The base for many of our Scotland tours, Inverness lies at the
north end of the Great Glen where the River Ness flows into the
Moray Firth on the country's east coast. Known as 'the capital of
the Highlands', Inverness has been a focal point for all travel,
trade and communication through the Highlands for hundreds of
years. Believed to have been founded by King David in the 12th
century, it is known that successive forts and castles were built
in the area at about that time. Yet these were either destroyed by
fire or razed to the ground during one of the many conflicts that
affected and involved Inverness. The red sandstone castle that
stands proudly on the River Ness was built during the 1830s,
following a significant period of economic boom in Inverness and
the surrounding region. Inverness Castle was designed to house the
town courts and administrative buildings.
Exploring historic Inverness
In 1822 the Caledonian Canal was created, and during the
latter part of the 19th century the railroads began to arrive in
Inverness. Links then connected the town with Perth, Aberdeen, Kyle
of Lochalsh, Wick and Thurso - lines which remain operational to
this day - and the town began to expand rapidly as the Highlands'
major transport hub. Today, Inverness is a thriving city with a
bustling, modern center and a multitude of attractions.
As well as the castle, there is the grand St Andrew's Cathedral,
which dates back to 1869. The bell still chimes on the
hour. There is also the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery,
which tells the fascinating story of the Highlands through a range
of impressive exhibits. The best way to get acquainted with the
city is by taking a stroll along the river, as many of Inverness'
charms are apparent here.