Inverness is a large city on the outskirts of various towns like Dingwall, Evanton, Elgin, Nairn, Fortrose and Rosemarkie among others. It has a largish castle and a reasonable shopping centre called the Eastgate centre. Inside the Eastgate centre are a large amount of shops on two floors. These include Marks and Spencer's and Debenhams, HMV, and loads of smaller stores like Monsoon and the Body Shop. There are numerous coffee shops and eateries within the city centre so there is no reason you should go hungry while you are shopping. There are numerous gift shops in the area too.
While mooching around Inverness the other day we found a nice little shop called the oil and vinegar shop who sold oils and other Mediterranean goodies like olives different spreads and breads and biscuits. The smells were enticing and the olive oils and vinegars were unusual. We found some lovely tasting vinegar with strawberry essence in it. Ideal for salads and ice creams we were told. There were oils with garlic herbs and peppers too and so much more. We fell in love with this little shop and will be going back again. The flavours were amazing and you had little taster pots that you could try before you bought the items at reasonable prices so next time your in Inverness look out for them.
In the Victoriana arcade you will find various gift shops and craft shops alongside kilt shops and other interesting places to visit there are many jewellers there and a tobacco shop and a specialized chocolate shop that of course I smelled out pretty quickly. The chocolates are Belgian chocolates and you have a wide variety to choose from. Nice for a little treat, or a special prezzie for someone.
Inverness has various offshoots to it like the various retail parks around the outer limits which are also included in the Inverness boundaries. These include Tesco, Borders, Maplin and the Vue cinema, Argos and various shoe shops.
The other retail park includes another Tesco a varied amount of shoe shops and Matalan a book shop and some health clubs.
Inverness itself is a growing city and is expanding rapidly over the years. It is a beautiful city in its own right and you can witness many different events within it at various times of the year. Like the Highland games in Bught park. This is a gathering of the clans for sport, dancing and other entertaining qualities. This in my view should not to be missed.
The Castle itself now houses the sheriff court but you can still wander around certain parts of it like the Drum tower which house an exhibition portraying the medieval castle this is open daily from 10.30 to 5.30 in the summer months.
The people are friendly and welcome and relish tourist activity as it keeps this city alive.
There is so much to do and see in and around Inverness it would be an ideal location for a holiday as there are so many bed and breakfast places and hotels around the city and in it.
I like to wander around Inverness during the weekdays as it is less busy then and you can see lots of different shops on the outside of the Eastgate centre as well as on the inside. there is so much to do in Inverness it would take much more than just a day to do it.
There is also the Bowling rink and skating rink on the outskirts of the city which is great for an hour or twos fun.
In Rosemarkie you have sights like the Fairy glen with remarkable waterfalls to visit. There are Whisky trails all through the area leading on to outlaying villages around Inverness.
I hope you will come and visit this fair city one day and enjoy it as much as we all do.
Inverness is the Capital of the Highlands. It is a very small City with a small population compared to all other cities. It is busy as well as a quiter life compared to other cities. There is plenty to see and do with cruises down Loch Ness maybe to be the first person to catch a photo of Nessie, with stunning views of Urquhart Castle it''s definately something you wouldn''t want to miss.
There are many shops, chain shops as well as many small independant shops. Most shops are based in the Centre of Inverness, there is the Eastgate Shopping Centre, High Street and also the Victorian Market to walk about and browse the shops, further afield there is the Inverness Retail Park with some shops there and the cinema for Inverness, this is also a nice place to go shopping but is always busy.
Inverness has a lot of nice places to dine out at, with many along by the waterside with lovely views in the evening with the River Ness lit up, the nightlife is usally quite busy on a Friday and Saturday night, it has a few night clubs and many smaller pubs with all the same happy buzz in them.There is always friendly atmosphere in Inverness.
There is also a large park about a mile from the Centre where there is a lovely walk as well was a large pond where you can rent a small rowing boat. The park for the kids has plenty to offer with a small train that you sit on and it takes you round the track for about 5 mins, the kids love it and so do the big kids. Near the park is the swimming pool - The Aquadome which has a fun pool with three flumes, and an outside part to the pool as well, there is also a separate pool for people to be able to swim lengths. Nice weekend trip away
Average food, slow service and manager couldnt smile all evening. We were glad to get out of there. We had a group of 8 and half the meals turned up then a big delay then the other half. all they could say was "well, we are very busy and it is a saturday".
