The 10 Best Things To Do in Inverness and Beyond

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Are you looking for some ideas on things to do in Inverness?

Perhaps you’re using Inverness as a starting point for the North Coast 500, or maybe you’re just wanting to see what this magical city has to offer.

Whatever the reason, we’ve compiled this list of the 10 best things to do in Inverness and beyond to help you plan the perfect vacation in the Scottish Highlands.

It includes a mixture of things to do in the city and within a 30 minute drive if you’ve got a car. Most of these activities are acessible by public transport, however we recommend if you are wanting to venture out of the city hiring a car is well worth it.

Staying at our hostel Highland Backpackers is a great option if you’re wanting to base yourself close to the city centre. Out hostel is only a five minute walk from both the train and bus stations, and rooms start from just £14 per person!


10 Unmissable Things to do in Inverness and Beyond

1. Culloden Battlefield

 

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Visit the site where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end at the Battle of Culloden. Be sure to visit the touching memorial cairn which is surrounded by the clan graves of 1,500 fallen Jacobite soldiers. Visiting them is a truly magical experience.

 


2. Clava Cairns 

 

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One of Scotland’s most historic sites lies just outside Inverness; the burial cairns at Clava are around 4,000 years old. The three burial cairns are enclosed by stone circles, with standing stones dotted around them.

 


3. Leakey’s Bookshop

 

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Leakey’s Bookshop is every booklover’s dream! This bookshop is Scotland’s second largest secondhand bookstore and is based inside an old Gaelic church that dates back to 1793.

 


4. Loch Ness

 

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A visit to Inverness isn’t complete without a trip to see the legendary Loch Ness! Loch Ness contains more water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined, making it the most voluminous lake in the UK. A boat trip is the best way to experience the loch, but beware of being gobbled up by the terrifying Loch Ness Monster!

 


5. Clootie Well

 

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Located north of Inverness in Munlochy, The Clootie Well is an odd remnant of an ancient tradition in Scotland dating back to pre-Christian times. Pilgrims would come to the Clootie Well and make offerings of cloth or ‘cloot’ belonging to someone, often in the hope of having their illness cured. As the cloot rotted away, the illness would depart the sick person.

 


6. Chanonry Point

 

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Located less than 30 minutes from Highland Backpackers, Chanonry Point on the Black Isle is a great spot for dolphin watching. A pod of dolphins call this area home, and they are often spotted 1 hour after low tide when they chase fish into the Moray firth.

 


7. Urquhart Castle

 

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Located on the bonnie banks of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle is one of the most beautiful castle ruins in Scotland. This castle has over 1,000 years of history, and the discovery of a fragment of Pictish brooch from the late 8th/ early 9th century hints that the site where the castle stands was possibly a high status Pictish site. It is said that St Columba visited the castle sometime around AD 580.

 


8. Falcon Square

 

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Falcon Square is a historically important part of Inverness’ past. It is named after John Falconer who opened Falcon Foundry here in 1858. The building on the square which houses Laura Ashley and Pizza Express formed part of this Foundry – it was dismantled and relocated here in the late 1990s. Take time to admire the thirty-seven foot high Unicorn sandstone pillar in the middle of the square. If you look closely you’ll also notice several falcons flying around the statue in various phases of flight! There are also some nice shops and cafes in the area.

 


9. Highland Wildlife Park

 

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This 105-hectare (260-acre) safari park and zoo is located in the Cairngorms, one of Scotland’s two National Parks. Here you can discover Scottish wildlife and endangered animals of the world’s mountains and tundra in a spectacular setting.

 


10. Inverness Castle and Inverness Castle Viewpoint

 

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Inverness Castle was built in 1836 and is one of Scotland’s most modern castles. It is built on the site of an 11th-century defensive structure, but today, it houses Inverness Sheriff Court.  The only part of the castle open to the public is the north tower, and for only £5 you can climb to the top for a 360 degree view of Inverness!

 


 

There you are- the 10 best things to do in Inverness and beyond.

Heading to Inverness for a weekend? Make sure you read our guide.

If you’re spending longer in Inverness and looking for more things to see and do, be sure to check out this guide.

Have you visited any of these attractions?  What was your favourite?

 

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