Holiday rentals in Inverness
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Your guide to Inverness
The capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness has history dating back 4,000 years, from the Bronze Age burial tombs at Clava Cairns to the 18th-century battlefield of Culloden. Its red sandstone castle (now a courthouse) is a mere 200 years old, and one of the best places from which to take in the view. From its clifftop perch, the River Ness — its tree-lined banks elegantly connected with suspension bridges — and the surrounding stone buildings stand out handsomely against a backdrop of green hills. At the foot of the hill, the bustling old town, whose pedestrian-friendly High Street and covered Victorian market are great for shopping, opens into a compact city with a vibrant pub culture, incorporating plenty of live music, céilidh dancing, and nightlife. It’s the ideal place to begin an exploration of the Highland countryside and culture, and the start and end point of the North Coast 500 driving route.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Inverness
Scottish weather is famously unpredictable, and you never know when you’re going to get rained on (although you can be pretty sure that it will happen at some point). Layers, warm clothing, and a waterproof jacket are a sensible packing solution. The best thing about the Highlands in summer are the long days; in July the sun doesn’t set until after 10 p.m., and temperatures tend to average around 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and fall offer some of the most spectacular natural scenery but can be brisk, and snow is almost guaranteed in winter, when the temperature regularly drops to freezing.
Top things to do in Inverness
A miniature retreat at the heart of the city, this small chain of islands in the middle of the River Ness has been a public park since the 19th century. You can travel among them using interconnected footbridges built by the Victorians. A 60-minute circular walk will take you past salmon pools, botanic gardens, and the city’s 19th-century cathedral.
It’s only a 15-minute drive southwest of the city to the start of one of Scotland’s best-known lochs. The deep, narrow lake is 23 miles from end to end, containing more freshwater than all the lakes in England and Wales combined, and its tranquil Highland scenery is just as impressive on a boat cruise or a lakeshore walk. The ruins of Urquhart Castle add to the atmosphere.
The largest of Scotland’s sea inlets, the Moray Firth is a major part of the Inverness scenery, visible from a number of elevated points in the city. Fort George, on a peninsula northeast of the city, is one good vantage point, as is the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve; or you can cross it via the Kessock Bridge to explore its north banks. Keep your eyes peeled for the bottlenose dolphins and porpoise that regularly sport in the waters.