Inverness

Inverness Castle and the River Ness

Inverness is a city at the heart of the Scottish Highlands and the principal centre for administration and commerce. It is the most northerly city in the British Isles.

Understand

Advertised as "the Gateway to the Highlands" by the local authority, and long regarded as the capital of the Highlands, Inverness is the centre for commerce and industry in the Scottish Highlands, with continuing new investment in traditional industries and new hi-tech industries. It is also said to be one of the fastest growing cities in Europe.

Get in

By plane

Inverness has an airport served by FlyBe (both their own flights (including to Amsterdam) and flight operated on behalf of Scottish based airline Loganair to Kirkwall, Sumburgh and a few Western Isles), Easyjet (to London Gatwick, London Luton and Briston), British Airways (to London Heathrow, from 2015-05-03) and some seasonal charter flights. It is sited between Nairn and Inverness and accessible from the Inverness-Aberdeen road. Limited charter services fly out from this airport. A taxi from the airport into the city costs around £15. Stagecoach run a bus into Inverness city centre which runs every half hour during the day called the "Jet" service.There is also an hourly "Jet" service to Nairn.

By car

Inverness can be reached from the south by the A9 from the south (Perth & M90 from Edinburgh, Glasgow) and from Aberdeen, 110 miles by the A96 road. The A82 reaches Inverness from the south-west, Loch Ness, Fort William and eventually to Skye. None of the roads to Inverness are entirely dual-carriageway. The A9 continues to Thurso on the extreme north coast of the Scottish mainland.

By train

See also: Rail travel in the United Kingdom

Inverness railway station is located in the City Centre. There are direct services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and London from the south and Aberdeen from the east. There are two scenic lines: to Thurso and Wick, and to Kyle of Lochalsh.

If you're travelling from London, the sleeper train is an excellent way to travel. It leaves from London Euston and arrives between 0800 - 0830. Be warned. There is sometimes an error with the booking system through the internet if you intend to sit rather than book a sleeping berth; if your ticket says 'no seat reserved', you need to either phone up Caledonian Sleeper or visit your nearest train station to reserve one (for free). If you don't have a reserved seat you may not be allowed on the train, despite having bought a ticket with the times and dates of the train printed on them, or at best be forced to pay £40 for a sleeping berth if there is one available.

Virgin East Coast also operate a daily service to and from London King's Cross (known as The Highland Chieftain) which leaves at around 0900 (southbound) or 1200 (northbound). Journey time is around 8 hours.

By bus

Inverness bus station is in Farraline Park, a couple of blocks west of the railway station. The bus station has a ticket office which offers luggage storage (from £2), cafe and toilets.

By boat

The Caledonian Canal links the Beauly Firth through Loch Ness to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain.

On foot

Get around

By bus

There are around fifty bus routes traveling in and around Inverness, mainly operated by Stagecoach Inverness. It helps to know where your destination is, as some ces do not have detailed information on the outside of the bus.

By train

The 'Invernet' rail network provides commuter train services to Inverness from Tain, Dingwall and Beauly in the North, Nairn, Forres and Elgin in the East and Aviemore and Kingussie in the South.

By taxis

This is probably the most efficient form of transport after hours, as most bus services cease or become less frequent at about 7pm. You will not pay a great deal for a taxi by UK standards as Inverness is rather small, and routes are very direct. Some black cabs exist, though the majority of taxis are minicabs. These are all fairly trustworthy.

By limousine

Limos are available for hire from certain operators at a rate of about £70/hour.

By bike

There are a few cycle lanes on Inverness roads. However there are many combined cycle-footpaths where bicycles are welcome.

See

Inverness Castle

Do

Buy

Eastgate Centre (Shopping Mall)

Eat

Inverness has a wide selection of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. There are a number of high quality restaurants serving a mixture of traditional Scottish food and modern cuisine using locally sourced produce. Worthy of a mention are:

Drink

There's plenty of live music and good lively atmospheres around so have fun exploring. Hootananny's is the chief of those, offering (predominantly) Celtic entertainment.

As in all Scotland, all enclosed public places - which includes all eating places and bars - are non-smoking. A few have outside seating areas.

On a warm summer's evening, the Dores Inn on the northern shore of Loch Ness (east side)is a particularly pleasant place to linger over a beer. They do good, traditional pub food, too.

Sleep

Budget

Mid range

Splurge

Go next

Mountain Resorts

There are two mountain resorts within easy reach of Inverness. Both started life as ski facilities but now cater for a wide range of year-round activities and have mountain-top restaurants and shops.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, November 04, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.