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Coordinates: 57°28′18″N 4°13′31″W / 57.4717°N 4.2254°W / 57.4717; -4.2254

Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis
Top: Inverness Castle

Middle: The Town House, St. Andrew's Cathedral
Bottom: Ness Walk beside the River Ness.

Inverness is located in Scotland

 Inverness shown within Scotland
Population 70,207 [1][2]
OS grid reference NH666450
    - Edinburgh  158 miles (254 km) 
    - London  561 miles (903 km) 
Council area Highland
Lieutenancy area Inverness
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district IV1-IV3, IV5, IV13, IV63
Dialling code 01463
Police Northern
Fire Highlands and Islands
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
Scottish Parliament Highlands & Islands
Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber
Ross, Skye & Inverness West
Website City of Inverness and Area
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Inverness (from the Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis, pronounced [iɲɪɾʲˈniʃ] meaning 'mouth of the River Ness') is a city in northern Scotland. The city is the administrative centre for the Highland council area,[3] and is promoted as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. The city lies near the site of the 18th century Battle of Culloden[4] and at the northeastern extremity of the Great Glen (An Gleann Mòr), where the River Ness enters the Inverness/Moray Firth making it a natural hub for various transport links. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom. A settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by King David I in the 12th century.

The population of Inverness increased by over 10% from 1991-2001 and from 1997-2007[5] with an estimated population in 2006 of 54,000. (This figure of 54,000 is made up of the population of the census administrative area known as Inverness which was estimated at 46,100 plus the estimated 7,900 people living in the immediately adjacent urban settlement of the Culloden census administrative area - an area which covers Westhill, Smithton and Balloch as well as Culloden.) The city is forecast to grow by approximately 40% over the next two decades.[6] Inverness is Europe's fastest growing city[7] and ranked fifth out of 189 British cities for its quality of life, the highest of any Scottish city.[8] Inverness is twinned with one German city, Augsburg and two French towns, La Baule and Saint-Valery-en-Caux.[9]

Inverness College is the main campus for the UHI Millennium Institute and offers one of the widest ranging curricula in Scotland.[10] With around 8,500 students, Inverness College hosts around a quarter of all the University of the Highlands and Islands' students, and 30% of those studying to degree level.[11]

Scottish Gaelic appears on the majority of road signs around Inverness, with a significant number of people speaking the language in the city. Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis, which opened in August 2007 offering primary school education through the medium of Gaelic, is nearing full capacity and is to be extended to allow for more pupils come August 2010.[12] The Bòrd na Gàidhlig holds its main office in Inverness, an organisation responsible for supporting and promoting the use of Scottish Gaelic.[13]



Inverness at the end of the 17th century

Inverness was one of the chief strongholds of the Picts, and in AD 565 was visited by St Columba with the intention of converting the Pictish king Brude, who is supposed to have resided in the vitrified fort on Craig Phadrig,[14] on the western edge of the city. A 93 oz (2.6 kg) silver chain dating to 500-800 was found just to the south at Torvean in 1983.[15] A church or a monk's cell is thought to have been established by early Celtic monks on St Michael's Mount, a mound close to the river, now the site of the Old High Church[16] and graveyard. The castle is said to have been built by Máel Coluim III (Malcolm III) of Scotland, after he had razed to the ground the castle in which Mac Bethad mac Findláich (Macbeth) had, according to much later tradition, murdered Máel Coluim's father Donnchad (Duncan I), and which stood on a hill around 1 km to the north-east.

The strategic location of Inverness has led to many conflicts in the area. Reputedly there was a battle in the early 11th century between King Malcolm and Thorfinn of Norway at Blar Nam Feinne, to the southwest of the city.[17]

Inverness had four traditional fairs, one of them being Legavrik (leth-gheamradh). William the Lion (d. 1214) granted Inverness four charters, by one of which it was created a royal burgh. Of the Dominican friary founded by Alexander III in 1233, only one pillar and a worn knight's effigy survive in a secluded graveyard near the town centre.

Medieval Inverness suffered regular raids from the Western Isles, particularly by the MacDonald Lords of the Isles in the fifteenth century. In 1187 one Donald Bane led islanders in a battle at Torvean against men from Inverness Castle led by the governor's son, Duncan Mackintosh.[18] Both leaders were killed in the battle, Donald Bane is said to have been buried in a large cairn near the river, close to where the silver chain was found.[19] Local tradition says that the citizens fought off the Clan MacDonald in 1340 at the Battle of Blairnacoi on Drumderfit Hill, north of Inverness across the Beauly Firth.[20] On his way to the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, Donald of Islay harried the city, and sixteen years later James I held a parliament in the castle to which the northern chieftains were summoned, of whom three were executed for asserting an independent sovereignty.[citation needed] Clan Munro defeated Clan Mackintosh in 1454 at the Battle of Clachnaharry just west of the city.[21] The Clan MacDonald and their allies stormed the castle during the Raid on Ross in 1491.

