Inverness, also called 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 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 suggest that guests to this a part of Scotland spend not less than a day exploring the highlights of 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 instances and know town and the realm round it very nicely.
Inverness additionally makes an important base for day journeys to close by sights, and you’ll see our information to the most effective 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 ideas that will help you plan your go to.
Issues to Do In Inverness
This checklist of issues to do in Inverness is ordered first by issues to do within the metropolis itself, after which there are a couple of sights close by that we expect guests also needs to think about together with on their Inverness itinerary.
Discovered proper within the centre of town, on a dramatic hilltop overlooking the river, you actually can’t miss Inverness fortress. You’ll get some nice views of it when strolling alongside the river.
Immediately’s imposing pink sandstone edifice dates from 1836, though a fortress has stood on this location since 1057. Up till 2020 the fortress was used as a court docket, nonetheless there are plans in place to open the fortress as a vacationer vacation spot.
For now although, there are solely a few issues you are able to do at Inverness Citadel. First, you’re welcome to wander the grounds without spending a dime. Second, you possibly can pay a payment to go up the north tower of the fortress, which affords good views of town and surrounding countryside. You may ebook your ticket on-line prematurely right here.
The River Ness runs via Inverness, linking the world well-known Loch Ness with the ocean. In case you stroll south alongside the east river financial institution from town centre, following the Ness Stroll, you will see that a beautiful outdated Victorian footbridge. This can 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 may cross between the islands, after which onto the western shore of the river. This can carry you to the following location in our information.
Alternatively, you possibly can proceed on the Ness Stroll alongside the west river financial institution and return to town centre. Ness Stroll is a 3.1 km (1.9 mile) loop path.
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 foremost 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 nicely.
The botanic gardens are free to go to, though donations are appreciated. You may learn extra about opening instances and what’s on right here.
Discovered simply throughout the river from Inverness Citadel, Inverness Cathedral is essentially the most northerly cathedral in mainland Britain. It was constructed from a pink stone and was constructed within the Gothic fashion, with development accomplished in 1869. The architect was Alexander Ross and this was the primary cathedral to be utterly constructed and consecrated in Nice Britain for the reason that Reformation.
Inverness Cathedral was the primary It’s definitely a powerful constructing, and nicely value a go to.
This Scottish Episcopal Church could be very a lot an lively place of worship, internet hosting all the pieces from common mass via to weddings, baptisms, and different occasions. It’s additionally open for guests, and there’s a café and present store on web site. We suggest checking the calendar of occasions earlier than you go to.
Inverness Museum and Artwork Gallery
If you wish to study in regards to the historical past of Inverness and the Highlands usually, then you’ll positively need to go to the Inverness Museum and Artwork 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 Citadel within the coronary heart of town. It covers all the pieces from the geology and pure historical past of the realm, via to the historical past of the individuals who have referred to as this space house over the centuries. It is a superb place to orient your self on the realm, and it’s set out in a approach that lets you comply with a timeline of the event of the panorama and tradition.
Because the title suggests, the museum can be house to an artwork gallery. This exhibits a spread of short-term reveals displaying the work of native, nationwide, and worldwide artists. You may see what’s on right here.
Opening instances differ relying on the time of 12 months, and you’ll see these right here. The museum is free to go to, however donations are appreciated.
The Victorian Market
In case you take pleasure in procuring or picturesque outdated markets (or each!), then a go to to the Victorian market ought to positively make your checklist of issues to do in Inverness.
Because the title suggests, this lined market dates from the nineteenth century. Since opening, it has been house 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 for those who aren’t considering of shopping for a neighborhood memento or grabbing a espresso, the market continues to be value a wander as it’s fairly picturesque inside. It’s open day by day and free to go to. You may see opening instances on the web site, though bear in mind that particular person retailers have their very own opening instances.
In fact, there are many different choices for procuring in Inverness, and it’s place to refill must you 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.
Relationship from 1593, Abertarff Home is the oldest home in Inverness. Which means this home has witnessed an excessive amount of native historical past, from the Jacobite risings via 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 exhibition about life in Inverness within the 1600s you possibly can expertise.
Abertarff Home is free to go to. You may see opening instances and additional info on the official web site right here.
In case you take pleasure in secondhand books, we expect a go to to Scotland’s largest second hand bookshop is a should to your time in Inverness. Leakey’s Bookshop is present in what was beforehand an outdated Gaelic church, and it’s house to over 100,000 volumes.
The shop is unfold throughout two flooring, with books stacked all through. In case you had been to dream of how a second hand ebook retailer would possibly look, this could be 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 through a stunning spiral stair case.
Naturally it’s free to go to, however we might after all encourage you to purchase a ebook for those who resolve to go to. With so many to select from, we’re certain you’ll discover one thing to take pleasure in!
