Issues to do in Inverness Scotland

September 27, 2021


Inverness, often known as the capital of the Highlands, is the northernmost metropolis within the UK. Along with its personal metropolis sights, Inverness can also be the start line for the favored North Coast 500 driving route and is a useful base for visiting a variety of fashionable 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 at the very least a day exploring the highlights of the town and its surrounds.

To assist together 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 properly.

Inverness additionally makes an incredible base for day journeys to close by sights, and you may see our information to the best day trips from Inverness here. Now although, let’s have a look at our favorite issues to do within the metropolis, after which we’ll share some helpful ideas 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 just a few sights close by that we predict guests must also think about together with on their Inverness itinerary.

 

Inverness Fortress

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

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

For now although, there are solely a few issues you are able to do at Inverness Fortress. First, you’re welcome to wander the grounds without cost. Second, you may pay a charge to go up the north tower of the citadel, which presents good views of the town and surrounding countryside. You’ll be able to guide your ticket on-line prematurely here.

Inverness Castle

 

Ness Islands

The River Ness runs by way of Inverness, linking the world well-known Loch Ness with the ocean. If you happen to stroll  south alongside the east river financial institution from the town centre, following the Ness Walk, you can see a beautiful previous Victorian footbridge. It will join you to the Ness Islands.

These are a small group of islands within the centre of the river which make for a stunning stroll amongst nature. They’ve some fairly massive timber on them, and they’re very peaceable to go to. You’ll be able to cross between the islands, after which onto the western shore of the river. It will convey 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 take pleasure in wandering the shows they’ve. Plus, there’s on-site café!

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 crops on show. Additionally they promote crops right here as properly.

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

 

Cactus House Inverness Botanical Garden

 

Inverness Cathedral

Discovered simply throughout the river from Inverness Fortress, Inverness Cathedral is essentially the most northerly cathedral in mainland Britain. It was constructed from a pink stone and was constructed within the Gothic type, with development accomplished in 1869. The architect was Alexander Ross and this was the primary cathedral to be fully constructed and consecrated in Nice Britain for the reason that Reformation.

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

This Scottish Episcopal Church may be very a lot an energetic place of worship, internet hosting all the pieces 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 events earlier than you go to.

St Andrews Cathedral Inverness

 

Inverness Museum and Artwork Gallery

If you wish to be taught in regards to the historical past of Inverness and the Highlands basically, then you’ll positively wish to go to the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. The museum assortment was began all the best way again to 1881, though the current day museum location is considerably extra fashionable than that!

The museum is discovered subsequent to Inverness Fortress within the coronary heart of the town. It covers all the pieces from the geology and pure historical past of the realm, by way of to the historical past of the individuals who have known as this space dwelling over the centuries. It is a superb place to orient your self on the realm, and it’s set out in a method that lets you observe a timeline of the event of the panorama and tradition.

Because the title suggests, the museum can also be dwelling to an artwork gallery. This reveals a variety of momentary reveals displaying the work of native, nationwide, and worldwide artists. You’ll be able to see what’s on here.

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

Inverness Museum

 

The Victorian Market

If you happen to take pleasure in purchasing or picturesque previous markets (or each!), then a go to to the Victorian market ought to positively make your record of issues to do in Inverness.

Because the title suggests, this lined market dates from the nineteenth century. Since opening, it has been dwelling to a variety of impartial retailers. Immediately, in addition to a wide range of outlets, there are additionally cafes and different companies like hairdressers.

Even when you aren’t pondering of shopping for a neighborhood memento or grabbing a espresso, the market continues to be price a wander as it’s fairly picturesque inside. It’s open daily and free to go to. You’ll be able to see opening occasions on the website, 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 place to top off do you have to be planning a visit someplace just like the Cairngorms or across the North Coast 500. You may get all the pieces from groceries to outside provides within the metropolis.

Victorian Market Inverness

 

Abertarff Home

Relationship from 1593, Abertarff House is the oldest home in Inverness. Meaning this home has witnessed a substantial amount of native historical past, from the Jacobite risings by way of to 2 world wars!

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

Abertarff Home is free to go to. You’ll be able to see opening occasions and additional info on the official web site here.

Abertarff House Inverness

 

Leakey’s Bookshop

If you happen to take pleasure in secondhand books, we predict 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 previous Gaelic church, and it’s dwelling to over 100,000 volumes.