In 1562, during the progress undertaken to suppress Huntly's insurrection, Mary, Queen of Scots, was denied admittance into Inverness Castle by the governor, who belonged to the earl's faction, and whom she afterwards caused to be hanged. The Clan Munro and Clan Fraser took the castle for her.[22] The house in which she lived meanwhile stood in Bridge Street until the 1970s, when it was demolished to make way for the second Bridge Street development. The city's Marymass Fair, on the Saturday nearest 15 August, (a tradition revived in 1986) is said to commemorate Queen Mary as well as the Virgin Mary.[citation needed]

Beyond the then northern limits of the town, Oliver Cromwell built a citadel capable of accommodating 1000 men, but with the exception of a portion of the ramparts it was demolished at the Restoration. The only surviving modern remnant is a clock tower. In 1715 the Jacobites occupied the royal fortress as a barracks. In 1727 the government built the first Fort George here, but in 1746 it surrendered to the Jacobites and they blew it up.[23]

Culloden Moor lies nearby, and was the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1746, which ended the Jacobite Rising of 1745-1746.

On September 7, 1921, the first UK Cabinet meeting to be held outside London took place in the Town House, when David Lloyd George, on holiday in Gairloch, called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Ireland. The Inverness Formula composed at this meeting was the basis of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.


Inverness and its immediate hinterland have a rich Gaelic toponymy.[24]

Placename Original Gaelic Meaning
Inverness Inbhir Nis Mouth of the River Ness
Ben Wyvis Beinn Uais Mountain Terror
Scorguie Sgurr Gaoithe The Windy Hill
Clachnaharry Clach na h-Aithrigh Stone of Repentance
Balloch Am Bealach The Pass
Resaurie Ruigh Samhraidh Summer Slope
Raigmore Rathaig Mhòir Big Fort
Balnafettack Baile nam Feadag Farm of the Plovers
Culloden Chùil Lodair Nook of the Marsh
Dalneigh Dail an Eich Field of the Horse
Culduthel Cuil Daothail Quite northern spot
Culcabock Cùil na Càbaig Back of the Tillage Land
Dalmagarry Dail Mac Gearraidh Garry's Son's Haugh
Tomatin Tom Aitinn Hill of the Juniper
Dell Dail MhicEachainn MacEachen's Haugh
Diriebught Tìr nam Bochd Land of the Poor
Dochfour Dabhach Phùir Davoch of Pasture Land
Dochgarroch Dabhach Gairbheach Davoch of Rough Place
Dores Dubhras Black Wood
Drummond An Druimein The Ridge
Drumossie Druim Athaisidh Ridge of Great Haugh
Castle Heather Caisteal Leathoir Castle on the Slope
Inshes Na h-Innseagan The Meadows
Kessock Ceasaig (Saint) Ceasaig
Kimmylies Ceann a' Mhìlidh The Warrior's Head
Leachkin Leacainn Broad Hillside
Merkinch Marc Innis The Horse Meadow
Millburn Allt a' Mhuilinn The Mill River
Slackbuie An Slag Buidhe The Yellow Hollow
Smithton Baile a' Ghobhainn Smiths' Town
Tomnahurich Tom na h-Iubhraich Hillock of Yew
Torvean Tòrr Bheathain MacBean's Hill
Abertarff Obar Thairbh Mouth of the Bull River
Ballifeary Baile na Faire The Guard's Farm

In the colonial period the name was given by expatriates to settlements in Nova Scotia, Montana, Florida, Illinois, and California. The name Inverness is also given to a feature on Miranda, a moon of the planet Uranus.

Inverness is also known by its nicknames Inversnecky, Invershneckie and The Shneck.

Geography and Climate

River Ness and Inverness Castle

Inverness lies at the mouth of the River Ness, and it is from this that the city derives its name: Inbhir Nis is Scots Gaelic for "mouth (or confluence) of the Ness". In nominal terms, the river mouth is at the southwestern and most inland extremity of the Moray Firth (grid reference NH661472). The Beauly Firth may be seen, however, as a westward and more inland extension of the Moray Firth. Also, Inverness Firth has some currency as a name for the section of the Moray Firth between the mouth of the River Ness and the more eastward promontory of Fort George (NH758566).

The river flows from nearby Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal and connects Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy.

Islands in the River Ness, the Bught and the river banks form a pleasant series of walks, as do the forested hills of Craig Phadraig and Craig Dunain. The city is well served with shops, as it is the main shopping centre for an area of nearly 26,000 km².[citation needed]

Inverness has an Oceanic climate and has the coldest winter of all the cities in the United Kingdom. Temperatures can drop as low as -17.8'C in winter [25] and can reach as high as 29.4'C in summer.[26]

Climate data for Inverness, Scotland
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11
Average high °C (°F) 4
Average low °C (°F) -2
Record low °C (°F) -15.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 79
Sunshine hours 31 85 93 120 155 150 124 124 90 62 30 31 1,095
Avg. precipitation days 22 17 21 17 17 16 17 18 21 20 21 22 229
Source: {{{source}}} {{{accessdate}}}


Raigmore is the main hospital in Inverness and the entire Highland authority.[27] The present hospital opened in 1970, replacing wartime wards dating from 1941.[28]

Raigmore is also a teaching hospital catering for both the Universities of Aberdeen and Stirling. A new Centre for Health Science is located behind Raigmore Hospital. This is being funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Executive and Johnson and Johnson. Phase I of this opened in early 2007, phase II is under construction and phase III has been funded. The University of Stirling is moving its operations from Raigmore Hospital to the CfHS. The UHI also has strong links with the centre through its Faculty of Health.


