The first ever sighting of the Loch Ness Monster was not in fact in Loch Ness but the River Ness
View of the River ness and church
Inverness is known as the ‘Capital of the Highlands’, as the region’s largest settlement and only city. With a population of around 47,000, it is small in comparison to its Central Belt counterparts, but contains the highest density of shops, cafes and restaurants in the Highlands. With excellent transport links by bus, train or plane, the city is a popular first stop for many visiting the Highlands. While there are many fine restaurants, music venues and more in Inverness, it is also surrounded by beautiful countryside and has excellent road links in all directions – so if you choose to base yourself here, we recommend exploring the surrounding area too!
In the town centre you’ll find art galleries, cafes, a museum and a castle, the viewing tower of which you can climb and admire the city and the surrounding hills. With a leisure centre, climbing wall, bowling alley, trampoline park, a cinema and more, there’s plenty to entertain the kids on a rainy day.
If you want to stretch your legs, there are lovely walks both within the city and a short drive out of town. We recommend the Ness Islands walk, a pretty walkway hopping over the wooded islands in the River Ness. Climb Ord Hill, just over the Kessock Bridge to the north, and peeks through the pine forests give you fine views out over the Moray Firth.
Inverness is surrounded by beautiful countryside dotted with attractive villages. Explore east to Moray and its pretty fishing villages, the Black Isle with its famous wildlife, or Beauly, full of independent arts and crafts shops and delis. Dores, just to the west, affords spectacular views down the length of Loch Ness (with an excellent lochside pub for good measure!).
Inverness provides plenty of choice for accommodation, whether you’re looking for a hotel, B&B, hostel or campsite – there is plenty of choice either in the city centre or in a quieter corner outside the city.
If you’re looking to base yourself somewhere with excellent transport links in all directions to explore the Highlands, with access to shops, restaurants and entertainment, Inverness is for you.
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