There are a myriad of things to see and do in and around Inverness and the wider Highlands. Whatever your interests, you are certain to discover something new and create wonderful memories of your stay in this beautiful region.
Click on the links to find out more.
Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and as such has most of the facilities you would expect of a city. Its wonderful theatre, Eden Court, hosts an eclectic mix of performance and exhibitions as well as a comfortable cinema. The Eastgate Shopping Mall and Inverness Retail Park offer a wide range of shops while the city centre has more individual shopping opportunities. St Andrew's Cathedral can be found on the bank of the River Ness from where a gentle stroll along the river, among the Ness Islands is a respite from the busy streets. Inverness Castle has a public viewing area at the top of the North Tower which gives 360 degree views over the city and the surrounding countryside. The Ice Rink, Inverness Leisure Centre and swimming pool are also within walking distance of the city and the Floral Hall with its beautiful botanic gardens are a sight to behold whatever the season. A visit to Inverness would not be complete without some Scottish music and Hootenanny offers live traditional music sessions most evenings.
Loch Ness, famed for the monster allegedly lurking in its depths, is easily reached from Firth View via Inverness. A tour of the Loch makes a great day out as there are numerous places of interest to stop off and explore. Abriachan Forest on the north side offers walking trails through the trees and up over the hills above Loch Ness. If you are hunting Nessie then there are museums and attractions aplenty dedicated to her discovery as you approach the village of Drumnadrochit, which also offers various eateries and is a starting point for several walks around the area. Urquhart Castle is right on the loch side and can be visited either by road or from the loch itself as part of a Jacobite Cruise. Fort Augustus at the western end of Loch Ness has a staircase of locks which provide access for pleasure-craft to and from the Caledonian Canal and as you return along the quieter south shore there are beautiful waterfalls at Foyers, more forest trails at Inverfarigaig and the Dores Inn offers refreshment for the weary traveller!
East of Inverness, heading towards Nairn on the A96, you are spoilt for choice for activities and places of interest. The atmospheric Clava Cairns give an insight into Bronze Age history, the NTS Battlefield Exhibition at Culloden retells the true stories behind Bonnie Prince Charlie's exploits and the details of the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil, and Fort George, which, while still a base for serving military units, is one of the most outstanding fortifications in Europe. It is a superbly preserved 18th Century fortress which juts out into the Moray Firth opposite Chanonry Point. For those who love exploring castles, Cawdor and Brodie Castles show just how the other half lived, while nature lovers and those who like a good stroll along the beach or escape for a wander through the pine trees will enjoy the golden sands of Nairn Beach or the forest trails around Culbin Forest. Ben Romach distillery offers tours and tastings while the historic Dallas Dhu is a time-capsule showing how whisky was made in the 1800s.
Aviemore and the Cairngorms are just over an hour's drive south of Inverness and provide the true highland experience, whether heading for the heights of Cairngorm Mountain, checking out the reindeer herd, or hiking into the beautiful Caledonian forest to spot red squirrels. On calm days you could be catching amazing reflections of the mountains on Loch Morlich or watching the ospreys as they nest at the RSPB reserve in the Abernethy Forest at Loch Garten. Aviemore itself has a variety of shops and eateries and from the station you can take a wonderful trip on the Strathspey Steam Railway. From Aviemore it is a short drive into Spey country, where the river and its pure waters have given rise to a plethora of famous Distilleries which will vie with your pocket to provide tours to educate you on the process of distilling, and dram-tastings to stimulate your palate to the intricacies of flavour of the Single Malt!
Heading North across the Cromarty Firth you will find yourself in the lands of Ross, Sutherland and Caithness, where villages become sparse and are closely connected to the coast. Here the North Coast 500 Route strings together these coastal treasures like beads on a necklace, each having its own history and culture. Dornoch is a delightful town with its own beautiful Cathedral, lots of independent shops and cafes, a prestige, championship golf course and miles of sandy beach. The history associated with the Highland Clearances and the development of the fishing industry is evident through monuments and local museums while Dunrobin Castle portrays the privileged life of the Laird. Here you can also watch the estate falconer fly beautiful birds of prey in the castle garden.