Favourite Place Inverness - Gateway to the Highlands
Inverness means "Mouth of the River Ness", and is generally considered to be the Gateway to the Highlands. You can reach it easily by road or rail (from Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen), or by sleeper car from London's Euston Station.
Inverness is now a large and growing metropolis, albeit a very attractive metropolis, and it has a busy airport which is served by Loganair, Easyjet, Ryanair and Highland Airways, Aer Aran and BMI. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe and is the centre of commerce and industry for the Scottish Highlands. It has a great deal to offer the visitor, besides access to the best of Scotland's scenery.
Located on the the Moray firth with the broad and sparkling River Ness flowing through the city, Inverness has the best of Highland City life and access to some of the most beautiful mountains and glens, all within easy reach.
Whether you want to shop at the Eastgate Shopping Centre, visit the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery or take a stroll by the river - there is something in Inverness for everyone. Churches on the River is a beautiful walk by the River Ness and its oldest churches. Visit www.churchesinverness.com for more pictures of the walk and details of the churches.
There is a picturesque castle, although by Scotland's standards it was built fairly recently, (in 1835) on the site of an old castle dating from the 11th century which was destroyed, blown up in fact, after the Jacobite Rebellion.
The Nevis Range, including Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is some 63 miles from Inverness. Some of Scotland's most beautiful glens such as Glen Affric, Strathglass and Strathfarrar are located just to the north. About 30 miles from Inverness is one of the most famous lakes in the world. Loch Ness, is home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Visit Drumnadrochit on the edge of Loch Ness for the exhibition and all the latest information about monsters, history and sightings. More about all those attractions coming soon....
Inverness is also close to all five of Scotland's major ski resorts, Aviemore, which has Scotland's only funicular railway, Glen Coe, and of course, the Nevis Range.
Funicular Railway at Aviemore
Six miles outside the town, you can visit the famous -or infamous - Battlefield of Culloden, location of the last major battle fought on British soil, in 1746. This battle saw the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the end of Jacobite hopes. After this battle, which took place between the younger son of George II, (the Duke of Cumberland, or "Butcher Cumberland") and the Highland Scots, the kilt and pipes were banned, and the clan system all but destroyed.
The very ground seems to have absorbed the emotional toll of this battle, and there is a tangible feeling of melancholy here that lingers on, even to this present day.
The Battle of Culloden
As if in lasting defiance of this ancient ban, nowadays Inverness is an important centre for bagpipe players and lovers, since every September the city hosts the Northern Meeting, the most prestigious solo piping competition in the world. (See the U-Tube Video on my Bagpipe Music Page- Listen to the music if you love bagpipes, you can always turn the sound down if there's a non-bagpipe fan in the room!).
There's plenty of things to do in Inverness, before you go off into the mountains. Inverness has lots of golfing and watersports. if you like the open water, you can also cruise the Moray Firth on the lookout for bottlenose dolphins.
If you are into caravanning and camping, The Bucht Caravan and Camping site just outside Inverness is open from March to October. If the outdoor life is not for you, the Pottery House is a cozy little bed and breakfast. Visit their website at www.potteryhouse.co.uk.
Inverness High Street
Hootnanny's Scottish Celilidh Cafe bar is a lively night spot, but closes at 12p.m. for you folks who like to stay out all night, I just wanted to let you know.
If you want to do something special and be away from the noise and bustle, the Culloden House Hotel is three miles out of the town and comes highly recommended.
Here is a map of the area which will give you some idea of the layout of the surrounding countryside. Loch Ness is about 23 miles from Inverness, and Jacobite Tours runs regular buses from here and also boats which tour the loch. Visit www.jacobite.co.uk for more information.
about the Loch Ness monster...
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