Invincible Inverness – an incredible adventure for January

Blow those cobwebs away in Inverness!

There’s absolutely no need for January blues when there is the iconic Inverness to visit! This wonderful place presents a magical winter wonderland with a unique set of experiences and the opportunity to embrace the beauty of the Highland capital, potentially amidst a snowy or sunny landscape which adds a certain allure!

Scenic, fast, direct, convenient and great prices – Stagecoach and City Link!

It gets better – Inverness is a hub for the hugely regarded Stagecoach bus which goes to all parts of the City and surrounding areas with plenty of fast, frequent and convenient services, so too City Link with its comfortable coaches from across Scotland. To find out more, go to Inverness Bus Service Updates – Are Inverness Buses Running Today? | Stagecoach (stagecoachbus.com) and Citylink Scotland | Coach & Bus Trips | Plan Your Journey  Some of the journeys by bus and coach go through fabulous jaw-dropping scenery and are an adventure and the attraction themselves! Many are part of our Great Scenic Journeys, so be sure to check them out – Scotland – Great Scenic Journeys

Inverness Cathedral itself is a sight to behold, built in the 19th century in Gothic style architecture. Its impressive spires, intricate stonework, and beautiful stained glass windows make it a captivating place for architecture enthusiasts. Inside, the cathedral boasts a serene atmosphere with magnificent vaulted ceilings, ornate woodwork, and detailed decorations. The stained glass windows depict various biblical scenes and saints, adding to the spiritual and aesthetic ambiance.

The Cathedral will whet the appetite for the majestic Inverness Castle! While the castle itself is not open to the public, its viewpoint offers breathtaking panaromic views of the city, the River Ness and the surrounding snowy peaks – a perfect spot for photogenic folk!

Nature buffs can explore the Caledonian Canal towpaths where the serene winter scenery is atmospheric and there’s always great local wildlife to spot. Stroll along the banks of the Ness and its peaceful trails that provide a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

To dive deeper into history, explore the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, showcasing Highland heritage through exhibitions and artifacts. Another historical gem is the Clava Cairns ancient burial sites dating back thousands of years, offering an eerie yet fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s past.

The Botanical Gardens is also well worth a peruse. It’s renowned to be the hottest spot in the Highlands, with its prickly Cactus House. The Gardens is home to a specialized collection of plants known as the “Highland Flora“. Amidst the diverse and stunning array of plants from around the world, the gardens also highlight and preserve native Scottish flora, particularly those endemic to the Highland region. These gardens play a crucial role in conservation efforts by showcasing and protecting indigenous Highland plants, some of which may be rare or threatened in the wild. This collection often includes species like the delicate Twinflower (Linnaea borealis), the iconic Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), and various heathers (Calluna vulgaris and Erica species) that are integral to the unique Highland ecosystem. Oh and there’s also a fantastic coffee shop with tasty cakes!

Warm up further with traditional Scottish fare at local pubs and restaurants, savouring hearty scran, such as haggis, neeps and tatties, accompanied by a warm dram of whisky to ward off the chill.  One of our favourites is the Castle Tavern (next to the Castle and with a great view of it – see the photo above!) with its range of real ales, over 40 malt whiskies, tasty snacks and freshly prepared meals, and an excellent beer garden to sit in on fine days!

Inverness is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts, with nearby ski resorts such as Cairngorm Mountain and the Lecht easily accessible for skiing, snowboarding or simply enjoying the snowy slopes.

An intriguing fact about Inverness is its association with the famous Loch Ness Monster – ‘Nessie’. While Loch Ness is, of course, near Inverness, what many might not know is that the first reported modern sighting of Nessie was in 1933 by Aldie Mackay, a resident of Inverness. This sighting sparked widespread interest in the mythical creature, leading to numerous investigations and studies into the Loch Ness Monster.

The fascination with Nessie continues to draw tourists and fans to Inverness, making it an integral part of the city’s folklore and appeal. There’s also a popular family day out to be had at ‘Nessieland‘, which is home to an adventure play park, activity centre and the Nessie Caves.

Other famous residents of Inverness include Charlie Chaplin’s wife, Oona O’Neill who spent part of her childhood in Inverness and also the Scottish writer and poet Neil M.Gunn also lived here. Eilidh Child, a Scottish track and field athlete also hails from Inverness.

As if all of the attractions and sights in the city aren’t enough, there’s more entertainment to be had at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, a fab football team. They host Dundee United in a big game at 7:45pm on Friday 12th January and then Broomhill on Saturday 20th January, kick off at 3pm in the Scottish Cup. Make sure you stop for a pre-match pint beforehand at the fab Innes Bar! Both games promise to be crackers, so too the traditional Highland Games which are a feature of the winter landscape and a real treat!

One lesser-known fact about the winter Highland games in Inverness is the traditional game known as “Curling Stones on Ice.” In this unique variation of curling, participants use specially crafted stones made from local Highland materials, often granite sourced from the surrounding areas, to play the game on frozen lochs or ponds in the region.

Unlike regular curling stones, these traditional stones have a historical significance and are intricately carved or engraved with symbols representing Highland clans or regional motifs. The game itself follows ancient rules passed down through generations, adding a cultural and historical layer to the typical winter Highland games.  A visit to the Ice Centre in Inverness is a great idea – here, ice-skating and curling at its finest can be enjoyed as well as ice-hockey coaching camps and much more! Ice Centre Inverness – Ice Skating Ice Hockey and Curling in Inverness (inverness-ice-centre.co.uk)

There’s also more thrills and spills to be had at Eden Court Theatre in the city. The film Ferrari, starring Adam Driver and Patrick Dempsey among others is on show during the coming weeks! From musicals to opera, classic comedy films, pantos and drama, Eden Court has it all – so be sure to devour their schedule at Home | Eden Court (eden-court.co.uk)

While the weather may be colder, January in Inverness offers a unique opportunity to experience the city’s charm amidst the winter landscape, blending history, nature and cultural exploration in a truly enchanting setting! It really is an amazing place and so accessible by Stagecoach and City Link, the gateway to great experiences and fab adventures!