Most of the traditional industries such as distilling have been replaced by high-tech businesses, such as the design and manufacture of diabetes diagnostic kits. Highlands and Islands Enterprise has partly funded the Centre for Health Science with a view to attracting more businesses in the medical and medical devices business to the area.[citation needed] Inverness is home to Scottish Natural Heritage following that body's relocation from Edinburgh under the auspices of the Scottish Government's decentralisation strategy. SNH provides a large number of jobs in the area.

Inverness High Street heading towards Church Street

Inverness City Centre lies on the east bank of the river and is linked to the west side of the town by three road bridges (Ness Bridge, Friars Bridge and the Black (or Waterloo) Bridge) and by one of the town's suspension foot bridges, the Grieg Street Bridge.[29] The traditional city centre was a triangle bounded by High Street, Church Street and Academy Street, within which Union Street and Queensgate are cross streets parallel to High Street. Between Union Street and Queensgate is the Victorian Market, which contains a large number of small shops.[30] The main Inverness railway station is almost directly opposite the Academy Street entrance to the Market. From the 1970s, the Eastgate Shopping Centre (Inverness) was developed to the east of High Street, with a substantial extension being completed in 2003. The streets of the main shopping areas in Inverness has been mapped at


The city has a number of different education institutions including a number of primary schools, secondary schools and the higher education institution of Inverness College. The city also has a specialised gaelic primary school and a new Centre for Health Sciences.

Inverness College

Inverness College is situated in the city and is the largest member of The UHI Millennium Institute, which is a federation of 15 colleges and research institutions in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland delivering higher education. As part of the UHI the college offers university level courses, and ultimately aims to become part of a University of the Highlands and Islands with its participation in the UHI Millennium Institute.

Architects and planning agents have been appointed to draw up a master plan for the proposed new Inverness College UHI campus which will include research facilities, a business school, student residences and a regional sports centre of excellence. The 200-acre campus at Beechwood, just off the A9 south of Inverness, shown on the right, is considered by the Highland Council to be one of the most important developments for the region over the next 20 years. An outline planning application could be submitted by early 2009.

MAKE Architects and planning agents Turnberry Consulting have been appointed to come up with the blueprint. The Principal of UHI (as of Oct 09), James Fraser, said: “This is a flagship development which will provide Inverness with a university campus and vibrant student life. It will have a major impact on the city and on the Highlands and Islands. UHI is a partnership of colleges and research centres throughout the region, and the development of any one partner brings strength to the whole institution."[31]

It is estimated that the new campus would contribute more than £50m to the economy of the Highlands because it could attract innovative commercial businesses interested in research and development, while increasing the number of students who study within the city by around 3,000.[32]


Inverness is linked to the Black Isle across the Moray Firth by the Kessock Bridge. It has a railway station[33] with services to Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Aberdeen, Thurso, Wick and to Kyle of Lochalsh. Inverness is connected to London by the Caledonian Sleeper, which departs six times a week and by the Highland Chieftain which runs 7 days a week. Inverness Airport[34] is located 15 km east of the city and has scheduled flights to airports across the UK including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and the islands to the north and west of Scotland. Some local controversy arose when British Airways sold off the landing slots at Heathrow for the three daily flights to and from Inverness as part of the proposed link up with American Airlines which eventually failed.[citation needed] Flybe has a base here with crews working Gatwick and Manchester routes,they also fly to Belfast and Birmingham with BHX and BFS crews. Highland airways fly routes to Stornoway and Benbecula. Logan air Fly Saab 340 aircraft ( in Flybe colours ) to Stornoway,Kirkwall and Sumburgh Daily,Rumour has it Logan air will open a base at Inverness in March 2010.

Three trunk roads (the A9, A82 and A96) provide access to Aberdeen, Perth, Elgin, Thurso, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Inverness Trunk Road Link

Plans are in place to convert the A96 between Inverness and Nairn to a dual carriageway and to construct a southern bypass that would link the A9, A82 and A96 together involving crossings of the Caledonian Canal and the River Ness in the Torvean area, southwest of the town.[35]

The bypass, known as the Inverness Trunk Road Link (TRL), is aimed at resolving Inverness’s transport problems and has been split into two separate projects, the east and west sections. The east section will bypass Inshes Roundabout, a notorious traffic bottleneck, using a new road linking the existing Southern Distributor with the A9 and the A96, both via grade separated interchanges. This proposed new link road would bypass Inshes roundabout, as stated before, and separate strategic traffic from local traffic as well as accommodating proposals for new development at the West Seafield Retail and Business Park and also a new UHI campus.

At the west end, two options for crossing the river and canal were developed. One involving a high level vertical opening bridge which will allow the majority of canal traffic to pass under without the need for opening. The other involved a bridge over the river and an aqueduct under the canal. Both of these designs are technically complex and were considered in detail along by the key stakeholders involved in the project. Ultimately it was decided that a bridge over the river and a tunnel under the canal were the best option, allow more expensive.[36]

In late 2008 the controversial decision by the Scottish Government not to include the full Inverness bypass in its transport plan for the next 20 years was made. The government's Strategic Transport Projects Review did however, include the eastern section of the route, which will see the A9 at Inshes linked to the A96.

