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Your guide to Inverness
All About Inverness
Sitting on the banks of the River Ness where it meets the Moray Firth, Inverness, capital of the Scottish Highlands, is a charming city surrounded by rolling green hills and stunning landscapes. This small town offers impressive 18th- and 19th-century stone architecture, a Victorian covered market, and plenty of cultural and historical sites to explore. The High Street is a pedestrian-only lane lined with trendy shops and lively Scottish pubs.
The town is a great place to use as a base to explore Loch Ness, or you can head out into the Highlands to discover the region’s soaring mountains, emerald-green hills, and crystal-clear lakes. Inverness is also less than an hour away from a number of interesting natural and historical sights, including Cairngorms National Park, which is home to rugged mountains and their many walking and biking trails, and the Highland Folk Museum, where you can learn more about the living history of the Highlands. The 19th-century Balmoral Castle, one of the residences of the British royal family, is less than two hours away.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Inverness?
April through October are great times to secure your vacation rental in Inverness as the days are very long and relatively warm and sunny, perfect for exploring the Scottish Highlands. In July, the Inverness Highland Games draw visitors from around the world to witness events such as the tossing of the caber or the stonemason’s stone challenge, along with traditional Highland music and dancing.
During the fall and winter, it can get very cold and windy, so this is the perfect time to explore the great restaurants and pubs in the city center. By spring, things begin to liven up again and the streets become busier as the weather gets warmer. No matter the season, the weather in Scotland can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to pack plenty of layers and have an umbrella or waterproof jacket with you at all times.
What are the top things to do in Inverness?
Built on the site of an 11th-century fort, this late-18th-century red sandstone castle stands vigil at the top of a vibrant green cliff overlooking the River Ness. You can explore the castle grounds as well as the North Tower, where you can get sweeping views of Inverness, the river, and the surrounding rolling meadows and farmland.
Located just a 30-minute drive from Inverness, this legendary lake is most famous for being the home of the Loch Ness Monster. Surrounded by lush hills, the long, narrow lake is a tranquil spot where you can explore the haunting ruins of the 13th-century Urquhart Castle, hike through the forest near the rocky shores of Dores Beach, or head out onto the water on a sightseeing cruise to try and get a glimpse of Nessie.
These miniature islands are located in the middle of the River Ness, around a mile south of the city center. They are connected to the embankment via a series of picturesque suspension footbridges. While you are walking among the soaring pine trees, you may pass anglers hoping to catch some salmon.