Mighty Dover Castle England in 1 Day

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Why Dover Castle England is Worth Visiting – Complete Guide and Tips for Visitors

Perched above the picturesque White Cliffs of Dover, is Dover Castle England. Known as the ‘Key to England‘, this incredibly formidable fortress has been England’s first line of defence for centuries with extraordinary chronicles to tell. At the heart of this mighty castle grounds is the magnificent Great Tower, recreated meticulously to reflect the opulence, pageantry and intrigue of the medieval court. Within the expansive grounds of the castle, discover the Anglo-Saxon church still in use, a surviving lighthouse built by the Romans and explore the incredible tunnels that take you deep into the famous White Cliffs of Dover as well as the Battlements Walk for breathtaking views over the English Channel.

Dover Castle England has more than enough for a full day out in Dover.

However, one popular question often asked has been whether the medieval castle is worth visiting today.

In this complete guide to Dover Castle England for visitors, I tell you if I think Dover Castle is worth a visit. I also share all the information about the castle, that you may need for your visit, should you opt to visit. An overview of the castle’s historic significance, the castle’s highlights along with what to expect on your visit, together with practical information and best tips to make your visit a fun and rewarding experience.

Best tip: Check availability and pre-book your visit to Dover Castle

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This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. We may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no additional cost to you. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.


IS DOVER CASTLE ENGLAND WORTH VISITING?

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I have visited Dover Castle twice and absolutely enjoyed all that the castle offered. Therefore, for me, this is an easy response. Yes, Dover Castle is absolutely worth visiting!

In essence, Dover Castle is worth visiting because the mighty Dover Castle England is a lot more than just a castle. While it stood formidable as the gateway to England, the castle was never attacked by the enemies. The grounds are extensive. There is a Roman lighthouse, a simple and beautiful medieval church, the great tower, signal station, and places to eat. From the battlements walk, the surreal views of the White Cliffs and the English Channel to the ingenious beyond belief, and incredible winding secret wartime tunnels beneath the White Cliffs, the dazzling medieval royal palace with its hologram and the royal lifestyle of sumptuously furnished chambers.

The list includes all the exhibits along the way, display of old wartime cannons, activities for children for family fun days out, and so much more. For many, Dover Castle is one of the best castles to visit in England.

Dover Castle is a great destination for historophile, paleophile, single travellers, couples and for fun days out with kids, typically fulfilling a day.

Read on for all the information you may need along with the unmissable highlights that this castle offers to visitors.

WHERE IS DOVER CASTLE ENGLAND

Dover Castle sits gallantly atop Castle Hill, in the city of Dover, an important ferry port in Kent, England. The Castle faces France, across the Strait of Dover, at its narrowest sea-crossing point between England and Europe at 33 kilometres (21 miles), a key strategic position throughout history.

Dover Castle is conveniently reached by road and rail and makes a perfect day trip from London (more on this below on practical information).

TTS Best Tips:

If you like castles in England, why not visit another famous castle in London!

Tower of London and the Crown Jewels and learn the history and the traditions still practiced today. View options.

WHY IS DOVER CASTLE IMPORTANT — AN OVERVIEW

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Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Kent England

Occupying an extensive eighty-acres of castle grounds today, Dover Castle was important in the history of England with almost 1000 years of stories to tell. Despite being a mighty fortress and the first line of defense, this magnificent castle has never been conquered.

The mighty Dover Castle began as a hill fort built by the Romans, some 2000 years ago (800 BC — AD 43). The Romans also built a lighthouse to guide the ships across the Channel to the harbour. Between the 10th and early 11th century, the Church of St Mary in Castro was built next to the lighthouse.

The hill fort took shape to be a motte and bailey castle, one of the first castles constructed by the Normans in 1066 by William the Conqueror who also built a castle in Windsor and in London. In the 12th century, the castle was transformed extensively during the reign of King Henry II, between 1179 and 1188. The Keep, walls of the inner bailey and the outer curtain wall were constructed, giving the castle the current structure we see today. The castle itself is made of Caen stone. It is one-hundred feet square and just under one-hundred feet tall.

Dover Castle stood strong against the French attacks in 1216, and later the castle was mainly used as an administrative centre in the 15th century. Much of the castle fell into ruins by the 17th century. However, by 1740, measures were implemented to strengthen the defences and barracks were built. More transformations were added and Dover Castle stood formidable in the 1800s against the Napoleonic wars. Thereafter, the castle was adapted for modern warfare. This imposing fortress was used in both World Wars, and played a pivotal role in the evacuation of soldiers from Dunkirk in 1940.

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The castle’s first line of defensive significance in the history of England has earned itself the reputation as ‘Key to England,’ defying all attempts to conquer it.

In a nutshell, Dover Castle was the most important military post in the realm. It was garrisoned from 1066 right until 1958, uninterruptedly. As from 1740 to 1945, the castle’s defences were continuously updated in account of every threat and war Europe and Britain were exposed to.

Today, Dover Castle England is managed by English Heritage UK.

HIGHLIGHTS OF DOVER CASTLE — WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR VISIT TO DOVER CASTLE

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With over 80 acres of castle grounds, there is quite a lot to explore. You may want to dedicate a complete day for this visit. Pick-up a map of the castle grounds to help you navigate.

1 | The Labyrinth of Secret Wartime Tunnels

Deep inside the dramatic White Cliffs of Dover are a labyrinth of secret winding tunnels that served as a sanctuary and a strategic military role.

The tunnels date back to the Medieval times when the garrison gathered before attacks. In preparation for the Napoleanic Wars, the tunnels were expanded to serve as barracks for soldiers. These were the only underground barracks built for soldiers in Britain. Reportedly it can house up to 2000 soldiers. The tunnels are now most famous for the vital role it played during the Second World War.

During WWII, while bombs rained over the coastal town of Dover, the tunnels beneath Dover Castle were used as a Command Centre and Control by Admiral Ramsay and his team, executing Operation Dynamo.

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images of the administrative centre during ‘Operation Dynamo’ in the War Tunnels Dover Castle

Operation Dynamo‘, also known as ‘Miracle of Dunkirk‘ took place between May 26 and June 4, 1940 and was the evacuation of 338,226 British and French soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk. Initially. it was estimated that only 20,000 to 30,000 troops would be rescued but by May 26, there were almost 400,000 troops awaiting evacuation. Admiral Ramsay used as many navy vessels as he could along with little ships to rescue 338,000 soldiers. Sir Winston Churchill called the operation, ‘a miracle of deliverance.’

Post WWII, these tunnels remained in used during the Cold War, and up until 1984.

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vivid projections on the wall of the scenes from WWII | War Tunnels Dover Castle

Lots of information is shared as you keep moving along to visit the communication centre, shelters, dormitories, hospitals and admin areas. There are vivid video projections and original films on the walls to tell the stories, bringing to life the wartime scenes that took place at a pivotal time in British history.

1.1 The Underground Hospital in the Secret Tunnels

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Hospital in the War Tunnels Dover Castle

A tunnel complex, named Annexe was constructed deep into but on a higher level at the White Cliffs in the summer of 1941. Its purpose was to provide medical treatment to injured soldiers in relative safety. The complex was created with long and short tunnels, operation theatre, wards, kitchens and stores. The complex was bombproof, and safe from attacks. The hospital was staffed by the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) along with nurses and surgeons. An operational unit remained in Annexe until the 1950s.

A scene at the underground hospital tells the story of an injured soldier fighting for his life. Using sounds and lights, the scene of the emergency room is recreated for visitors while bombs fall outside. Very atmospheric.

1.2 | About Visiting the Wartime Tunnels Tour

Directions to the Wartime Tunnels are signposted well. However, visits to the tunnels are timed and tours take place every 15 to 20 minutes. Each tour lasts for approximately 50 minutes, led by a knowledgeable guide. As tunnels are enclosed spaces, visits are done in small groups, and this may involve some waiting time. There is a visitor centre at the end of the Secret Wartime Tunnels tour, where you could take a break for coffee, tea, snacks or buy some souvenirs.

Georgina: Though there may be a wait for a little while, I highly recommend visiting the Wartime Tunnels, and experiencing the historic moments in English History.

2 | The Great Tower at Dover Castle

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Not much is known of the fortification built by William the Conqueror when he came to Dover after the Battle of Hastings, but the great castle seen today was constructed during the reign of Henry II, representing kingly power and authority whilst it stood guard at the realm of his kingdom.

