Inverness is known as the Capital of the Highlands it is the gateway to the north and eastern entrance to the magnificent Great Glen. It is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Scotland steeped in history. The evidence of early people in the area can be found in prehistoric Clava Cairns possibly 4000 years old, 6 miles from the city. It’s strategic position made it an ideal location for any King or would be King and the town suffered many times through the centuries as a result. Thomas Telford’s Caledonian Canal and the Railway opened up Inverness to become a destination for the traveller to experience not just the history and culture but the dramatic beauty of the Scottish Highlands that make it unique.
Ben Wyvis to the north west is clearly visible most days looking down majestically, a very visible part of the Inverness. To the north west are the peaks of Strathglass while to the south the wild mountains of the Monadhliadh. This city is definitely in the heart of the Highlands and the views give a sense of freedom and open space seldom found within a city, the wilds of the Highlands are just a breath away.
With all the assets of a city, good rail and transport links and an airport with excellent connections nearby it has still retained the charm of the ancient Highland burgh assisted by the lovely river Ness which runs through it’s centre and to which it owes it’s name Inver- Ness meaning Mouth of the Ness. The river is the over flow water of Loch Ness and is home to abundant wildlife.
There is a large selection of restaurants and cafes to suit most palettes. If you want to experience the local culture there is a good music scene and through out the year there are various festivals, along with Eden Court Theatre and its cinema there is aways something entertaining going on.
Well catered for shopping with a modern shopping centre but for those wanting a different experience the Victorian Market is the place to go, situated opposite the Railway station and it has some unique and varied shops ideal for some leisurely gift shopping.
The Museum is worth a visit situated to the right of the Town House up towards the castle hill, it is tells the history of the area and it’s people, it has some hands on items to interest the children. There is a small gallery which has changing displays and a café.
For the nature lover the Merkinch Nature Reserve is a real hidden gem, situated between the old South Kessock Ferry (in use prior to the Kessock Bridge) and the Muirton Basin the start of the Caledonian Canal is a nice spot to watch the sea birds, maybe a glimpse of a Roe deer or see a Dolphin or just capture the amazing views of the Beauly Firth.
The Ness Islands are small islands up stream towards the Bught park with bridges between connecting one side of the river to the other making for a lovely walk.
Bught park also houses the Sports and Leisure Centre and Archives centre for any interested in tracing their ancestors.
Another little gem nearby is the Floral Hall a compact botanical gardens and outside gardens, it is mostly wheelchair accessible and has a wheelchair for use, there is an entrance fee for adults. Highlights, the beautiful Koi Carp. On a wet day you can experience the temperatures of the sub-tropics in the highlands.
Inverness has something to offer everyone and its views are free.
If you like History you could consider Inverness Castle or other Ancient Monuments in the area. Why not visit an Art Gallery, Museum or find some live entertainment in the evening, or just enjoy the Inverness Cafes, Inverness Restaurants or Inverness Pubs.
Whatever you decide Inverness is well worth a visit combining Scottish Highland culture with modern living.