Things to do in Inverness and the surrounding area when visiting.
Find some of the best things to do in Inverness, when you are on a tour of the Highlands.
We have put together a list of attractions, sites of interest and the top things to do in the Inverness area for visitors.
This is not a complete list of things to do in Inverness, there are loads more things to do, with some great places to eat out, fun activities with the kids, traditional music venues, sports facilities and much more. Inverness is also a great location for exploring the wider Highlands.
We are adding to this list of sites to see and visit in the Inverness area all the time and hope to keep adding to this. If you have any suggestion of sites to be included please contact us.
Culloden Battlefield – Culloden Battlefield is a must see when visiting Inverness.
Click on the link above to learn more about Culloden Battlefield.
Culloden House Hotel
Culloden House Hotel is steeped in History. Probably best known for its role in the Jacobite uprising of 1745 and its link to the Battle of Culloden 16th April 1746. The house which was the seat and home of Lord President Forbes at the time and was requisitioned by the Jacobites days before the Battle. Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here and the house and grounds were used as a Battlefield Headquarters during the infamous Battle of Culloden . In 2023 Culloden House is now a hotel, afternoon tea or a dinner is available, however, this must be arranged in advance. Room booking is also advisable well in advance. Culloden House Hotel Website
Clava Cairns 4000+ year old neolithic Burial Cairns and Standing stones are around a mile from Culloden Battlefield.
The site is thought to have provided inspiration to Diana Gaboldon with her Outlander novels.
Take yourself back in time and try to imagine what life was like for the neolithic people living in this area 4000 years ago.
A short walk to the waterfall from the car-park and often a good spot to see the Salmon leaping when in season.
Farm Ness, Inverness
Farm Ness is a small farm park, shop and cafe on a real working farm which was featured on BBC 2’s tv series ‘This Farming Life’.
Farm Ness has its own Meats butchered and this is available to buy in the shop or to eat hot from their food truck. They are also expanding on a play and farm park and 2023 will see them add more farm inspired play apparatus.
A Great opportunity to meet the animals including their 2 highland cows, the new fluffy Alpacas or their cheeky Pygmy goats. A good stop on a Loch Ness Tour.
Currently closed to the public but views are available from the City Centre. The current Castle dates from the 1800’s, however historically this was Inverness Castle for hundreds of years prior and the site is believed to have been used as far back as Pictish times.
The Old High Church
Overlooking the River Ness and the site where Jacobite soldiers were imprisoned and executed in the wake of Culloden. An interesting visit back in history to this important historical site.
Wardlaw Mausoleum is in Wardlaw Graveyard in Kirkhill. Built in 1634 as the burial place of the Lovat Frasers. Visit the burial crypts of the Lovat Frasers and explore the graveyard. Whilst the grounds of Wardlaw are accessible at all times, internal viewing of the Mausoleum is only available when arranged in advance or with an approved guide,
The Ness Islands Miniature Railway
The Ness Islands Miniature Railway is located near the Ness Islands at Whin Park in Inverness. Operated by the Highland Hospice their locomotives take passengers on an exciting journey over ½ a mile. A fun day out for families and an existing trip for adults and children alike
Looking for a walk near Inverness City Centre?
A Walk around the Ness Islands is a peaceful and beautiful walk in Inverness city centre. A chance to spot wildlife and you could forget you are in the capital of the Highlands. There are hundreds of walks and hikes in the Inverness area, the Walk Highlands website is a good resource for planning your hike.
Beauly Priory was founded in Scotland in about 1230 for monks of the Valliscaulian order. The Valliscaulians came from France and it is thought that this is where Beauly takes its name from. Now spelled “Beauly”, but in past times it was known as “Beaulieu”meaning “Beautiful Place” in french. The Priory has links to the Lovat Frasers and the Mackenzie clan so will be an interest to Outlander fans on tour.
Beaufort Castle, Beauly
The seat of the Lovat Frasers. The Castle is private, however, there is a nice circuit round the grounds or viewing available from public areas some distance away.
The Mackenzie Clan Seat and ancient Tree Walk. Some of the trees date back to the 1500s. A Great stop for an Outlander Tour or to explore the fantastic grounds.
“The Cats Back” Knockfarrel Vitrified Fort, near Strathpeffer
Walk to the summit where you will enjoy spectacular views over the area. The fort dates back to the Iron Age and has stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including views of Castle Leod.
Cawdor Castle and Gardens
Urquhart Castle sits on the banks of Loch Ness and has a long and historical past dating back to before Robert the Bruce. It was once one of Scotland’s largest castles and played a key role in many battles throughout its history. Urquhart Castle attracts over 500,000 visitors every year and is one of the most visited historical sites in Scotland.
Fortrose Cathedral was built in the 13th century and served as the seat of the Bishop of Ross until it was abandoned during the Reformation. Today, visitors can explore its ruins and learn about its fascinating history.
Chanonry Point is a narrow peninsula that juts out into the Moray Firth. It was once a site of religious significance to the Picts and is now a popular spot for dolphin watching. The best time for spotting Dolphins at Chanonry point is on a rising tide.
Arrive 1 hour after low tide for the best chance to spot them as they feed on Salmon and Sea Trout heading up the Beauly Firth to the River Ness, River Beauly and beyond to spawn.
Dunrobin Castle is one of Scotland’s oldest continuously inhabited houses, with parts dating back to the 1300s. Visitors can tour its many rooms and learn about its long and storied past. The Castle and its grounds are like something out of a Disney fairytale.
Brodie Castle dates back to the 16th century and has been home to the Brodie family for over 400 years. Visitors can explore its historic rooms and gardens, as well as learn about its role in Scottish history.
Fort Augustus was built in the early 18th century as part of a chain of forts designed to control access to the Highlands. Taking its name from the King’s youngest son – William Augustus Cumberland, who led the government forces at the Battle of Culloden.
The Fort itself is no longer visible as it was previously blown up by the Jacobites and later replaced with an Abbey.
The abbey has now been converted to The Highland Club Holiday Lets. Fort Augustus is a great spot to stop and grab lunch on the Caledonian Canal where it climbs 25 meters from Loch Ness into the River Oich and Loch Oich.
Fort George and the Highlander Museum
The Highlanders’ Museum at Fort George offers insight into the military history of Scotland’s Highlands. It features exhibits on everything from traditional weapons to modern warfare, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in military history.
The Fort itself is an amazing feat of engineering and architecture. Originally built in the aftermath of Culloden to help prevent any further attack or uprising.
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
Easily accessible and right in the centre of Inverness.
Inverness Botanic Garden
A good choice for a bad weather day and centrally located in Inverness, only a short walk from the city centre.
Located about 20-30 minutes from Inverness, Glen Ord has recently gone through a refurbisgment of its visitor centre and bar. A great stop on local tours from Inverness.
Tomatin Distillery – Tomatin
In Your Element, Kirkhill
Based in Kirkhill between Inverness and Beauly. – In your Element Tripadvisor “In Your Element is a mobile outdoor adventure activity company offering amazing outdoor adventures across Scotland, with bases in Inverness, Aviemore, Loch Tay and at Loch Lomond . We offer a range of outdoor experience for families, stag/ hen groups, corporate or charity groups including canoeing, gorge walking, archery, aerial adventure courses and much more”
Great for Wild Swimming, Paddle Boarding, Picnics etc. Fishing is possibly available too.
Robertsons Farm Shop , Beauly
Home to Katie-Morag and Jamie Mackenzie Fraser the Highland Cows. Robertsons have a great local farm shop selling local produce, gifts and souvenirs.