Inverness is a really charming, smaller town. It is cute, it was cold, and it is built with a river running through it. William and I arrived in the evening during sunset so that started us off with a pretty good impression of the place. However, since it is small there is not as much to do. We chose it solely because of its location next to Loch Ness. I will be listing how we spent our time in Inverness, how much things cost, and about how much time to delegate there.
River Ness – Free
- The most prominent buildings of the town are all along the river. It is really beautiful just walking down one side. There are several bridges if you need to cross from one side to the other, and the river probably is not far from where you are staying. For us, it was about a 5 minute walk if that. I got some pretty pictures during the daytime, at sunset, and at night time. You will also pass St. Andrew’s Cathedral, several churches, a few shops including a kilt shop, and the Inverness Castle (not open to visitors).
- Time we spent – 1 hour
Ness Islands – Free
- If you walk far enough down the river, all of the sudden there are these little islands in the middle. They are all connected by bridges, and include various nature walks through beautiful trees as well as a playground. Granted it was January, but William and I were essentially the only ones there. We enjoyed the peaceful trails and playing on the teeter-totter!
- Time we spent – 30 minutes
Loch Ness – Free
- We went to the very tip of Loch Ness, located in the town called Dores. We were able to take a public bus straight there from Inverness. I cannot locate the exact price of the fare, but it was very cheap (maybe $3 – 5 round trip?). First of all, the Dores Inn is a pub located right on the lake, and it has very delicious haggis. It also has the truly unique small town British pub feel. I highly recommend it. Secondly, right behind the pub is a walking trail that begins next to the giant Loch Ness sign by the lake. We didn’t follow it to the end, and there was no signage explaining where it went, but it basically followed the loch coast through the trees. It was peaceful, beautiful, and once again we were the only ones. We waked for about 30/40 minutes one way, and then returned. We also got to watch the sun set on Loch Ness which was really breathtaking. There are these higher peaks and valleys surrounding it that added to the scenery which was a surprise to me; I imagined it being more flat.
- Time we spent – 3 hours (including dinner)
And that’s pretty much it. One full day in Inverness/Dores was enough to see what I wanted to see. If you like to travel at a more relaxing pace though, another day definitely would not hurt. Also, I’d like to highly recommend the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at – The Quaich. The rooms were nice, the host was kind, and the breakfast was so yummy. It really added to our pleasant Inverness experience.
If I were to go back to this area, I’d specifically want to either:
- Go back to the hiking trail we found at Loch Ness, and consider camping. Either that or allow a full day of hiking in the area.
- See other parts of Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle and Fort Augustus are more common Loch Ness viewing sights, but they were harder for us to get to with such little time and limited transportation.