But the absence of the TRL's western section, which would include a permanent crossing over the Caledonian Canal and River Ness, sparked dismay among several Highland councillors and business leaders in Inverness who feel the bypass is vital for the city's future economic growth.[37]

When the Trunk Road Link is completed this will ease gridlock in the City Centre and provide opportunities for Transport Demand Management measures throughout the city as well as environmental enhancement in the City Centre in line with National Transport Strategy of reducing emissions and congestion in City Centres.

Upgrading of the A9 South

In late 2008 the Scottish Government's transport plan for the next 20 years was announced. It brings forward planned improvements to the A9 in an attempt to stimulate the economy and protect jobs.

Work costing a total of £8.5 million will take place at Moy, Carrbridge and Bankfoot. Northbound overtaking lanes will be created and the carriageways reconstructed at both Moy and Carrbridge. Junction improvements will also be made at Moy, with work due to get under way in September 2009. With the Carrbridge scheme is due to be begin in February 2009.

Nationally an extra £38 million is to be spent this financial year, followed by a further £232 million in 2009 and 2010.

It is estimated the move will help support in the region of around 4000 jobs across Scotland.[38]


Local government

Inverness was an autonomous royal burgh, and county town for the county of Inverness (also known as Inverness-shire) until 1975, when local government counties and burghs were abolished, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, in favour of two-tier regions and districts and unitary islands council areas. The royal burgh was then absorbed into a new district of Inverness, which was one of eight districts within the Highland region. The new district combined in one area the royal burgh, the Inverness district of the county and the Aird district of the county. The rest of the county was divided between other new districts within the Highland region and the Western Isles. Therefore, although much larger than the royal burgh, the new Inverness district was much smaller than the county.

In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994,[39] the districts were abolished and the region became a unitary council area. The new unitary Highland Council, however, adopted the areas of the former districts as council management areas, and created area committees to represent each. The Inverness committee represents 23 out of the 80 Highland Council wards, with each ward electing one councillor by the first past the post system of election. However, management area and committee area boundaries have been out of alignment since 1999, as a result of changes to ward boundaries. Also, ward boundaries are changing again this year, 2007, and the council management areas are being replaced with three new corporate management areas.

Ward boundary changes in 2007, under the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004,[40] create 22 new Highland Council wards, each electing three or four councillors by the single transferable vote system of election, a system designed to produce a form of proportional representation. The total number of councillors remains the same. Also, the Inverness management area is being merged into the new Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey corporate management area, covering nine of the new wards and electing 34 of the 80 councillors. As well as the Inverness area, the new area includes the former Nairn management area and the former Badenoch and Strathspey management area. The corporate area name is also that of a constituency, but boundaries are different.

Within the corporate area there is a city management area covering seven of the nine wards, the Aird and Loch Ness ward, the Culloden and Ardersier ward, the Inverness Central ward, the Inverness Millburn ward, the Inverness Ness-side ward, the Inverness South ward and the Inverness West ward. The Nairn ward and the Badenoch and Strathspey ward complete the corporate area. Wards in the city management area are to be represented on a city committee as well as corporate area committees.

City status

In 2001 city status was granted to the Town of Inverness, and letters patent were taken into the possession of the Highland Council by the convener of the Inverness area committee.[41] These letters patent, which were sealed in March 2001 and are held by Inverness Museum and Art Gallery,[42] create a city of Inverness, but do not refer to anywhere with defined boundaries, except that Town of Inverness may be taken as a reference to the burgh of Inverness. As a local government area the burgh was abolished 26 years earlier, in 1975, and so was the county of Inverness for which the burgh was the county town. Nor do they refer to the former district or to the royal burgh.

The Highland area was created as a two-tier local government region in 1975, and became a unitary local government area in 1996. The region consisted of eight districts, of which one was called Inverness. The districts were all merged into the unitary area. As the new local government authority, the Highland Council then adopted the areas of the districts as council management areas. The management areas were abolished in 2007, in favour of three new corporate management areas. The council has defined a large part of the Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey corporate area as the Inverness city management area.[43] This council-defined city area includes Loch Ness and numerous towns and villages apart from the former burgh of Inverness.

In January 2008 a petition to matriculate armorial bearings for the City of Inverness was refused by Lord Lyon King of Arms on the grounds that there is no legal persona to which arms can be granted.[44]

Parliamentary representation

There are three existing parliamentary constituencies with Inverness as an element in their names:

These existing constituencies are effectively subdivisions of the Highland council area, but boundaries for Westminster elections are now very different from those for Holyrood elections. The Holyrood constituencies are also subdivisions of the Highlands and Islands electoral region.

