Renowned for being the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness is a charming city that still retains its traditional market town feel.
The city is expecting a surge in visitors this year, and it’s easy to see why. From fascinating museums, to ancient battlefields, to the mystery of the Loch Ness monster, Inverness really does have something for everyone.
Video sourced from Visit Scotland
Inverness Castle is located in the heart of the city, overlooking the River Ness. The site has been home to several castles dating back to the 11th century, and is thought to have been the location for King Duncan’s death in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
The red sandstone building that stands today was built in 1836 by architect William Burn, and is currently used as a courthouse. Although the castle itself isn’t open to the public, the Drum Tower has a great exhibition on its history – and you’re welcome to explore the grounds and admire the fantastic view over Inverness.
Ship Space is an interactive maritime museum located along the Caledonian Canal, close to the centre of Inverness. The centrepiece of Ship Space is the 1:10 Titanic scale model, where you can go inside and explore the Parisian style café, the bridge, and the Marconi wireless room. There’s also a replica of a Nautile submarine, which is one of the mini vessels that dived three miles down to the submerged Titanic.
The museum also features a full-size replica of the Star of Hope, the first Herring Drifter from Buckie, and the chance to step on board the Guiding Star. This West Coast creel fishing boat was the last one to be built at Inverness’ Thornbush slipway. There’s also a 45 foot RNLI Watson Class lifeboat and much more to explore.
Just a short drive from the centre of Inverness is Fort George, one of the most outstanding artillery fortifications in the whole of Europe. Originally built in 1746 as a safe base for King George II’s army during the Battle of Culloden, Fort George gives an amazing insight into 18th century military life.
Video sourced from Glasgow1234
From the garrison buildings, to the artillery defences, to the fascinating collection of arms, and even a dog cemetery, there’s plenty to explore at Fort George. The Highlander’s Museum, which is part of the fort, is one of Scotland’s largest regimental museums – and is a fantastic place to learn about the history of Fort George.
Once you’ve discovered the history behind the Battle of Culloden at Fort George, you can visit the battlefield itself. The site has been restored as closely as possible to what it would have looked like back on 16th April 1746, when one of the most famous battles in Scotland’s history took place.
The Battle of Culloden was the last battle to be fought on British soil, and with over 1,200 soldiers lost in just one hour, it was a short but brutal affair. The battlefield has an excellent visitor centre, with a fully interactive exhibition complete with films and tours.
It’s recommended to make use of the audio devices which are available to take onto the battlefield, so you can understand more about the battle. It features Scottish Gaelic language, including songs and music, so you can hear what people in Inverness sounded like centuries ago.
Inverness Botanic Gardens
If you fancy some peace and tranquillity, the Inverness Botanic Gardens are just a short walk away from the bustling city centre. This sub-tropical oasis is open all year round and is home to several greenhouses, beautiful landscaped gardens, a cactus house, a fish pond, and incredible floral displays.
Although the gardens are in the Highlands of Scotland, the Tropical House feels like a rainforest due to its hot, humid temperature. The adjoining cactus house shows how these amazing plants can survive in the arid, dry desert. Locally grown plants are showcased throughout the gardens and glasshouses, and are available to buy in the sales area if you wish to take any home with you.
Loch Ness is possibly the most famous loch in Scotland, which probably has something to do with the mystery surrounding the Loch Ness Monster. There have been various alleged sightings of “Nessie” over the years, although nothing has ever been confirmed.
Inverness is only a short distance away from Loch Ness, which is the second largest loch in Scotland. It’s incredibly deep and contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. It’s the perfect place to go for a family boat trip to see if you can spot Nessie for yourself.
Video sourced from Isaac Vaughn
Do you know of any other great things to do in Inverness? If so, we’d love to hear about it over on our Twitter page.