Retire in Inverness Scotland

Retire in Inverness Scotland

  • Post Author:
  • Post Category:Scotland

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.

Culloden Battlefield Memorial
Culloden Battlefield Memorial

Photo By David McGregor via

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.

Inverness home, $321,000 4 bedrooms
Inverness home, $321,000 4 bedrooms

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!  

Photo By Dave Conner via

Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!



Cheryl and her husband have just recently retired and live in the Pacific Northwest. She has been enjoying her herself by traveling around the world, playing with her grandchildren, and she frequently volunteers in her community. There is certainly never a dull moment with Cheryl. She cheerfully co-founded RetireBook and wants to share her energy, hoping that it inspires her readers to live life at its fullest.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Elaine

    Fell in love with this gorgeous area last fall. Scotland keeps calling me back. Maybe a retirement possibility!

    1. Cheryl

      The pipes, the pipes are calling! Don’t know if I’d want to retire there permanently, but it would be great for a year or two.

  2. Leslie

    From the article I get the impression it’s not difficult to retire to Scotland but all the information I’ve found states one must have a substantial amount of money to invest 200,000£ to get the UK retirement visa. i.e. Scotland/UK have same requirement. Please advise!

    1. Gary

      Hi Leslie,
      What you are talking about is an “Investment Visa”. This is not the same as a “Retirement Visa”. A retirement visa is much less expensive. If you click this link, it will take you to the government website on how to qualify for a retirement visa. In a nutshell, you need to show that you have an income of £25,000 per year to qualify, plus it helps if you have a relative who is already living there.

      There is a law firm in the UK that also explains this same requirement for a UK retirement retirement visa. Their link is here.

  3. Tina

    So as I am reading this, I would not be able to retire to Scotland since i do not have close ties to the UK. All I have are descendants from Scotland as evidence and also English descendants! Also- as an artist, I would not be able to earn money on my art there in retirement according to this information in the links. True?

    So is a different kind of Visa more allowing? I can work there as an artist? And don’t have close generational ties to the UK or Scotland?

    1. Cheryl

      This is a very complicated questions and the rules were just changed in July. If you are retired and can prove that you make more than 25,000 pounds per year without working, you may be able to immigrate on a retirement visa. You can then paint on the side. If you want to work as a professional artist, that occupation is not mentioned on the list of approved immigration occupations, that I can find. They must have a surplus of artists in GB! My recommendation is that you contact a Great Britain Embassy in the US and speak with an immigration Officer. There isn’t much information yet on the new rules which have made immigration much more difficult.
      With the flood of immigrants since the EU opened up several years ago, many British people feel they have lost their national identity. Expect the rules to continue to change as the nation settles into this new situation.
      Good question! Cheryl, Editor

Comments are closed.