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I designed the perfect day in & around Inverness so you don’t have to

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Emma Harrison.
Emma Harrison.

The lucky locals – many of us see the loch, castles and Highland cows from our doorsteps on a daily basis. As part of our commutes or our time off work, local treasures can sometimes be taken for granted, but it’s always so important to appreciate what we have here – which is rather a lot!

As the summer season kicks off again, the masses are drawn in to visit Loch Ness in search of a certain famous creature, but of course, there’s much more to the area than a monster. With the weather getting brighter, I find I have a growing waiting list of friends and family coming to visit. Not just a few of them, but the full pack with their dogs, their babies and great nieces in tow.

As they turn up, they are ready for an action-packed tour of the Highlands… no pressure. To make the organising that bit easier, I’ve put together a few grand day-out ideas that will be great fun for everyone that should save a few planning headaches for you this summer.

Breakfast in the city

Set your day up properly with a delicious breakfast at one of many of the brilliant cafés in Inverness. Sadly not bookable, but head over to Velocity for some legendary pancakes, or to XOKO (not open Mondays) for the arguably best coffee in the city.

Ness Islands.
Ness Islands.

Walk or wheel the Ness Islands

Perhaps somewhere we take for granted, but it’s often got an otter pottering around in the water, or at least some birds diving into the river – something lots of our visitors don’t have the luxury of seeing quite so often. It’s a lovely circular. Start from the main bridge in town, head up the river either clockwise or anti-clockwise and you’ll be surrounded by woodland, the river and if you’re lucky, wildlife too. Walk, wheel, or bike it!

Fort George & The Highlanders' Museum

Located at Fort George, the Highlanders' Museum is home to collections of military artefacts – over 50,000 to be precise, with documents and photographs too. It’s a real history lesson and sells some wonderful gin, coffee and tea to take home too. You can pre-arrange a special afternoon tea in advance, and of course, explore Fort George whilst you’re there. This is great fun for all to dress up in old military gear and learn more about the history of your surname. If you’ve still got energy, explore the nearby beach on the headland, it’s beautiful and pretty much always quiet.

The Highlanders' Museum.
The Highlanders' Museum.

Grab some cheese at Connage Dairy

On your way back from the museum make sure to stop and grab yourself some cheese. Connage Dairy produce their own cheese and milk, and you can either use a self-serve vending machine or pop into their shop to buy some goodies. Cheeses are available from all over Europe – this place is my idea of Heaven!

Dinner at River House or Tiger on the Wall

We are starting to get quite spoilt for choices in the city for dinner, which is great. The Victorian Market now boasts so many lovely options for both lunches and dinners, including Red Shank and Bad Girl Bakery. For a special dinner, why not try some local seafood at River House, or an amazing Indian at Tiger On The Wall – bookings are essential for both.

And for day two…

If you’re looking for something a little more activity based, book a fun activity like climbing or kayaking with reputable businesses like In Your Element who will happily take group bookings in the area. Or you could take the kids alpaca trekking! For a list of activity providers, check out www.visitinvernesslochness.com

Sponsored by Visit Inverness Loch Ness

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