King Henry II spent lavishly and created one of the most magnificent castles in Europe at the time. Combining defence and a grandiose residence, the medieval castle was an immense, sophisticated great tower and structure.

Standing at the heart of the expansive castle grounds is the Great Tower, at 25 metres (183 ft) at its tallest and walls at 6.5 metres (21 ft) in places. Used primarily for royal ceremonies and to house the royal travelling court, the Great Tower showcases a regal medieval world it once was.

The interior is recreated following painstaking research over many years. The rooms are decorated in rich and vibrant colours and are set to look like how it was when in use. There are wall hangings and stunning furnishings representing the opulence, and grandiosity of the powerful Henry II.

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Henry II bedchamber Dover Castle

Explore unhurriedly, from the kitchens to the grandeur of Henry II bedchamber. There are storage rooms, dining halls, damp passageways between rooms. The rooms are presented for an authentic experience and kept free of information panels to enrich a visitor’s experience.

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As you explore, stop and take a sneak peek over the grounds. Climb to the rooftop for incredible views of the castle grounds, across the English Channel and the town of Dover.

3 | Medieval Tunnels at Dover Castle

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There are more tunnels at Dover Castle! When the castle was under siege from the French in 1216, tunnels were dug beneath the castle to withstand the siege. The winding medieval tunnels were constructed to provide covert defences to prevent the fall of the realm. Cannons still remain in their respective positions. There are three passageways to explore, each leads to eerie winding tunnels beneath the castle.

Visitors can access these medieval tunnels, take a closer look at the artillery and peer out to the various points across the Channel.

4 | The Roman Lighthouse

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Church of St Mary in Castro and the Roman Lighthouse at Dover Castle

An octagonal tower-like rough masonry structure stands on the outer curtain wall of the medieval castle, next to the church of St Mary in Castro.

History tells us that the Romans built this tower to function as a lighthouse (pharos) on Castle Hill with another lighthouse on Western Heights, located opposite the hill. Using fire beacons, both lighthouses supported the navigation of ships approaching the river mouth. The lighthouses may have continued in use until the 5th century, but only the one on Castle Hill remains today.

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The Roman Lighthouse Dover Castle Kent England

There are five layers to the octagonal lighthouse, built using ragstone and flint. The archways are made of bricks. The first four layers were built by the Romans and the fifth top layer was added in 1430.

Later, the Roman lighthouse was used as part of the chapel and bell tower to St Mary in Castro. This best preserved 5-level-8-sided Roman pharos is one of three to exist in the world from the Roman empire. The other two are Leptis Magna in Libya and La Coruna in Spain.

The lighthouse is accessible and remarkable that it is still standing after 2000 years!

5 | Church of St Mary in Castro

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Dating back to 1000 AD, the Church of St Mary in Castro is an exceptional church, that once held sacred relics during medieval times. Built by the Saxons in circa 1020 AD, the church was extensively renovated in 1582 but went into disuse in the late 16th century and was in ruins by the 18th century. It was used as a coal store during the Napoleonic War between 1793 and 1815.

The Church of St Mary in Castro was fully restored in 1862 and is a Grade I listed building. It is an active church, serving the local community of Dover, Army and is the Dover Garrison Church.

Services are at 10:00 every Sunday. Holy Communion and Sung Matins on every second Sunday of the month.

6 | World War 1 Fire Command Post

The area of Dover was designated a fortress during the First World War and was home to a garrison of over 10,000 men. Dover Castle was designated as a military headquarters during the war. Stories of Dover Castle during WWI are recreated and retold at the Fire Command Post.

Unique to the Fire Command Post is a British 3 Inch Gun, built in 1915 and was one of the first of its kind that was specifically developed to combat aerial warfare, a new threat at the time. This priceless creation is the only working gun of the kind and one of six left in the world.

When here, you could try using the Morse code while also enjoy the panoramic views across the Straits of Dover.

The World War I Fire Command Post was only recently opened for the public, in 2015.

Best tips:

Plan your visit to Dover Castle on weekends during the summer months of July through to September. During these times, costumed volunteers re-enact gun drills, and gunfire demonstrations.

7 | Walk the Battlements

Finally, walk the extensive Battlements and the extraordinary defences that surround the mighty Dover Castle. It seems to go on forever, but truly a remarkable experience, Seeing the blues of the blue waters of the English Channel as far as your eyes can perceive, amidst the gentle sea-breeze under a cloudless blue sky.

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Dover Castle England timelesstravelsteps.com
views of Straits of Dover from the Battlements Dover Castle

Ensure you pick a good day 🙂

8 | Events for Kids

Dover Castle is a great destination for families. There are hands-on activities, historic performers and immersive activities for all the family. Activities are especially geared towards families and kids during school holidays and summer term. Learn more about kids activities at Dover Castle.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR VISITING DOVER CASTLE ENGLAND

The following information is helpful when visiting Dover Castle in Kent:

Dover Castle is easily accessed by road and by rail.

Address: Castle Hill Road, Dover CT16 1HU

Sat Nav : Postcode: CT 16 1HU

Latitude: 51.129671

Longtitude: 1.32117

1 | Opening Times of Dover Castle

The Castle opens its doors at 10:00 and closes at 17:00. The last admission is an hour before closing.

2 | Prices for Dover Castle

Admission ticket to Dover Castle starts from € 25.50 (May 2022).

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

You do not have to book in advance but booking in advance has its advantages. Booking in advance will almost always get you the best price and your entry is guaranteed on the day. Advance booking online also means that you would save time and avoid waiting in queues.

As a member of English Heritage, your membership entitles you to free entry to Dover Castle., but this does not include a free parking space onsite.

You may wish to purchase the admission ticket/s online hassle free, you could check availability for Admission to Dover Castle here.


3 | Accessing Dover Castle by Road

3.1 | Driving:

Take the A2 towards Dover. The entrance to Dover Castle is on A258, Castle Hill Road.

Parking: Free Parking is available for about 200 cars onsite and offsite. If offsite, there is a regular mini-bus service connecting the car park to the Castle. NB: Car park opens at the same time as the castle.

3.2 | Bus

Bus services are provided by Stagecoach in East Kent. Take – 15, 15X, 80, 80A, 93

3.3 | Bicycle

The National Cycle Network provides an up-to-date and safe cycle route to follow. Cliffs and Castle Route | Dover to Deal

4 | Accessing Dover Castle by Train

The nearest train station to Dover Castle is Dover Priory. The station is served by Southeastern trains.

When travelling by train from London, you will need the Kings Cross London St Pancras International Station or London Victoria Station.

4.1 | From London St Pancras International Station to Dover Priory

Journey time from London St Pancras International Station to Dover Priory is on average 1 hour 6 minutes. There are 27 trains daily. Book train tickets in advance to secure a cheap price. Tickets for this journey starts from £5.60 when booked in advance. Check availability and book London St Pancras International Station to Dover Priory.

4.2 | From London Victoria Station to Dover Priory

Journey time from London Victoria to Dover Priory is on average 2 hours 3 minutes. There are 19 trains daily. Book train tickets in advance to secure a cheap price. Journey price starts from £5.60 when booked in advance. Check availability and book London Victoria to Dover Priory.

From Dover Priory, take bus 93 from Priory Street (Stop E) towards Deal. Journey time is 5 minutes. Alternatively, you may wish to walk. Walking time is about 30 minutes from Dover Priory to Dover Castle.

For all other train journeys, check availability, times and prices on Trainline for best available Trains to Dover Priory.

5 | Additional Considerations

1 | As a centre for military operations, Dover Castle was not built with accessibility in mind. While many areas have been adapted and are accessible, the underground hospital and the floors above the ground floor at the Great Tower are accessible only via stairs. Some areas of the castle grounds involve steep slopes and are not easily navigable. Areas with access difficulty are clearly marked on the map. For specific access needs, contact Dover Castle well in advance as some access facilities need prior booking. For more information on accessibility and how to contact, navigate to the Dover Castle Access page.

2 | Whilst experiencing the Great Tower, the War Time Tunnels and the WWI Command Post indoors, you will also spend a considerable amount of time outdoors, on the castle grounds. Therefore, consider visiting Dover Castle on a pleasant day and use comfortable shoes.

ADD TO YOUR DOVER CASTLE ITINERARY

While visiting Dover Castle, you may want to include the following experiences also:

1 | Visit the Battle of Britain Memorial. A national memorial dedicated to ‘The Few’ — selfless aircrew who played a major role in defending the UK against the invasion of the Luftwaffe during World War II. The monument is located on the White Cliffs at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, on the coast of Kent.

