Inverness: A Weekend Getaway to Scotland’s Highland Gem

Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is a beacon of history, culture, and natural splendour. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich heritage, and warm hospitality, this enchanting city offers a perfect weekend retreat. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Inverness promises an unforgettable experience.

Exploring History and Heritage

Inverness boasts a captivating history that dates back centuries. Begin your journey by delving into the city’s past at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Here, you can immerse yourself in exhibits showcasing the region’s archaeological finds, Jacobite heritage, and local artwork. The museum offers insights into the lives of Highlanders through the ages, from ancient clans to the modern era.

No visit to Inverness is complete without a trip to the iconic Inverness Castle. Although the current structure was built in the 19th century, its roots trace back to mediaeval times. While the castle is not open to the public, its grounds offer panoramic views of the city and the picturesque River Ness below.

To dive deeper into Scotland’s turbulent past, venture to the nearby Culloden Battlefield. This solemn site marks the location of the infamous Battle of Culloden, the final confrontation of the Jacobite Rising in 1746. Walk in the footsteps of history as you explore the battlefield and visitor centre, where immersive exhibits recount the events that shaped the nation.

Embracing Nature’s Bounty

Inverness is the gateway to some of Scotland’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, where you can admire the tranquil waters and lush greenery. For a more adventurous outing, head to the nearby Loch Ness, famed for its mythical monster and stunning vistas. Whether you choose to cruise its mysterious waters or hike along its shores, Loch Ness offers endless opportunities for exploration and awe-inspiring scenery.

Nature enthusiasts will also find solace in the nearby Cairngorms National Park, home to majestic mountains, ancient forests, and diverse wildlife. Embark on a hiking adventure amidst the rugged peaks or enjoy a scenic drive through the park’s pristine landscapes. Watch for red deer, golden eagles, and other native species that call this wilderness home.

Inverness Castle serves as the starting point for the renowned NC500 scenic route, a journey encompassing over 500 miles of stunning coastal vistas, sandy beaches, and picturesque villages, launched in 2015 to showcase the beauty of Scotland’s north Highlands. Whether seeking adventure, relaxation, or awe-inspiring landscapes, the NC500 offers something for every traveler, inviting them to embark on an unforgettable exploration of the region’s natural wonders. Begin planning your next escapade along this iconic route when visiting Inverness.

Savouring Highland Hospitality

After a day of exploration, unwind and indulge in Inverness’s warm hospitality. Treat yourself to traditional Scottish cuisine at one of the city’s charming eateries, where you can sample local delicacies like haggis, smoked salmon, and cranachan. Wash it all down with a dram of whisky from one of the region’s renowned distilleries, or relax with a pint of craft beer at a cosy pub. For a taste of traditional Scottish culture, don’t miss the opportunity to experience a ceilidh, a lively evening of music, dancing, and merriment. Join locals and fellow travellers as you reel and jig to the energetic tunes of Scottish folk music, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Stay at the Mansley

Inverness beckons travellers with its irresistible blend of history, nature, and hospitality. Explore it from unique Mansley Serviced Apartments. Ideal luxury stay accommodation for solo travellers, couples, and family groups exploring the Highlands.

clock icon March 22, 2024

Uncovering Inverness’s Hidden Charms: A Local’s 5-Day Guide

As you sit sipping whisky by the bar at The Gellions pub – reportedly the oldest pub in Inverness, dating back to 1841 – try chatting with the bartenders about obscure legends from Inverness past. Such tales encapsulate what makes Inverness so magical – a layers-deep story just waiting to be uncovered if you know where to look.

Top Attractions for Your Inverness Stay

Inverness Castle
Wake early and take the footpath along the river, watching the rising sun cast a golden glow over the castle walls. This fleeting moment of tranquillity evokes the long history within these walls.

Kessock Bridge
Moss-covered trails wind below the bridge, providing intimate views unmatched by crowded overlooks. Listen for the ethereal skirl of bagpipes, as if the muses honour this feat of engineering.

Urquhart Castle
Climb the Grant Tower steps just as Lady Rose’s beloved did centuries ago, stealing a secret rendezvous before she married the castle’s Lord. Peer through the arrow slit and imagine warriors storming the shores below.