Eden Courtroom Inverness
Simply behind Inverness Cathedral is Eden Courtroom, a powerful multi-function constructing which serves as a house for the efficiency arts in Inverness. You’ll discover theatres and cinema screens which commonly host exhibits and movies, in addition to an on-site restaurant and bar.
In addition to common dwell theatre performances, you’ll additionally discover quite a lot of galleries which showcase the work of native artists, a few of which can be out there on the market. Eden Courtroom 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 beautiful. It’s positively value popping in, and for those who’re enthusiastic about dwell theatre, do try what they’ve on whenever you go to.
In case 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 significantly well-known for his or her carved stone monuments, which function a spread of symbols and patterns. The that means and function of those markings are nonetheless unknown, however you possibly can 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 possibly can go to it at any time of day. There are additionally eight extra stones on show within the Inverness Museum.
You may after all proceed to comply with the Pictish path, which runs north alongside the coast to Dunrobin Citadel Museum. That is a straightforward path to comply with, and one thing additional so as to add must you be driving the gorgeous North Coast 500 street journey. You may obtain a Pictish path map right here.
As the most important 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 areas 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 Citadel Tavern, to extra unique choices like Indian, Thai, and Chinese language.
Our solely suggestion is to make sure you ebook prematurely. Lots of the extra fashionable eating venues ebook up nicely prematurely, particularly if you’re visiting over a weekend or through the busier summer season season.
We’re now going to go outdoors Inverness, and undergo a couple 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 usually, by public transport. We even have extra concepts as a part of our information to the most effective day journeys from Inverness.
First on the checklist, 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 kinds 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 most important physique of recent water within the UK by quantity, and can be house to one of many world’s most well-known cryptozoological creatures, the Loch Ness Monster. You’ll additionally discover the favored ruined Urquhart Citadel alongside the lake.
There’s tons to see and do round Loch Ness, from taking a cruise via to exploring an outdated fortress. You may see our full information to issues to do in Loch Ness for extra inspiration.
Loch Ness is simply 8 miles from Inverness by street, and may be reached by automotive or a handy hop on hop off bus.
We will additionally suggest this glorious tour of Loch Ness with Rabbie’s (an Edinburgh based mostly tour firm), which we now have taken and loved. The tour circles Loch Ness so contains the highlights plus a couple of lesser recognized stops.
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 loss of life 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 straightforward to go to from town. There are two foremost issues you are able to do right here. First, you possibly can wander the battlefield itself. Varied markers are laid out depicting the areas of the totally 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 customer centre operated by the Nationwide Belief for Scotland. This can stroll you thru the occasions main as much as the battle, in addition to take you thru the battle itself. That is executed through a sequence of reveals, which embrace an immersive 360 diploma theatre expertise.
We will extremely suggest 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 outdoors on the battlefield itself.
You may go to the battlefield itself without spending a dime. There’s a cost for the customer centre expertise, which we extremely suggest. That is free for Nationwide Belief members. You may see extra on the official web site right here.
You may simply attain Culloden by each automotive and public transport from Inverness. It’s additionally included on quite a lot of excursions from Inverness, equivalent to this one.
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 army outposts, with the most important 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 straightforward journey from Inverness. It’s simply 11 miles to the east of 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 top 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 possibility to doubtlessly 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 must pay an entry payment. You may see opening instances and costs on the official web site right here.
From Inverness one of the best ways to achieve Fort George is by automotive. You possibly can 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.
The Black Isle
About ten minutes drive north of Inverness is a peninsula often called the Black Isle. It’s really not an island, neither is it black, nonetheless naming apart, it’s positively value 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 laborious to fill a day exploring.
You may see extra in our information to the Black Isle, which has numerous ideas and recommendations for spending a day right here.
You may simply attain the Black Isle by automotive. Native buses operated by Stagecoach additionally function companies from Inverness to numerous areas throughout the Black Isle. Lastly, we will additionally suggest the wonderful 1 day Black Isle tour that Rabbie’s operates.
Go to a Whisky Distillery
Many guests to Scotland need to go to a working whisky distillery. These are a wonderful place to study all about how this fashionable beverage is produced, in addition to have a style of it.
Though there are various 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 a couple of distilleries inside straightforward driving distance of 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 legendary for producing a few of the world’s most well-known single malt.
You may drive to those distilleries after all, however our urged choice for visiting a whisky distillery in Scotland is to take a guided tour. These will let another person deal with the driving, so you possibly can benefit from the excursions and sampling.
There are a selection 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 may also take a personal whisky tour like this.
A half hour drive east of Inverness (or an hour by public transport), Cawdor Citadel and Gardens dates from not less than 1454, though some parts of the fortress could also be even older than that.
The fortress has been within the Campbell household for the reason that sixteenth century, and continues to be house to members of Clan Campbell.
The fortress 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 may also go to most of the foremost rooms of the fortress.
You may see opening instances and costs for Cawdor Citadel on the official web site right here.
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.