Inverness is the self proclaimed capital of the Highlands, located at the head of the Great Glen and on the shores of the Moray Firth. It was granted city status by the Queen in December 2000, and was recently named the fastest growing city in Western Europe. Ive visited Inverness a lot over the years, and I never fail to have a good time. If youre planning a trip to the North of Scotland then it is definitely worth staying there for a night or two.
***** Where to stay*****
Inverness has accommodation to suit every budget. If you dont mind bunking down with a bunch of strangers, then the Inverness Tourist Hotel will suit you down to the ground. It is a new hostel situated near the bus station, and has mixed dorms so dont go packing a sexy negligee to sleep in unless you fancy giving the boys a thrill. If you fancy something a bit more upmarket, then the Drumossie Hotel might be more your cup of tea. It is based 3 miles outside Inverness and has four poster beds, which are always good for the ambiance on a dirty weekend. Inverness has hundreds of B&Bs and family run guest houses in and around the city centre, and there are some lovely ones along the river bank on Ness Walk.
*****Pubs and Clubs*****
Inverness is a great place for a night out. Johnny Foxes is a really popular Irish pub and restaurant, and is packed out most weekends. They usually have pretty good live entertainment with bands offering a range of traditional Scottish and Irish music. Hootanannys is also quite a good pub for live music, and I think it has a better atmosphere. After the pubs close it is of course customary to crawl to the nearest nightclub. In Inverness, Gs (cheesy Gs as it is known to the Invernesians) is my nightclub of choice. It is actually pretty grotty, but the music is cheesy and thats just what Im looking for after 15 vodkas. You dont have to get too dressed up to get in either, so leave your tie at home. If you like all that dance music and are into the pill popping that usually goes with it, then you would be better off going to Blue. Just remember to keep one hand on your wallet and dont bother wearing trainers because you wont get past the bouncers.
Inverness has all the usual high street eateries like McDonalds and Subway etc but you should try something different when you are on your hols! Abstract is an award winning French restaurant situated on the banks of the river Ness. It was featured in the last series of Ramseys Kitchen Nightmares, but dont let that put you off as I hear it is fantastic now! Riva Ristorante Italiano is also on the river bank, and it is a lovely restaurant that serves traditional and modern Italian dishes. Above Riva is Pazzos, a lively pizzeria serving hand thrown pizzas. If you and your friends cant agree on where to go then Dickens on Church Street serves a bit of everything! It has the biggest menu that Ive ever seen in my life, which suggests that nothing is fresh, but I was pleasantly surprised when I ate there.
*****Things To Do*****
The thing that most people associate with Inverness is probably the Loch Ness Monster. If you do want to go monster spotting then this will require a short trip out of Inverness. Puffin Express (01463 717181) run full and half day bus tours to Loch Ness from March to mid October, with some special trips over the Christmas period. You can stop off at Glen Urquhart Castle, and visit the official monster museum at Drumnadrochit. Loch Ness is a truly beautiful location, and although all that dinosaur talk is nonsense there is something very mysterious about the Loch. It stretches a distance of 24 miles, and is 754 feet deep, so who knows what could be lurking in there! Jacobite Cruises (01463 233 9990) are based in Inverness and offer cruises up and down Loch Ness.
You could actually go on a variety of day trips while you are based in Inverness. John OGroats Ferries (01955 611535) arrange day trips and tours of Orkney from June until September. It is also possible to go to the Isle of Lewis for the day.
Aviemore is about a half hour drive from Inverness. It is a really popular holiday destination for sporty types, as you can go on guided walks and climbing trips, and skiing and snowboarding is very popular there too. I dont particularly like Aviemore, but tourists seem to love it!
History lovers can take a trip to Culloden Battlefield, which is the location of the last battle fought on British soil, during the Jacobite era. There is a visitor centre with a collection of items from the period, and you can see the memorials and clan graves on the battlefield itself. The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery covers all aspects of Highland life, and has impressive displays of Highland weaponry, bagpipes and costume. It is closed for refurbishment until mid January 2007.
Another popular visitor attraction is Eden Court Theatre (also closed for refurbishment until next year!) which is the largest entertainment venue in the Highlands. The theatre has a varied programme of Scottish drama, modern dance, ballet and childrens shows.
