We think Inverness is a fine example of the true Scotland; a smaller town with a little Celtic mystique. There are local standing stones, the intrigue of what’s really in Loch Ness, a great castle ruin, a really nice woolen mill shop, and a short drive to the Culloden Battlefield. But one of the highlights are the welcoming residents who made us feel right at home. Of all our travels, Inverness Scotland is still one of our favorite places.
Inverness is not the big city of Glasgow or the huge royal metropolis of Edinburgh. It is a much smaller community of about 64,000. A university town, Inverness is always entertaining and educational. In 2014, a property website described Inverness as the happiest place in Scotland and the second happiest in the UK.
This ancient land has been occupied since who knows when, but the Picts were here in 565 AD when visited by St. Columba and their king had already built a fort. The invading Vikings came (not on vacation) to plunder in the 11th century. (Note: If you have Scots ancestry and get your DNA researched, don’t be surprised if it indicates Scandinavian heritage!) Inverness played a key role in the Jacobite uprising and the famous battlefield is south of the city with a wonderful visitor’s center.
Weather: Inverness enjoys four seasons. The winters can see snow and average in the high 30’s F. Summers in this northern maritime climate see the mid 60’s. The city gets an average 29 inches of rain per year.
Economy: Inverness is not only a well-visited tourist destination, but has several industries including a large port, and is one of Scotland’s local government centers. The downtown core is a bustling area and some of the streets are closed to all but pedestrian traffic. Several local and national distilleries have outlet stores in town.
Housing: You can easily find an apartment in Inverness for less than $1,000 (US) per month. There is excellent public transportation (bus and trains) around the city and to other towns and many people do not own a car at all.
We found this ‘free standing’ 4-bedroom home with great views for $321,000. On second thought, with 4 bedrooms, you’d never get rid of your friends from home! Most homes in the area are what Americans would call a duplex or triplex and those are much less expensive.
Crime: Inverness has a very low crime rate and a recent survey indicated that 92% felt comfortable walking alone at night.
Inverness is a beautiful city with parks, the river, beautiful churches and the Inverness Castle. Atlantic salmon fishing is a big draw to the area, as are the local festivals, art galleries, and the Inverness Maritime Museum. When you go, and you will, be sure to walk through the standing stones near Culloden and see what happens. Maybe, just maybe!
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!