The way to Get to Inverness
Inverness is a really nicely linked metropolis which is straightforward to achieve 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 town, with routes serving cities together with London, Leeds, Newcastle, Aberdeen and extra. You may examine bus instances and costs at megabus.com.
In case you’d want to fly, Inverness additionally has a world airport. This affords 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 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 ebook prepare tickets right here.
You may also catch an in a single day sleeper prepare direct from London, the Caledonian Sleeper. You may 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 examine costs and ebook on-line right here.
The way to 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 somewhat additional out, lots of them may be reached by public transport or on the Hop on Hop off bus.
In case you’re trying to take extra of a day trip from town centre, see our information to day journeys from Inverness which has tips about transport in addition to some urged excursions.
The place to Keep in Inverness
As the most important metropolis within the Scottish Highlands, Inverness has all kinds of lodging choices throughout a wide range of worth factors.
We now have stayed at quite a lot of properties on varied journeys to Inverness, together with motels, a Scottish mansion, B&B’s, and house leases, and have typically been impressed by the variability and high quality of lodging on provide.
Listed here are some concepts to your keep throughout a wide range of price range choices.
- Bazpackers – considered one of Inverness’s finest rated hostels, it is a nice decide for those who’re on the lookout for worth centrally situated hostel. Shared and personal lodging is out there, and there’s a shared kitchen
- No. 29 B&B – this is a superb good worth choice only a few minutes stroll from the centre of Inverness. Pleasant homeowners and clear rooms with cooked breakfast
- Ardentorrie Visitor Home – we significantly just like the view from this beautiful B&B, which is straight reverse Inverness Citadel. Nice views and free parking in addition to comfy rooms and free parking.
- Palace Milton Resort – This can be a very centrally situated Finest Western which makes for a perfect base for each taking day journeys from Inverness, and exploring town itself. This can be a nice choice for those who don’t have a automotive.
- The Kingsmills Resort – This was the primary resort we stayed at in Inverness, and it’s a beautiful 4 star property with its personal golf course, a few mile from town heart. You may get a taxi right here from town heart, but it surely has a big free automotive park on web site, making it choice when you’ve got a automotive.
- Bunchrew Home – We spoilt ourselves with a keep at this beautiful Scottish mansion home, only a few miles west of Inverness. You’ll need your personal automotive to remain right here although. Additionally they serve afternoon tea (may be booked by non-guests).
- Rocpool Reserve Resort – this luxury boutique resort is only a few minutes stroll from central Inverness. Rooms are comfy and the restaurant is great, and we loved our keep right here
- Ness Stroll – opened in 2019, this 5* resort affords beautiful rooms and and implausible service. It’s discovered proper close to the river financial institution, a couple of minutes stroll from town centre or the Ness Islands.
We normally use and suggest Reserving.com for lodging when travelling within the UK, we discover they’ve the only option of properties, from motels to flats, and it’s straightforward to filter by what you need. See all their listings for Inverness right here.
And that sums up our information to our favorite issues to do in Inverness! Earlier than you go, we wished to share a couple of of our different guides that will help you plan your journey to Scotland and the broader UK, in addition to some third occasion assets we expect you’ll discover helpful.
- We now have a information to our favorite day journeys from Inverness, for those who’re on the lookout for extra inspiration for what to do on this beautiful a part of the world
- Inverness is the launching level of the well-known North Coast 500 – Scotland’s premier driving route. Take a look at our detailed information to the North Coast 500 and North Coast 500 Lodging Information, in addition to my images highlights on the North Coast 500 for some inspiration to your journey. In case you’d like an itinerary for the North Coast 500, try our detailed 7 Day North Coast 500 tenting itinerary.
- From Inverness it’s also possible to head east and deal with the North East 250! This can be a newer driving route which covers spectacular surroundings, many Speyside distilleries, and the fantastic Moray Firth shoreline. See our 3 day NE250 itinerary for recommendation on that one.
- We now have detailed guides to a few of the areas on this put up, together with a information to the Black Isle and tips about visiting the Cairngorms
- In case you’re driving within the UK for the primary time, try my ideas for driving within the UK for some recommendation. We even have a information to how a lot it prices to journey within the UK.
- On the lookout for extra inspiration for Scotland? Take a look at our 2 day Edinburgh itinerary, our Glasgow and Loch Lomond itinerary, our information to the finest day journeys from Glasgow, our information to issues to do in Edinburgh, our itinerary for Skye and the Highlands, our information to the finest day journeys from Aberdeen, and our information to the most effective day journeys from Edinburgh to get you began. We even have a information to getting from London to Edinburgh.
- For wider UK journey planning, we now have urged one week and two week UK itineraries as a starter, plus tons extra UK content material that will help you plan your journey.
- In case you’d like a guidebook to your time visiting Scotland, we suggest the Rick Steves’ Scotland information
And that’s it! As at all times, when you’ve got any questions or suggestions, simply tell us within the feedback under!