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Inverness Scotland City Facts

I arrived in Inverness one winter night quite late. I found a hotel which was open, still. They had a room. I checked in and paid. I went up to the room. The room was cold. I asked for instructions on how to turn on the heating. I was informed that the heat was turned off at 9PM. Go figure.

And no, I did not see Nessie.




Visit Inverness

Inverness stands at the northern end of the Great Glen, astride the outlet of Loch Ness, and has long been known as the capital of the Highlands. At the very hub of the Highland communications system, the town makes an ideal touring centre for much of the Highlands.

Hub of the Highlands

The strategic importance of this site has been appreciated from earliest times as testified by the existence in the vicinity of a variety of ancient sites and monuments. St Columba is said to have visited Brude, King of the Picts, at his capital beside the Ness, although the exact site is unsure. By the 11C King Duncan (c 1010-40), made famous by Shakespeare, had his castle in the town. The town's very strategic importance was its downfall in later times when it suffered variously at the hands of the English, Bruce himself, turbulent Highland clans, the Lord of the Isles, Mary Queen of Scots' supporters and Jacobites.

The post-'15 Rising law and order policy for the Highlands enacted by General Wade included the creation of a citadel, as one of several strategic strongholds in the Highland fringes. Culloden and its tragic aftermath was the ultimate action of the '45 Rising. Such a troubled history means that Inverness has few historic buildings.

The architecture of the town of today is largely that of the 19th Century, one of expansion due in large to Telford's construction of the Caledonian Canal (1803-22) and the arrival of the railway. Inverness remains the administrative centre for both the district and region and in addition has the headquarters of the Highlands and Islands Development Board. Founded in 1965, this organisation has as its objective the promotion of the social and economic development of the aforementioned area through the financing of industry, tourism, agriculture and fishing. The Northern Meeting Piping Competitions are held annually in Eden Court Theatre and are the oldest of all piping contests dating back to 1781.

Inverness Castle

Several earlier castles have preceded the present 19th Century building which serves as court house and administrative offices. The esplanade with the statue of Flora MacDonald affords a good view of the Ness and the town.

Museum and Art Gallery - Castle Wynd

On the first floor an imaginative and well presented exhibition "Inverness. Hub of the Highlands" interprets the rich heritage of the Highlands. Topics of special local significance range from the Great Glen, the vitrified fort Craig Phadrig (visible from the window), the Picts and their surviving works, to the engineering feats of more recent times, the military roads of General Wade. Telford's Caledonian Canal and the Kessock Bridge. The upper floor has exhibits on the Highland way of life and the silver producing centres of Inverness, Tain and Wick. The reception area of this level has a show case containing a presentation pair of Doune pistols by John Murdoch. These guns of exquisite craftsmanship are dated c 1790.

Town House

At the foot of Castle Wynd. This Victorian replacement was the scene in 1921 of the first ever Cabinet Meeting outside London. The base of the mercat cross incorporates the Clach-na-Cuddain or "stone of the tubs" used as a resting place by washerwomen on their way to and from the Ness. As long as the stone remains Inverness will continue to flourish.

Abertarff House - Church Street

This renovated 16th Century house serves as the Highland Region Headquarters for the National Trust for Sscotland.

Kessock Bridge

Opened in 1982 this suspension bridge spanning the Beauly Firth carries the A 9 north to the Black Isle. With a total length of 3,451ft the bridge's main span has a clearance of 95ft above high water. There is a good view of Inverness from the bridge, while the Dolphin and Seal Centre in the car park of the Tourist Information Centre on the A 9 gives information on the marine life of the Moray and Beauly Firths. Bottlenose dolphins and upwards of 1,000 seals inhabit these waters: the seals' mating roars and the mysterious sounds emitted by the dolphins can sometimes be heard with the aid of the Centre's sophisticated listening equipment.

Balnain House - Huntly Street

This fine five-bay Georgian house has been tastefully adapted to introduce visitors to the richness and variety of the music of the Highlands and Islands. Ingenious audio and visual displays evoke the long history of this unique musical tradition, from pre-Christian laments for the dead to the fearsome sound of the pipes and drums. Visitors can try their skill not only on the bagpipes, but also on the clarsach, a type of harp.

St Andrew's Cathedral

Ardross Street. This imposing and richly decorated neo-Gothic edifice was built from 1866 to 1869 for the Episcopal diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. The nave piers are monolithic columns of polished Peterhead granite, the reredos and pulpit of carved stone. Both the choir screen and rood cross are by Robert Lorimer.

Eden Court Theatre - Bishop's Road

The custom-built leisure centre completed in 1976 comprises a theatre, conference centre and art gallery.

Tomnahurich Cemetery

From the 220ft-67m summit there is a good view of Inverness.

The River Ness Flowing Through Inverness



Skye & Lochalsh

Isle of Skye Web Site   Routefinder and general travel info.
Isle of Raasay  Community website
Portree Coachworks  Car hire on the Isle of Skye
Skye Bicycle Hire  Bike hire based in Uig
Wildcat bike tours, includes Skye

and Shetland Islands

Orknet   Travel info and advice from the locals.
Ferry To Orkney - Timetables and prices on ferries from John o' Groats
Northlink Orkney and Shetland Ferries - Ferry services to the Orkney and Shetland Islands
Kirkwall Airport - Services to Shetland, the Scottish mainland, and Orkney inter-island services.
Sumburgh Airport - Services to Orkney, the Scottish mainland, and Norway

Argyll & the Islands

Kintyre - Travel and tourism information for the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll
Oban & Lorne Tourism Association
   How to get to and around Argyll.
Islay Airport - Regular flights from Glasgow and charter traffic.
Visit Arran - A guide to the Isle of Arran

Inverness & Nairn

Great Glen Cycle Hire - Inverness-based cycle hire business.
Inverness Airport - Site includes real-time arrival and departure boards.
Loch Ness and Fort Augustus - Information on activities, accommodation, bars and restaurants and local amenities.

Caithness & Sutherland

Discover Caithness - The Caithness Experience.
North West Sutherland Community Online - covers the areas of Durness, Kinlochbervie, Achfary, Scourie, and Lochinver
Wick Airport - Services to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Kirkwall


Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board - Official area tourist information site
Escape to the Edge
- Holidays on the remotest fringes of Scotland

Highlands and Islands Airports
- Air services to Inverness, Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland
Scotsell for Scottish Holidays - Leading tour operator for individual self-drive holidays throughout Scotland. Wide range of self-catering Scottish country cottages.
Rabbie's Trail Burners - Personalised small group tours to the Highlands and Islands
Caledonian Classic Cars - Tour Scotland the stylish way at the wheel of a historic vehicle!
Glasgow Car Hire - Cheap car hire for Glasgow and the rest of Scotland
Romantic Scotland - Guide to romantic breaks, getting married and honeymoons in Scotland. 
Scottish Tours
- Sightseeing tours of Scotland from Edinburgh and Glasgow.  Includes Highlands and Skye tour.
Caledonian MacBrayne
   Hebridean and Clyde ferries. 
Scottish Destination Management Association - Customised planning service and travel advice for Scottish vacations and business travellers
Scottish Citylink   Major coach operators in Scotland
National Express   Major coach operators between England and Scotland
Scotrail   Train services to the Highlands.
British Airways
   Daily flights to the north.
Easyjet   Budget flights to and from Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh.
Van hire - Van hire delivered to any address in mainland UK!


Mallorca Property - For sale: Large country house with spectacular mountain views
Ocular Travel - The backpacker's interactive oasis
Currency Exchange Rate - Buy and sell currency at the best possible exchange rate.




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