Historically there have been six Westminster constituencies:

Inverness Burghs was a district of burghs constituency, covering the parliamentary burghs of Inverness, Fortrose, Forres and Nairn. Inverness-shire covered, at least nominally, the county of Inverness minus the Inverness parliamentary burgh. As created in 1918, Inverness covered the county minus Outer Hebridean areas, which were merged into the Western Isles constituency. The Inverness constituency included the former parliamentary burgh of Inverness. As created in 1983, Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber was one of three constituencies covering the Highland region, which had been created in 1975. As first used in 1997, the Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, and Ross, Skye and Inverness West constituencies were effectively two of three constituencies covering the Highland unitary council area, which had been created in 1996.

Town twinning

Culture and sports

River Ness

Inverness is an important centre for bagpipe players and lovers, since every September the city hosts the Northern Meeting, the most prestigious solo piping competition in the world. The Inverness cape, a garment worn in the rain by pipers the world over, is not necessarily made in Inverness.

Another major event in calendar is the annual City of Inverness Highland Games. In 2006 Inverness hosted Scotland's biggest ever Highland Games over two days in July, featuring the Masters' World Championships, the showcase event for heavies aged over 40 years. 2006 was the first year that the Masters' World Championships had been held outside the United States, and it attracted many top heavies from around the world to the Inverness area.

The current music scene within Inverness generally leans towards an emo/punk/hardcore style, but there are also bands who show features of different genres such as rock, metal, pop, classical, grunge, industrial and traditional Scottish music. The Ironworks venue has attracted a greater variety of music to Inverness.[citation needed]

Inverness is home to two summer music festivals, Rockness and the Tartan Heart Festival, that bring a variety of different music to the town.

The city is home to two football clubs. Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. was formed in 1994 from the merger of two Highland League clubs, Caledonian F.C. and Inverness Thistle. "Caley Thistle" of the Scottish First Division plays at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium and lays claim to have the longest name for any football club in the world. The town's second football club, Clachnacuddin F.C., plays in the Highland League. Inverness Citadel F.C. was another popular side which became defunct, but had its name revived [2]

Highland RFC is the local rugby union club that competes regularly in the Scottish Hydro Electric National Leagues division two.

Inverness Blitz is a charity that promotes the development of American football in Inverness and the surrounding area.[48] Bught Park, located in the centre of Inverness is the finishing point of the annual Loch Ness Marathon and home of Inverness Shinty Club.

Cricket is also played in Inverness, with both Highland CC and Northern Counties playing in the North of Scotland Cricket Association League and 7 welfare league teams playing midweek cricket at Fraser Park. Both teams have been very successful over the years. Highland joined the league in 1957 and won its first league title in 2002 and recaptured the title in 2007.[citation needed]

In 2007, the city hosted Highland 2007, a celebration of the culture of the Highlands, and will also host the World Highland Games Heavy Championships (21 & 22 July) and European Pipe Band Championships (28 July).[49] 2008 saw the first Hi-Ex (Highlands International Comics Expo), held at the Eden Court Theatre.[50][51]

Inverness is the location of Macbeth's castle in Shakespeare's play.


St. Andrew's Cathedral on the banks of the River Ness

Important buildings in Inverness include Inverness Castle, Inverness College and various churches.

The castle was built in 1835 on the site of its medieval predecessor. It is now a sheriff court.

Inverness Cathedral, dedicated to St Andrew, is a cathedral of the Scottish Episcopal Church and seat of the ordinary of the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. The cathedral has a curiously square-topped look to its spires, as funds ran out before they could be completed.

The oldest church is the Old High Church,[52] on St Michael's Mount by the riverside, a site perhaps used for worship since Celtic times. The church tower dates from mediaeval times, making it the oldest surviving building in Inverness. It is used by the Church of Scotland congregation of Old High St Stephen's, Inverness,[53] and it is the venue for the annual Kirking of the Council, which is attended by local councillors.

Inverness College is the hub campus for the UHI Millennium Institute.[54]

Porterfield Prison, officially HMP Inverness, serves the courts of the Highlands, Western Isles, Orkney Isles and Moray, providing secure custody for all remand prisoners and short term adult prisoners, both male and female (segregated).[55]

Notable people

Towns and villages

Apart from the former burgh of Inverness, the Highland Council's city management area includes Ardersier, Beauly, Culloden, Balloch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Invermoriston, Smithton, Tomatin, Kirkhill and Kiltarlity.

