Local Sightseeing Information courtesy of Inverness Hotels Association
The Tourist Information Office on Bridge Street is a useful starting point if you are visiting the area. There are details of local events and tours, plus many free leaflets about nearby attractions. It also includes a bureau de change, booking office for Caledonian MacBrayne ferries and gift shop.
Why not take one of the Guide Friday open-top buses or go on a guided walking tour to explore the historic city centre of Inverness? Check the boards outside the tourist office for times and prices. A ghost tour (on foot) is also operated in the evenings.
Places to Visit in Inverness
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 Sheriff’s Court, but at the Castle Garrison Encounter you
can journey back in time to 1745, enlist in the Regiment and meet some of its other characters live. Visits take about 40 minutes: open daily during the tourist season from 10.30am to 5.30pm. Tel: 01463 243 363 /
Saint Andrew’s Cathedral sits on the riverside almost opposite the castle. It has no spires as the funds ran out before they could be completed. The font is a copy of Thorwalden’s font in Copenhagen Cathedral. Look out for the Russian gold icons. The teashop in the old schoolhouse is open from March to September Monday to Saturday 10.30am to 3.30pm.Walk along the river banks from the castle 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.
Close by between the ice rink and the sports centre is the Floral Hall – a sub-tropical horticultural extravaganza with small waterfall, fish and alsorts of plants/trees (open all year round).Continue into the children’s play area, miniature train and boating lake in Whin Park.If you walk further you can go along the picturesque Caledonian Canal heading towards Loch Ness.For those who enjoy shopping, Inverness is the main centre in the Highlands, but don’t forget ‘Made in Scotland’ located in Beauly, and numerous craft shops dotted around the countryside.
Inverness AreaLoch Ness is one of the most popular places to visit in this part of the Highlands. Take a guided coach tour, drive around the loch yourself or go on a boat trip from Inverness, Drumnadrochit or Fort Augustus.The atmospheric ruins of Urquhart Castle (pictured here) are open to the public all year and there are several other local attractions including the visitors centres about Loch Ness and its famous monster.For a scenic drive, don’t forget the less-travelled southern shore of the loch or head west into the beautiful scenery of Glen Affric.
There’s lots more to explore around Inverness in the immediate vicinity including Culloden Battlefield and Fort George for the history of the Jacobite Rising, together with legendary Cawdor Castle (pictured right) and fairytale Brodie Castle for their superb interiors and gardens.The mysterious Clava Cairns near Culloden are also well worth a visit for those interested in standing stones. Be sure to explore a few local historic towns – Nairn, Elgin, Beauly, Dingwall, Cromarty and Strathpeffer – each have their own unique character.There are numerous Whisky Distilleries to visit in the Highland region and neighbouring Speyside. For something a little more unusual, try Moniack Wineries in the castle just outside Inverness on the road to Beauly.
For the adventurous, there are plenty of activities (watersports, mountain biking, mountaineering, skiing, etc.) around Aviemore and the Cairngorms, just a short drive down the A9.Inverness is an excellent base for touring if you wish to go further afield. Fort William, the Isle of Skye, Wester Ross and Orkney are all accessible on day trips. One of the must-sees has to be Eilean Donan Castle (pictured left) only 2 hours drive from Inverness through magnificent mountain scenery.