The shop is unfold throughout two flooring, with books stacked all through. If you happen to had been to dream of how a second hand guide retailer would possibly look, this is perhaps it. It’s heated by an impressively sized wooden furnace which hulks within the centre of the shop, and entry to the mezzanine ground is by way of a stunning spiral stair case.

Naturally it’s free to go to, however we might after all encourage you to purchase a guide when you determine to go to. With so many to select from, we’re certain you’ll discover one thing to take pleasure in!

Leakey's Bookshop Inverness

 

Eden Court docket Inverness

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

In addition to common reside theatre performances, you’ll additionally discover quite a lot of galleries which showcase the work of native artists, a few of which can also be obtainable on the market. Eden Court docket additionally hosts festivals and a wide range 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 pretty. It’s positively price popping in, and when you’re desirous about reside theatre, do try what they have on once you go to.

Eden Court Inverness

 

Pictish Path

If you happen to go to the Inverness Museum, you’ll be taught 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 significantly well-known for his or her carved stone monuments, which function a variety of symbols and patterns. The which means and objective 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 Highway. The stone is on show behind a glass window which is seen from outdoors 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’ll be able to after all proceed to observe the Pictish path, which runs north alongside the coast to Dunrobin Fortress Museum. That is a simple path to observe, and one thing further so as to add do you have to be driving the gorgeous North Coast 500 road trip. You’ll be able to obtain a Pictish path map here.

Pictish Stone

 

Eat Out

As the biggest metropolis within the north of Scotland, Inverness has the widest alternative of eateries on this a part of the world. We’ve loved eating at quite a lot of places throughout Inverness, with the restaurant at Rocpool Reserve a selected 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 Castle Tavern, to extra unique choices like Indian, Thai, and Chinese language.

Our solely suggestion is to make sure you guide prematurely. Most of the extra fashionable eating venues guide up properly prematurely, particularly if you’re visiting over a weekend or throughout the busier summer time season.

Rocpool Reserve Hotel Restaurant

 

Loch Ness

We’re now going to move outdoors Inverness, and undergo just a few of our favorite issues to do close to Inverness. These can all be reached both as a part of a day journey, by automobile, and most often, by public transport. We even have extra concepts as a part of our information to the best day trips from Inverness.

First on the record, Loch Ness. 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 types 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 also be dwelling to one of many world’s most well-known cryptozoological creatures, the Loch Ness Monster. You’ll additionally discover the favored ruined Urquhart Fortress alongside the lake.

There’s heaps to see and do round Loch Ness, from taking a cruise by way of to exploring an old castle. You’ll be able to see our full information to things to do in Loch Ness for extra inspiration.

Loch Ness is simply 8 miles from Inverness by street, and could be reached by automobile or a handy hop on hop off bus.

We are able to additionally advocate this excellent tour of Loch Ness with Rabbie’s (an Edinburgh primarily based tour firm), which we’ve got taken and loved. The tour circles Loch Ness so consists of the highlights plus just a few 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 beneath the command of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and British troops beneath the command of the Duke of Cumberland, it sounded the demise knell for the Jacobite rebellion and a serious shift in energy within the Scottish highlands.

The battlefield itself is discovered simply 6 miles east of Inverness, and so is simple 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 completely different forces, and there are additionally quite a lot of memorial stones in reminiscence of those that fell.

There’s additionally a wonderful on-site visitor centre operated by the Nationwide Belief for Scotland. It will stroll you thru the occasions main as much as the battle, in addition to take you thru the battle itself. That is achieved by way of a collection of reveals, which embrace an immersive 360 diploma theatre expertise.

We are able to extremely advocate taking the time to go to the customer centre previous to occurring the battlefield, because it lends plenty of context to what you’re seeing. There may be restricted info outdoors on the battlefield itself.

You’ll be able to 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’ll be able to see extra on the official web site here.

You’ll be able to simply attain Culloden by each automobile and public transport from Inverness. It’s additionally included on quite a lot of excursions from Inverness, equivalent to 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 establishing navy outposts, with the biggest and most spectacular of those being Fort George.

This nonetheless exists right this moment as an energetic 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 positioning is huge in scale, that includes partitions as much as twelve metres in peak which encompass a collection of uniform but picturesque barrack buildings. You be taught 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 may be 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 charge. You’ll be able to see opening occasions and costs on the official website here.

From Inverness one of the best ways to succeed in Fort George is by automobile. You may 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 often known as the Black Isle. It’s really not an island, neither is it black, nonetheless naming apart, it’s positively 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’ll be able to see extra in our guide to the Black Isle, which has a lot of ideas and options for spending a day right here.