Areas of the city


  1. ^ Council Area Population Projections 2006 - 2031, The Highland Council, June 2008.
  2. ^ Highland Profile, The Highland Council.
  3. ^ The Highland Council website, accessed 6 March 2006
  4. ^ Inverness city
  5. ^ The Scottish Government Publications Economic Report 2004, accessed 28 March 2009
  6. ^ The Highland Council
  7. ^ New Statesman
  8. ^ Property market: Is your home recession proof? 12:01am GMT 03/02/2008, accessed 6 March 2008
  9. ^ City of Inverness Town Twinning Committee
  10. ^ Argyll College
  11. ^ Argyll College
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Bòrd na Gàidhlig (Irish)
  14. ^ Craig Phadrig, Inverness, Walk in Scotland, Visitscotland
  15. ^ Site Record for Torvaine, Caledonian Canal, Inverness; Torvean, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, . Silver chain was found at grid reference NH65424346 when digging the Caledonian Canal in 1809.
  16. ^ Inverness churches
  17. ^ Site Record for Blar Nam Feinne, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, . Blar Nam Feinne is on Cnoc na Moine (grid reference NH595433).
  18. ^ Site Record for Torvaine, Torbane, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, . RCAHMS locate the battle of Torvean at grid reference NH65414346
  19. ^ Site Record for Torvaine, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, . The cairn at grid reference NH65424346 disappeared in the 19th or 20th centuries, it has also been claimed to mark the resting place of St Bean(Beóán) the Culdee.
  20. ^ Site Record for Battle Of Blairnacoi, Drumderfit Hill, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland,  grid reference NH656521
  21. ^ Site Record for Clachnaharry, Clan Battle Monument, Clachnaharry Memorial, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, . Battle of Clachnaharry took place at grid reference NH6454946448.
  22. ^ George Buchanan's (1506 -1582), History of Scotland, completed in 1579, first published in 1582.
  23. ^ Inverness on Undiscovered Scotland
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Welcome to NHS Highland
  28. ^ Raigmore Hospital
  29. ^ Inverness Town Centre Map
  30. ^ Inverness Shops
  31. ^ Argyll College
  32. ^ Inverness Campus
  33. ^ The Highland Main Line, the Aberdeen-Inverness Line and the Far North Line meet at Inverness (Ordnance Survey grid reference NH667454). Also, Kyle of Lochalsh services run to and from Inverness via the Far North Line to Dingwall.
  34. ^ Ordnance Survey grid reference for Inverness Airport (access from A96 road): NH776508.
  35. ^ The Highland Council website
  36. ^ The Inverness Courier
  37. ^ The Inverness Courier
  38. ^ The Inverness Courier
  39. ^ Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website
  40. ^ Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website
  41. ^ Helen Liddell joins Inverness celebrations as Scotland’s Millennium City, Scotland Office press release 19 Mar 2001
  42. ^ Ordnance Survey grid reference for Inverness Museum and Art Gallery: NH666451
  43. ^ Key Decisions Taken on Council Post 2007, Highland Council news release, 15 December 2006, includes a list of wards within the Inverness management area
  44. ^ Coat of arms rejected in city status query, The Inverness Courier, accessed February 12, 2008
  45. ^ List of MPs, Parliament of the United Kingdom website, retrieved 11 July 2007
    Website of Danny Alexander MP, retrieved 10 July 2007
  46. ^ Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Parliament website, retrieved 10 July 2007
  47. ^ John Farquhar Munro MSP, Scottish Parliament website, retrieved 11 July 2007
  48. ^ "Inverness Blitz" Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  49. ^ Highland 2007, Information on the European Pipe Band Championships
  50. ^ First superheroes expo for north, BBC, January 18, 2008
  51. ^ Scots' impact on comics examined, BBC, January 18, 2008
  52. ^ Oold High Church, Riverside Churches Clergy Fraternal website
  53. ^ Old High St Stephen’s website
  54. ^ UHI Millennium Institute website
  55. ^ HMP Inverness, Scottish Prison Service website
    Ordnance Survey grid reference: NH668449

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Inverness Castle and the River Ness
Inverness Castle and the River Ness

Inverness [1] is a city at the heart of the Scottish Highlands and the principal centre for administration and commerce. It is the most northerly city in the British Isles.


Advertised as "the Gateway to the Highlands" by the local authority, and long regarded as the capital of the Highlands, Inverness is regarded as the centre for commerce and industry in the Scottish Highlands, with continuing new investment in traditional industries and new hi-tech industries. It is also said to be one of the fastest growing cities in Europe.

Get in

By plane

Inverness has an airport served by FlyBE (a codeshare partner of British Airways), Easyjet, Eastern Airways, Aer Aran, Ryanair and Highland Airways. It is sited between Nairn and Inverness and accessible from the Inverness - Aberdeen road. Limited charter services fly out from this airport. A taxi from the airport into the city costs between £10 and £15. There is a good bus service, with departures every half hour to Inverness and connections to Nairn.

Inverness airport - links to all scheduled services

By car

Inverness can be reached from the south by the A9 from the south (Perth & M90 from Edinburgh, Glasgow) and from Aberdeen, 110 miles by the A96 road. The A82 reaches Inverness from the south-west, Loch Ness, Fort William and eventually to Skye. None of the roads to Inverness are entirely dual-carriageway. The A9 continues to Thurso on the extreme north coast of the Scottish mainland.

By train

Inverness railway station is located in the City Centre. There are direct services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and London from the south and Aberdeen from the east. There are two scenic lines: to Thurso and Wick, and to Kyle of Lochalsh.

If you're travelling from London, the sleeper train is an excellent way to travel. It leaves from London Euston and arrives between 0800 - 0830. East Coast [2] also operate a daily service to and from London King's Cross (known as The Highland Chieftain) which leaves at around 0900 (southbound) or 1200 (northbound). Journey time is around 8 hours.

Be warned. There is sometimes an error with the booking system through the internet if you intend to sit rather than book a sleeping berth; if your ticket says 'no seat reserved', you need to either phone up First Scot Rail or visit your nearest train station to reserve one (for free). If you don't have a reserved seat you may not be allowed on the train, despite having bought a ticket with the times and dates of the train printed on them, or at best be forced to pay £40 for a sleeping berth if there is one available.

