Cities don't get much more picturesque than Inverness. Situated on the salmon hotspot of the River Ness at the northern end of the Great Glen, the 'capital of the Highlands' offers riverside walks, loch cruises, quaint cafes and superb restaurants - and it's also the perfect base for young monster-hunters hoping to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster. There's also plenty of history to explore, from medieval battlefields to grand castles.
A trip to Inverness isn’t complete with a walk along the river heading towards the Caledonian Canal. Here you'll find the relaxing Ness Islands, the perfect spot to escape the city and enjoy a picnic – there’s even a chance of spotting a seal or two.
You’ll also find several public parks near the islands: head to Whin Park to enjoy a charming miniature railway, or to the Inverness Botanic Gardens to admire exotic plants rarely seen this far north. After you’ve explored the town’s shopping streets – we recommend browsing in the Victorian Market in the Old Town – set off on a dolphin cruise, an offering found in few other places in Great Britain.
The nearby Moray Firth, with tremendous views of Culloden Moor, Fort George and the Great Glen, is the most habitable area for these fascinating sea creatures in the UK. For some family fun, head out of town to Landmark Park, which offers adventure-fuelled fun just a short trip from the city. It’s situated out in the Highlands, and has an abundance of rides and attractions including a water park.
Finally, end your visit with some culture: learn about the history of kilts at the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre, or take in a show at the modern Eden Theatre on the banks of the Ness.
If you want to travel to Inverness, then there are a number of train routes you can take to reach the coastal town. There is a daily LNER trains from London King's Cross to Inverness that will also stop at Edinburgh among others. Alternatively, if you are travelling within Scotland, you can take a ScotRail train from Glasgow Queen Street to Inverness with major stops in Perth and Stirling. This is one of the most spectacular train routes in the UK, with the train winding through Cairngorms National Park. With an average journey time of just over 3 hours, we recommend you take this trip in the middle of Winter for snow-capped hills and breathtaking views.