Regarded as the Capital City of the Highland region, the city of Inverness is situated at the northern end of the Great Glen, at the point where the River Ness meets and flows away into the Moray Firth. This city has been the gateway to the highland regions for centuries. It was an ancient fortress located on the western side of the city that was the home and defensive base of the Pictish Kings as far back as the 400’s. It is believed that this ancient fortress met destruction in a fire during the 700’s, but never to be found defenseless a new fortification was built in the form of a castle, which was then destroyed in an attack by Malcolm III in around 1030, he then had another castle constructed on a promontory overlooking the waters of the River Ness.
The castle that you can find in the city today was built in the 1830’s, specifically to house courtrooms and other administrative buildings, so it is not really a castle at all as it was never built as a fortification or defensive stronghold. However it did mark the city as special, and clearly make it stand out as being the Highland capital. The importance of the town was further added to by the addition of the Caledonian Canal, and by the 1870’s rail link from Inverness to other areas of the Highlands. If you look at any map of the region you will notice that all of the main roads converge at Inverness.
The city of Inverness is bustling with activity, the centre of the city though compact is attractive to the eye and the focus of the visitor attention is very much still on the beautiful River Ness, and the added attractions of Inverness Cathedral and the castle which are both ideally situated along the banks of the river, both of which attract plenty of visitors in their own right. Along the banks of the river you will also find the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery which has something of a reputation for excellence, as well as the Eden Court Theatre. The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxed and the city offers more than enough attractions for a well deserved city break.
Explore the City
This is one city that is easily explored on foot as everything within the city centre is quite compact. The heritage and bloody history of the Highlands can de discovered at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; their exhibitions include some items of Jacobite memorabilia and some incredibly lethal pieces of highland weaponry. At the Inverness Floral Hall you can see some beautiful floral displays as well as enjoy the spectacle of an indoor waterfall. If you are looking for something unusual or unique to take home with you then a visit to the Victorian Market should see you picking up something to remind you of your time in the Granite City. The castle and St Andrew’s Cathedral offer spectacular architecture and stunning locations next to the river, and if you continue to walk the river banks you will come to a bridge that will take you across to the peaceful Ness Islands.
Entertainment and Culture
As evening falls in the city of Granite there are a number of ways that you can spend your evening, providing you have some energy left after a day exploring the sights and attractions of the city. There are plenty of venues that offer live music and excellent company, a variety of shows and performances are available to view at the Eden Court Theatre or you could chose to enjoy a sumptuous meal at one of the city’s fine restaurants.
If fine dining is what you are looking for then the restaurant opened by legendary chef Albert Roux ‘Chez Roux’ at the elegant Rocpool Reserve Hotel is where you should make your reservation, however should you not find a table available there are plenty of other excellent restaurants and eateries in the city. However you chose to spend your time here you can be sure that you will enjoy your stay in this ancient city of Inverness, gateway to the Highlands and islands of Scotland.