If you have children with you, then they would enjoy a trip to the Aquadome which has a 25m pool and enough water rides to keep them entertained for hours. They may also like a trip to the Vue cinema (yes, I know you can do that anywhere) which is out at the retail park.
Scotland is golf country, and Inverness is no exception to that. There are three golf courses in the city, and if that is not enough for you, then you can always travel to Nairn to have a go on their championship courses. If you prefer watching other people doing sports, then you could go and see the Premier Division Football team Inverness Caledonian (Cally) Thistle. I remember when they famously gubbed Celtic in the Scottish Cup (Twice actually! 2000 and 2003) supercallywentballisticcelticareatrocious was the headline of the moment and Rangers fans were in their element. Never underestimate the little guys!
*****A Bonnie City*****
Inverness is great, and I would strongly recommend a trip during the summertime because if you go during the winter then many attractions will be closed. The city itself is so picturesque with the lovely red sandstone castle dominating the skyline, and the surrounding area boasts wonderful scenery. The local people are very friendly, and the City is not so big and busy that youd be unable to relax. If you want to see the real Highlands of Scotland, you should travel a bit further towards Fort William and beyond to discover the truly magnificent scenery. Inverness is fantastic, but it is only a small part of what the Highlands have to offer.
Inverness, where do I start? My friend and I where travelling round Scotland, to Edinburgh, Inverness and then onto Glasgow before returning to Wales. The journey to Edinburgh was a nightmare, the trains we were on were rerouted, cancelled, running on half power, the air-conditioning failed, and to top it off 3 out of 5 engines on one train failed. (This all happened between Carlisle and Edinburgh, on the hottest day of the year). So you can see I was a bit sceptical when we had to continue up to Inverness 3 days later, 4 hours on the train, I was worried that we would make it out alive!!!! The train journey was perfect, nothing went wrong, and Inverness train station is at the end of the high street, so in easy walking distance for everything. We were feeling lazy so we got a taxi to out B&B, taxis around the central area (where pretty much everything is costs about £4max). Attractions in Inverness: Inverness castle: cost £4 per adult. Quite good. You get to sign up to become a recruit (males) baggage (females) or a brat (under 16) for about 40minutes, you get to hear about the different roles of the people during that era, it’s all done in a very light hearted manner. (quite informative, good actors, bit abrupt ending though, and you don’t get to see much of the actual castle) I would go again. Davy’s ghost: the Inverness ghost walking tour, cost £6.50 per adult, this is actually quite a good tour, leaving from outside the Inverness tourism office at 7.30pm each night, and you get a free drink at the end. I was to tired to take in much for it, but my friend said it was good. City bus tours: 1. Inverness centre, didn’t actually get to go on this one, have been told it’s quite good, £7.50 per adult, it’s a hop on hop off bus tour so you can go and see the attractions then hop onto the next bus. The ticket is valued for 24hours, so it you to just have a short rest or someplace to eat your
lunch, this is for you. 2. Highlands tour, this I went on, it was very good, this is also a hop on hop off valid for 24hours tip: don’t sit at the top back of the bus, it goes onto a duel carriage way and goes pretty fast, you wont be able to breath!!) the front top is great! You get to see Culloden field, where the last battle was fort on British soil, cowder castle, which is only open in the summer months as lady cawder, lives there during the winter. (if you show you bus ticket you get a discount) its’ absolutely lovely. Completely in tact. Well worth a visit. Also, you get to see many other sights around the highlands. Tours: Jacobite cruises: there are a few loch ness tours but I’m only going to mention this cruise company as I was extremely impressed by them. They tried to help us in every way, you couldn’t get nicer people. This combined with the breath taking sights of the loch, heaven. We enjoyed it so much we went on another cruise with the Jacobite firm the next day! There are six different cruises with them, all reasonable priced and will probably suit most need's, absolutely fantastic! There are also other tours: (these I did not go on, but have been told about) The Orkney islands: this tour coasts about £45 per adult, and takes a full day, I have been told (chatting to other travellers) that it’s very good but if your working on a budget, you can get a city link travel card which costs about the same (cheaper for students and young people) and it gives you unlimited travel for 2 or 3 days. (Also if you do get a travel card you can get money off hostels and other things) The dolphin tour: I’ve been told that this is actually very good, pretty much every time people are on the boat a dolphin is spotted, (so I’ve been told by two different people). (All information on tours can be picked up in the tourist information centre on the high street
