/  Europe   /  United Kingdom   /  Scotland   /  Inverness   /  
Explore the Urquhart Castle

Discover Inverness: Top 10 Attractions & Activities in Scotland’s Hidden Gem (2024)

Wondering what’s the best place to visit in Inverness, Scotland? Inverness sits amidst the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, boasting natural wonders and cultural treasures. It, though, is often overlooked by Glasgow and Edinburgh, but Inverness has its unique charm. This gateway to the enchanting Shetland Islands is perched alongside the meandering River Ness in northern Scotland. For an escape from hustle and bustle, Inverness is perhaps the best place in Scotland. With its quieter pace, life moves around beautifully here.

Join us in this article as we explore the 10 best-rated tourist attractions in Inverness, aka the Capital of the Highlands. This place of pristine freshness exudes picturesque beauty in its outdoors. From historic whispers to cobblestone streets, verdant landscapes, and more, Inverness has so much to offer. This hidden gem at the River Ness’s mouth promises a delightful blend of nature and history.

Discover Inverness: Top 10 Attractions & Activities in Scotland’s Hidden Gem

Here’s more about “Top-Rated Things to Do in Inverness, Scotland”.

1. Drive towards Loch Ness in the Highlands

For a journey into the depth of mystique and natural grandeur, take a drive from Inverness to Loch Ness. Leaving behind the charming Inverness and moving into the depths of the Highlands, winding through vivid landscapes feels nothing less than a dream. This road trip along the banks of the iconic River Ness is nearly half an hour and totally worth it. As soon as you reach Loch Ness, the deep, dark waters shrouded in myth and mystery will welcome you. From the rugged beauty of the Highlands to the scent of pine forests in the air and a sense of timelessness, there’s something surreal about this place. If you are a nature lover, this journey towards Loch Ness will become a part of your memory for a lifetime.

2. Explore the Urquhart Castle

While visiting Loch Ness, take some time to explore the Urquhart Castle. A popular tourist attraction near Inverness, Urquhart Castle, now in the form of spectacular ruins, is a must-visit. The castle and its surroundings boast one of the most picturesque scenes of Scotland. The Urquhart Castle dates back to the 13th century, and as you wander around, you will step back into those times. As you approach the castle ruins, check out curtain walls and the remnants of the tower houses. Also, do not forget to watch those gates that once played a vital role in the history of Scotland. The highlight of the castle is its Grand Tower, which offers panoramic vistas of Loch Ness and the surrounding countryside.

Explore the Urquhart Castle

Image Source

Enthusiasts can also check out the visitor center for more insights about the history and the historical artefacts. Make sure you ask them about the legends and mysteries of Loch Ness, including the fabled Loch Ness Monster.

3. Visit the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery are a few steps away from Inverness Castle and a must-visit when in the city. The museum offers a blend of history, culture, and artistic heritage, celebrating the essence of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. A visit to the museum will introduce you to archaeological finds, historical artefacts, and interactive displays. The collection here has everything from ancient Pictish stones and artefacts from World War II to a series of portraits of the Stuart clan, weaponry, Highland memorabilia, bagpipes, and sculptures. It isn’t just a place to explore, but the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery also host special exhibitions and events, ensuring every visit has a fresh experience.

4. Soak into the beauty of River Ness and visit the Ness Islands

River Ness boasts enchanting beauty, and one cannot stay away from it. When in the town, take a stroll along the Banks of River Ness for a sense of calmness. As the tranquil river water mirrors the sky and the surrounding unfolds lush greenery and vibrant flowers, the setting feels straight out of a picturesque storybook. Early go for a 12-kilometre hike from downtown Inverness to the east shore of Loch Ness or stay within the city limits. The former will take you to the Loch Ness 360° Trail that circles around the lake.

Further, use the series of attractive Victorian-era pedestrian bridges and access the Ness Islands located mid-river. This collection of natural islands is covered through thickets of ancient trees. As sunlight filters through the leaves, dappling the ground with soft, golden hues, the views become magical. Whether for a peaceful picnic or a walk amidst nature, Ness Islands is the perfect place.

