There are plenty of things to do in Inverness. The city is up-and-coming as one of the best holiday destinations in Scotland, and it’s easy to see why. There are great amenities, loads for tourists to do and friendly people. Just a short trip outside the city you can be skiing in some of Scotland’s highest mountains, spotting dolphins from a beautiful beach, or hunting for Nessie at Loch Ness.
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is a contemporary building near the river in the centre of Inverness. It has detailed information about the history of the Highlands, and the people and how they have gone on to populate and innovate all around the world. There are also excellent wildlife and natural history exhibits, and of course, a cafe. Admission is free.
If you are in the area, you can’t help but notice Inverness Castle. It is a pleasant sandstone castle, not too imposing and it’s not surprising to discover that it was built in the 1800’s. The city’s sheriff court resides in the castle now and the building is not open to the public, but the grounds are, and are very enjoyable to walk around on a sunny day.
If you venture a little upstream from the centre of town, you might stumble upon the River Ness Islands. These are two islands in a very country-like setting in the middle of the River Ness. They are connected to the banks of the river by suspension bridges and are also connected together with another bridge. It is a beautiful location, very peaceful and teeming with wildlife. Makes a very enjoyable walk.
Not far from the islands, the Eden Court Theatre is a cultural hub in the city. Many travelling productions and local shows are staged here. It has innovative architecture and has recently undergone a complete refurbishment. Worth checking what’s on ahead of your visit so you can book tickets if you see something good.
If you climb up onto the moor, south-east of Inverness, you’ll eventually come to Culloden Battlefield at couple of miles outside town. Now, it’s not like the Scots to wallow in defeat or celebrate getting gubbed by saying “it was a valiant effort” but it is a good place to visit. Culloden wasn’t as straightforward as Scotland v’s England and the visitor centre explains it all very well. What is really worth the visit is the haunting atmosphere you feel if you can get out there on your own, walking around the battlefield on a windswept, wet day, with the inscribed stones marking where each clan and family fell and died. It really makes you appreciate living in modern times.
The Moray Firth just to the north-east of Inverness is famous for it’s Dolphins. There are many boat trips to take you closer to the creatures but they can also be seen from the shore, with Chanonry Point near Rosemarkie being well known locally as a good place to spot them. There is also a seal and dolphin centre just north of the Kessock Bridge.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle have become one of the powerhouses of Scottish Football in recent years and if you get the chance to catch a game while you are in town, you should definitely try to get some tickets and see a game. Tickets cost from around £20 with concessions available.
Loch Ness is really close by and no trip to this area would be complete without a drive down the length of the Loch in the hope of spotting it’s most famous resident. We’ll talk about things to do at Loch Ness in a different article.
These are just a few of the highlights of the city. There is loads more to see and do, plenty places to stay and plenty of shops and restaurants to explore. Give it a try!
View our 100 best things to do in Scotland.
Images: Inverness Castle by conner395, Inverness bridge by cyesuta and Culloden by nagillum, dolphins by danheap77 – all on Flickr.