You’ll never be stuck for things to do or places to go in Inverness with our inclusive guide to the city’s best activities.
Activities in Inverness
Head out on one of two boats from Dolphin Spirit Inverness to check out the bottlenose dolphins that play in the Moray Firth. The 60-capacity Spirit offers a more relaxed sea cruise, with covered decking and full commentary, while the Mischief RIB is a much more adrenaline-charged journey that will satisfy the thrill-seekers out there!
If that’s whetted your sailing appetite, Ness Ribs is right next door and will take you out on the water on a choice of three boats, exploring the gorgeous coastline via their streamlined and rather fast speedboats.
Staying in the water but at a much slower pace of life, You Fish Scotland will give you a guided fly fishing tour of the rivers around Inverness, allowing you to fish for Atlantic salmon, wild brown trout, sea trout, perch and pike. They take everyone from beginners to expert anglers and will pick you up, supply the equipment and drop you off – hopefully with a decent catch – after your expedition.
Ever wanted to land a plane on a remote sandy beach or soar above the Highlands? Well, the Highland Aviation Flying School can make those dreams come true with a range of flying experiences. Flying either a two-seater or four-seater aircraft, there is a range of options from quick 20-minute sessions to full-day excursions that explore the stunning West Coast. Or you can try out their new range of gyrocopters, which is essentially an open-air flying motorbike/helicopter hybrid.
Rounding out our selection is Torvean Golf Club. Founded in 1962, the 18-hole course is spread over 400 acres of rolling green parkland on the southern edge of Inverness near Whin Park and the Botanic Gardens.
Inverness Kart Raceway
Inverness Walking Tours
As you’d expect from a city of Inverness’s size and its location, there are plenty of indoor activities. If ice skating is your thing, the Inverness Ice Centre next to the Botanic Gardens has all your icy fun covered. Across five rinks, you can try your hand at curling, ice hockey and ice skating. And thanks to a recent refurb, the ice rink and its equipment has been updated to modern standards.
On the other side of the River Ness near the Fairways Golf Course is Inverness Kart Raceway, a 320-metre-long indoor go-karting track open to children and adults above 130cm tall. Sessions can run from 10-minute time trials to 90-minute Grand Prix races.
If that’s a little full on for the little ones, Frankie and Lola’s is just next door, and is one of the leading soft-play areas in the Highlands. There’s a town-themed toddler area and a safari-themed area for older kids, as well as a great café serving up hot and cold food and – importantly for the parents – all the coffee you can drink.
With over 50 interconnected trampolines, the Infinity Trampoline Park is full of tumble tracks, performance beds, vault boxes, dodgeball arenas and a basketball zone. Open daily, there are dedicated toddler and kids’ sessions, family hours, as well as late-night bouncing sessions equipped with a live DJ and flashing lights.
In the heart of the city centre on Church Street, Lockdown is a popular escape room challenge that is open for two to six players. Choose from the Lost challenge or Casino Heist, and make sure to escape within the allotted 60 minutes!
The most relaxing way to spend your days indoor though is probably at the eight-screen Vue Cinema complex, which is just a two-minute drive from our Inverness Centre (Milburn Road) hotel.
Inverness might be on roughly the same latitude as Gothenburg in Sweden, but there are still several beaches well worth exploring – but perhaps with a few more clothes on than if you were in the Balearics!
The nearest is Nairn Beach, which is around 10 miles to the north-east of Inverness. With beautiful views across the Moray Firth, this wide sandy beach comes alive in summer and is very kid-friendly. And, if you’re lucky, you might just catch sight of dolphins playing off the coast. There’s plenty of free car parking available plus a popular promenade with picnic benches and a kids’ playground.
Further north on the other side of the Firth, Rosemarkie Beach is a popular stretch of sandy beach at the mouth of the Moray Firth, around 30 minutes from Inverness. There’s a great café there which sells homemade cakes and beach toys, including buckets and spades. There are also several great walks originating from the beach, including the dolphin mile and north to Cairds cave, a 400-million-year-old rock outcrop popular with peregrine falcons and ravens.
Dores Beach at Loch Ness might be made of pebbles rather than fine sand, but it does offer great views across the water. And, once you’ve made the short walk to Tor Point, you can stop off for a well-earned meal and pint at the Dores Inn on the way back.
Following largely quiet country roads, the 30-mile Black Isle bike route takes in the Black Isle Wildlife Park and the Black Isle Brewery who offer free tours. The Black Isle is the peninsula that juts out between Beauly Firth and Cromarty Firth, with bike hire available from Ticket To Ride Highlands in Bellfield Park.
The Inverness to Loch Ness Loop is a 36-mile tour that takes in some stunning Highland scenery. Be warned though, there are some decent hill climbs and descents, especially on the way back, so you’ll need a decent level of fitness.
For something a little more long distance, the Great Glen Way is a 79-mile trail that runs from Inverness to Fort William along the Great Glen. There are several 1,000m plus climbs along the way, so this ride isn’t for the faint-hearted. However, there are some great cafés and pubs on the way, including Laggan Locks, the Glen Rowan Café and the Fiddler’s Highway Restaurant and Malt Whisky Bar.
Using the GPSMyCity app, you can take a self-guided City Orientation Walk around Inverness. Taking in the High Street, Inverness Town House and the castle, the 2.3km-long walk takes around two hours and goes right past our Inverness Centre (River Ness) hotel.
Using the same app, the 4.2km Tour of Southwest Inverness takes in Eden Court Theatre, Whin Park and Ness Islands and is a great way to see some of the city’s best parks and open spaces.