Inverness, from the Scottish Gaelic Inbhir Nis, pronounced meaning ‘mouth of the River Ness’, is a city in northern Scotland. The city is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is considered as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. We were there over 2 days with very different weathers so we got both the sun and the snow!
Originally a late 11th century earth and timber enclosure fortress, founded by King Malcolm III Canmore. The castle which was destroyed by King Robert the Bruce, was rebuilt in stone by George Gordon, earl of Huntly in 1548. After the garrison surrendered to the Jacobite army in 1746, the castle was destroyed by mines and all that remains are part of the curtain wall and a resorted well. A dramatic 19th century neo-Norman castle now stands on the site, built to house the County Hall.
The River Ness is a river flowing from Loch Ness in Scotland, north to Inverness and the Moray Firth. We saw a good variety of ducks, birds and even otters and seals in the river!
Old St Stephen’s Parish Church is the custodian for the Old High Church. The nine Inverness riverside churches are linked to form their own individual website. Link – http://www.churchesinverness.com/.
St Andrews Cathedral
Mother Church of the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness, set in a glorious riverside setting, was the first new Cathedral to be completed in Britain since the Reformation. Built between 1866 and 1869 in the Gothic style to the design of Alexander Ross, it features twin towers with a ring of ten bells, an octagonal Chapter House which now acts as the Choristers’ Song School, monolithic pillars of polished Peterhead granite, stained glass, sculptures, a carved reredos, an angel font after Thorvaldsen (Copenhagen), a founder’s memorial as well as icons presented by the Tsar of Russia.
The battle of Culloden Moor put the end to the Stuart hopes of regaining the throne of Scotland. Bonnie Prince Charlie and his men were defeated at the battle by the English army under Cumberland. The battlefield has monuments to both the victorious English army, and the various clans of Scotland. Directions – Go east (8 miles from Inverness) on B9006, which goes right through the battlefield.
We stopped for lunch of Prawn Marie Rose Baked Potato and Haggis and Cheddar Panini here.
Balnuaran of Clava
At Balnuaran of Clava itself there is a group of three Bronze Age cairns which lie close together in a line running north east to south west. The tombs at either end are of the passage grave sub-type. The central cairn is of the ring cairn sub-type, and uniquely has stone paths or causeways forming “rays” radiating out from the platform round the kerbs to three of the standing stones.
Following the 1746 defeat at Culloden of Bonnie Prince Charlie, George II created the ultimate defence against further Jacobite unrest. The result, Fort George, is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, if not Europe. Fort George is the only ancient monument in Scotland still functioning as intended – a working army barracks – but still welcoming visitors. A gift shop and café (seasonal) are among the attractions. The Regimental Museum of the Highlanders is found at the property, while dolphins can often be seen from the ramparts. Click here for map.
Principle Bridge – The main approach to the fort. It originally had two drawbridges, one immediately in front of the main entrance, the second three spans in from the ravelin. This latter was reconstructed in 1980 from the original drawings.
The Garrison Chapel was probably built to a design by famed Georgian architect Robert Adam. No one knows for certain that Adam designed the chapel, but it seems highly likely, as his family building company had the contract to construct the fort. He did not design the fort itself, however; that was designed by Lieutenant-General William Skinner, the first Governor of Fort George.
The sallyport directly beneath the North Casemated Curtain leads to a place of arms, a mustering point for a shortie. it was later used by the Seaforth Highlanders as a cemetery for their dogs. The dog cemetery is one of only two in Scotland, the resting-place of regimental mascots and officers’ dogs.
Dallas Dhu Distillery
There are lots of places you can visit on the Whiskey Trail of the Aberdeen and Grampian area but Dallas Dhu Historic Distilery is special. The entire distillery has been turned into a museum that expains the process of making Scotch whiskey. At the end you get to have a nip. It is a very nice self-guided tour where the entire process and all the equipment are very well explained. It is not that far to the east of Inverness so works as a day tour from there. The visit is made all the better by the beautiful road trip that gets you to the distillery. Location is Off A940 one mile south of Forres.
A Cistercian abbey approximately 3 miles east of Forres in the county of Moray, Scotland.One of the most northerly yet influential monasteries in Scotland, Kinloss Abbey, founded in 1150 for the Cistercian Order, maintained powerful religious and secular control over parts of the north-east of Scotland for over 400 years until it’s demise in 1560. The order was prominant the countryside from Inverness to aberdeen changing the layout and use of the landscape forever.
In 1650 the abbey was finally reduced to it’s current state by alexander brodie of lethan and oliver cromwell when the stone was robbed for Inverness Citadel. The remains of the abbey are now situated within a graveyard owned by the local authority, and are therefore accessible at all times.