Culloden Battlefield
Wander past clan headstones and hear a rendition of “The Skye Boat Song” float on the breeze, transporting you to the tragic aftermath of battle.

Botanic Gardens
Meander past riverside gardens abloom, pause to admire the vibrant purple rhododendrons contrasted against the emerald lawns and inhale the relaxing floral scents.

Must-See Day Trips Around Inverness

Loch Ness
Board a small cruiser and glide across Loch Ness’ glassy waters, the boat captain regaling you with tales of Nessie sightings over whisky tasting.

Cairngorms National Park
Traverse ethereal Caledonian pine trails, glimpsing the aquamarine waters of Loch an Eilein through the forest before emerging to spectacular Highland vistas.

Speyside Whisky Trail
TIP: Visit a whisky distillery on a misty morning and enjoy a private tasting experience in one of the cosy stone warehouses, sampling signature drams surrounded by oak casks. Choose between the famous Glenlivet, Glenfiddich or McCallan or pick a more quirky one like Dallas Dhu.

Black Isle Peninsula
Traverse single lane tracks bordered by vibrant purple heather, stopping to photograph uninterrupted views of the Moray Firth at Chanonry Point Lighthouse.

Glen Affric
Pause along An Caorann Mòr’s stepping stones while enchanting birdsong echoes through the glen. Dip your toes in the brisk loch waters before hiking on through mossy boulders and soaring pines.

5-Day Itinerary to Maximise Your Time

  • Day 1: Inverness Castle and Culloden Battlefield
  • Day 2: Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
  • Day 3: Whisky tour of Speyside distilleries like Abhainn Dearg
  • Day 4: Hike through Cairngorms National Park
  • Day 5: Stroll through Inverness’ Botanic Gardens

Follow this 5-day itinerary to uncover the most unique highlights of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. From dramatic landscapes to experiences steeped in Scottish heritage, Inverness is sure to captivate you with its depth and originality. And if you need a base while exploring Inverness – consider staying at our Inverness Serviced Apartments with your own kitchen and living room. Slàinte Mhath! Slàinte Mhath!

clock icon November 30, 2023

Carbon Neutral Activities & Wellbeing in our Cities – Inverness Jogging

No matter how north you travel, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more scenic jogging city than Inverness. Located just eight miles from Loch Ness, brimming with local landmarks and boasting impeccable street safety, we are proud to encourage our guests to lace them up and hit the track during their stay in the highlands properties.

Inverness Grand Tour (4.4 miles)

If you’re new to the city and want to get a little more familiar, look no further than the Grand Tour circuit, spanning just over 4 miles and covering a number of iconic landmarks, such as Bellefield Park, Ness Islands, Whin Park/Canal Park, the Botanical Gardens and, of course, Inverness Castle.

Caledonian Canal Route South (9.2 miles)

Travel south of the city and feast your eyes on the rolling hills, canal views and mesmeric river formations. At over 9 miles, this is a circuit for experienced joggers with a tolerance for weather (all kinds, inevitably) and time to spare.

The Inverness sustainable tourism strategy is centred on providing visitors to the city with the tools and information to make sustainable choices that allow for enjoyment and free spending, without preventable harm to the environment. This approach is apparent in the variety of transport options, cycle paths and, more recently, a carbon-neutral business improvement district (the first in the UK).

Learn more

clock icon May 12, 2023

Carbon Neutral Activities & Wellbeing in our Cities – Inverness Areas of Natural Beauty

It’s hard to talk about the Scottish highlands without mentioning their world-famous areas of natural beauty. Guests of our Highland Apartments are within hiking distance of illustrious lakes, mystical mountains and more buttes than you can blow a bagpipe at – here are a few spots to prioritise during your stay.

Loch Ness

Scotland’s most famous freshwater lake has yet to yield any long-necked monsters, but it can be considered monstrous in itself, with over 23 miles of water and depths of up to 650 feet. We recommend guests at our Highland Apartments take a boat tour (and bring a harpoon, just in case).

Glen Affric

There are forests, and then there are forests. Glen Affric (a caledonian reserve near to Cannich) is just a 40-minute drive (or 1h 15 min bus ride) from our Highlands Apartments and may well redefine your understanding of the word, with over 30 miles of pinewoods, moorlands, mountains and wildlife (including golden eagles).

