Named after that very famous Loch, Inverness has the highest quality of life rating out of all major Scottish cities. It was only granted it’s city charter in 2000, but it is a central point for the whole of the Scottish Highlands. This city is the perfect place to travel to experience authentic Highland culture but not getting lost on the moors in the process.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 999
- Language: English
- Currency: British Pound
- Country Code: GB
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 51,830
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- If you get to Inverness and are unsure of what to do and where to go: ask a local. The front desk of a hotel or a pub worker will likely be aware of good place to go for tourists whilst having some insights with their own favourite parts of the city.
- The only real and consistent issue reported about Inverness is the amount of drunk people out and about when the pubs close. Large amounts of very drunk people around at night can be- at the least- quite intimidating so try to avoid the city centre late on Friday and Saturday night.
For the Emergency services just dial 999 from any phone, for not so serious situations please dial 101.
Hospitals in Inverness
Raigmore Hospital: 01463 704000
Inverness Information Centre: 1463 252401
Inverness has a railway station and an airport. There is a direct train to London, the Caledonian Sleeper, and you can take flights to Bristol, Belfast and Amsterdam. There are rural bus services across the highlands and also bookable bus tours.
Inverness Airport: 01667 464000
Inverness Rail Station: ScotRail
What’s the weather like?
Inverness is a northern river city of Scotland and therefore will be quite chilly and windy most of the time. Its proximity to the water also increases humidity. It rains often, especially in October and August.
The average summer temperature is 15°C whilst the average winter temperature is 3 °C.
For the most reasonable weather, visit in late spring and summer.
Dress and plan accordingly.
What are some safety top tips?
People go to Inverness to experience the Scottish Highlands. The dramatic and wild countryside has to be seen to be believed but you must be sensible about how you go about seeing it.
Ill-prepared and inexperienced tourists often get lost or worse- find themselves in danger when caught out by a storm- when exploring the surrounding moors and mountains of Inverness. In this scenario, not only are you a danger to yourself but also the mountain rescue volunteers who must come to take you back to safety.
Mountain climbing and orienteering are not spur of the moment activities and the Scottish Highlands are, more often than not, for experienced outdoorspeople. If you are a beginner and do wish to explore around Inverness in this way- book a walking tour with a guide.
How safe is Inverness?
Inverness is renowned for being an exceptionally safe city.
As with all tourist hot spots, there is a chance that you will encounter pick-pockets (very few are reported in Inverness but it can still happen) so please remain vigilant. Keep your valuables securely on your person and do not flash your cash around.
Every culture has its customs and traditions, they have been handed down the generations and are always held in high regards by the local residents.
From war games to good natured competition, the Highland Games have always been an important part of Scottish culture. The original clans used them to compete and prove superiority and now it is a fun way to keep up with tradition. Cheer for the shot putters and be in awe of the caber toss. In contrast to these greats shows of strength, there is solo bag-piping and traditional highland dancing.
Started in 1788 at one of the darkest points of Inverness history, the northern meeting was designed to bring people together to socialise and enjoy themselves. Put on your best highland dress and learn to dance the reel as this marriage of old and new traditions is a must when in the north. Where else can you attend an actual proper ball?
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Started in only 2004, this festival has exploded in popularity and has consistently sold out in advance every year since 2008. With varied artists from punk to popular and a family friendly campsite where under 12s get in free, there really is something for everyone. There are also comedy acts, cabaret shows, kids workshops and music classes. in previous years there has been roller-disco, ice-skating and a zip-wire; anything can happen and its sure to be a blast!
Time to get your craft on! Socks, jumpers, blankets and soft toys-whether you’re buying selling or wanting to make them, this is the place for you! There will be stalls and stalls of craft material and product to peruse, from trusted brands to independent sellers. Meet well-known creators and designers or socialise with fellow crafters at the evening events- there’s lots to do!
Where should I visit?
In production since 1838, the Glen Ord Distillery resides in the region of the highlands known as The Black Isle. There are tours available of the distillery as well as a shop. These tours provide the opportunity to taste samples and learn about the production of malt whiskey. Tours range from the full experience Grain to Glass tour at £60 to mini tours available at £3. The distillery has been rated 5-stars by the Scottish Tourist Board for Visitor Attraction.
Cawdor Castle is a true fairy-tale castle with Scottish history that you can see and touch for yourself. The castle dates back from the 14th Century and contains an ancient medieval tower, surrounding the legendary Holly tree. Often associated with Macbeth, the 5th Earl of Cawdor detested the connection as Inverness Castle is where this piece of history would have taken place. There are many different gardens to explore, a nature trail and even a few shops.
What should I do?
If you want an action packed day, head to Wildwoodz. This large outdoor facility is made up of different sections designed for paintball, laser tag, axe throwing and archery. Every adventure can be tailored for adults, families or just kids, with difficulty and safety taken into account. There is also the option to learn bushcraft for a real survival experience!
The centre resides just on the banks of Lock Ness and holds all the info you need. Learn about the wider history of the Loch and the surrounding area. The centre also discusses the Loch Ness Monster debate quite uniquely. This is done by exploring both multiple reliable eye-witnesses and some classic photography as well as detailing hoaxes and illusions from over the years. The centre also offers cruises and tours on the water so you can get up close and personal with the famed Loch.
Where should I eat?
Built in the mid-1700s, this historic building has maintained its charm even in modern times. Overlooking the Ness river and Inverness Castle, this venue is popular and loved by both locals and tourists. The owners pride themselves on their quality meals made up of locally sourced ingredients and their revolving list of Scottish ales. If its sunny, you can sit in the beer garden and soak up the views. If its displaying some famous Scottish weather then there’s plenty of room to soak up the atmosphere inside and even try some ‘liquid sunshine’ instead.
Located on the far side of the Loch, with one of a kind breath-taking views, The Lovat guarantees a magical and unique experience. The hotel is on the site of a fort built in the 1710s and what remains of it is of national historical significance. Despite the aged setting, The Lovat is dedicated to modern fine dining and environmentally safe processes. Offering unique but still authentic Scottish cuisine, The Lovat is known for its expertly presented delicious food (the chef has a particularly popular Instagram to demonstrate this).