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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inverness Scenery

Even though the city of Inverness boasts many attractions of its own, it’s fair to say that most people who stay in Inverness do so to explore the spectacular scenery that surrounds it. The area of the Highlands in Scotland boasts some of the most beautiful glens and mountain ranges, not only in the UK, but the entire world.

Let battle commence

Much of this area of Scotland is steeped in turbulent history and Inverness is no exception. Just five miles to the east you’ll find Culloden Battlefield, where the last battle on mainland British soil took place in April 1746 between Bonnie Prince Charlie and the government. In addition to the impressive landscape you can also check out the visitor centre, shop and café.

Meanwhile, to the south west, you’ll find Glen Affric, surely one of the most beautiful glens in the whole of Scotland. Here you will be surrounded by mountains and lochs, while having a great chance of spotting wildlife.

Next door to Glen Affric is Glen Cannich, which has a very different character. It’s a great place to witness deer in their natural setting; while it is also not uncommon to see an eagle or buzzard circling in the skies. Autumn is a particularly enjoyable time to visit, when Glen Cannich seems to sprout the most unusual forms of wild mushrooms and fungi. You could also make your way to the shore of the loch and try to collect some of the beautifully marked stones on the beach.

From mountains to the beach

The Cairngorms National Park is just 30miles south of Inverness and covers the most expansive area of the monarch and glen area. By travelling south on the A9 you can reach Aviemore, the hotspot for the winter ski slopes. There are other notable attractions in the surrounding area too, including Kingussie, with its award winning folk museum; and Loch Garten, with its osprey centre.

Meanwhile, to the east of Inverness is Nairn (pictured) with its harbour and old fish market town houses. It even has its own beach and two golf courses. There are gorgeous towns in close proximity too. For example, Brodie Countryfare is notable for its quality shops and café as well as Brodie Castle, which is open all year and managed by the National Trust. Elgin boasts a colourful history with strong Victorian roots; Fochabers has several antiques shops; and Forres has lots of colourful floral displays and is notable as a regular winner of the Scotland in Bloom competition.

Finally, don’t forget to stop by Gairloch and Inverewe Gardens, the latter peaking during May but proving to be a gardener’s delight all year round.

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