global airport. This presents direct flights to UK cities together with London, Manchester and Bristol, in addition to worldwide locations together with Dublin and Amsterdam. Discover our extra right here.

For prepare journeys, Inverness has a central prepare station with wonderful hyperlinks to the remainder of the UK. This has direct companies to cities together with Glasgow and Edinburgh that are round 3.5 hours away, in addition to plenty of different stations round Scotland and the broader UK. See costs and e book prepare tickets right here.

It’s also possible to catch an in a single day sleeper prepare direct from London, the Caledonian Sleeper. You possibly can board in London within the night and stand up in Inverness the next day. Learn our expertise taking it from London to Edinburgh right here, and verify costs and e book on-line right here.

 

How you can Get Round Inverness

Inverness is a really compact metropolis and you’ll attain the vast majority of metropolis centre sights on foot very simply. For the sights slightly additional out, lots of them might be reached by public transport or on the Hop on Hop off bus.

In the event you’re trying to take extra of a time out from the town centre, see our information to day journeys from Inverness which has tips about transport in addition to some urged excursions.

Rabbie's bus

 

The place to Keep in Inverness

As the biggest metropolis within the Scottish Highlands, Inverness has all kinds of lodging choices throughout quite a lot of value factors.

Kingsmills Hotel Iverness

We now have stayed at plenty of properties on varied journeys to Inverness, together with resorts, a Scottish mansion, B&B’s, and condo leases, and have usually been impressed by the variability and high quality of lodging on provide.

Listed here are some concepts on your keep throughout quite a lot of funds choices.

  • Bazpackers – certainly one of Inverness’s finest rated hostels, it is a nice decide for those who’re in search of an excellent worth centrally situated hostel. Shared and personal lodging is offered, and there’s a shared kitchen
  • No. 29 B&B – this  is a superb good worth possibility just some minutes stroll from the centre of Inverness. Pleasant house owners and clear rooms with an excellent cooked breakfast
  • Ardentorrie Visitor Home – we notably just like the view from this beautiful B&B, which is instantly reverse Inverness Fort. Nice views and free parking in addition to snug rooms and free parking.
  • Palace Milton Resort – This can be a very centrally situated Finest Western which makes for a really perfect base for each taking day journeys from Inverness, and exploring the town itself. This can be a nice possibility for those who don’t have a automotive.
  • The Kingsmills Resort  – This was the primary lodge we stayed at in Inverness, and it’s a beautiful 4 star property with its personal golf course, a few mile from the town heart. You may get a taxi right here from the town heart, but it surely has a big free automotive park on website, making it an excellent possibility in case you have a automotive.
  • Bunchrew Home – We spoilt ourselves with a keep at this beautiful Scottish mansion home, just some miles west of Inverness. You’ll need your personal automotive to remain right here although. Additionally they serve afternoon tea (might be booked by non-guests).
  • Rocpool Reserve Resort – this luxury boutique lodge is just some minutes stroll from central Inverness. Rooms are snug and the restaurant is great, and we loved our keep right here
  • Ness Stroll – opened in 2019, this 5* lodge presents beautiful rooms and and incredible service. It’s discovered proper close to the river financial institution, a couple of minutes stroll from the town centre or the Ness Islands.

We often use and advocate Reserving.com for lodging when travelling within the UK, we discover they’ve the only option of properties, from resorts to flats, and it’s simple to filter by what you need. See all their listings for Inverness right here.

 

Additional Studying

And that sums up our information to our favorite issues to do in Inverness! Earlier than you go, we wished to share a number of of our different guides that will help you plan your journey to Scotland and the broader UK, in addition to some third celebration assets we expect you’ll discover helpful.

And that’s it! As at all times, in case you have any questions or suggestions, simply tell us within the feedback beneath!

A detailed guide to things to do in Inverness. All the highlights in the city plus attractions near Inverness as well as planning tips



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