Inverness, known as the ‘city in the Highlands’, is blessed with an abundance of historic gems and culinary delights, while the coastal town of Nairn boasts golden sandy beaches and championship golf courses. Loch Ness needs little introduction. Take in captivating scenery on cruises along this mysterious stretch of water said to be inhabited by the legendary Loch Ness Monster or gaze out onto it from the ruins of the iconic Urquhart Castle.
Inverness is a modern and dynamic city and one worth spending some time in. Among the attractions of the Highland capital are Inverness Castle and Eden Court, with its theatre and cinema.
The ‘city in the Highlands’ is beautifully situated on the banks of the River Ness and boasts many attractions.
Spend the day shopping in this buzzing city and treat yourself to a night at the theatre or enjoy some live music at a gig.
For some peace and relaxation, cross the suspension bridge to the tranquil Ness Islands where you can chill out by the river or take a scenic walk along the bank.
Beauly and Strathglass
West of Inverness is the elegant town of Beauly. Browse the boutiques of the pretty town situated close to the Beauly Firth. Beauly Priory was founded by monks in the 13th century and Mary Queen of Scots stayed there in 1564, charmed by the beauty of the place.
Marvel at the splendour of Glen Affric and similarly stunning glens like Glen Cannich and Strathfarrar. Golden eagles can often be seen soaring above the dramatic glens of Strathglass.
Loch Ness is only a short distance from Inverness and is famous around the world for the small matter of its monster, Nessie. Aside from that, Loch Ness is Scotland’s largest loch in terms of volume, being 23 miles long and in some parts more than 700 ft deep.
Claimed sightings of the Loch Ness monster over the years form the focus of the award-winning Loch Ness Exhibition Centre at Drumnadrochit. You can explore the interactive displays that allow you to uncover the mystery and folklore surrounding this loch.
A great way to appreciate the scenery of Loch Ness is by taking a cruise to Urquhart Castle, a spectacular ruin where the excellent visitor centre explains the history of this once important Great Glen fortress.
At the southern end of the loch, Fort Augustus is a pretty village and a good place to pause and watch life on the Caledonian Canal as the boats negotiate the series of locks.
Stroll across the golden sands at Nairn and tackle one of the town’s two championship golf courses, Nairn and Nairn Dunbar.
Culbin Forest is to the east of Nairn, where you can follow one of the walking trails and admire spectacular views to Sutherland and beyond from the Hill 99 tower.
Fort George is one of the best preserved 18th century military fortifications in Europe and was built by the government in the aftermath of Culloden to ensure that the people of the Highlands would never again rise in rebellion. This gigantic fortress next to the Moray Firth makes for a fascinating morning or afternoon’s exploring.
Explore Brodie Castle, a 16th century baronial tower house, or the turreted Cawdor Castle, famed for its connection to Shakespeare’s Macbeth in which the title character becomes the Thane of Cawdor.