Inverness Scotland

Keywords: inverness, scotland, bed and breakfast, scottish highlands, hotel, sightseeing, travel, transport, b&b, guest house, accommodation, culloden, inverness castle, loch ness,
Description: Transport, sightseeing, tours, castles, photos, accommodation - your complete independent guide to Inverness, Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands.

Capital of the Highlands, Inverness is an excellent touring base with good road, rail and air connections (see transport details and map ).

With its suspension bridges across the River Ness and old stone buildings, it is a pretty place which is well-known for its floral displays (frequently a winner of awards in the Bloom of Britain competitions). In December 2000, it was one of only 3 towns to be awarded city status by the Queen.

Walk down along the river banks (in the direction of the Caledonian Canal) and you'll find the Ness Islands where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the shops. Cross the river on the little bridges and you can visit Bught Park. A miniature railway runs at weekends from Easter to the end of October, and daily during the local school holidays. Close by you will also find the Botanic Gardens (previously called the Floral Hall) - a sub-tropical horticultural extravaganza with small waterfall, fish and alsorts of plants/trees (open daily 10am - 5pm). I particularly like the cactus hall - quite a surprise! Free admission. Cafe and plant sales.

Not far from here is the Inverness Leisure centre (tel: 01463 667500) with swimming pool, gym, climbing wall, etc. and the Inverness Ice Centre (tel: 01463 235711).

Walking up the river in the other direction (towards the harbour) you will see Ben Wyvis on the skyline (this is a mountain over 3000 feet high).

The Tourist Information Office is located on Bridge Street up some steps overlooking the road (ramp for disabled access). This includes a bureau de change, booking office for Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, gift shop, and accommodation booking service.

Inverness has an excellent Museum and Art gallery between the castle and the tourist office. Open 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday all year. Includes gift shop and coffee shop.

The Highland Archive and Registration Centre opened in Inverness in 2009. This includes the Family History Centre and Genealogy Service (previously hosted at Inverness Library). The new building is situated on Bught Road between the Floral Hall and Whin Park, past the Ness Islands. Telephone: 01463 256444.

If you are thinking of moving to Inverness or the Highland Region - visit the living/working in Scotland web page which provides links for finding jobs, houses, etc.

Eden Court Theatre. situated near the cathedral, is the venue for shows, music and cinema. Originally built in the 1970s, the building incorporates part of the old Bishop's Palace and is said to be haunted by the 'Green Lady' ghost of a wife of one of the bishop's who hanged herself there.

The other place to see films (movies) is at the Vue multi-screen cinema complex just outside city centre at the retail park off the main road heading to Aberdeen.

Lots of events take place every year throughout Inverness and the Highland region - click here for the Inverness events calendar.

Internet access is available at:
  • Inverness Library (no charge for surfing but proof of ID is required)
  • 'Mailboxes' next to the railway station
  • Laundrette in Young Street - opposite the small Tesco across the river bridge

WiFi is available at most hotels, pubs and eateries including McDonalds (High Street), Wetherspoons (Church Street), Costa (Inglis Street). Just look for the sticker in the window.

There are plenty of opportunities for sports and outdoor activities in Inverness and the Highlands (see separate lists for specific regions such as the Cairngorm mountains ).
  • Inverness has 3 golf courses (Inverness Golf Club. Fairways Golf Course & Torvean Golf Club ).
  • Just out of town, near the airport is the new Castle Stuart Golf Links
  • Soccer fans might be interested in the local team: Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club (aka Caley Thistle).
  • Ten pin bowling at Roller Bowl
  • Inverness ice rink
  • Inverness Leisure centre (swimming pool, gym, climbing wall, etc.)
  • Highland Council Countryside Rangers operate many guided walks and events throughout the year.
  • Inverness walks - local route details from WalkHighlands
  • Tiso Inverness Outdoor Experience is a huge shop on the Longman estate which has an 18 ft climbing wall, plus large range of hire equipment and bikes.
  • See the outdoor activity operators list in The Internet Guide to Scotland for more companies in the area.

Inverness Marina is a new yacht haven with 150-berth secure marina. If you need equipment, then Caley Marina is the chandlery on Canal Road.

The Caledonian Canal is very popular with yachts and barges (see boat trip links ). It stretches some 60 miles from Inverness via Loch Ness to Fort William. You can walk and cycle along the towpath in Inverness.

Phoenix Boat Trips operate from Inverness Marina with one-hour wildlife cruises from Inverness into the Moray Firth. This is the only authorised dolphin trip boat working from Inverness. Contact Eric Wardlaw. Mobile: 07703 168097.

For more activities such as cruises on Loch Ness, day tours by coach and city walking tours - please view the links on the Inverness trips page.

Ship Space is an interactive maritime museum with nautical artefacts and large ships including a 1:10 scale model of Titanic (where you can go inside and explore the cafe, bridge and Marconi wireless room), plus a replica Nautile submarine, a Buckie drifter, RNLI lifeboat and more. Free admission. Open 10am to 3pm every day except Christmas. Situated near the Muirtown basin of the Caledonian Canal, at 16 Clachnaharry Road, Inverness IV3 8QH. Telephone: 01463 716839.

Inverness Castle was built on the site of an earlier fortress in 1835 and sits on a low cliff overlooking the river. Today it houses the Sherriff's Court. Take Castle Street which winds its way up around the rear of the castle and past some pretty floral displays to get to the statue of Flora MacDonald.

Please note the castle is not open to the public as a tourist attraction (it is in fact the sheriff court).

Photogallery Inverness Scotland:

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