2 | The White Cliffs of Dover which is a great place to walk and experience the compelling fortress from a different viewpoint. While here, explore the tunnels that make up the Fan Bay Deep Shelter, which supported the defensive gun batteries at the castle.

3 | Visit the Grand Shaft at the Western Heights. The Grand Shaft was constructed during the Napoleonic War, between 1806 and 1809 for the rapid movement of troops from the barracks at Western Heights to the town below. Three spiral staircases make up the shaft and meet at the top in a bowl, from where further steps lead up to the parade ground in front of the Grand Shaft Barracks.

RELATED ATTRACTIONS IN THE UK

Castles are dotted all around the United Kingdom with 4000 castles in England alone. While some are ruins, there are some that are protected and looked after by a charitable organisation. There are also castles which are still lived in. Each castle is unique and has a story to tell.

1 | Tower of London. The infamous White Tower built in the 11th century has an incredible story to tell. The journey takes you through murder, mystery, coronations and Crown Jewels. An unmissable stop on a visit to London. Join a tour offered by the Yeoman Warders.

2 | One of the oldest, largest and still lived on castles built by William the Conqueror is Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

3 | Visit Hever Castle Kent — the childhood home of Anne Boleyn who was the Queen Consort to King Henry VIII. Read about Anne’s enduring legacy and how the Boleyns are related to the Royal family.

finally…

Dover Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the United Kingdom, and that fact alone makes it a worthwhile visit. Added to this are the incredible war time tunnels which are an experience in itself, along with the Roman lighthouse, the St Mary in Castro church, medieval tunnels and the Battlements walk. One more thing — the views across the Straits of Dover. Taking all of the things to see and do, along with the experiences, Dover Castle just elevates to a whole new level where a visit is completely worth your time and money.

My sincere wish is that you found this article helpful in planning your visit to Dover Castle. If so, use the links to book your tickets or buy your train tickets. We earn a commission on qualified purchases and bookings at no additional costs to you. As always, we appreciate your support.

Have a super awesome time at Dover Castle 🙂

xoxo


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Presently October 2021| Fun folklores and traditions

Presently October 2021

In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter, morning and evening – no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air.”

Alexander Smith

There are all kinds of fun activities to get into in October, especially one that calls for eerie dress-ups, full moons, pumpkin patches, and autumn spiced foods. So, grab yourself a warm mug of pumpkin spiced latte, get comfortable and read on to find out all about the special presently October has in store for you.

Welcome to October e-column

About the month of October

October is the tenth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, second month of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and is the second month of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The month of October has thirty-one days.

The word ‘October’ comes from the Latin word, ‘Octo’ meaning “eight.” The early Roman calendar started in March, so October was the eight month. Then the Romans converted to a 12-month calendar and the year started in January, with October being the tenth month.

To the Welsh, October is ‘Hydref’ which refers to the lowing of cattle.


With autumn dressing herself in bold and vibrant homely hues, of scarlet maple and golden leaves, the season creates a sense of inner calm. Along with special birthstone and birthflower, presently October takes a look at traditions and at some important events such as Octoberfest, Daylight Saving Time, Halloween and special astronomical celebrations.

October birthstone

Pictured above is Opal, unique and distinctly in a class by themselves. They are specially delicate, require special care and popularly worn.

This exotic gemstone comes in all shapes, translucent, transparent and in rainbow colours. It is a stone of good fortune, bringing an abundance of wealth, health and happiness.

October birth flower

October birth flower is the Calendula.

There are about fifteen species to the Calendula family. The bright orange and yellow daisy-like flowers are native to Asia, Central Europe and the Mediterranean. The name has its origin in the Latin word, ‘calendae’, meaning “the first day of the month”.

Since ancient times, the Calendula plant had been used for medicinal purposes. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, often used to treat infections.


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October Traditions, Festivals, Folklores and Events

Traditions, Festivals and Folklores

1 | The “Lost in the Dark” October Bells of St Mary’s Church, Twyford, Hampshire | October 7

Back in the 18th century, one Mr William Davis was riding home to Twyford, Hampshire on the evening of October 7. He was suddenly overcome by thick fog and could not see his way home. Just then, he heard the bells of St Mary’s Church ring and realised he was heading in the wrong direction. Mr Davis guided his galloping steed towards the sounds of the bells. They arrived home safely.

Later, he found out that he was only yards away from a deeply dug quarry pit. Had he gone further, he would have been killed.

Mr Davis died in 1754. In his Will, he left a pound for a peal of bells to be rung on each anniversary of October 7 and for a feast for the bell-ringers afterwards. The money ran out a long time ago but the Church continues on with the tradition. The bell-ringers of St Mary’s Church ring the bells twice, at 6:30 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m. on October 7 every year to help travellers find their direction, should they get lost in the fog.

Where: St Mary’s Church, Twyford, Hampshire, SO21 1NS. https://wpbells.org/twyford/

2 | Feast Day of St Keyne | October 8

A well in Cornwall is known as a ‘holy well’ and is named after a 5th century Celtic saint, Keyne (Cain Wyry, 461-505). She was the daughter of King Brychan of Brecknock. Keyne dedicated her life to Christianity. Legend has it that she planted four trees around this  well — an oak, an elm, an ash and a willow and imparted strange powers to its waters.

According to the legend, following a wedding, the first of the marriage partners to drink from well’s waters will be the dominant partner.

Robert Southey (1774-1843) wrote a poem about this Well:

A well there is in the west country,

And a clearer one never was seen,

There is not a wife in the west country

But has heard of the well of St Keyne.”

Robert Southey, An English Poet

Location: The Holy Well of St Keyne, southeast of St Keyne’s Church, St Keyne, Liskeard PL14 4RJ, Cornwall

3 | St Luke’s Day, October 18

St Luke’s Day is special in Christianity. He is the first Christian physician on record. He is the patron saint of artists, physicians, and surgeons.

However, in England, traditionally, October 18 is set aside so girls could gain an insight into their future marriage prospects. For them to see their true love, they have to adhere to some rules.

Before they get to bed, girls will have to put a mixture of spices blended with honey and vinegar on their face. When in bed, they must recite the following rhyme:

St Luke, St Luke, be kind to me;

In dreams, let me my true love see.

4 | English Pudding Season

5 | Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest has its origins as a celebration in honour of the Bavarian royal wedding in 1810. This original beer festival is celebrated in Munich, Germany. It is celebrated with traditional costumes, rides, food and lots of beer tents. The carnival style celebration begins sometime mid September and lasts till the first Sunday in October. Over the years other capital cities has adopted this celebration in recognition of their German community and is a popular event in London.

6 | Halloween

Halloween is a celebration observed in many countries on October 31. The day is said to originate in the Christian calendar, the eve of All Hallows Day. It is a day dedicated to remembering the dearly departed, the saints and martyrs. However, there are suggestions that over time, this Halloween tradition was influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the ancient Celtic harvest festival, Sanhaim.

Samhaim marked the end of harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year, winter. It was believed that the souls of the dead could return to Earth for one night of the year.

October – all things pumpkin and nice!

With beautiful, bright, warm and charmingly invigorating colours along with legends and Hallowee, October is also exceptional for the special aroma of spices and flavours. A unique combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice mixed together to create the tantalizing pumpkin spiced latte or pumpkin spiced cake — that little slice of heaven we, as lovers of pumpkin spice savour at this season.

Do you like pumpkin spiced latte or cake/bread? Share your views in comments below.

Quotes and Sayings in October

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves; We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

Humbert Wolfe

Autumn colors remind us we are all one dancing in the wind”

Lorin Morgan-Richards

All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow, and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken”

Thomas Wolfe

Rain in October means wind in December

When berries are many in October; Beware a hard winter.

If the October moon comes without frost, expect no frost till the moon of November.

October astronomical events

October 8 – 9


October 20, 2021

In skylore, Hunter’s Moon is the full moon following Harvest Moon. It usually appears in October but sometimes in early November. This year, Hunter’s Moon is said to rise on October 20 for most of the world.

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends for most countries in Europe and begins in Australia. The clocks go forward one hour from standard time in Australia as they enter summer time. The European countries go back one hour from standard time for winter.

In UK, remember to turn your clocks back at 02:00 a.m. on October 31.