, abo ve Bella pasta) Shopping: Inverness has most of the usual high street stores, and a few others such as James Pringles weavers (the factory is only a short drive away), so if you want a winter woollies for your self or your gran, with nessie or something on go there. If you want to find out your clan history go to the clan shop next to pound stretcher. Pubs: The nightlife in Inverness is actually quite good, there are absolutely loads of pubs and bars, the best pub there in my opinion is the Irish pub, for the life of me I can’t remember the name, it’s opposite the Pringles shop on ness drive I think, it’s absolutely fantastic, live music and a packed friendly atmosphere, you have to get there early and get a booth as it fills up incredibly quickly! Another good pub is bar 27 (I think it’s called) a nice small pub, can get very packed, drinks are reasonable, nice local, pre club atmosphere. Then if you’re ready to party till 3 or later then there are 3 clubs for you to choose from. Myself I preferred barbazzas it’s a bar/quite large dance floor, pub, very nice, with a very large quite couch area in the back, very comfy! Only open till one though, and slightly more expensive drinks! Food: There are loads of fast food places, including MacDonald’s, it’s like most cities, the best place for fast food pizza is bicis pizza, tip: phone in your order! Accommodation: There are many B&B’s in Inverness, also there are many hostels if your on a budget, (the cheapest I saw was £8.50 a night) if you wish to find a B& B the easiest way we found was to go to the Inverness tourist information centre you pay a £3 charge and they find you a place, it’s usually quite good, but if they offer you a place with a sweet sounding man, with a curfew beginning with the letters Fe, biggest tip: Don’t go there. They found us another place and it was p
erfect! So do give them a go! Overall, I think that Inverness is an absolutely fantastic place with lovely people, I made a couple of good friends there! It is defiantly somewhere I wish to go back to sometime in the near future!
Inverness is the most boring,ugly,unimaginative,out dated place in Britain. I cannot understand why, year after year hordes of tourists come to wander round this "city" , the capital of the Highlands. Inverness has a main high street and a shopping mall with a few of the more usual chain stores(Boots, Marks & Spencers,Superdrug etc).Other shops are basically aimed at tourists..full of tartan junk souvineers. The are also a mass of charity shops selling over priced second hand goods.There are no alternative,unusual shops although D.R Records,sells cool tshirts and posters. Recently the high steet has been repaved, meaning there is now nowhere to sit as the seating area were taken away to "prevent drunks and young people gathering"!!! The are no amusing things to do in Inverness.Everything is aimed at tourists and the attractions that we do have are being taken away(the skate ramp at Castle Heather,for instance).A couple of nightclubs exist but they cater only for certain groups and are reputed for their fights and violence. Food wise, there are places like McDonalds and Burger King with Costa Coffee and Starbucks recently opened.The are a few good restaurants but these are all expensive. My advice to you is to stay well away from this hell hole.There is nothing to do or see and anyone who comes to live here will grow to regret it.
Inverness may seem like a slightly odd place for a honeymoon, but for my husband Dave (tekk) and I it was pretty amazing. We were more or less on a holiday already – after having lived in Kent for quite some time (well, 23 years in my husband’s case) we decided to come and stay in Stirling, Scotland for a couple of months. After getting better jobs and making more close friends than we expected, a couple of months turned into quite a bit longer, and after a surprise proposal on Valentines Day… But I digress. :) As we were saving up for our ‘main’ holiday this year – a trip round the continent in October – we decided to go somewhere a little closer to home. Inverness sounded the most interesting of the places we hadn’t been to yet, so after an original but thoroughly enjoyable wedding day (which I may say a little more about in my future op on Stirling), off we went. It was quite late by the time we got there, and as you can imagine exploring the town was not the first thing on our minds ;), so off we headed for the hostel. Hostel, I hear you ask? On a honeymoon? Well you see, for the previous three months we had been living and working at the Willy Wallace Hostel (again – more about this in my Stirling op). The Ho-Ho hostel in Inverness just happens to be run by the sisters of the manager of the Willy Wallace, so we got a fantastic deal on the double room. As hostels go the Ho-Ho was pretty good – a really spacious common room (my only gripe is that they had many small tables instead of a couple of large ones – I find the latter encourages more conversation), a well stocked kitchen, good bathrooms, internet access and laundry. A dorm bed is £10/night with discounts for longer-term guests, twins are £12/person and doubles £14/person. They’re also often looking for staff – unpaid but you get free rent in exchange for manning reception or cleaning