Isle of Skye

Strictly more of an isle than an ‘area’, a visit to this collection of archipelagos is likely to beat out any other spectacle this side of the equator. Travel by boat or shared transport across the coastline of peninsulas, lochs and mountains to the town of Portree, where a hub of harbourside pubs and boutiques awaits you.

The Inverness sustainable tourism strategy is centred on providing visitors to the city with the tools and information to make sustainable choices that allow for enjoyment and free spending, without preventable harm to the environment. This approach is apparent in the variety of transport options, cycle paths and, more recently, a carbon-neutral business improvement district (the first in the UK).

Learn more

clock icon March 30, 2023

Carbon Neutral Activities & Wellbeing in our Cities – Inverness Activities & Exercise

When you look at the local scenery, it’s no surprise that the city of Inverness has developed such a keen appetite for outdoor activities and free form exercise. During your stay, you can combine your cardio routine with stunning lakeside vistas or swap the peloton for a road bike and set off down a mountain path.

Inverness City Centre Walking Tour

Before venturing out of the city limits, try your hand (or foot) at a walking tour – this is a great way to familiarise yourself with the area, its history and get your steps in before settling on a dinner option.

Inverness Botanic Gardens

Open seven days a week and free of charge, the Inverness Botanic Garden is a cornucopia of tropical plants, ponds, succulents and vibrant flowers. Better yet, the garden is cared for and nurtured by the GROW project – an initiative designed to help individuals with learning disabilities to develop life skills, gain work experience and find greater independence. With hours of walk paths, you’re sure to work up a sweat during your visit.

Inverness Bike Hire

If you want total freedom to explore the surrounding region of Inverness, why not look into a local bike hire? The official Inverness Bike Hire service is affiliated with VisitScotland and provides the most flexible, environmentally-sound way to explore the highlands.

The Inverness sustainable tourism strategy is centred on providing visitors to the city with the tools and information to make sustainable choices that allow for enjoyment and free spending, without preventable harm to the environment. This approach is apparent in the variety of transport options, cycle paths and, more recently, a carbon-neutral business improvement district (the first in the UK).

Learn more

clock icon March 30, 2023

Carbon Neutral Activities & Wellbeing in our Cities – Inverness Eco Dining

Considering its proximity to so many areas of natural beauty, it’s no wonder that sustainability is taken so seriously by the Inverness hospitality sector. Whether you’re hungry, thirsty or in need of a pick-me-up, indulge your tastes without having to worry about carbon impact.

Inverness Coffee Roasting Co.
15 Chapel St, Inverness IV1 1NA

As the city’s foremost baristas, Inverness Coffee Roasting Co aim to promote recycling, minimise waste, source environmentally-sound products and avoid plastics, all whilst brewing world-class coffee. If you want to start your day guilt-free and ground to perfection, you know where to start.

Café Artysans
7 Strothers Ln, Inverness IV1 1LR

Café Artysans puts ethical catering first by sourcing their ingredients from local, sustainable outlets and supporting their young employees to independence. Better still, the café is located just a 7-minute walk from our Highland Apartments.

The Victorian Market
Academy Street, Inverness IV1 1JN

Inverness has developed a reputation as something of a foodie hotspot, and this is largely thanks to initiatives like The Victorian Market, now a fully-developed food hall. Take an afternoon to peruse the selection of sumptuous cakes, pastries and locally-run gift shops – all tastes catered for.

The Inverness sustainable tourism strategy is centred on providing visitors to the city with the tools and information to make sustainable choices that allow for enjoyment and free spending, without preventable harm to the environment. This approach is apparent in the variety of transport options, cycle paths and, more recently, a carbon-neutral business improvement district (the first in the UK).

Learn more

clock icon March 30, 2023

Visit Inverness this Spring

Inverness is a beautiful city situated in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. It is a popular tourist destination with many attractions such as the Loch Ness Monster, Inverness Castle, and Culloden Battlefield. If you are planning a trip to Inverness, you should consider staying in a serviced apartment. Serviced apartments offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional hotels. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of staying in a serviced apartment in Inverness. Are you planning a trip to Scotland and looking for a comfortable and luxurious place to stay? Look no further than Highland Apartments by Mansley.

