Our guide to Inverness

Nestling in the stunning surrounds of Scotland's remote Highlands, Inverness provides a cultural and commercial hub for the surrounding communities and the far north of Scotland.

Granted city status in 2000 as part of the millennium celebrations, Inverness is one of Britain's fastest growing cities and offers a lively contrast to the surrounding Highland wilderness. High street chains rub shoulders with small gift boutiques and local crafts stores whilst there is a vibrant nightlife with plenty to choose from in terms of restaurants and Scottish pubs. Whilst home to over 40,000 inhabitants, Inverness has not lost its welcoming Highland hospitality, typical of the region.

Inverness itself is a charming city set picturesquely on the banks of the lazily flowing River Ness. Overlooking the town centre and river is the hilltop castle at Inverness Castle; built in the early 19th century it is much younger than many of Scotland's other castles but provides an interesting focal point with its sandstone architecture and stunning grounds and gardens. On the opposite bank of the river sits the imposing Inverness Cathedral (or St Andrews Cathedral), a pink sandstone structure of intricate gothic architecture. Other highlights within the city include the cobbled Mercat Cross and the interesting exhibitions of Inverness Museum and Gallery.

Surrounding Inverness, there are a host of truly iconic sights to visit. Less than 6 miles from the city, you will find the eerie 18th century battlefield of Culloden Moor where Bonnie Prince Charlie's army fell against the overpowering English forces. Close-by are the opulent 14th century turreted fairytale Cawdor Castle, closely linked to Shakespeare's Macbeth, and the contrasting Fort George, an imposing example of 18th century military fortification. A short drive or boat ride down the Great Glen will take you to Scotland's most famous body of water at Loch Ness where you can enjoy a boat ride in search of the famous Monster Nessie or stop at the beautiful ruin of Urquhart Castle.

With its excellent rail and road links reaching to all corners of Scotland and particularly the far North, the charming city of Inverness provides an ideal base for exploring the Highlands and a host of iconic Scottish attractions.

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