When looking for your next accommodation in Scotland, break away from the norm and look to Inverness for a quintessential Scottish break.This cosy Scottish coastal town is a relaxing break, home away from home, with everything you would want from a seaside getaway. If you fancy making Inverness your next UK holiday destination, browse through our selection of holiday rentals on Tripadvisor or Airbnb.
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Visit Inverness: Home of the Loch Ness Monster!
Right in the heart of the Scottish Highlands is a town no one could ever forget – not least because it's home to the most famous mythical creature in the world, the Loch Ness Monster. At the northern side of the Great Glen, this picturesque town was first founded during the 1100s by King David, although much of the original architecture and buildings have been lost to battles throughout history. Now, people visit to catch a glimpse of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster, and to go walking through the beautiful highlands.
Best time to visit Inverness
Inverness is unique, no matter what time of year you visit it, so planning the time you want to go really depends on what you're looking to get out of the trip. Typically, July and August will be the sunniest and the warmest, with highs of roughly 20 degrees – so not sunbathing weather, but pleasant enough to go for a stroll and a picnic by Loch Ness. Once it hits October, the weather can be fairly unpredictable, with mild weather interspersed with snowstorms – just the right kind of weather to cosy up next to the fire in a cute little B&B – but this will also be the least busy time in terms of tourists, if that's something you're trying to avoid.
How to get there
Although it's tucked away in the depths of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is easy to reach whether you're looking to travel by air, rail, or road. Flying to Inverness is the easiest option, considering the airport is just a 20-minute drive / taxi journey / bus trip to the city centre, and there are regular flights from all over the UK. EasyJet offers trips from London Gatwick and Luton, while British Airways flies out from Heathrow, and FlyBe also operates flights from Amsterdam and Belfast.
If you are already holidaying in Scotland, you can easily reach Inverness by rail and enjoy a day trip in the home of the Loch Ness monster, before returning to your holiday cottage in Fort William or apartment rental in Edinburgh. From Edinburgh, the train will take roughly 3 and a half hours, with one setting off every couple of hours, which can be reasonably cheap if you book in advance. It's about the same time from Glasgow, and from London, there's a train known as the Caledonian Sleeper, which departs in the evening and arrives in Inverness the following morning – which means you can sleep the entire way and wake up in sunny old Scotland. It typically departs around 9 pm and will arrive in Inverness at roughly 8:40 the next morning.
For anyone looking to drive, it can be a lengthy journey, so it is recommended that you have some stops along the way. Having said that, it's relatively easy; just hop on the A9, the A82, or the A96 and follow the signs.
Where to stay
The world-famous waters of Loch Ness are stunningly beautiful, and there's nowhere better to book luxury holiday rentals in Inverness than along the banks of the Loch. The Loch is a fantastic spot to immerse yourself in the myths and traditions of northern Scotland, and there are also several boat cruises to hop on to go hunting for the Loch Ness Monster. With ancient castles, the sweeping scenery of the Highlands, spectacular waterfalls, and more, there's nowhere better to cosy up in a B&B holiday rental and explore the area on a Scottish retreat.
Centre of Inverness
Inverness is known as the capital of the Scottish Highlands, and where better to immerse yourself in the bubbly Scottish life than the centre of the city? The city centre is great as it's incredibly compact, and not too hustle and bustle-y, as cities tend to be. Inverness has all the benefits of being in a town – the nightlife, the cafes, restaurants, shops and more – nut with the beauty of the Scottish Highlands literally on your doorstep. Soak up the beauty of Inverness' city centre at one of the many short-term apartment rentals here.
Cairngorms is a National Park just outside the city of Inverness, and it's one of the best places to immerse yourself in the nature of the Scottish countryside and highlands. It's here that any active holidaymakers should head, with plenty of options for hiking, as well as kayaking, horseback riding and more – all handily organised by tour guides in the nearby town of Aviemore. There are several bed and breakfasts in Cairngorms, such as Bydand Bed and Breakfast, a cosy little cottage with modern facilities, and sweeping views across the park.
What to do in Inverness
If you are staying in a holiday home in Scotland, there is no better way of living like a local and immersing yourself in Scottish culture than by visiting the home of the country's best known myth. Loch Ness is the most famous Loch in the world, and arguably not because of the stunning scenery and landscape that is here. Instead, Loch Ness is known around the world for being the home of the Loch Ness Monster, a mythical creature from Scottish folklore, that is said to inhabit the waters here. Although we can't guarantee you'll spot the mysterious creature, the entire area of Loch Ness is exquisitely beautiful and well worth a trip. Take a cycle along the river, or find a cosy spot along the banks for an afternoon picnic.
This ruined fortress along the banks of Loch Ness is supposedly the best spot along the river to spot the Loch Ness Monster. Once an impressive castle, now little remains except the tower and some crumbling walls, but it's a fantastic window into the history of the northern Scottish coastline, and the visitor centre runs boat tours along the Loch.
The Battle of Culloden is one of the most famous battles in Scottish history. The final battle during the Jacobite rising in 1745, it was here that the Jacobite forces were defeated spectacularly by the British government, preventing the House of Stuart from claiming the English throne. The site of the battle is powerful; a windswept moorland, in a remote setting, it's easy to understand and appreciate the fear and power that went on in this historical battle over 400 years ago.
Munlochy Clootie Well
An ancient Celtic tradition of the "clootie well" is one that stretches back thousands of years, to a pre-Christian Scotland. The word clootie translates to mean cloth, and the tradition essentially dictates hanging scraps of cloth on trees that surround sacred wells and springs. The idea is that these courses of clean water have been places of healing for thousands of years, and during special times of the year – such as the May Day festival of Spring – or when a loved one is ill, locals would travel to their nearest clootie well, dip their cloth in the well, say a prayer, and then fix the fabric to the trees. Today, this tradition continues, with the site at Munlochy being the most famous, containing thousands of pieces of material.
Once a monastery settlement as far back as the 1200s, the Beauly Priory was officially disestablished in 1634, but much of the building has been preserved. This has left behind a large and beautiful site to spend the day exploring. In fact, the name itself depicts how beautiful it is: Beauly was taken from "Beau Lieu", which translated to mean beautiful place.
One of the oldest bits of history to be found in Inverness, the Clava Cairns is a prehistoric, bronze Age cemetery that was used over 4000 years ago. More recently, they've been a popular hit with fans of Outlander, after been used in the show.