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Inverness Attractions

Scotland - United Kingdom

International Travel / Overseas Tourism Destination

Welcome to our holiday travel guide, attractions, events, tours and charters information for Inverness, Scotland.

Located in the Scottish Highlands region, Inverness is the Highlands capital, strategically situated at the northern end of the Great Glen, near where the River Ness flows into the Moray Firth.

Here in the City of Inverness you will find the warmest of welcomes, and the perfect place to base yourself whilst visiting all the fabulous attractions in the region. There is good access by road, rail and air to those planning to visit.

There is plenty to see and do in and around Inverness – just ensure you plan enough time for your stay here.

Browse our city shops, from the Victorian Market to the new award-winning shopping complex, Eastgate. A stroll to Inverness Castle and St Andrew's Cathedral, which dominate the River Ness and described as one of the most beautiful riverside settings in Britain. Enjoy the circular walk from the castle along the river and through the Ness Islands where in peak season (July to October), you can see anglers casting their long lines at the leaping Atlantic salmon. Buy a daily ticket and try it for yourself.

To the west, overlooking the city of Inverness, the Beauly Firth and the inner Moray Firth is Craig Phadrig, a prominent hill, once the stronghold of Pictish Kings.

The Highlands is rich in historical and cultural attractions, with a number of castles, monuments and ruins, still evident today. The large battlefield and visitor centre at Culloden, the historic Caledonian Canal and Clava Cairns, a fascinating archaeological site, provide a glimpse into the

The waters of the Moray Firth provides home to a diverse range of wildlife, including a large number of bottlenose dolphins, that can be seen from the shoreline or on one of the boat cruises. Of course the Highlands is also the home of one of our most famous resident, the elusive Nessie, our Loch Ness monster.

Drop into the local Tourist Information Centres where you can get the latest updates and information on the many places to visit in and around Inverness, as well as where to stay.

Over time we will be expanding our listing of wonderful attractions, places to visit and memorable experiences in Scotland, in the meantime you can check out our current listing. Make sure you check out the Scotland Attractions, listing attractions across Scotland.

If you want to include other great Edinburgh attractions, just send us an email with the details, including website (if applicable) and any images that you can provide permission for us to use here.

• Inverness Attractions

Clava Cairns
• This well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery is located about 6 miles east of Inverness. Clava Cairns is the site of an exceptionally well preserved group of prehistoric burial cairns that were built about 4,000 years ago. The Bronze Age cemetery complex comprises of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairn, standing stones in a beautiful setting and the remains of a chapel of unknown date.

Craig Phadrig
• To the west of Inverness, rises the prominent hill of Craig Phadrig. Once the stronghold of Pictish Kings, the summit still has remnants of a Pictish Fort. Today, largely covered by forest, the paths around the hill and to the summit provide some great views over Inverness, along the Great Glen, the Beauly Firth and the inner Moray Firth.

• Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Culloden Moor, Inverness, Highland
Visiting Culloden the last hand-to-hand battle fought on British soil takes on a whole new meaning with the opening of this exciting new visitor centre and interactive exhibition. The battlefield itself is now restored to as close as possible that marched on by the two sides on that fateful day.

Come and find out why this battle that lasted only one hour changed the way of life of the Highlands and Islands for ever.
Discover Scotland's Great Trails
• Scotland's Great Trails (SGTs) are nationally promoted trails for people-powered journeys. Each is distinctively waymarked, largely off-road and has a range of visitor services. At least 25 miles in length, they are suitable for multi-day outings as well as day trips. Collectively the 20 different routes provide over 1300 miles of well managed paths from the Borders to the Highlands, offering great opportunities to explore the best of Scotland's nature and landscapes and to experience the amazing history and culture.

