Welcome to Inverness, Scotland!
Nestled deep within the Scottish Highlands is a quaint little city that people may know as the gateway to the lake that a mythical creature calls home. Inverness is a city filled with history set on the backdrop of breathtaking natural landscapes. Considered to be the start of an epic journey to Loch Ness, Inverness is much more than a base point for heading into the infamous loch. From the delicious Inverness restaurants to the lively music, from gorgeous architecture to distinct culture, the city has many hidden charms and gems. This is a worldwide local’s guide to the city of Inverness.
Shopping is a Great Way to Start!
After a long flight into Inverness Airport, you might be ready for some therapy--retail therapy! Enjoy a unique shopping experience, away from the ordinary high street shopping, and head to the charming Victorian Market. Filled with shops operated by friendly locals, you can walk through its vintage walkways lined with pretty lamps and colorful facades that take you back to industrial Victorian Britain. From souvenir shops and cafes to a florist and even a barbershop, there is a shop for every taste and you are almost guaranteed to never leave empty-handed.
Worldwide Local Tip: If retail therapy isn’t enough for you, north of Inverness is a site holding a bizarre superstition about a well that grants a miracle cure for any ailments in the body. Clootie Well is located in the middle of a forest that is steeped in ancient folklore. As the story goes, the well provides healing when a piece of cloth is dipped into the water and tied to a nearby tree. A tradition still practiced to this day by locals and visitors, this superstitious site provides an eerie atmosphere with the sea of fabric hung up on trees.
A Must-See Landmark
The Inverness Castle is an iconic structure that stands on top of an 11th-century fort that houses an active justice court. While its doors are closed to the public, you can scale up to its viewing deck to see magnificent views of the city and beyond the boundaries. For unparalleled views of the highland hills to the winding River Ness, climb atop the city’s highest vantage point to see amazing vistas of a city with a gorgeous backdrop.
Worldwide Local Tip: Leakey’s Bookshop is a paradise for all the bookworms out there. Previously an 18th-century Gaelic church, it is an enchanting place filled with the aroma of old book pages and the sight of vintage bookshelves. You can easily lose countless hours rummaging through shelves filled with second-hand books, from fictional novels to educational publications.
Explore the Highlands
Don’t hover in your comfort zone near your Inverness hotel--get out and explore! The Scottish Highlands are filled with stunning local landscapes, and you can enjoy the scenic route by meandering down the towpaths of the Caledonian Canal. An expansive canal spanning 97 kilometers, it starts in Inverness and runs across the Great Glen to Fort William. The peaceful walkways along the canal see a lot of activity on the water, with barges slowly cruising through the tranquil waterways. To see more of the canal, grab a bike and take a 7.5-kilometers bike ride through gorgeous scenery to Dochgarroch Locks, appreciating the Inverness weather.
Worldwide Local Tip: Party with the locals at the vibrant Hootananny and experience live Scottish music complete with bagpipes and traditional folk sounds. Grab a whiskey and party away as you immerse yourself in Scottish culture.
Enjoy Your Stay!
A humble city that is packed with a cultural allure that is unique to the region, Inverness makes a great base for adventures to nearby top attractions, but an even better city to explore. Engross yourself in a quintessential highlands experience as a worldwide local and feel the city’s distinct character.