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Capital of the Highlands
Although only granted city status in 2000, Inverness has always been the natural capital of the Highlands. Situated on the River Ness enjoying a scenic position on the inner banks of the Moray Firth, it is perhaps better associated with another more famous body of water, Loch Ness and its legendary monster.
With historic castle and battlegrounds nearby, stunning glens and mountains, Inverness is a strategic crossroads to discover the wild beauty of Scotland’s Highland region. Traces of ancient forts, castles and garrisons tell of the bloodied hand of the past, with historical figures as Macbeth, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Mary Queen of Scots having featured in the history of this city.
Today, Inverness is the communications and administrative centre for the north of Scotland. Its law courts and local government offices are housed in the 19th century Inverness Castle and below the castle is the Inverness Museum with exhibits about the history of the Great Glen. The Great Glen is a geological fault running from the Moray Firth on the east coast of Scotland to Fort William on the west, dividing Scotland into two separate land masses. With the construction of the Caledonian Canal in the 19th century, this considerable feat of engineering connects the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean via Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy. These days, this scenic waterway with a series of 28 locks in total, is perfect for cruising, an ideal way to enjoy plenty of stunning scenery.
Along the west shore of Loch Ness, commanding fine views of the surrounding landscape, is Urquhart Castle. It is from the extensive ruins of one of Scotland’s largest castles, that one of the world’s most enduring legends may be seen. Whether or not you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of â€˜Nessie’, the magnificent vista will not disappoint. Glen Affric, one of the most beautiful glens in all Scotland, lies to the west of the loch and offers gorgeous scenery of one of the largest remnants of the ancient Caledonian pine forest.
To the south east of Inverness lies Aviemore and the Cairngorms, a mountain range offering good skiing and infinite scope for climbers and walkers. The Aviemore Mountain Resort caters for the energetic outdoor enthusiast seeking adventure in Scotland’s natural playground. To the east, along the south side of the Moray Firth, the landscape is a lot gentler in comparison to the ruggedness that is more commonly associated with the Highlands. Though gentler, this area witnessed the bloody Battle of Culloden in 1746, scene of the last major battle to be fought in mainland Britain. The battlefield has been restored to its state on the day of the battle, and plaques tell which clan fought where and how the battle progressed. East of Culloden are the Clava Cairns, a group of circular burial cairns dating from around 1600 BC and one of Scotland’s finest prehistoric monuments. Cawdor Castle, familiar from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, is the romantic home of the Thanes of Cawdor since the 14th century. Fort George, built following the Battle of Culloden, is considered to be the finest example of artillery fortification in Europe, and is the oldest barracks in the world still occupied by British soldiers.
Inverness and the surrounding area is steeped in a bloody history and romantic legend. It is a place of many colours with beautiful mountains and glens, and scenic waterways. A favourite haunt of royalty, past and present, the Highlands with its capital Inverness, will enchant and thrill.
Flybe scheduled flights, operated by Loganair, link Inverness with Benbecula, Stornoway, Orkney and Shetland.
Useful InformationInverness Tourist Information
Tel: +44 (0) 1463 234353
Fax: +44 (0) 1463 710609
Email: [email protected]
For Inverness Airport Information click here