By boat

The Caledonian Canal links the Beauly Firth through Loch Ness to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain.

Get around

By bus

There are around fifty bus routes traveling in and around Inverness, mainly operated by Stagecoach Inverness[3] and Rapsons Highland [4]. It helps to know where your destination is, as certain services, especially those run by Rapsons, do not have detailed information on the outside of the bus. The average fare for inner-city travel is around £1.25 single adult and 65p for children, though this may vary from time to time.

By train

The 'Invernet' rail network provides commuter train services to Inverness from Tain, Dingwall and Beauly in the North, Nairn, Forres and Elgin in the East and Aviemore and Kingussie in the South.

By taxis

This is probably the most efficient form of transport after hours, as most bus services cease or become less frequent at about 7pm. You won't be expected to pay a great deal for a taxi by UK standards as Inverness is rather small and routes are very direct. Some black cabs do exist, though the majority of taxis are minicabs. These are all fairly trustworthy.

By limousine

Limos are available for hire from certain operators at a rate of about £70/hour.

By bike

There are a few cycle lanes [5] on Inverness roads. However there are many combined cycle-footpaths where bicycles are welcome.

Inverness Castle and River Ness
Inverness Castle and River Ness
  • Inverness Castle [6] at the end of the western pedestrian zone. It is a relatively new castle built in 1847 to replace a medieval castle blown up by the Jacobites. It houses the Sheriff Court and cannot be seen as a visitor (you at least should try to never see it from the inside).
  • Inverness Museum & Art Gallery [7], Castle Wynd (base of Inverness Castle), 237114. The museum has a collection of Pictish stones and wildlife dioramas, as well as historic weapons. Underwent a major refurbishment in 2006, and now contains many artefacts on loan from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
  • Old High Church [8], Church Street, Inverness IV1 1EY. Oldest Church in Inverness, the 'Town Church' of the city. Historic Tour each Friday at 11.30am, June to August. Sunday services at 11.15am, Prayers for Peace and Justice every Friday at 1.05pm, and occasional evening services in the summer, with guest preachers, as advertised.
  • Located on the south side of the Moray Firth with picturesque River Ness flowing through the city, it is worth taking a walk to the Ness Islands or the Caledonian Canal[9]. From the castle, walk upstream along the River Ness for less than 1 mile. The Caledonian Canal towpath is also good for walking.
  • Or take a walk along the river with the Churches Along the River leaflet, available from hotels, tourist offices, churches or downloadable from the website.
  • Inverness offers activities from golfing to watersports.
  • A bicycle ride through the Ness Islands and along the waterfront is highly recommended.
  • Inverness has a very busy music & theatre scene. Inverness also has regular ceilidh nights and new indie nights in various venues across the city.


Eastgate Centre (Shopping Mall) [10]

  • Jacobite Cruises (Jacobite cruises on Loch Ness), Tomnahurich Bridge, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness. IV3 5TD (Take the Loch Ness road out of the city), 01463 233999, [11]. A selection of Inverness tours and cruises on Loch Ness and the Caledonian canal pick up in city centre in various locations. Cruises run 7 days a week throughout the year.  edit


Inverness has a wide selection of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. There are a number of high quality restaurants serving a mixture of traditional Scottish food and modern cuisine using locally sourced produce. Worthy of a mention are:

  • Ash Restaurant and Lounge Bar, a boutique city centre restaurant next to Railway Station, next to East gate Retail and Opposite Victorian Market, offering an extensive a ala carte menu with free wi-fi facilities .
  • The Heathmount Hotel [12]a boutique hotel with informal restaurant and a lively bar at Crown just minutes walk from city centre
  • The Mustard Seed [13]
  • Rocpool
  • Glenmoriston Hotel
  • Cafe1 - Beside Rileys and simply a bit of an institution
  • The Old Town Deli - Strother Lane (Beside Bus Stop). Great bagels and coffee
  • Castle Restaurant - Cheap, cheerful and popular. Also very convenient for the High Street.
  • La Tortilla Asesina [14] The tapas bar where lovers of all things Spanish meet. Opposite the road entrance to the castle.
  • Hootananny's [15] on Church Street do good Thai food (in a Scottish Themed pub) relatively Cheaply
  • Numerous Curry Houses, including Cinnamon near the Eastgate Shopping Centre and Rajah in Post Office Lane.

Check the easyjet guide - meal prices up to €15 (£10) [16] up to €30 (£20) [17] and over ... [18]


Inverness has a 12 o'clock curfew. You will not be allowed to enter any pub or club after midnight apart from the one you are already in. So don't get caught out as some pubs close at midnight and then your night ends!

There's plenty of live music and good lively atmospheres around so have fun exploring. Hootananny's is the chief of those, offering (predominantly) celtic entertainment.

As in all Scotland, all enclosed public places - which includes all eating places and bars - are non-smoking. A few have outside seating areas.

On a warm summer's evening, the Dores Inn on the northern shore of Loch Ness (east side)is a particularly pleasant place to linger over a beer. They do good, traditional pub food, too.