What happened in September…

presently October
presently in October
presently October 2021

Articles to be published in October

old sligachan bridge isle of skye
haunted places on the Isle of Wight
Halloween quotes, captions and sayings

…and hopefully more — stay tuned


That’s a wrap from me for now, till next time. Have a super awesome month of October.

Georgina xoxo


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Resources:

timeanddate.com

almanac.com

wikipedia.com


Presently October 2021| Fun facts and more first published at timelesstravelsteps.com in October 2021

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Presently September 2021

Presently September 2021

And then the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and Autumn was awaked.

Raquel Franco

… and it is the wonderful month when I welcome the fresh cool air and the fragrance of the season. Colours of scarlet and gold and their gentle playfulness in the soft light of autumn. Parks are awash with spectacular colours of foliage. Fallen leaves that looks like crusts of brown sugar and cinnamon. Those scarlet and maple leaves create more beauty than I can ask for!

The equinox marks the start of this wonderful season, and harvest celebrations to look forward to with apple picking and pumpkin carving. It’s time to gather up the harvest and prepare for the winter months ahead.

While I embrace the cooler weather, I wrap my coat around me a little tighter rather than letting it flap in the breeze – a melancholy reminder that the sun has taken a step back, allowing autumn to have her moments. I love the season and all that she brings including the showers 🙂

Welcome to September e-column

About the month of September

The month of September is the ninth month in the current Gregorian calendar and comes from the old Roman word, ‘septem’. “Septem’ means ‘seven’ because it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar.

To the Anglo-Saxons, the ninth month was called ‘Gerst monath’, meaning “barley month“. They harvested barley during this time and brewed their favourite autumn drink, barley brew. They also called the month, Haefest monath which meant Harvest month.

For the Romans, the month of September was looked after by the god, Vulcan. Vulcan was the god of fire and they believed September to be associated with fires, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Presently in September, school term begins with the end of six-week long summer break.

A quick look at the history of September

Previous to the current Gregorian Calendar, Britain followed the Julian Calendar up until 1752. The Julian Calendar was based on the solar system – the time Earth takes to rotate around the Sun. Hence, a year was 365.25 days. Over time, the Julian calendar was considered inaccurate as it drifted away from astronomical events such as the winter solstice. Thus, Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752 to correct the inaccuracies.

However, it is important to note that not all countries adopted the switch straightaway. It took more than three centuries for all the countries to implement the switch. Russia, Greece and Turkey were the last countries to adopt the switch as late as the early 20th century.

Note: The Gregorian calendar was born in 1582, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII

September birthstone

September birthstone is the sapphire, which is thought to guard against evil and poisoning.

Sapphire is typically blue, a colour caused by the combination of iron and titanium. The vivid medium blues are more valuable than the lighter and darker tones. Sapphires also appear in other colours. The popular ones are red, known as rubies.

Sapphires are said to symbolise purity, truth, trust and loyalty. They also encourage divine wisdom and protection.

September birth flower

September birth flower is the morning glory (above) and the aster. The aster is a symbol of powerful love while morning glory symbolises affection.


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September Traditions, Festivals and Folklores

Harvest festival in Britain

Traditionally, harvest begins on September 24. In medieval England, there were a number of ceremonies and some are still observed in rural England.

“Calling the Mare”

Calling the Mare was a ceremony where the farmers would gather the last sheaf of their harvest to prove that they had reaped the best crops. The would use the last sheaf of their harvest to shape a mare and send this to their neighbour, shouting “mare, mare”. This is to remind them that wild horses would come and eat their harvest if they didn’t gather it in quickly. The last farmer would have to keep the “mare” on display till the following year to signify he was the slowest farmer.

Corn dolls

The custom of making corn dolls dates back hundreds of years. Corn dolls are believed to be the spirit of the corn goddess.

It was believed that the corn goddess lived in the corn and would die when the corn was harvested. So, the farmers saved some of the corn. Corn dolls were weaved out of these last sheaves to make sure the corn goddess stayed alive and rest in until next spring sowing.

Traditions in Britain

Michaelmas Day

Michaelmas Day is celebrated on 29th September and is associated with the feast of St Michael, patron saint of the sea and maritime. Traditionally, the day also marks the last day of harvest.

Michaelmas Day is sometimes also known as Goose Day. Goose Fairs are held in some English towns but geese are no longer traded. A popular one is the Nottingham Goose Fair which is now held around October 3.

Note: “Lammas” meaning “loaf Mass” was a custom celebrated on August 1, to mark the beginning of harvest. On this day, farmers would bake loaves of bread from their new harvest and give it to the church. This custom stopped when King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic church. Instead, harvest day is celebrated at the end of September along with Michaelmas Day.

September Taditions around the world

Moon Festival

The Moon Festival is the second largest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. This has been celebrated in the Chinese calendar for over three-thousand years and typically takes places at the end of September in the Gregorian calendar.

The Moon Festival occurs on the full moon nearest the fall equinox, when the moon is the brightest and roundest. Celebrations involve brightly coloured lanterns, dances and games. People gather together to give thanks for their families, harvest and best wishes for long life and happiness.

Sayings and Poems in September

Sayings in September

Some popular sayings for fun:

Heavy September rains bring drought;

September dries up ditches or breaks down bridges;

Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go;

Poems in September

“The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze. 
–  John Updike, September

“‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.”
–  Thomas Moore, The Last Rose of Summer, 1830

“Lord, it is time.
The summer was very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days,
press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine.”
–  Rainer Maria Rilke


Re cap since July e-column

The following are articles published in the month of August, if you had missed them:

The Jacobite Steam Train Travel in the Scottish Highlands
day trips from Milan
the London Pass
Charming City London
The Incredible History of Britain - A tapestry of humanity
Monthly e-column


That’s a wrap from me for the month of September.

Whatever you get up to, enjoy the fall colours and the gentle breeze. Soon, it will be time for log fires, cosy socks and hot chocolate with marshmallows 🙂

Till next time,

Georgina xoxo


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Presently September 2021
Presently September 2021

Sources

timeanddate.com


Presently September 2021 first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

Top 5 Hotels in Inverness timelesstravelsteps.com

Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

Updated: May 22, 2022

Visiting north-east Scotland and wondering where to stay? You are in the right place. In this guide, I share the reasons why Inverness should be your base to explore the northeast of Scotland along with my carefully selected top 5 hotels in Inverness city centre that will make an ideal base for you.


This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. This means that we may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no additional cost to you. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.


Visiting Scotland?

Best Tips: Book tours and tickets beforehand so not to miss:

Our Best Selling Day Trips and Multi Day Trips to undertake when visiting Scotland:

1 | See the best of Scotland in a day — Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Scottish Highland

2 | 2-Day Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

3 | Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle


Why Select a Hotel in the Heart of Inverness City Centre

Where to stay in Inverness

hotels in Inverness | timelesstravelsteps.com
hotels in Inverness

The small city of Inverness in the northeast coast of Scotland, is a perfect base for exploring Loch Ness and the unspoilt Scottish wilderness. Loch Ness is the most famous loch in the world for the legendary resident, the Loch Ness monster, Nessie. In addition, Inverness is at a central point and a gateway to the northeast coast offering opportunities to explore the breathtaking landscapes, the ancient sites, the multitude of castle ruins, the wider region of the Highlands and the Scottish wilderness. Moreover, the location of Inverness itself makes it a special place to be. As such, the city offers a number of accommodations to suit all budgets and lifestyle.

Here are some reasons to select the city centre as your point of stay when exploring the Scottish Highlands.

1 | A compact city

2 | Choices in Entertainment and Eateries

Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Traditional Scottish pub along River Ness | Where to stay in Inverness

The city is lively and offer great choices in entertainment in the evenings. As well, there are a good selection of restaurants and eateries for you to try classic Scottish recipes. Visit one or more of the many Scottish pubs dotted around the city for the hospitality, ambience and a classic Scotch on the rocks, for a memorable experience.

As for places to eat, try the Castle Tavern which is popular amongst visitors to Inverness. Known for good service, it is said to serve the best haggis in town!

Address: 1 View Place, Inverness IV2 4SA Scotland

3 | Myriad of Things to do during the Day

There are so many things to do in and around Inverness during the day that you will not be bored!

