Inverness is the largest town in the highlands of Scotland and as such is a great place to base yourself. Here’s some of the best day trips from Inverness that you can take when you’re out here.
If you’re looking for some accommodation options for visiting Inverness, look at the end of the post!
Day trips from Inverness
Loch Ness tours from Inverness are plentiful and as it’s only a 15 minute drive from Inverness it’s easy to see why. It’s simple enough to do it yourself if you have a car though.
The scenery is spectacular and sometimes a little oppressive in the Loch Ness area which just adds to the feeling of being round there.
Drumnadrochit is about half way down the side of Loch Ness on the North shore with Urquhart castle and boat trips on the loch and the Loch Ness centre and exhibition.
Loch Ness is a large narrow loch and it could take you around an hour to reach the far end – might be worth it to get a chance to spot Nessie though?
The Battle of Culloden is a sobering thing to learn about but it is presented in a fantastic way as we learnt when we visited a couple of years ago. The Scottish were defeated in Culloden by the English at the time of the Jacobite Rising. The visitor centre at the battlefield site is an excellent place to learn all about it and the audio tour around the field is also well worth it.
Culloden is located just outside Inverness so a really easy trip from there.
About a 30 minute drive from Inverness is a lovely little town on the Black Isle. This is our favourite beach and town in the area and for one good reason – dolphin spotting! You can get really close to dolphins who descend on Chanonry Point to have a feast of fish. As the river meets the sea there it’s a perfect spot for them! No need to go on a boat trip, they are literally a few meters from the shore!
For information on when is the best time to arrive to see the dolphins (it’s based on tide times) then check out this site.
Rosemarie itself has a wonderful beach and is a nice little town to walk to as well with a small museum that is well worth a look called Groam House Museum
Falls of Shin
About an hours drive from Inverness is a lovely waterfall which I think is well worth visiting if you have a longing to see the salmon migration.
Every year salmon migrate from the sea back up the river to where they spawned and if you’re around at the right time (Sept – Nov) then you might well be lucky enough to see it. Salmon are so strong that they can leap all the way up the waterfall!
Speyside Malt Whisky Trail
Scotland is definitely famous for its whisky and what better way to learn more about the art of making it than discovering the Malt Whisky Trail in Speyside! Although there are distilleries in more than just the Speyside area, there is a large concentration of them there – I guess it depends how much you like whisky!
We visited a couple of distilleries when we stayed in the area and did the whisky tours – we documented our trip here.
Aviemore and the Cairngorms
The Cairngorm mountain range near Aviemore is well worth a trip out to if you like walking and nature. It’s a beautiful area rich in wildlife. You can even go skiing here when it’s winter!
You can get a Funicular Railway to the top of CairnGorm mountain year round for amazing views
It’s about an hour and a half drive from Inverness to the wonderful little castle of Eileen Donan. You’ll recognise it immediately as it’s one of the most photographed castles in Scotland! As well as visiting inside the castle there is also a visitors centre and cafe.
The drive there is also spectacular and you’ll really get a sense of the grandeur of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. From Eileen Donan you’re also very close to the Isle of Skye which you reach via a bridge.
And also, let’s not forget that Inverness itself is a lovely town to explore as well with Inverness Castle, plenty of shops to wander round and the pretty river to walk alongside. I hope you enjoy your trip and your day trips from there!
For help planning your ultimate vacation in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland I always recommend Rough Guide books – they are my favourite. You can see them Amazon
Inverness – where to stay
We’ve been lucky enough to spend time in this area by house sitting but there are plenty of accommodation options as well!
If you’re looking for a hostel then Hostel Highland Backpackers is a great choice and is in the centre of Inverness.
The Glen Mhor has great reviews and is situated in Inverness Centre. It also has rooms suitable for families – click for the latest prices
I find that HomeAway has the best selection of properties in the UK and so I’d definitely check that out if you want the comfort of your own apartment for your time in Scotland.
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