Unspoiled and uncrowded, Scotland’s 790+ islands are steeped in tradition, with many containing remnants of ancient cultures and civilizations. Thanks to the country’s compact size, it’s possible to reach more than one archipelago from Inverness. Here are the top Scottish islands tour options.
River Ness (Abhainn Nis)
River Ness, Inverness, The Scottish Highlands
If you’re visiting Inverness, you’re all but guaranteed to catch sight of the River Ness. Sightseeing tours of the capital of the Highlands will take you to the riverside, where many prominent landmarks—including Inverness Castle and Inverness Cathedral (St. Andrew’s Cathedral)—can be found.
For a more back-to-nature experience, head to the riverside Whin Park, which features play and picnic areas as well as a boating pond. Or enjoy simple pleasures like walking and picnicking at the picturesque Ness Islands, a series of small and tranquil river islands connected by Victorian-era suspension bridges.
Things to know before you go
- Inverness’ Ness Bridge offers wonderful views of the river.
- Riverside pathways in Inverness are wheelchair-accessible.
- The River Ness is known for its salmon fishing; visitor permits can be bought from Graham’s Tackle Shop on Castle Street.
How to get there
The River Ness is very easily accessible for visitors to Inverness. From the train station, it’s just a short walk (5–10 minutes) to the riverfront. The Ness Islands are about a 30-minute walk from the center of Inverness.
When to get there
Visit in summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. The riverside promenades are ideal for sunset strolls.
Monster-Spotting at River Ness
Though visitors rush to Loch Ness in search of the fabled Loch Ness Monster, Nessie-hunters should keep an eye on the River Ness too. The earliest sighting of the aquatic creature back in the seventh century was in the River Ness rather than the adjoining loch. Plus, a significant 2019 sighting of a large eel-like creature—captured on film by the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board—was also in the River Ness.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to River Ness (Abhainn Nis)?
What else should I know about attractions in Inverness?
- Inverness Castle
- Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)
- Eden Court Theatre and Cinema
- Merkinch Local Nature Reserve
- Tomnahurich (Fairy Hill)
- Inverness Botanic Gardens (Floral Hall)
- Whin Park
- Culloden Battlefield
- Clava Cairns
- Chanonry Point
- Fort George
- Glen Ord Distillery
- Cawdor Castle and Gardens
- Loch Ness
- Urquhart Castle (Caisteal na Sròine)