Inverness Castle | Things to do in Inverness City | Top 5 hotels in Inverness | timelesstravelsteps.com
Inverness Castle, Inverness, Scotland | Hotels in Inverness

Attractions conveniently located within the Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

Just so you know, all of the hotels listed below, Top 5 hotels in Inverness City are conveniently located to the following popular attractions:

  • Inverness Castle 0.3 miles
  • Caledonian Canal 0.4 miles
  • Inverness Floral Hall 0.9 miles
  • James Pringle Weavers 1.2 miles
  • Culloden Battelfield 4.8 miles

Do a value for money, small group one day guided tour of Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns

4 | Major Transport Hub | Air, Train and Road

Where to stay in Inverness | hotels in Inverness | timelesstravelsteps.com
hotels in Inverness

Furthermore, accessibility to public transportation such as Inverness train station and the bus/coach station is convenient and located only within minutes of any the following centrally located hotels.

With so many choices, finding the most suitable place to stay can be time consuming. Therefore, in this article, you shall find carefully selected top 5 hotels in Inverness city centre for you to peruse, select and book your stay.


Top 5 Hotels in Inverness City Centre

As you may know, my go-to place for booking accommodations is Booking dot com. Booking offers vast choices in accommodation style such as hotels, hostels and aparthotels to suit varying budgets. In addition Booking offers a choice of cancellation policies and depending on the properties you select, you could either pay in full upfront or pay later.

Here are the selected top 5 hotels in Inverness which I know is a great place to stay.

1 | Ness Walk

Hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

Top 5 hotels to in Inverness City Centre | timelesstravelsteps.com
Ness Walk, Inverness | Hotels in Inverness

Ness Walk is located in a beautiful setting along River Ness and is rated as superb with friendly staff and world-class service by customers. Within steps, you would be walking along River Ness and enjoy a stroll to Ness Island, watch the sunset over the city of Inverness or the adventure in you may lead you along the Caledonian Canal which is a stone’s throw away. Whatever you choose to do during your stay at Ness Walk, you are assured of a celebrity treatment.

The accommodation comes with free WiFi, continental breakfast daily and attractions within minutes of the property.

Peruse and book your stay at Ness Walk, Inverness

2 | Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant

Rocpool is a luxurious boutique hotel, bar and restaurant located in the heart of Inverness and offers nothing short of a world-class service.

This 5-star hotel, Rocpool Reserve boast numerous awards, including Conde Nest Johansens Most Excellent UK City Hotel 2008 and 2010.

Peruse and book your stay at Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant


Though not 5-star rated, the following three hotels provide good comfort, style and friendly service.

3 | Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa

Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre to Stay

Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre | Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa
Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa | © timelesstravelsteps.com | georgina_daniel | Where to stay in Inverness

Located along the banks of River Ness, Inverness Palace Hotel offer direct views of Inverness Castle which looks glorious at sundown. The hotel offers swimming pool, leisure club, spa and free WiFi. Riverside restaurants and bars are within steps of the hotel. Train and coach stations are about 10 minutes walk – you need to take the bridge across River Ness.

Address: 8 Ness Walk, Inverness

Peruse and book your stay at Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa

4 | The Royal Highland Hotel Inverness

Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

The Royal Highland Hotel | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
The Royal Highland Hotel, Est 1856 | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel | hotels in Inverness

Literally just about 10 steps from the entrance/exit of Inverness train station is the The Royal Highland. One of the oldest in Scotland, The Royal Highland has been around for 160 years.

Grand staircase at the The Royal Highland Inverness | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Grand staircase at The Royal Highland Inverness | hotels in Inverness

Boasting a grand staircase that was an inspiration for the very same in the movie “Titanic”, the decor is traditional, rich and warm. Dining here is an experience in itself —Ash is contemporarily styled and serves an à la carte menu. Food is sourced locally — fish comes from nearby lochs and rivers. Ash Restaurant is one of the best drinking and dining venues in Inverness.

Peruse and book your stay at The Royal Highland Inverness

Where to stay in Inverness

5 | Mercure Inverness Hotel

Located at just 200 metres from Inverness train station, Mercure Inverness Hotel is best if you have to join guided tours or if you wish to explore surrounding areas by train. Guided tours usually drop you off at about 8 p.m. by which time you may just want to head straight to your hotel.

Mercure Inverness offers breakfast daily and free WiFi.

Peruse and book your stay at Mercure Inverness Hotel


Besides these top 5, there are many more in and around Inverness which you may want to research upon and select to suit.

Booking.com

Where to stay in Inverness

Travelling to Inverness City

Inverness is well-served by both train and air along with good ground transportation such as bus/coaches. Roads around Inverness are good, and it was nice to drive around. Just remember that in Scotland as is in the rest of United Kingdom, we have a right-hand drive but drive on the left side of the road.

1 | Train travel to Inverness City

hotels in Inverness | timelesstravelsteps.com
where to stay in Inverness

Train services to Inverness is mainly served by ScotRail trains. There are frequent services from Aberdeen to Inverness (2 hours 12 minutes), Glasgow to Inverness (3 hours 13 minutes), and from Edinburgh to Inverness (3 hours 33 minutes).

If you are travelling from London to Inverness, the journey with no changes of trains takes about 8 hours.

Read: 8 Most Scenic Train Journey in UK

Georgina: I travelled to Inverness recently from London aboard the Azuma – it was a comfortable train ride. Long 8 hours but the comfort of the First Class carriages and the scenic route made the journey pleasant. If you are not driving to Inverness, Scotland, I would recommend a train journey.


2 | Travel by Air to Inverness

Inverness Airport is located in Dalcross, about 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) northeast of Inverness city. It is an international airport offering a range of flights daily to and from key destinations such as London, Amsterdam and Dublin. The Airport Terminal provides customers with a variety of cafes, restaurants, shops.

For great money savers to Inverness, look-up budget flights as part of a package offered by Easy Jet, Jet2 and On the Beach . There are great protection to be had from booking flight and accommodation together. For a greater selection on air travel, Opodo is pretty good – link below.


3 | By Car

Exploring Inverness and the Scottish Highlands by car is one of the best ways to see and experience the many dramatic vistas of this region. Car tours are specially useful if you have only a few days where you would like to maximise your time and cover lots of areas.


Pro tips to Consider

If you are considering travelling by train or by air to Inverness city and would like to explore more of the Scottish Highlands, then you may find the following suggestions helpful:

1 | Hire a car when you arrive in Inverness if you wish to explore at your leisure;

2 | Book day or multi-day guided tours with reputable sight-seeing providers so your booking is secure, refund is possible if you change your mind and tour guides are local as well as knowledgeable to maximise your experience.

Pro tip 1 | Combine a stay in Inverness and Explore the Scottish Highlands by Car

Isle of Skye.Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Highlands, Scotland | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel | hotels in Inverness

As a gateway to the Scottish Highlands, Inverness allows you to explore more than just the city and its immediate surrounds. It would of course depend very much on your time and what you plan to achieve when visiting Inverness. Taking a road trip to the Scottish Highlands allows you to explore at your leisure. You will experience more of the beautiful scenery and many Scottish heritage, castle ruins and dramatic coastlines. You will navigate through mountainous peaks, shimmering lochs and single track roads with friendly hairy Highland cows beckoning a stop for a photo-shoot. The unbelievable natural beauty will have you planning your next trip in no time.

Road trip to the Isle of Skye

Portree | Isle of Skye | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City
Portree, a pretty harbour town and the capital of Isle of Skye, Highlands, Scotland | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel | hotels in Inverness

The Isle of Skye is one of the most visited destinations in the Highlands. Skye can be visited from Inverness in one day and the journey is about 3 hours each way. Whilst this is possible, it is a lot of driving. To make the best of your visit to the Isle of Skye, I recommend either one or two overnight stays in Portree, a charming harbour town or any other place you would prefer.

The highlights on this road trip may include Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Skye Bridge, Quiraing, Fairy Pools, Bridal Falls, Kilt Rock The Old Man of Storr, Lochalsh, Portree and so many more depending on how many stops you make.

Suppliers of good value for money combination of an All-in-One

For great value for money holidays to the Scottish Highlands travelling by air or by train, take a look at EasyJet for cheap flights and Travel Supermarket for unbiased information. Select what suits your itinerary and book in advance to avoid disappointment. Always check cancellation policies and fine prints before finalising your booking.

Combine cheap flights with handpicked 3, 4, or 5 star accommodations from self-catering, to boutique with EasyJet Holidays. Add any extras you may need such us car rental, airport transfers.


To save time and money, Travel Supermarket offers unbiased information on all travel products. You can compare prices and book a package holiday by selecting flights, hotels and car hire.