  • Inverness Youth Hostel Victoria Drive, ph: 0870 004 1127, [19] A modern 5 star hostel with excellent facilities. Some small rooms en-suite, internet, laundry. £10.75-13.50/5.00-12.00 (adult/child). Open all year.
  • Bazpackers, 4 Culduthel Rd, Inverness, IV2 4AB, ph: 01463 717663[20] A perfect combination of cleanliness and informality. This hostel is quite small so booking in advance is advised. They have a resident cat called Polly.
  • Bught caravan and camping site, Bught Lane, Inverness, IV3 5SR, ph: 01463 236920, [21] is just off the main road out to Loch Ness and Fort William. Open March to November, it is situated conveniently for a very pleasant 20 minute walk along the river into the city centre.
  • Dunhallin House,, 164 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4BH, Tel: +44 (1463) 220824, Email, Dunhallin House offers extermely comfortable accommodation, in a quiet setting, which offers excellent value for money. The owners are extremely friendly and helpful; nothing is too much trouble. Your home from home inthe Highland capital.
  • The Royal Highland Hotel, a completely refurbished luxury city centre Heritage hotel located next to the Railway Station, a popular venue and a landmark of Inverness and Highland ambience since 1856:, email:
  • Pottery House: A wonderful bed and breakfast just outside of Inverness in the village of Dores. Rooms offer views directly onto the Loch Ness:
  • Park Guest House,, 51 Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5PB, Tel: +44 (1463) 231858, Park Guest House is a substantial ivy clad Victorian Villa owned and run for 25 years by Irene and Hendry Robertson. Park Guest House bed and breakfast in Inverness offers Highland hospitality at its best.
  • The Avalon Guest House,, 79 Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5PB, Tel: +44 (1463) 239075, is currently rated on Tripadvisor as #1 B&B/Guest House in the whole UK and was placed third in the whole of Europe in their 2009 Travellers' Choice Awards. It's easy to see why. The rooms are beautiful, having recently had a full refurbishment, and the owners are incredibly friendly and helpful. Recommended.

IV2 3LJ, Tel: 44 (1463) 230204, a warm welcome awaits you in our home in Inverness the capital of The Highalnds of Scotland, We are only 5 minutes walk from the city centre with ample off street private car parking, we are on the corner of Midmills Road / Macewen Drive, we are also non- smoking, your hosts are : Vera & Aleks.

  • Ramada Inverness, Church Street, +44 (844) 815 9006 (fax: +44 (146) 371 1206), [22].  edit
  • Inverness Guest House Association,, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5PB, have a selection of more than 12 properties to choose from all of which have been graded 3, 4 or 5 stars by Visit Scotland or the AA. Most of these B&Bs appear in Tripadvisor's top 20 for Inverness so you can be assured that you'll find an excellent bed and breakfast in Inverness.
  • Culloden House Hotel [23], beautiful Country House Hotel set 3 miles out of the city centre, great food, magnificent rooms, tele - 01463 790461. Culloden House is where Bonny Prince Charlie slept, the night before the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
  • Inverness is a good base for a visit to the evocative Culloden Battlefield, scene of Bonny Prince Charlie's final defeat in 1746
  • Clava Cairns, close to Culloden battlefield (leaving the carpark turn right and right again at the next intersection, follow the signs). The Clava Cairns is a Bronze Age burial site. No admission charge. Site in care of Historic Scotland and accessible all year.
  • [24] is run by Tony Harmsworth who founded the Loch Ness Centre and has scripted and presented history and heritage exhibitions in the Highlands. You charter the six passenger luxury Mercedes exclusively from £75 and choose one of dozens of itineraries published on his website.
  • Loch Ness is not as close as many people think. Jacobite have buses travelling to Loch Ness from Inverness to link up with their cruise boats. Cruises may be joined at Tomnahurich, at the southern edge of the city. For the first 3/4 miles, these sail down the famous and scenic Caledonian Canal and then down Loch Ness itself. Alternatively you may board at Drumnadrochit for the return sail, having visited nearby Urquhart Castle [25] and the Loch Ness Visitor Centre[26] which carries the story of Nessie [27]]. For information with a more scientific slant see The Loch Ness Information Site [28].

Mountain Resorts

There are two mountain resorts within easy reach of Inverness. Both started life as ski facilities but now cater for a wide range of year-round activities and have mountain-top restaurants and shops.

  • Cairngorm Mountain [29] - is approx. 30 miles away near Aviemore and has Scotland's only funicular railway.
  • If you have a car you can also easily reach the Nevis Range [30] in Fort William, some 63 miles away along the winding A82. At Nevis Range the mountain (which is called Aonach Mor and is 'next door' to Ben Nevis) is ascended by a cable-car gondola system.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


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Proper noun




  1. A city in Scotland
  2. Any of several cities in the United States and Canada (and one county in Nova Scotia, Canada), named after the Scottish city





Inverness (plural Invernesses)

  1. a type of cloak without sleeves and having a removable cape


Simple English


Inverness is a city in the northern part of Scotland. It is often called the capital of the Highlands. It is on the A9 road.

Famous people

The former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy, was born in Inverness.

Yvette Cooper, the Minister of State for Housing in the Brown Cabinet was also born in Inverness.

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