You’ll be able to simply attain the Black Isle by automobile. 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 be taught all about how this fashionable beverage is produced, in addition to have a style of it.

Though there are lots of locations the place you should purchase and style all of the native whiskies in Inverness, there aren’t any whisky distilleries situated within the metropolis. However there are just a few distilleries inside straightforward 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 also 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’ll be able to drive to those distilleries after all, 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 variety of whisky distillery excursions departing from Inverness, equivalent to this full day tour which visits the Speyside whisky distillery area, or this tour which incorporates Glen Ord and the Dalmore distilleries amongst others. You too can take a personal whisky tour like this.

Glen Ord Distillery

 

Cawdor Fortress

A half hour drive east of Inverness (or an hour by public transport), Cawdor Castle and Gardens dates from at the very least 1454, though some parts of the citadel could also be even older than that.

The citadel has been within the Campbell household for the reason that sixteenth century, and continues to be dwelling to members of Clan Campbell.

The citadel and its grounds are open to the general public. It’s significantly recognized for its gardens, of which it has three, the Walled Backyard, the Flower Backyard and the Wild Backyard. You too can go to most of the major rooms of the citadel.

You’ll be able to see opening occasions and costs for Cawdor Fortress on the official web site 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.

 

Methods to Get to Inverness

Inverness is a really properly linked metropolis which is simple to succeed in from the remainder of the UK. By automobile 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’ll be able to test bus occasions and costs at megabus.com.

If you happen to’d desire to fly, Inverness additionally has a world 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 here.

For prepare journeys, Inverness has a central prepare station with glorious 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 quite a lot of different stations round Scotland and the broader UK. See costs and book train tickets here.

You too can catch an in a single day sleeper prepare direct from London, the Caledonian Sleeper. You’ll be able to board in London within the night and rise up in Inverness the next day. Learn our expertise taking it from London to Edinburgh here, and check prices and book online here.

 

Methods to Get Round Inverness

Inverness is a really compact metropolis and you may attain the vast majority of metropolis centre sights on foot very simply. For the sights just a little additional out, a lot of them could be reached by public transport or on the Hop on Hop off bus.

If you happen to’re seeking to take extra of a time out from the town centre, see our information to day trips from Inverness which has recommendations on 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 a wide range of value factors.

Kingsmills Hotel Iverness

We now have stayed at quite a lot of properties on varied journeys to Inverness, together with accommodations, a Scottish mansion, B&B’s, and condominium 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 a wide range of finances choices.

  • Bazpackers – one among Inverness’s finest rated hostels, it is a nice choose when you’re on the lookout for worth centrally situated hostel. Shared and personal lodging is on the market, and there’s a shared kitchen
  • No. 29 B&B – this  is a superb good worth possibility only a few minutes stroll from the centre of Inverness. Pleasant homeowners and clear rooms with cooked breakfast
  • Ardentorrie Guest House – we significantly just like the view from this pretty B&B, which is instantly reverse Inverness Fortress. Nice views and free parking in addition to comfy rooms and free parking.
  • Palace Milton Hotel – It is a very centrally situated Finest Western which makes for a great base for each taking day journeys from Inverness, and exploring the town itself. It is a nice possibility when you don’t have a automobile.
  • The Kingsmills Hotel  – This was the primary lodge we stayed at in Inverness, and it’s a pretty 4 star property with its personal golf course, a couple of mile from the town heart. You may get a taxi right here from the town heart, however it has a big free automobile park on website, making it possibility if in case you have a automobile.
  • Bunchrew House – We spoilt ourselves with a keep at this pretty Scottish mansion home, only a few miles west of Inverness. You’ll need your personal automobile to remain right here although. Additionally they serve afternoon tea (could be booked by non-guests).
  • Rocpool Reserve Hotel – this luxury boutique lodge is only a few minutes stroll from central Inverness. Rooms are comfy and the restaurant is superb, and we loved our keep right here
  • Ness Walk – opened in 2019, this 5* lodge presents pretty rooms and and implausible 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 Booking.com for lodging when travelling within the UK, we discover they’ve your best option of properties, from accommodations to residences, and it’s straightforward to filter by what you need. See all their listings for Inverness 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 just a few of our different guides that will help you plan your journey to Scotland and the broader UK, in addition to some third occasion sources we predict you’ll discover helpful.

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

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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