A craicing good time
You can be sure of a friendly welcome in this city where people enjoy a good chat or craic.
Stroll around the Old Town to enjoy the many historical buildings. The host of places to visit includes the castle in distinctive red sandstone, the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and now a courthouse.
St Andrew’s Cathedral is beautifully situated overlooking the river. Take the time to stop and admire its impressive stained glass windows and spectacular West Door.
The riverside provides many opportunities for excellent walks and watching fishermen casting for salmon. Tickets are available if you want to try your own hand at fishing. The pretty and wooded Ness Islands in the river are linked by footbridges.
The Floral Hall has flora and fauna of a different kind in its glass house, with a stunning variety of subtropical plants, a koi carp pond and a cactus house.
For magnificent views and a slightly more energetic walk, Craig Phadrig is a hill overlooking the city and the former site of a Pictish fort. It’s only a 10-minute drive from the city centre. You can also enjoy views of the Moray Firth from here, home to bottlenose dolphins.
Take a journey back in time in the Victorian Market, where you’ll find a unique choice of shops selling gifts and souvenirs (including kilts, of course). The market building itself is interesting too – look out for the old clock, cast-iron roof and the original entrance on Academy Street with its three round arches. If your taste is a bit more high-street, the award-winning Eastgate shopping centre on Milburn Road, with around 1,400 parking spaces, caters to most modern needs.
Events in Inverness include two music festivals: Rockness, held on the banks of Loch Ness, and Belladrum, with a mix of genres and local and international artists. The Inverness Highland Games, a traditional annual gathering, will give you a real taste of Scotland, with country dancing, caber tossing, bagpipes and much more.
Eating out is always a pleasure in Scotland and Inverness is no exception. Enjoy top-quality local produce including salmon, seafood and game in the many restaurants serving local fare. Round this off with a uisge beatha, the Gaelic name for whisky meaning “the water of life”.
Beyond the city with our car rental service
To the southwest, just a 15-minute drive from the city centre along the A82, lies Loch Ness. A scenic attraction in its own right, whether or not you spot its most famous resident!
You can then continue along the same road to Fort Augustus and Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis. Both scenic sites, steeped in history, and well worth a visit. The A82 later links up to the route towards the Isle of Skye.
To the southeast lie the Cairngorms, the largest national park in the UK. Aside from the breathtaking scenery, you’ll also find a vast range of attractions for all ages and all weathers. These include a castle, brewery, museums and gardens.
To the east, the A96 will take you to the seaside resort of Nairn, famous for its golf. En route to Nairn you can take in Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army lost the battle against the royal troops. Historic and romantic Cawdor Castle, also featured in Macbeth, can be visited along the way.
Beauly, to the west, is an easy 20-minute drive via the A9. Its attractions include ruins of the 13th century priory and a wide range of independent shops. Past visitors have included Mary Queen of Scots, who allegedly described it as a beau lieu, hence the name.
From Beauly you can drive to Strathglass to admire the wooded riverscapes, and the glens of Strathfarrar, Cannic and Affric, a national nature reserve.
Should you wish to drive further afield, the A9 south will take you to Edinburgh and Glasgow.