Serviced apartments in Inverness are located in prime locations, close to all the main attractions of the city. Whether you want to explore the historic Old Town or visit the nearby Loch Ness, a serviced apartment is the perfect base for your stay. You can easily walk to all the major tourist sites or take a short taxi ride to the outskirts of the city. Located in the heart of Inverness, Highland Apartments by Mansley offers modern and spacious self-catering apartments that are perfect for families, couples, or business guests. With its convenient location, guests can easily explore the city’s top attractions, including the Inverness Castle, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and the River Ness.

Staying in a serviced apartment in Inverness can be more cost-effective than staying in a traditional hotel, especially if you are travelling with a group of friends or family. Serviced apartments offer a more spacious and comfortable living space, which can accommodate more people at a lower cost per person. Additionally, the ability to cook your own meals can save you money on dining out. One of the main benefits of staying in a serviced apartment is the flexibility it offers. Unlike hotels, serviced apartments allow you to live like a local and have the freedom to come and go as you, please. You can cook your own meals in the fully equipped kitchen or order takeout from one of the many restaurants nearby. You can also choose to have a lazy morning in bed or work from the comfort of your own space. One of the unique features of Highland Apartments by Mansley is the option to choose from different types of apartments. If you’re travelling with a large group, the Grand Apartment is perfect as it can accommodate up to six people.

If you are planning a trip to Inverness, consider staying in a serviced apartment. You will enjoy the benefits of a convenient location, flexibility, comfort, and cost-effectiveness. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, a serviced apartment in Inverness will provide you with a comfortable and convenient home away from home. Book your serviced apartment today and experience the best of Inverness.

clock icon February 27, 2023

The History of Inverness – Places to Visit

Inverness is one of the oldest towns in Scotland and the history dates back to 6th century AD, when it was an ancient city where St Columba was meant to have visited King Brude a Pictish King. Inverness means ‘Mouth of the River Ness’ and is known as the capital to the Highlands of Scotland. Similar to Edinburgh this city is not only known as a capital city but  also it has a castle which sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness in Inverness, Scotland.

Inverness is near a famous battlefield ‘Culloden Moor’ where the battle of Culloden took place. Bonnie Prince Charlie led the Jacobites into battle in April 1746 in a failed attempt against the Duke of Cumberland son of King George II. Over 1200 died that day in less than an hour and the Battle of Culloden is still known today as ‘The Bloody Battle’.

TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN INVERNESS

Culloden Battlefield & Visitor Centre

Today you can still visit Culloden Moor where the Battle of Culloden took place.  The battle lines have been restored to show a true picture of what the battlefield was like on that fateful day. There is an impressive visitor centre with an interesting interactive exhibition, with artefacts and authentic weapons which were found on the battlefield. A great day out for all the family and for fans of the tv show Outlander.

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle is located next to Highland Apartments by Mansley and both are in such close proximity they share views of the River Ness. Inverness Castle dates back to the 18th century and sits on a previous structure dating back to the 11th century where Macbeth was meant to have murdered King Duncan in the year 1040 as featured in Shakespeare’s tragedy. Today the castle is home to the Sheriff Court and is not open to the public but the castle grounds are definitely worth a visit.

Inverness Museum & Art Gallery

Inverness Museum & Art Gallery is a few minutes walk from Highland Apartments by Mansley and admission is free. The original museum opened in 1881 and displayed Highland and Jacobite collections. The museum was re-located to Castle Wynd in 1963 and in 2006 underwent a £1.3 million refurbishment. Today the museum and art gallery exhibits paintings by famous Scottish artists, Highland memorabilia and archaeology.

Urquhart Castle

Approximately 13 miles south-west of Inverness stands Urquhart Castle which overlooks Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland and the views are spectacular. It was a medieval fortress dating back to the 13th century and it’s ruins are now one of the most visited.  The Castle has witnessed some historical events in Scotland’s history.  St Columba was said to have performed miracles here in the 6th century. The castle was embroiled in the ‘Wars of Independence’ and this is where Lords of the Isles fought for power until it was destroyed in the Jacobite Risings. Climb the Grant tower and visit the prison cell that held the legendary Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn. With fantastic views of Loch Ness you might even see ‘Nessie’ the Loch Ness monster!

