Inverness Culture & history

Our most recommended Inverness Culture & history

Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Day Trip

1. Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Day Trip

Take in some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes Scotland has to offer on an eco-certified tour from Inverness. Discover the Isle of Skye, including its capital Portree, Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, and the Old Man of Storr. See Loch Ness from Invermoriston, Loch Carron, and Eilean Donan Castle. Meet your guide at Inverness Bus Station, where your group will board an air-conditioned coach. Head south out of the city. Then, follow the shores of Loch Ness to Invermoriston, where you will stop for a short break. Grab a coffee, take scenic photos, and try and spot Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Then, continue to Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland's most photographed castles, set on its own island at the head of Loch Duich. You will have time to visit the castle and learn about its history if you like (admission fees apply) or just admire the picturesque castle and its scenic surroundings. Next, journey to the Isle of Skye. Stop at Portree, a small colorful town fringed by cliffs and rolling hills. Take in these beautiful surroundings while enjoying lunch and the views of the boats in the harbor. Once your appetite has been sated, move on to tour the rest of the island. Head to the Old Man of Storr, an iconic rock formation, before visiting Kilt Rock, a sea-weathered cliff with amazing coastal views. Next, take a walk at Lealt Falls to admire the beautiful waterfall and gorge. Finally, head back to Inverness via the panoramic Strome Viewpoint over Loch Carron.

From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

2. From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

Cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle on this coach and boat tour that transports you directly from Inverness city center to the legendary Loch Ness. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the stirring past of these famous shores as you relax on a guided coach tour. After departing from Inverness by coach, you will drive to Loch Ness. Once you arrive, hop on board a boat to cruise across the Loch’s world-famous waters. Keep an eye on the sonars for a blip that could be Nessie. There is a fully stocked bar on board and a selection of Scottish snacks. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are also served, should you require a little warming up. Once you are back on shore, explore the historic ruins of the once-mighty stronghold of Urquhart Castle. After you have seen the castle, relax on the coach as you make the return drive to Inverness city center.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

3. From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

Leave Inverness and head on a trip to explore the Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle. Learn the history and culture of Scotland from your guide as you explore the sites. Keep an eye out in Loch Ness, as you might even spot the Lochness monster if you're lucky. Travel in style in a Mercedes mini coach and hear about Scotland's turbulent past from your knowledgeable guide. Marvel at the views of the mountains of Wester Ross on the drive to Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the castle before traveling over the bridge to Skye. Head through the mountainous heart of the island before arriving in the harbor town of Portree for lunch. After lunch, the drive takes you around the Trotternish Peninsula. The guide will point out landmarks, including the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and Quiraing. Make your way back through majestic Glen Shiel, along the shores of Loch Clunie. The final part of the trip takes you along the banks of mighty Loch Ness.

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

4. From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands and board the Jacobite Steam Train on a day trip from Inverness. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a scenic tour of Loch Ness and in the fishing town of Mallaig. Begin your journey by bus and drive along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue south and visit the Commando Memorial, overlooking the Nevis Range—home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, set your sights on the Jacobite Steam Train and hop on board at Fort William. Your journey through magnificent landscapes will end in the fishing port of Mallaig, where you can try fresh seafood for lunch (at your expense) or explore the town. Take the scenic ‘Road to the Isles’ to Glenfinnan viaduct for stunning views. Admire beautiful scenery as you ride to Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Loch Ness. Finish your tour at Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness.

Inverness: 2-day Isle of Skye, Fairy Pools & Castles Tour

5. Inverness: 2-day Isle of Skye, Fairy Pools & Castles Tour

Experience the Scottish Highlands on a tour from Inverness. Visit the Isle of Skye, Dunvegan Castle, The Fairy Pools, and many more highlights on a tour escorted by a driver guide. Depart from Inverness and journey towards the Isle of Skye. Stop at Achnasheen for a quick break. Head to Loch Carron for a quick photo stop and then take a short break at Kyle of Lochalsh. Head to the 13th-century Dunvegan Castle, operated by the same family for over 800 years. Explore the castle or head into Dunvegan village to grab some lunch and explore the village. Then, it’s off to the imposing and dramatic Quiraing Mountain Range. See 3 more of Skye’s most iconic landmarks, Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, and the Old Man of Storr, and head to Portree for an overnight stay. Enjoy breakfast in the morning and head to one of the most magical places in Scotland, the Fairy Pools. Stop at Sligachan and Sconser and head to Broadford to enjoy lunch. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including otters, seals, and even killer whales. Visit Eilean Donan, situated on its own island at the head of Loch Duich. Return to Inverness via the scenic town of Fort Augustus at the foot of Loch Ness. Enjoy views of the massive loch, home to Nessie, on the way back to your meeting point.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

6. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

Tour the Scottish Highlands and explore the Isle of Skye on a 3-day guided tour from Edinburgh. You’ll see castles, craggy mountains, picturesque towns, and maybe even a monster on this excursion. Stay overnight in a bed and breakfast accommodation. Day 1: A Spectacular Route North Depart Edinburgh and travel north through the Trossachs National Park. Visit a lovely village and take in views of the UK’s largest expanse of freshwater, Loch Lomond. Continue across the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and through Glen Coe. Learn the brutal story of the MacDonald Clan massacre and take in the weeping waterfalls that inhabit this incredible glen. The highland town of Fort William marks the end of Scotland’s oldest and most popular long-distance walks, The West Highland Way. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 2: A Full Day on Skye You'll have the full day to explore the Isle of Skye. Highlights include the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and the stunning Trotternish Peninsula.  You might see seals out in the waves as you walk along the coast, or a stag standing on a hillside. Visit the capital of Skye, Portree for lunch. Return to Inverness for your overnight stay. Day 3: Monster Spotting on Loch Ness Drive along the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. As you head back to Edinburgh, your route will take you through Inverness, the Cairngorms, and Pitlochry. At the Culloden battlefield, the site of the defeat of the Jacobites, there is the option of taking a tour. Continue on through the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and stop to explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

7. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

8. Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Get back to nature in the Scottish Highlands and go for gentle walks. Spend the night in the city of Inverness and avail of a flexible itinerary on day 2. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head west to Glasgow before visiting the pretty village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond. Descend into Rannoch Moor and pass the Black Mount and Glencoe at the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. Go for a leisurely walk to soak up the atmosphere. Head north towards Fort William and get stunning views of Ben Nevis before traveling around Loch Ness after lunch. Pass historic Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, where you will spend the night. Day 2: Choose to visit the Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland. Glimpse the ancient stones of Clava Cairns and taste the whisky at Dalwhinnie Distillery. Go to the old military garrison of Ruthven Barracks. Return via the Hermitage and stop for a gentle forest walk in idyllic woodlands (summer only) before crossing the Forth Bridge to arrive back in Edinburgh.

Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise, Outlander & Whisky Tour

9. Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise, Outlander & Whisky Tour

Uncover the mystery of Loch Ness on a cruise Urquhart Castle on this guided tour from Inverness. Immerse yourself in local history at Culloden Battlefield. Enter the world of the hit TV show Outlander at the standing stones at Clava Cairns. Depart central Inverness and journey to the world-famous Loch Ness. Glide over the lake's shimmering waters on a 1-hour cruise to Urquhart Castle. Have free time to explore the13th-century ruins on foot. Stop to purchase lunch in one of the charming local cafés in Beauly and explore Beauly Priory, which was featured in the Outlander novel series. Next, stop at an ancient pine forest to see waterfalls. Visit a Highland whisky distillery, where you have the option of sampling a wee dram. Listen to tales of the Jacobite rebellions and the brutal Battle of Culloden, on a visit to Culloden Battlefield. Step into the world of Outlander at the burial chambers and standing stones at Clava Cairns. When you’ve heard the harrowing history that inspired the Outlander story, you might not want to travel back in time to meet Jamie Fraser after all. Return to Inverness in the early evening.

From Edinburgh: Outlander Experience 2-Day Tour

10. From Edinburgh: Outlander Experience 2-Day Tour

Day 1 Your first visit will be Blackness Castle overlooking the Firth of Forth. The castle was used as the backdrop for Fort William and then Wentworth Prison (or as it in known, Linlithgow Palace). Onwards to Doune Castle, better known as Castle Leoch, home to Colum Mackenzie. The castle has also made appearances in the Monty Python and the Holy Grail film. Next, into the Highlands and through Glen Coe with a quick stop at Loch Ness before arriving at your overnight in Inverness. Day 2 Step back in time 4000 years ago at Clava Cairns, the inspiration for Craigh na Dun. Then, continue to Culloden Battlefield, the scene of the last battle fought on British soil. Discover a living history at the Highland Folk Museum and its various time period scenes. Relive one of the first scenes when Jamie's ghost looks up in Claire's room at Outlander's Inverness: Falkland Village. Finally, explore the outside of Lallybroch at Midhope Castle. There will be a quick photo stop before arriving back in Edinburgh.

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The best day trips and excursions from Inverness are:

Loch Ness

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What people are saying about Inverness

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,262 reviews

Excellent tour planned meticulously to so much details that the tour guides's commentary and Playlist matched the places being visited / passed by. Steve, our tour guide/driver had the whackiest and wittiest quotes to entertain us all along. Short November end days did made us loose a bit of the itenairy but whatever we saw was worth it. Sadly, we had to miss out the main day of Isle of Skye visit as our son fell sick. We'll surely plan another trip in summers sometime to make it up.

Absolutely worth it. Recommended 100%. Our guide from Inverness was Andy S. Top guide. He told us plenty of stories about the places we visited and made the journey very pleasant. We even stopped to feed some highlander coos. A very complete, interesting and exciting trip.

I’m so glad I booked this tour. It would have been really difficult to see the whole island the way we wanted to otherwise, since we were traveling without a car. So much fun.

Excelente day trip to visit this beautiful area even in December when the days are short.

This is a must-do while in Inverness. Gorgeous sights and an amazing crew.