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If you think the only reason to venture north of Edinburgh is to see Nessie, then think again! With the majestic Loch Ness and sublime mountain scenery setting the backdrop to your adventure, there’s plenty of things to do in Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. Delve into history, and explore local breweries, as we guide you through the region’s highlights.
You could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled across a French château when visiting the enchanting towers and turrets of Dunrobin Castle. It’s the largest castle in the northern Highlands, with a staggering 189 rooms, and is a Category A listed building.
Sir Charles Barry (who also designed the Houses of Parliament) was influenced by the spectacular Parisian Palace of Versailles when laying out the 1,379 acre gardens - the parterres and fountains are truly a sight to admire!
Dunrobin Castle’s fascinating museum showcases a unique collection of trophy animal heads (shot by family members on safari), among other cultural and archaeological gems. There’s also daily falconry demonstrations, featuring peregrine falcons and golden eagles – a captivating experience for both kids and grown-ups!
This attraction is open from the end of March to mid-October, but opening times are subject to change in the summer, so check the latest times online.
Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition
No visit to the Scottish Highlands would be complete without a trip to the home of one of the world’s most famous mythical creatures, Nessie!
At the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition you can explore the legends of what lurks beneath the loch. Beginning with primitive fish from before the Ice Age, you can learn Nessie’s history and experience real eye-witness reports of the Loch Ness monster. There’s also the chance to get up close to the world’s smallest submarine, Machan.
While at the Centre, why not take a cruise on the Loch Ness itself? You can hop aboard the research vessel ‘Deepscan’ and relive the famous expedition of 1987! To complete your visit, you can browse The Nessie Shop (everything and anything Nessie), and The Whisky Shop (local malts and a wide selection of whiskies and liqueurs).
Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition is a 30- minute drive from our Inverness hotel.
Bealach na Ba
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Try your hand at the Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle), a hair-raising drive along twisting roads and hairpin bends with dramatic mountainous views of the Applecross peninsula. Peaking at 626m (2053ft), and with nearly 20% gradients, this daunting ascent is the steepest of any mainland UK road. Not for the faint-hearted!
The Highlanders' Museum
The Highlanders’ Museum is one of the largest military museums in the UK, boasting a collection of around 20,000 artefacts. The Highlanders are well-known for being fierce and ferocious fighters, and this exhibition leads you through their exciting history and heritage, from the mid-18th century to the present-day.
Situated within the historic site of Fort George, this Scheduled Ancient Monument also offers beautiful views across to the Black Isle, with occasional sightings of seals, dolphins, orcas, and minke whales.
Black Isle Brewery
Founded in 1998 by passionate beer-lover David Gladwin, the Black Isle Brewery is dedicated to creating world-class craft beers. With an organic farm for growing malting barley, the house cow Frieda, and 200 or so Hebridean sheep, the brewery takes pride in their fresh local produce. What the brewery lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in spirit – its welcoming and highly knowledgeable team is always ready to give you a tour of the site (and tastings too, of course!).
Finish off your visit by dropping in at the Black Isle Bar and enjoying a delicious wood-fired pizza and salad – all organic and locally sourced – and one of their refreshing craft beers to wash it all down. We can’t think of anything better!
Our Jurys Inn Inverness hotel is just a 15 minute drive from Black Isle Brewery.