Accommodation in Inverness

Highland Apartments by Mansley Serviced Apartments, Inverness, are the ideal base in a central location to explore Inverness and the surrounding areas. We want you to have a truly memorable stay so please get in touch if we can assist you further on what to see and do during your visit to Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.

clock icon October 4, 2019
nc 500 route

North Coast 500 Route

The official North Coast 500 Route (NC500) is a circular road trip that starts and ends at Inverness Castle and is Scotland’s version of the famous U.S. Route 66. With 516 miles (830.4 km) of breathtaking scenery, this is Scotland’s largest road trip around the north coast of Scotland. Originally created as a tourism project by the North Highland Initiative and Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, to develop the economy and to showcase the best of the north Highlands of Scotland.

NC500 have created an interactive map with various itineraries to suit all interests. Whether you are driving, motorcycling, cycling, camping, an adventure enthusiast, walker or golfer you can use the route as a guide to create your own personal experience. Below are some of the locations and places to visit outlined on the official route map.

INVERNESS

The North Coast 500 route covers amazing destinations and the official starting point for this spectacular road trip begins in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Inverness is the largest city in the Scottish Highlands, where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth. The route starts at the famous Inverness Castle where Shakespeare’s Macbeth was set in the 11th century.  Two famous historical battles took place near Inverness, the 11th-century Blàr Nam Fèinne battle led by King Malcolm III of Scotland against the Norwegians and Thorfinn the Mighty, Earl of Orkney. The second, Battle of Culloden at Culloden Moor the final Jacobite rising in 1746. Today Inverness is a vibrant city, with a variety of restaurants, bars and shops. Mix the old with the new and combine visits to the ancient battlefields, museums, castles and Loch Ness to visit ‘Nessie’.

APPLECROSS

Next, the route takes you to the tiny village of Applecross – a remote peninsula located in Wester Ross approx 79 miles from Inverness – to start your north coastal route journey. The rugged landscape has dramatic scenery and you can see the Isle of Skye across the water from Applecross on a clear day. This tiny village has a campsite and the Applecross Inn is worth a visit with beautiful seafood and homemade ice cream supplied by Aron, Applecross Ices. There is an abundance of wildlife from red deer, whales, dolphins and eagles. Highland ‘Coo’ tend to travel on the NC500 route too!

LOCH TORRIDON

From Applecross the route continues to Loch Torridon, a sea Loch on the West Coast of Scotland. The Loch is surrounded by mountains, Torridon Hills, which provide the most beautiful dramatic scenery due to the Torridonian sandstone rocks, the oldest sedimentary rocks in Scotland dating back one billion years. The Loch provides important shellfish where langoustines are caught using creels which are exported to Europe.

DURNESS

Head further up the North West Coast approx 149 miles from Loch Torridon you will find the village of Durness. The picturesque Durness Beach has glorious white sandy beaches with turquoise waters with spectacular scenery.  A great stop for a relaxing walk and to explore the nearby Smoo Cave, the largest sea cave in Britain.

JOHN O’GROATS

Located approx 90 miles from Durness is the village, John O’Groats which is famous for it’s iconic ‘end of the road’ location. The end point of a long distance route with the start point from Land’s End (Cornwall) which measures the whole length of Britain south-west to the northeast. Visit the Journey’s End Cafe where staff are waiting to offer you a warm welcome. The breathtaking scenery and wildlife are incredible, see puffins and seals or take a boat trip to Orkney for the day.

As you’ve reached the ‘end of the road’, it’s time to head back south through Wick, Tain, Dingwall and Muir of Ord situated on the boundary of the Black Isle peninsula. This small settlement was originally known as Tarradale, the name changed when the Muir of Ord railway station opened in 1862 in the village. Glen Ord Whisky Distillery and Visitor Centre is located on the outskirts of the village and is the last remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle. This 5-star visitor attraction is open all year round and is well worth a visit with whisky tours to suit everyone from beginners to connoisseurs. Then travel a further 14 miles back to your official start point on the NC500 route, Inverness Castle.

ACCOMMODATION IN INVERNESS

Highland Apartments by Mansley Serviced Apartments, Inverness, are in close proximity of Inverness Castle and are the ideal base in a central location to explore Inverness. We are also official members of the North Coast 500 route and we offer complimentary secure private parking to our guests. We want you to have a truly memorable stay so please get in touch if we can assist you further on ‘what to see and do‘ during your visit to Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.

clock icon September 11, 2019
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