Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and the UK’s most northerly city, offering a thriving centre for business, commerce and leisure activities. It is also a major cultural centre with a rich history, set in the heart of some of Europe’s most stunning landscapes.
Eden Court Theatre, which also houses an art gallery and two cinemas, is set on the banks of the River Ness. Walking along the river you will find an ice rink, leisure centre with swimming pool and the famous floral gardens offering displays of tropical and local flora.
Inverness is the essential destination for visitors beginning their journey of discovery through the Highlands. The sandy beaches, dolphins, seals and whales of the Moray Firth are just to the north, whilst the legendary Loch Ness lies to the south, where visitors can enjoy searching for the world’s most famous monster, sail along the Caledonian Canal and explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle.
Inverness Castle garrisoned the King’s army before the infamous Battle of Culloden on April 16th 1746. Close to the airport Culloden Battlefield is a poignant landmark, whilst Fort George is an imposing symbol of the repression that followed the Jacobite defeat.
Live traditional music venues from Macbeth’s Cawdor Castle to Eden Court Theatre offer a wealth of music. “Foodies” can experience fine dining within the city and beyond offering superior local produce and a friendly Highland service.
Not far from Inverness there is the Highland Wildlife Park with its polar bears and tigers amongst others.
From Inverness to the north-west, the Highlands offer one of the most dramatic scenic and unspoilt areas within the UK. Visitors can climb mountains; study the magnificent geology, hike in the hills, wander in the ancient Caledonia forests and watch for red deer, golden eagles, ospreys and otters.
There are peerless mountain bike circuits and water sports galore along the coastline and on the lochs. Anglers come for the famous salmon fishing and wild brown trout, golfers come for the spectacular links and parkland courses – some of the most famous being at Dornoch, Nairn, Brora, the Spey Valley and now home of the Scottish Open, Castle Stuart.
Speyside offers over a dozen single malt whisky distilleries, the perfect way to discover Scotland’s national tipple. Aviemore is only a 30 minute drive from Inverness and set in the middle of the Cairngorms National Park it is considered a mecca for sports all year round.
The Highlands is also home to a series of major festivals, such as Groove and Belladrum – great showcases for local and national bands. Not to mention a lively programme of book festivals, major events and local highland games.