The nearest trail to Inverness include:
  • Dava Way (39 km or 24 miles)
    — this section of the former Highland Railway line is characterised by its steady and gentle graident, popular with off-road cyclists. This trail rises to 1,050 feet at Dava Summit, and its endpoints join the Speyside Way at Grantown-on-Spey with the Moray Coast Trail at Forres.
  • Great Glen Way (127 km or 79 miles)
    — the Great Glen is a gigantic geological fault, Scotland's very own 'Rift Valley' which bisects the Highlands diagonally from Fort William to Inverness, and holds lochs Linnhe, Lochy, Oich and Ness. The Great Glen Way is largely level and straight.
  • Moray Coast Trail (80 km or 50 miles)
    — this trail takes in a seascape of sweeping sandy beaches and rugged cliffs, dotted with picturesque fishing villages. This region is home to a range of wildlife from the bottlenose dolphin colony of the Moray Firth and the ospreys fishing in Findhorn Bay. The Moray Coast Trail joins the Dava Way and the Speyside Way to create a 95 miles (153 km) circuit.
  • Speyside Way (105 km or 65 miles)
    — following the course of the River Spey, the Speyside Way runs from Aviemore in the heart of the Cairngorms to Buckie on the Moray Coast, where walkers can join the Moray Coast Trail. Whilst it is a sensational trail for naturalists, it is also popular with whisky enthusiasts for the distilleries, among which include the best-selling whiskies in the world of Glenlivet and Glenfiddich.

See the Scottish Natural Heritage - Discover Scotland's Great Trails to download the guide.

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
• Castle Wynd, Inverness
• Hedgehogs, heroes, owls and axes - Explore the art, history and heritage of the Highlands. Explore Scottish history and discover how the highlands are linked with the rest of the world. Have the opportunity to get face to face with a pine marten and scratch a badger's belly. Experience Highland contemporary art and crafts and unlock a medieval chest - or just have a cup of tea.
Loch Ness
• Loch Ness is a magical lake in the Highlands of Scotland. The lake was made famous because of the legendary Loch Ness Monster Nessie, said to have lived and for many believers still living there. Yet the lake is more then a legend, being home to numerous wildlife and great destination for bird watchers.

The start of Loch Ness is the village of Lochend on the north-western side of the loch. Further along is Abriachan and Drumnadrochit. In Drumnadrochit you can visit the Loch Ness exhibitions and see a life size statue of the Loch Ness monster. There is even said to be a resident ghost in the Benleva Hotel.

Along the banks of Loch Ness, not far from Drumnadrochit, on a rocky promontory, you will see the impressive ruins of Castle Urquhart. The site also provides panoramic view of Loch Ness.

Continuing on is the village of Invermoriston, then Fort Augustus at the most southern tip of Loch Ness. Fort Augustus offers stunning views up Loch Ness, with many great walks and an excellent golf course.
The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition
• Drumnadrochit
• The exhibition was opened by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It takes visitors through seven themed areas on a journey from the dawn of time to the third millennium.
The National Trust for Scotland
• If you are interested in the historic and cultural heritage of Scotland, including Inverness, visit the national trust site for information. The website has a quick search as well as a route planner to assist visitors when planning to visit a destination. You can even search for events happening in your destination.
Scotland's Castle Trail
• Whilst Aberdeenshire is known as Scotland’s Castle Country, there are castles throughout Scotland. For visitors to Inverness the nearest castle include:
  1. Inverness Castle
    • 41 Castle Street, Inverness
    • Inverness Castle sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness, in Inverness, Scotland. The site of the castle has seen many incarnations with a number of builds dating back to the original 12th century defensive structure. The red sand stone structure evident today was built in 1836 by architect William Burn.

    Today, it houses the Inverness Sheriff Courthouse and County Hall. All that remains of the medieval castle are a deep resorted well and part of the bastion wall. Whilst the castle itself is not open to the public, the grounds are.
  2. Cawdor Castle
    • Nairn, Scotland
    • The magical name of Cawdor is romantically linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth. A superb fairy-tale Castle, and just what every visitor is looking for... Scottish history that you can touch and see and sense for yourself. Cawdor Castle is not another cold monument, but a splendid house and the home of the Cawdor family to this day.

    Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th century and was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. The ancient medieval tower was built around the legendary holly-tree. Along with the three gardens, the Cawdor Big Wood, and our their 9-hole golf course, Cawdor Castle is a truly extraordinary place.
  3. Aldourie Castle
    • This historic Castle and Estate is situated on the southern shore of Loch Ness, close to the city of Inverness, capital of the Scottish Highlands. The birthplace of James MacKintosh, Aldourie Castle and Estate offers perfect place to stay on an exclusive use basis or to celebrate a grand occasion and event, surrounded by beauty and tranquillity in a breathtaking setting.
  4. Beaufort Castle
    • Located in northern Scotland, near Beauly, Beaufort Castle is the traditional seat of the chiefs of the Clan Fraser. Beaufort Castle is located north of Kiltarlity, just 12 miles west of Inverness. The castle sits on the site of several previous castles. You can see the site from the road.
  5. Brodie Castle
    • Forres, Inverness, Nairn, Moray & The Black Isle
    • Brodie Castle stands between the towns of Nairn and Forres and close to the beaches of the Moray Firth. Set in peaceful parkland, this fine 16th-century tower house is packed with enough art and antiques to keep connoisseurs happy all day. It contains fine French furniture; English, continental and Chinese porcelain; and houses a major collection of paintings. The castle itself was home of the Brodie family until the late 20th century and much of the Laird's Wing has been kept as it was during the stylish Brodie family's use.

    In springtime the grounds are carpeted with the daffodils for which the castle is rightly famous. Guests to the Laird’s Wing can enjoy full access to the magnificent grounds throughout their stay.
  6. Castle Urquhart
    • Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness
    • On a rocky promontory, along the banks of Loch Ness, not far from Drumnadrochit, you will see the impressive ruins of Castle Urquhart. The site also provides panoramic view of Loch Ness.

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• Inverness Events

Scotland Events
Inverness Festivals
• The official website for the Inverness Festivals. A must visit site to see what is happening and when.
Inverness Whisky Festival
• See website for exact dates
• The Inverness Whisky Festival celebrates our national drink within the fantastic surroundings of Bogbain Farm, 3 miles south of Inverness. Live music, talks, tastings, great food and of course, the all important water of life: the Inverness Whisky Festival is a feast for all the senses.
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• July Events
The Inverness Highland Games & Armed Forces Day
• July (see website for exact dates)
• Founded in 1822 our Games are one of the most spectacular traditional Gatherings staged in Scotland and are one of the highlights of any visit to the Highland Capital. Attracting thousands of spectators there is the parade, the presentation ceremony, athletics and the heavy events. Visitors from around the world can see the real Highland Fling, Highland Dancers, massed pipes and drums. A must experience on everyones calendar.
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• September Events
Loch Ness Beer Festival
• Beleva Hotel, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness
• September
• A week of Loch Ness plus Beer plus Music plus Food plus Fun... what more can you wish for? First held in 2002, the Loch Ness Beer Festival is the longest running Beer Festival in the Highlands of Scotland. There is live music, some traditional Scottish music, some folk and pop, some local jazz, plus the sometimes popular Steve's Pub Quiz, Pool Tournament, Poke Championship and a selection of guest breweries... see website for details.
Loch Ness Marathon
• September (see website for exact dates)
• A Monster Race… running alongside the shores of the world’s most famous loch.

Loch Ness is one of the best-known destinations in the world. Its beautiful scenery and the centuries-old mystery of the Loch Ness monster have attracted visitors from around the world for years.

The monster is not the only long-running legend in the area, as Loch Ness is also home to one of the best marathons in the UK. It is the biggest in Scotland which takes place in a rural setting, and brings lots of opportunities for all kinds of runners to take part – either in the marathon or one of the associated running events.
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• Inverness Distance

Distance to Inverness
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Inverness:
From Miles Km
• Aberdeen 103.55 166.65
• Dumfries 234.27 377.01
• Dundee 138.23 222.45
• Edinburgh 155.64 250.48
• Glasgow 169.55 272.87
• Isle of Skye 118.91 191.36
• Stranraer 255.19 410.69
Distances given are only approximation, there may be alternative routes to your destination. You should verified with the appropriate road authority and/or maps.
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