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Guide to Inverness Outdoors

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Welcome to this vibrant city, the gateway to some of the best that Scotland has to offer in terms of the great outdoors. Whichever way you travel from Inverness, you will find incredible scenery: hills to climb, rivers to paddle, beaches to walk along, rocks to scale, and quiet roads to cycle. Just make sure you plan to stay long enough to enjoy it all!

Good for
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Like a Local

8 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

8 Places

Caledonian Canal

Bodies of Water

River Ness

Bodies of Water

Chanonry Point

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Rosemarkie Beach

Beaches

Glen Affric National Nature Reserve

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Nairn Dunbar Golf Club

Golf Courses

Loch Ness

Mysterious Sites, Bodies of Water

Great Glen Way

Hiking Trails

kezban's City Tips

  • While it is possible to get around on public transport, a car will really open up the area to you.
  • If you have the time, cycling is a great way to get around, and there are a lot of quiet, single track roads to explore.
  • Food service in remote parts of Scotland can stop at 8pm, so if you are planning on eating somewhere after a long day in the hills, check last serving times in advance.
  • Caledonian Canal
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    kezban Says:

    Walk or cycle from Inverness to Dochgarroch along the Caledonian Canal, a pleasant nine-mile round trip. Take a picnic to enjoy by the locks as you watch the boats coming and going, or have lunch in the restaurant there before you start the return journey.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Alternatively, take a boat trip along the canal and out to Loch Ness, visiting Urquart Castle. (Remember to bring comfortable walking shoes for when you disembark to explore.)
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 49 things to do in Inverness
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Ride a bike on the tow path 06/11/2018
    • Nice walking 06/11/2018
    • Caledonian Canal
    Phone:
    +44 1463 236328
    Other:
  • River Ness
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    kezban Says:

    A stroll across the small Ness Islands (just half a mile from the city centre), is a great way to get a sense of the outdoors if time is short. From Bridge street, simply follow the signs for the Great Glen Way, which will take you along the river and across the islands, which are linked by a series of footbridges. Return on the opposite bank for spectacular views of Inverness.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Look out for special events such as a festival at Halloween and Christmas lights during the festive season.
    • If you are lucky you may spot seals in the river!
    • This is also a nice cycle route.
    • Take a picnic and enjoy the river from one of the benches on the islands.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 49 things to do in Inverness
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Ness Walk was lovely! 18/11/2018
    • A lovely walk on a bright winters day 11/11/2018
    • River Ness
    Phone:
    +44 1456 450551
    Other:
  • Chanonry Point
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    kezban Says:

    This narrow peninsula is the best place to spot bottle nose dolphins — and if you are lucky enough to see them, they will be within just a few metres! Take a picnic and simply stand on the shore, or opt for a boat trip and head out on the water.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • One bus an hour has a bike rack, and the the Black Isle has some fabulously small, quiet roads for cycling on. Leaflets with bike routes are available from the tourist office.
    • The best time to see dolphins is during the rising tide. Tide times can be found online, or in local papers.
    • Buses from Inverness bus station will get you here in about 40 minutes.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Fortrose
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Spotting dolphins 07/11/2018
    • Great spot 26/10/2018
    • Chanonry Point
    Address:
    Chanonry Ness
    Fortrose IV10 8SD
    Scotland
  • Rosemarkie Beach
    Beaches
    kezban Says:

    Rosemarkie beach is a wonderful, small beach on the Black Isle. Combine a trip here with dolphin spotting at Chanonry Point (less than 2 miles away) for a memorable day out.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Other beaches worth a day trip are Nairn and Findhorn. Both are accessible by bus and it is possible to combine a beach and forest walk thanks to the proximity of Culbin Forest.
    • Rosemarkie has a couple of great cafes, too.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Rosemarkie
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wonderful sandy beach stretching round the bay 27/10/2018
    • Spotless! 26/10/2018
    • Rosemarkie Beach
    Address:
    Marine Terrace
    Rosemarkie IV10 8UL
    Scotland
  • Glen Affric National Nature Reserve
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    kezban Says:

    You will need a car to get here, but the trip is well worth a chance to visit this wonderful Glen, home to some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer. Take a walk or cycle around the Loch on the easy-to-follow path. Be aware however, that even though you are on a well worn path, you will be in quite a remote area, so go prepared with plenty of water, food, and clothing suitable for all weather.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you have time you can make this a two-day walk, and stay at Glen Affric Youth Hostel for the night.
    • Don't rely on mobile phone reception here.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Cannich
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning Location 04/11/2018
    • Beautiful autumnal walks 21/10/2018
    • Glen Affric National Nature Reserve
    Phone:
    +44 1456 415323
    Other:
  • Nairn Dunbar Golf Club
    Golf Courses
    See more photos
    kezban Says:

    Scotland being the birthplace of golf, a game here is a great way to combine exercise, beautiful scenery, and meeting some locals.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you are a keen golfer, it may be worth buying the pass that gives you discounts on the many golf courses in the area. Check the website for this and other offers.
    • Nairn has some nice cafes and restaurants. Basil's Cafe at the harbour turns into a tapas restaurant at the weekend. Book ahead, as the cafe is tiny and very popular.
    • Trains and buses run between Nairn and Inverness.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 7 Outdoor Activities in Nairn
    • A round in the sun, well almost 27/08/2018
    • Well done and thank you 29/06/2018
    • Nairn Dunbar Golf Club
    Address:
    Lochloy Road
    Nairn IV12 5AE
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 1667 452741
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:00 - 00:30
    Other:
  • Loch Ness
    Mysterious Sites, Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    kezban Says:

    You can't visit Inverness without seeing its famous Loch, so why not do it properly? Hire a bike and ride around the entire 66-mile circumference! (Don't worry, there are plenty of great places to stop and eat along the way.)

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Every spring, the road is closed for the official Etape Loch Ness, a great cycling event that needs to be booked ahead. (Well worth entering to enjoy this route traffic-free.)
    • For a shorter, but also spectacular journey, follow the south Loch Ness Trail, 28 miles between Loch Tarff and Torbreck. A trail suitable for cyclists, walkers and horse riders.
    • The Dores Inn, 8 miles south of Inverness, runs a shuttle bus service if you want to combine a loch-side walk with a great lunch or dinner.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 21 things to do in Loch Ness
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • mesmerizing 17/11/2018
    • Trip to the highlands 10/11/2018
    • Loch Ness
    Phone:
    +44 1463 233999
    Other:
  • Great Glen Way
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    kezban Says:

    Scotland has several long distance footpaths, and one of them — the Great Glen Way — handily starts in Inverness. This means it's easy to start your walk directly from the city centre, and continue for as long as you feel like it, or get a bus to a certain point and walk back. Good maps are available and the trail is well marked.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you want to walk the whole 79 miles, there are companies offering baggage transfer and accommodation booking. There is also a Great Glen Ultra Marathon for runners.
    • Setting out from the city centre, follow the Way for about 5 miles and then turn off to climb to Dunain Hill for great views over Inverness.
    • Much of the route is accessible by mountain bike.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #165 of 487 things to do in Scottish Highlands
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Traditional route 30/10/2018
    • Fantastic! 14/10/2018
    • Great Glen Way
    Other:
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