Unspoiled and uncrowded, Scotland’s 790+ islands are steeped in tradition, with many containing remnants of ancient cultures and civilizations. Thanks to the country’s compact size, it’s possible to reach more than one archipelago from Inverness. Here are the top Scottish islands tour options.
Merkinch Local Nature Reserve
4 Grant Street, Inverness, Scotland, IV3 8BL
Within Inverness’ city boundaries, Merkinch Local Nature Reserve is a peaceful retreat from the city. A 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) path at the reserve leads along the sea wall to the Caledonian Canal, circling back along a wooden walkway over tidal pools. Bring binoculars and a camera to record sightings of a variety of feathered species, including ducks, herons, bullfinches, and ospreys. Or, simply stroll and enjoy the scenic views of Beauly Firth, the cable-stayed Kessock Bridge, and the green hills of Strathconon Glen.
Inverness Bike Tour a 2 hours guided bike tour around the Waterways of Inverness
$35.86 per adult
A waterway adventure in Inverness
The rango of information about Inverness was fascinating! Allison gave just the right of detail so that we learned a bit about recent history from an economic, social, and cultural perspective. With the waterways as a focus the ride took us out of the city center so that we got a feel for the surrounding area. The weather was perfect for stopping at the Botanical Center, the various locks, and enjoying the wildlife refuge.
Sheryl_S, May 2022
Things to know before you go
- Merkinch Local Nature Reserve is a must for birders, with brightly plumaged and elusive species—including kingfishers—sometimes spotted here.
- Find wheelchair-accessible trails and free parking at the reserve.
- There are no restroom facilities at the reserve.
How to get there
The reserve stretches from Kessock Road in the north to the Caledonian Canal to the south. The Stagecoach Highlands bus route 6 runs between Union Street in Inverness city center and South Kessock, which is just a short stroll from the reserve. Alternatively, it’s about a 30-minute stroll from the center of town.
When to get there
Visit during the summer months when Inverness’ weather is warmest and the days are long. For the best chance of spotting roe deer, go around dawn or dusk.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Merkinch Local Nature Reserve?
What else should I know about attractions in Inverness?
- Things to do in The Scottish Highlands
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- Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)
- River Ness (Abhainn Nis)
- Inverness Castle
- Eden Court Theatre and Cinema
- Tomnahurich (Fairy Hill)
- Inverness Botanic Gardens (Floral Hall)
- Whin Park
- Culloden Battlefield
- Clava Cairns
- Chanonry Point
- Fort George
- Glen Ord Distillery
- Cawdor Castle and Gardens
- Loch Ness
- Urquhart Castle (Caisteal na Sròine)