Inverness is known as the “Capital of the Highlands”, and is the natural home base for any exploration of the Highlands and Islands of northern Scotland.
Inverness lies at the mouth of the River Ness, which flows out from the much more famous Loch Ness. The city spreads over both sides of the river, and overlooks the picturesque Moray Firth.
How to get to Inverness
Inverness Airport (INV) is a small airport serviced mostly by budget airlines. You can usually find a cheap flight from London to Inverness on either EasyJet or Flybe, and this can be a great way to get straight to the highlands for travelers who aren’t interested in a visit to the southern part of the country.
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Inverness Railway Station is another great way to get to the city, with regular service from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.
Motorways also connect Inverness to the rest of the country. The A9, A92 and A96 are the major trunk roads to Inverness.
Things to do
Aside from being the gateway to the magnificent Scottish Highlands, Inverness is a vibrant and interesting city in its own right. The most prominent building in the city is Inverness Castle, which lies right along the river in the center of town. The original castle was destroyed in 1746, but it was rebuilt in 1836 and is today used actively in local government. Other notable structures in the city include Inverness College and the Old High Church.
Inverness is, like most of Scotland, obsessed with sport. There are two professional football teams in the city, Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club and the lower-league Clachnacuddin FC. There is also organized rugby, cricket and shinty, so there’s rarely too long to wait between matches.
There are several major events and festivals each year in Inverness. The Highland Games highlight feats of strength and ancient Scottish sports and games. Each September, the world’s largest gathering of bagpipers, the Northern Meeting, comes to Inverness. For those whose musical taste leans toward the less traditional, there is the summer RockNess music festival.
There are great travel destinations not only in Inverness, but all around it. Popular day trips from Inverness include Loch Ness (of course), as well as historic Culloden Battlefield, the nearby seaside town of Nairn, and a number of local castles.