Inverness Scotland is set on the far northeastern coast of the country, making it the most northerly city in the British Isles. This actually is the only city north of Edinburgh, with a population of around 55,000. Inverness is set at the mouth of the River Ness, and that is the source of its name. The city is the gateway to the hauntingly beautiful Scottish Highlands, which stretch across the entire width of the northern part of the country all the way up to its northern tip and almost as far south as the capital city of Edinburgh.
To the north of Inverness Scotland is a rugged and mountainous area with many miles of hiking and walking trails as well as technical rock and mountain climbing. South of Inverness is the Lakes District with its numerous mountain lakes (or lochs), including famous Loch Ness. Almost everyone who visits the Scottish Highlands will spend at least one night in Inverness hotels or at least pass through the city.
Although remote, Inverness Scotland has much to offer visitors. Inverness Castle, built of red sandstone in 1847, sits prominently on a hill overlooking the River Ness. The Old High Church, built in 1746, is the oldest church in the city. The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery offers interesting exhibits depicting the history and culture of the region. There is excellent fishing, both salt and freshwater, in the area. Trout fishing in the lakes and rivers is particularly popular. Scotland is known as the birthplace of golf, and there are several golf courses in and around the city. It is possible to book scenic cruises both in the ocean and on Loch Ness. Highland games are popular spring and summer festivals in Scotland and many other countries around the world. Inverness hosts what is possibly the largest such gathering in the world during the month of July.
The city sits at the mouth of the River Ness, which flows from famous Loch Ness about five miles to the southwest, and at the end of Moray Firth (firth is the Scottish word for inlet). Its airport lies along the Moray Firth, and is about seven miles to the northeast of the city center. There are flights into Inverness Airport from a number of UK cities, including London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast, Jersey in the Channel Islands, and several cities within Scotland. There are also flights from Amsterdam as well as seasonal flights from Switzerland, Germany and Palma de Mallorca. There is bus transportation into the city, and the train station (service to London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow) is about a fifteen-minute drive from the airport. Unless you plan on staying only in the city or have booked vacation packages that include transportation, the best way to get around and see the region is in a rental car. There are car rental outlets at the airport.
There are no Inverness hotels right at the airport. The closest lodging options to the airport will be found another mile or so north in little coastal village of Ardersier. Two options here include the Gun Lodge Hotel, a small historic hotel with a modest restaurant, and the Dolphin Bay Suites. Dolphin Bay Suites are modern self-catering apartments right on the Moray Firth, which is known for its dolphins. It's an unusual visit if you do not spot dolphins while staying here. From here, you can walk the mile or so further north to see Fort George, an eighteenth-century (1745) fort based on the star design that it virtually unchanged since it was built.
Inverness hotels located right in the city offer a wide variety of choice. There are a few luxury hotels (four star), including the Kingsmill Hotel on Culcabock Road. This property offers a full-service spa and fitness center, fine dining, spacious rooms, and two acres of landscaped gardens. It is located on western side of the city between Inverness Gold Club and Fraser Park.