for 20 hours each week (the work isn’t hard and lets face it, a large amount of your time would probably be spent in the common room anyway). So after waking up bright and early the next day (yeah right – sometime after midday I think) we set off to explore the town. Inverness has a good atmosphere about it – it’s quite a lot bigger than Stirling but without being as manic and fast-paced as Edinburgh or Glasgow. There are loads of interesting little shops selling everything from souvenirs to indian spices, antiques, collectibles, and cheap clothing. Inverness Castle wasn’t really that exciting – more of a house really. I was more interested in the huge statue of Flora McDonald, the woman famed for saving Bonny Prince Charlie by taking him ‘Over the Seas to Skye’. (Apparently she’s supposed to be my great-great-great-etc grandmother or something – according to my Mum anyway.) Just down a little from this is a lovely little park where you can just sit and look at the river – there’s a lovely view of the mountains. A great place for a picnic! Just near the castle, on the Castle Wynd off Bridge Street, is the Tourist Information Centre and the museum. The latter was fairly interesting though it was more of a general museum than being specifically about Inverness. But hey, it was free. That night we had dinner at Littlejohn’s (28-30 Church Street), which I have to say was superb. For starters we had garlic breaded mushrooms and mussels with tomato and herbs. Dave was a bit sceptical about the mussels at first, but we both enjoyed them thoroughly. For mains I had Linguine with Lime Marinated Chicken and Dave had Steak Fajitas, both of which were delicious and very filling. Add to this Coconut Ice-cream with Malibu for dessert, as well as a couple of pints each and the total (including tip and VAT) came to under £40. Not bad for the best meal I’ve had
in a very long time! We were planning to go out and play pool or something afterwards, but being Saturday night the pubs all seemed pretty packed and we just weren’t in the mood to be around crowds of people. I’ve heard that Inverness is pretty good for clubbing though, and judging by the scores of girls in boob-tubes and heels and guys in collared shirts we passed on the street I’d guess that’s probably true. The next day, after checking out and leaving our bags to be looked after by the hostel (they do this for free), we decided to go on a Loch Ness tour. (There are several of these that all leave from just outside the Tourist Information Centre and cost around £6 per person or a bit less for students.) First stop was the site of Cawdor Castle, former home of Macbeth (yes he was apparently a real person). There’s not really much to see here now – it’s become a residential area – but the driver was quite full of interesting information. Next we went on to the Tartan Mill, where we were subjected to a rather long-winded lecture on the history of tartan by a man who claimed to be 90 but looked at least 20 years younger. He tended to ramble off topic quite a bit, but then he did tell us a few interesting facts – for example, did you know that women’s urine is still sometimes used to treat the tartan material? (You learn something new every day…) We passed several other places, including a hill that was supposedly inhabited by fairies, as the driver continued to tell us the history behind them. Then finally… our first view of Loch Ness. It wasn’t really quite what I expected. It was a gorgeously bright, sunny day, so the Loch reflected a brilliant blue. I guess I’d pictured it as being more misty and mysterious – not something that looked like a holiday resort (which, thinking about it, I guess it actually was). We had a walk
along the banks and tried to spot the monster – but no luck. Next stop was the Loch Ness Visitors Information Centre, where you could buy exorbitantly priced t-shirts, coasters and fluffy ‘Nessie’ toys. The most interesting part of the place was the giant concrete statue of the Loch Ness Monster out the front – something to take pictures with at least. We stopped by some old ruins as well, but as it was quite a walk Dave and I decided to skip this and just viewed from afar. I’d been quite disappointed that due to the foot-and-mouth outbreak it was unlikely that we’d see any Highland Cows (or Hairy Moos as my friend calls them). But luckily for me, we did still manage to catch a glimpse of a herd in a field we passed (though unfortunately they were too far away to take a photo). Dave was really sweet though and bought me a cute little stuffed toy one (now named Hamish the Hairy Moo). That was pretty much the end of the tour – the bus dropped us back in Inverness, where we had a late lunch and wandered town a bit more before catching the bus back to Stirling. All in all, a most enjoyable trip, and a relaxing honeymoon. I’d definitely recommend Inverness to anyone looking for a weekend getaway! For more information on the Ho-Ho Hostel go to www.hostel.f9.co.uk For tourist information on Inverness and other parts of Scotland go to www.scottish-info.com/Tourism and follow the links.