How to Spend 1 Day in Inverness
Inverness is a small town on the edge of the Scottish Highlands and the gateway to Loch Ness and the Great Glen. If you plan ahead, you should have no problem ticking off the city sights and also venturing to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. Here’s how to make the most out of your 24 hours in Inverness.
Morning: Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
Stretching 23 miles (37 kilometres), from Inverness to Fort Augustus, Loch Ness is Scotland’s second largest loch. You’ll want to head here first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. One of the best spots to view the loch is from Urquhart Castle, the well-preserved ruins of a 13th century fortress on the western shores of the lake. Many tours set out from Inverness and combine a boat cruise on Loch Ness with a visit to the castle ruins. Stop at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition to learn about the history and geology of the loch—including the mystery surrounding the Loch Ness Monster.
Afternoon: City Highlights
Enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants situated on the River Ness, then head to Inverness Castle for fantastic views of the city. To get around with ease, jump on the hop-on hop-off bus tour, which delivers you to all the major city attractions including Abertarff House, the Gaelic church, and the Caledonian Canal. Alternatively, you can take a full-day Inverness city tour, and pack in as many local sights as you can, like the Falls of Foyers, Culloden Battlefield, and the Black Isle. If you’re an Outlander fan, skip the city sights, and head to the nearby ancient cemetery ruins at Clava Cairns, the real-life inspiration for Craigh na Dun.
Evening: Traditional Scottish Music
Old Town Inverness boasts cozy pubs, charming little shops, and a lively traditional music scene. Several historic pubs, like Johnny Foxes and the Hootananny, feature live music every night of the week. You’ll find everything from traditional Ceilidh bands performing cheery Scottish and Irish folk melodies to contemporary singer songwriters and rock bands. The Black Isle Brewery is another popular spot, serving organic craft beer brewed nearby on the Black Isle. If the weather is nice, catch the sunset from Inverness Castle or take a starry walk along the River Ness.