Where to stay in Inverness

Pro tip 2 | Book day or multi-day guided tours

To make the most of your stay in Inverness, and if you do not wish to drive, join a guided tour with a reputable tour provider and let someone else drive you around. You could easily do a day trip from Inverness or a multi-day trip to explore the Highlands. Here are a few carefully selected day and multi-day guided trips with reputable tour providers.


A final note on the Top 5 Hotels in Inverness City Centre

Whether you spend the day hiking, and exploring the wonders of Loch Ness, driving far and discovering the joys of single track roads or guided by knowledgeable locals, you are going to need a good night’s rest! I hope my selection of the top 5 hotels in Inverness will give the comfort and relaxation needed whilst away from home.

Finally, don’t forget Travel Insurance! Never leave home without it even if you are a domestic traveller. I use World Nomads so I get the best value to suit my travels.

Sincerely hope that this post is valuable to you in planning your visits to Inverness. If so, use the links embedded in this post and all related posts to book your stay in Inverness. Timeless Travel Steps earns a commission from qualifying purchases at zero cost to you. As always, your support is greatly appreciated.

Have a splendid time exploring Inverness and the Highlands.


Facts on Scotland

__________Q

Population: Over 5.4 million (2020)

Common Language: English. Gaelic is spoken by 1.3% of the population mostly in the west and in the Highlands.

Currency: £ – Pound (GBP)

Capital City: Edinburgh. Home to the first fire brigade in the world, and is the second largest city in Scotland. The largest metropolis in Scotland is Glasgow.

High season: Summer (July – August)

Religion: Christianity – 40% Church of Scotland. 15% Roman Catholic and 6% other Christian denominations. Minorities include Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh with a quarter of the population has been recorded as having no religion.

Social courtesies: Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. When visiting someone’s home, a small gift such as flowers or a box of chocolates is appreciated.

Scotland: Travel and Transport

Scotland: International Travel

UK Government: Foreign Travel Advice

UK Government: UK nationals travelling abroad

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Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and regularly updated. Last update May 22, 2022

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Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Top Things to do in Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highland

When I visited Inverness, autumn was beginning to dress herself for the season. Though the first leaves tumbled to the soil, most remain green, glowing with new hues. The subtle golden and earthy hues took a sweet turn all along the River Ness. The fresh calm air, soothing sounds of the waters and the sight of a salmon fisherman in the River were moments of serenity – moments that awaits every visitor.

Though a small city in Scotland‘s northeast coast. Inverness offers a wealth of discovery, so much more than a base to visit the infamous Loch Ness, or the surrounding attractions. From fine food, historic architecture, green spaces and Highland tales, Inverness is perfect for short getaways. Plan your itinerary to Inverness with this Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highland so that you do not miss the highlights of the city and things to do around the cultural city of the Highlands.


This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. This means that we may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no additional cost to you. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.


Visiting Scotland?

Best Tips: Book tours and tickets beforehand so not to miss:

Our Best Selling Day Trips and Multi Day Trips to undertake when visiting Scotland:

1 | See the best of Scotland in a day — Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Scottish Highland

2 | 2-Day Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

3 | Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle



A brief history of Inverness

Inverness |
Inverness, Scotland | ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Inverness, means the mouth of River Ness as it is located at the best crossing place of the River Ness where it meets Moray Firth. It flows from River Ness at the east end of Glen Mor, commanding the route system of northern Scotland.

This small city is also known as the Capital of the Highland. Once an ancient settlement, Inverness had played key roles in Scottish history. One of the historic events was the visit of St Columbo in 565 AD when he converted the King of the Picts to Christianity. Then, in 843, the Kingdom of the Scots and the Picts were united to create the Kingdom of Alba which has developed into Scotland as we know today. In 1040, Macbeth is said to have murdered King Duncan at his castle in Inverness.

The real story though, Macbeth killed King Duncan I in August 1040 in a battle near Elgin, Morayshire.

Learn more about “Macbeth” – one of Shakespeare’s most important works that also reflects the tensions, battles and destruction that took place during this era.

Buy Macbeth: by William Shakespeare on Amazon

The early Modern Ages sees tension escalating between the Highlands and the Scottish Crown, heightened when Mary Queen of Scots was refused entry to the castle in 1562 by the Highlands governor, who was later executed.

Learn more about the Highlands battles between the ninth and fourteenth centuries as well as the confused and turbulent period which led to a more settled history of the region in The Highland Battles: Warfare on Scotland’s Northern Frontier in the Early Middle Ages by Chris Peers (Hardcover – 30 Oct. 2020)

Some basic facts about Capital of the Highland

1 | Population

The city of Inverness covers a small surface area totaling 21 square kilometers (8 square miles) and is home to a population of over 46,000 residents.

2 | Climate

Inverness lies 7 metres above sea level and the climate is warm and temperate. Rainfall is significant with precipitation even during the driest months.

The average temperature is 8.0 °C | 46.4 °F. Precipitation here is about 740 mm | 29.1 inch per year.

3 | Culture

Inverness

Inverness is the cultural centre for a number of events in the Scottish Highlands. Every September the city of Inverness hosts the Northern Meeting, for bagpipe players and lovers. Another major event is the annual City of Inverness Highland Games that can be traced back to 1822. Two summer music festivals are held each year, the Rockness and the Tartan Heart Festival, that bring a variety of music to the city.

4 | Language

Although official language of the Highlands is the English Language, Inverness still has a solid Scottish Gaelic speaking community and a relatively lively Gaelic scene. About 4.8% of Invernessians above the age of 3 speak Gaelic compared to 1.1% nationally.

5 | Long-distance Walking hub

Inverness is connected to three long-distance walking paths:

i | The Great Glen Way – Connects to Fort William along the Great Glen | 127 km (79 miles) | 5-6 days;

ii| The John O’Groat’s Trail – connects to John O’Groats along the coast;

iii| The South Loch Ness Trail – Connects to Fort Augustus along the southeast side of Loch Ness.

6 | Geographical location

Inverness is located in the northeast coast of Scotland, at the mouth of River Ness. It lies on the Great Glen Fault. There are minor earthquakes and the last one to affect Inverness was in 1934.

The City of Inverness is located at:

Latitude: 57° 28′ 44.69″ N | Longitude: -4° 13′ 26.33″ W.

Click on the image to view a larger scale | Google data


Things to do around the Capital of the Highland

Here is an outline of the things to do in and around Inverness to be included in your itinerary.

1 | River Ness Walk

River Ness Walk | Inverness A Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands | Things to do in Inverness | timelesstravelsteps.com
River Ness Walk, Inverness | ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

A great way to explore the cultural city of the Highlands is to stroll along River Ness. The beauty of this walk along the banks of the River is that one minute you are in the busy streets of the city, and the very next you are in the “countryside”. If you are lucky, you may spot some seals bobbing up and down between the two road bridges in the centre of Inverness.

Bridge.Inverness| A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Greig Street Suspension Bridge, Inverness was built in 1880-1881 for £1400.00 and credited to C.R. Manners and the local Rose Street Foundry. | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

The Ness Walk route starts from the castle and follow the riverside path along the Great Glen Way. There are a number of footbridges along the length of River Ness allowing you to cross from one side of the river to the other.

Salmon fisherman standing in the river.Inverness - Complete Guide to the City of the Highlands
Salmon fisherman standing in the River Ness, Inverness, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Along the route, look out for some iconic landmarks such as the Inverness Cathedral and the Inverness War Memorial. You might also see a salmon fisherman standing in the river – apparently, and the story goes that around here years ago, a fisherman caught a massive salmon weighing 29kg (64lbs) but returned it to the waters after having it photographed.


Georgina suggests: Walk upstream alongside one side of the River Ness to Ness Island and returning down the other bank. This allows you to have two different experiences of some magnificent views.


2 | Inverness Cathedral

Inverness Cathedral | Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands
Inverness Cathedral | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Inverness Cathedral, Highland, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Inverness Cathedral is a cathedral dedicated to St Andrews. The Cathedral is not a large one but the serenity is one to be experienced. It is built of pink freestone from Conon Quarry near Dingwall. Dressed in warm cream coloured stone from Covesea Quarry near Lossiemouth, in Moray. It’s roof is green Westmorland slates and has a pine ceiling. Spend a moment or two here while on your walk along River Ness.

Address: Ardross St, Inverness IV3 5NN | Opening hours: Generally from 10 am.