5. Checkout the Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle is definitely a must-visit tourist attraction in Inverness, Scotland. Although only a small portion of the castle is open to the public currently, a visit is still totally worth it. The castle sits on a hill overlooking the River Ness. This gateway to Inverness’ rich history and breathtaking views is worth exploring. The distinctive red sandstone façade of the castle stands beautifully against the backdrop of the city and the river. Exploring the castle involves climbing up a few stairs; hence, for senior adults and specially-abled guests, it might not be a cakewalk. However, if you are fit to walk across, access the viewpoint and gaze across the River Ness and beyond to the rolling hills of the Highlands. Also, do check out Inverness Castle Museum for a deeper understanding of this vibrant Scottish city from ancient times to the present day.

6. Visit Fort George

For a journey through history in Inverness, visit Fort George, an impressive military fortification in Scotland. This historic structure sits on the shores of the Moray Firth. Known for its grandeur and historical significance, it dates back its origin to the 18th century. As you venture close, the massive fort walls will rise before your eyes, stretching nearly a kilometre. Once a prominent part of battles, the Fort George is now open for the public to explore. Built in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising, the Fort indoors will transport you to a different era altogether. From those preserved barracks, bastions, and artillery to soldiers’ living quarters, complete with period furnishings and an impressive collection of cannons and other weaponry, there’s a lot to check out. Further, walk towards the star-shaped layout of Fort George and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Do not forget to take a walk along the ramparts to enjoy the sea breeze.

7. Spend some time at Inverness Botanic Gardens

After a busy week at work, all you need is a delightful escape to the Inverness Botanic Gardens. Operating since 1993, this enchanting garden in the heart of Inverness offers a haven for nature enthusiasts. As soon as you enter, a kaleidoscope of colours and fragrances will greet you. The best time to visit here is during the Spring and Summer seasons when the lush flowerbeds burst with vibrant bloom. A sensory experience like this is totally worth all the time and effort. The botanic gardens are also home to a range of glasshouses and a diverse range of plants, from exotic orchids to hardy Scottish varieties and more such elements. In addition to that, a large fish pond and a beautiful waterfall add to the garden’s beauty. Inverness Botanic Gardens also hosts various events and exhibitions, from horticultural workshops to art displays.

8. Tour Abertarff House

Exploring Abertarff House is a step back in time. Built back in 1593, the Abertarff House is now a perfectly preserved old townhouse but also the oldest building in Inverness. A visit here introduces enthusiasts to the time of the Jacobite Revolution. Stepping inside the Abertarff House unfolds the long-preserved domestic life of the 18th century. From those well-preserved rooms to period-appropriate décor and more, everything adds to the vibe. While exploring Abertarff House, you’ll gain insight into the daily lives, customs, and traditions of the people who lived here. The landmark also hosts special events, exhibitions, and educational programs. There’s also an on-site café to checkout.

9. Spend some time at St. Andrew’s Cathedral

The St. Andrew’s Cathedral is a spiritual and architectural grandeur in Inverness. This magnificent cathedral isn’t extremely historic and was built in the second half of the 19th century. However, it is the most northerly Anglican cathedral in Britain. As its neo-Gothic facade rises majestically against the skyline, the views will impress you. With that, the towering spires and intricate stonework create a sense of awe. The cathedral bells, as they ring, are said to be the best in Scotland. There are also some serene gardens, a gift shop, and an excellent café located in the Cathedral premises.

10. Drive towards Culloden Battlefield and Culloden Viaduct

The journey into the heart of Scottish history takes no more than 15 minutes for a drive to Culloden Battlefield and Culloden Viaduct from Inverness. Culloden was where Scots and English troops fought their last battle somewhere in 1746. A visit to these historical grounds will introduce you to markers and plaques that tell the story of the battle. Those green and well-maintained battlefield grounds, although appear beautiful today they, hold a dreadful battle history and loss of lives. The battlefield is now a poignant memorial for those who saw the last sun here. There’s also a visitor centre that exhibits information about this area’s involvement in Scottish history.

Once done with spending time at Culloden Battlefield, drive to the Culloden Viaduct, an iconic railway viaduct that stands as a testament to Victorian engineering. As its red sandstone construction graceful arches span the River Nairn, it unfolds some postcard-worthy views. While it’s still in use and can’t be walked, one can observe the Viaduct from the roadside contrasting beautifully with the lush greenery of the Scottish landscape. It is an ideal place for photography in Inverness.

Where do you want to go?

Get a Quote

Medical Tourism Enquiry

Selected Value: 0
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.
WhatsApp Chat