3 | Ness Island

Walking upstream, you will reach Ness Island. Ness Islands is a collection of small islands in the middle of the River Ness. These small islands are connected to one another by a series of suspension foot bridges that gives a Victorian feel, sturdy and well built.

4 | Inverness War Memorial

A walk along River Ness on the east bank as it heads towards the southern outskirts of Inverness is the Inverness War Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to the men who fought in the Burma Campaign during World War II.

5 | Inverness Botanic Gardens and Nursery

Inverness Botanic Gardens
flower – Inverness Botanic Gardens

A little beyond Ness Islands, is an oasis of calm and beauty. The Inverness Botanic Gardens and Nursery was formerly known as the Floral Hall is an explosion of colour, texture, impressive glass houses and subtropical horticultural gem.

Tea & cakes in the Cafe is highly recommended.

Entry: FREE | Hours: 7 days a week – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Address: Bught Lane, Inverness, IV3 5SS | Inverness Botanic Gardens


Georgina suggests: With the Ness Walk, allow yourself up to 2-3 hours for a complete circular walk. You can make this walk as long or as short as you like as there are a number of bridges that allows you to shorten your walk if necessary, so you could return to your starting point. Alternatively, you could extend your walk along the Great Glen Way.


6 | Cameron Highlanders Memorial

Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Cameron Highlanders Memorial | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

An impressive statue and monument dedicated to the Cameron Highlanders who lost their lives during the war. Erected in 1893, the monument stands testament to the 142 soldiers from Inverness who lost their lives in the Egypt and the Sudan conflict (1882-1889). Names of the soldiers and references to the many campaigns are also engraved thereon. This memorial is situated immediately outside of the Inverness Railway station. The Station Square was purposefully chosen as the statue’s location to ensure maximum exposure and reverence from visitors to the Capital of the Highlands.

7 | Inverness Castle

Capital of the Highland

Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands
Inverness Castle, Highlands, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

The beautiful Inverness Castle is made of red sandstone building and sits on a hill overlooking the River Ness. A castle had been on this site since 1057 but it had been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The present castle dates back to 1836, designed by architect William Burn.

Today, most of the Inverness Castle is closed to the public except for the Castle Viewpoint in the north tower. The Castle is home to the Inverness Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court. However, the Court is due to move to another location soon. There are plans to open up more of the castle for public viewing.

The Inverness Castle Viewpoint gives 360° view of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.

Costs: Adults – £6.00 | Children – £4.00 for 25 minutes timeslot. Visits must be pre-booked.

8 | The Victorian Market

Victorian Market,Invrness | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Victorian Market.Inverness.

Victorian Market, Inverness, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Spend a few minutes at the Victorian Market, Inverness.

The original market was built in 1870 but was destroyed by fire in 1889. The only life lost was a faithful dog which refused to leave a shop it guarded. The market was rebuilt in 1890-1891. This picturesque market is home to a fish market (accessed from Church Street) as well as a wide selection of cool craft shops and independent boutiques which are great for unique souvenirs. There are a number of eateries as well for some freshly baked pies and cream cakes.

9 | Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey's Bookstore.Inverness
Leakey’s Bookstore, Inverness | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

When in Inverness, the one place not to be missed and even more so if you are a literary lover is Leakey’s Bookstore on Church Street. Leakey’s is the largest secondhand bookstore in Scotland and is independently owned. Sprawling with 100,000 books or so from ceiling to floor, organised into sections albeit not in any great order. Leakey’s Bookstore is a paradise for both young and old alike. As it covers all genres, as well as antique prints and maps, any one of the books can easily leap off the shelves and find it’s way into your purchase basket.

Located in a former 17th century Gaelic church, the bookstore retains most of the Church’s features. The only exception being an iron spiral staircase connecting the two floors that was added after it opened in 1979. Complete with wood burning fire that heats the shop, visitors to Leakey’s will have an amazing experience, for sure 🙂

Address: Church St, Inverness IV1 1EY

Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Monday – Saturday

10 | Meet the Unusual Greeter at Inverness Town House

Town House Inverness
Wolves at the door

The unusual greeters, wolves once roamed the Highlands and many places still bear their Gaelic name, madadh-allaidh. They greet visitors to the Town House to remind us of the wild landscapes that the Highlands is known for.

The wolves join an Inverness bestiary along with the camel and elephant on the city’s coat of arms, unicorn, falcon and gargoyles that you may see around the city.

Address: Castle Wynd, Inverness IV2 3BJ

11 | Walk around Inverness town

Complete guide to the Capital City of the Highlands

Take a walk around the city centre and see where the old courthouse was. Learn about one of the most notorious times in the history of the Highlands associated with the infamous Patrick Sellar


While all of the above can easily be accomplished in one day, you may also wish to explore the surrounding areas of Inverness. The following are some suggestions for you which can easily be done as part of a day or as a day trip.


Day trips from Inverness, Capital of the Highland

Take a break from the city and explore the magical land of castles, myths and extraordinary landscapes that will leave you with moments of speechlessness. The Scottish Highlands offers endless panoramic views of Scotland’s natural beauty which you would not want to miss! Here are some suggestions for you:

1 | Dolphin Tour

Dolphin Tour | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

I did a boat trip with Dolphin Spirit Inverness. Dolphin Spirit Inverness boat trip takes you into the Moray Firth in search of dolphins, sea seals and a variety of sea birds. Each trip lasts about an hour fifteen minutes and run four times a day. I did not see any dolphins, but I guess such is luck.

2 | Loch Ness, Fort Augustus

Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands
Loch Ness, Fort Augustus | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Loch Ness needs little introduction. It is the most famous loch in the world, home to Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. Located just a short distance from Inverness, you could either drive, cycle or hike the South Loch Ness Trail, connecting to Fort Augustus along the southeast side of Loch Ness.

3 | Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

The beautiful Urquhart Castle ruins stands on the banks of Loch Ness, and apparently it is one of the best places to spot Nessie. There are boat tours and visitor centre here as well.

Embark on a beautiful day trip to Loch Ness from Inverness for an unforgettable complete Loch Ness experience. Discover picturesque villages, ancient summerhouse and go on scenic walks.

Learn more about the complete Loch Ness experience and secure yourself a spot on this day tour > > Loch Ness Experience

4 | Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield.Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Culloden Battlefield

Visit the moorland where it all happened that changed the course of world history – The Battle of Culloden ended the Jacobite cause. There is a visitor centre and audio guides.

Visit the Culloden Moor, along with Glen Affric and Clava Cairns on an amazing day trip from Inverness >> Glen Affric, Culloden, Clava Cairns in one day from Inverness.

Pre-order your Culloden Visitor Centre Entrance Ticket and Audio Guide to Culloden

Go a little further and experience the amazing scenery of Scottish Highlands

5 | Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye.Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Isle of Skye | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Experience the amazing scenery of this beautiful isle either in one day or over several days. The spectacular rock formations of the Quiraing and Trotternish Ridge are breathtakingly beautiful and one not to miss.

6 | Hogwarts Express

Glenfinnan Viaduct | Scotland at a Glance
Jacobite Steam Train Ride | Hogwarts Express – Image: georgina_daniel

Ride one of the greatest train journeys in the world – onboard the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig and marvel at the scenic beauty of Scotland.

Go on an epic ride onboard the Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour – superb value for money one day activity.


While in Inverness, give yourself plenty of time to explore the bars and the many restaurants for a Scottish culinary delight.


Places to Eat and Drink in Inverness

Inverness pub.
Inverness | by georgina_daniel

Scotland is renowned for its unique delicacies and dishes. These include haggis and black pudding to porridge with a wee drum and shortbread.

Food and Drink in Inverness | timelesstravelsteps.com

The Scottish Highlands is a great source for prime steak, organic vegetables, freshly caught kippers, salmon and mussels. It’s a gastronomical heaven.

Food and Drink in Inverness | timelesstravelsteps.com

Inverness offers a great selection but the one “dish” I have heard a lot of is the Mac n cheese pie – apparently you will either love it or hate it! I haven’t tried, so I can’t comment.

Here are some suggestions of restaurants and bars for you to try:

CASTLE TAVERN | Scottish | Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly

Good service, good quality food and apparently serves the best haggis in town! (I did not try the haggis).

1 View Place, Inverness IV2 4SA Scotland

MUSTARD SEED RESTAURANT | European Cuisines | Dine in only

Nice and cosy restaurant in a former church with wood burner.

16 Fraser St, Inverness IV1 1DW

CAFE ONE | European & Scottish dishes from locally sourced produce | Dine-in and Take-away available.

 75 Castle St, Inverness IV2 3EA

RIVER HOUSE | Sleek and upscale dining experience with beautiful river views | Seasonal, sustainable local seafood.

1 Greig St, Inverness IV3 5PT

THE BOTANIC HOUSE | Excellent Cocktails!

9-11 Castle St, Inverness IV2 3DX


Places to Stay in Inverness

BEST WESTERN INVERNESS PALACE HOTEL & SPA | An upscale accommodation with beautiful views of the river, castle and more.

THE ROYAL HIGHLAND HOTEL | Located just steps away from Inverness Train Station. Has a glorious staircase that inspired the staircase in the movie “Titanic”

MERCURE INVERNESS HOTEL | Located 200 yards from the Inverness Train Station offers views over River Ness.

Recommended read: Guide to Top 5 Hotels to Stay in Inverness


Search more accommodations in Inverness

Booking.com

A final note on Inverness

Inverness is a small and bustling city that is steeped in history, surrounded by landscapes untouched by time where monster myths and ancient mysteries are waiting to be discovered. With misty lochs, wildlife and fabulous traditions as well as warm hearty food, Inverness is a delight from the moment you arrive. I sincerely hope this guide has given you an inspiration to visit (if you haven’t already) which has famously become known as the Capital City of the Highlands.

Do use the links embedded in this article and related articles to book your stay, or activities to do. TTS earns a commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, and as always, your support is much appreciated to keep TTS going.

Do return to this page or Save and Share as I will continue to add more places to visit and experiences to enjoy in Inverness.

Have a splendid time discovering Inverness and the magical Scottish Highland.


Quick Facts on Scotland

__________Q

Population: Over 5.4 million (2020)

Common Language: English. Gaelic is spoken by 1.3% of the population mostly in the west and in the Highlands.

Currency: £ – Pound (GBP)

Capital City: Edinburgh. Home to the first fire brigade in the world, and is the second largest city in Scotland. The largest metropolis in Scotland is Glasgow.

High season: Summer (July – August)

Religion: Christianity – 40% Church of Scotland. 15% Roman Catholic and 6% other Christian denominations. Minorities include Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh with a quarter of the population has been recorded as having no religion.

Social courtesies: Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. When visiting someone’s home, a small gift such as flowers or a box of chocolates is appreciated.

Scotland: Travel and Transport

Scotland: International Travel

UK Government: Foreign Travel Advice

UK Government: UK nationals travelling abroad

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INVERNESS Capital of the Highlands | timelesstravelsteps.com
INVERNESS Capital of the Highlands | timelesstravelsteps.com
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Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last updated May 22, 2022

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Scotland at a Glance | A quick guide for your first visit

Scotland at a Glance | A quick guide for your first visit

Planning a trip to Scotland? Here is Scotland at a glance, a quick guide to what you can expect and need to prepare for your first visit.

What to expect on your first visit to Scotland | Scotland at a glance

Edinburgh City, Scotland | At a Glance
Edinburgh City, Scotland

Language

English is common throughout Scotland. Gaelic is spoken by some, about 1.3% in the Highlands.

Currency | Credit cards and ATMs

The currency used in Scotland is Pound Sterling (GBP).

In Scotland, there are no difficulties in using your foreign credit cards as methods of payments so long as it is one of the major cards such as Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or debit cards. Most shops, restaurants and tour operators also accept payments on a credit card.

Taxis in major cities carry a wireless device for contactless payments.

You may need to have some cash with you for small purchases such as for coffee, bottles of water etc

Cities in Scotland at a glance

Edinburgh.scott.monument | Scotland | Ultimate Travel Guide | At a Glance
Edinburgh
SECC, Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow
Inverness | Scotland | Ultimate Travel Guide to Scotland
Inverness

Capital City: Edinburgh.

Other cities you may wish to visit: Glasgow, Aberdeen, Stirling, Inverness and Perth.

Religion | Scotland at a glance

Religion: Christianity

Geography of Scotland at a glance

Mountain ranges: Southern Uplands, Central Lowlands, Grampian Mountains and North West Highlands.

Major rivers: River Tay, River Spey, River Dee, River Tweed and River Clyde.

Best time to visit Scotland | Scotland at a glance

Spring flowers | Scotland at a glance
Spring flowers in a park, Glasgow, Scotland

High season: Summer | July – August.

Best time to visit: Travel to Scotland in Spring (May-Jun) and Autumn (September-October) is highly recommended.

Weather in Scotland at a glance

Lochalsh, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Lochalsh in September, 2020 | © timelesstravelsteps | Image: georgina_daniel

Weather: Temperate and oceanic with changeable patterns.

The warmest months are June, July and August with average maximum temperatures ranging from approximately 15°C (59°F) to 17°C (63 °F).

In the Autumn/Fall, from September to November, temperatures range from around 8°C (46°F) to 14°C (57°F).

The coldest months in Scotland are December, January and February average maximum temperature usually around 5°C (41°F).

Clothing | What to pack at a glance

Clothing: As you can expect to experience all four seasons in a day, best to pack layers rather than heavy coats. A scarf is always handy.

Bring along a windbreaker jacket and waterproof shoes are recommended also.

Travel adapter

Go Travel Earthed Worldwide Adaptor – Compact Universal Worldwide Adapter with Twin USB (Ref 639)

The UK uses plug type G, which is a plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. It operates at 230V supply voltage and at 50Hz. I recommend buying an earthed worldwide travel adapter which you can use in any European countries.

WiFi

Wifi is usually available at hotels and high rated restaurants. However, in some remote places, like in some areas of the Highlands or the furthest areas in the north coast, getting a signal on your phone is challenging, to say the least.

You may want to consider subscribing to an Unlimited portable pocket Wifi if you need WiFi on the go!

Safety

Scotland is generally a safe place to be with some places being designated the happiest places to live in the UK. However, there are always that elements of pickpockets and theft that are present in any cities throughout the world, so keeping a close eye on your personal belongings is recommended.

Transportation | Moving around Scotland

Aberdeen, Scotland | at a glance
Aberdeen, Scotland

Scotland’s road network is extensive and driving through mountain passes is an experience in itself. You just have to remember that in Scotland, as in Britain, we drive on the left side of the road 🙂

There are several international airports you can fly into – Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, There are some smaller airports as well – Lerwick, Isle of Isla and Stornoway. Check the full list of airports to suit your travel plans on Airports in Scotland.

The train network in Scotland is a joy to experience as it boasts some scenic train journeys that are unique and are added value to your experiences. The network is extensive, well-developed and serves good cross-country links. From my experience, the trains are punctual, the carriages are clean and overall a top service. Buy your train tickets from Trainline or First TransPennine.

If you are looking for budget travel, the buses/coach is a good resource – check Citylink for routes in and around Scotland and National Express for coach services into Edinburgh from cities in England.

With over 900 offshore islands in Scotland, there are several ferry services at your disposal. For all the latest travel information to Orkney and Shetland, NorthLink Ferries is the site for you. Caledonian MacBrayne, more popularly known as CalMac operates all main services on the Firth of Clyde and to the Inner and Outer Hebrides, serving the islands in the west which includes Oban and Kennacraig in Argyll, and Mallaig and Ullapool in the Highlands.

Places to stay in Scotland at a glance

Towel.clean.feel.Scotland at a glance

There are some beautiful places to stay throughout Scotland, be it in a city, in the country, the Highlands or the beach.

My go to place has always been booking dot com as they offer a wide range of accommodation from hotels to hostels as well as B&B. You only need to do a quick search to find one suited to your travel needs as these are dotted all around Scotland.

As well, Hotel du Vin in Edinburgh is the epitome of comfort in the heart of the Edinburgh city. Ideally located, you could easily walk to attractions from here.

Hotel du Vin Glasgow is also a perfect choice for you if you are visiting this largest city in Scotland. As iconic as the city itself, you may be drawn to the impressive facade lined with glass conservatories, combining modern and historic elements in perfect styling of Millennium Hotel Glasgow.

If staying in an ancient coastal town is more your idea of vacation, then stay at St Andrews, where the historic buildings, medieval streets and the vibrant art and culture will just take you a step back in time.

A visit to Aberdeen, and Copthorne Hotel Aberdeen beckons your stay. Set in a historic building in the heart of the city surrounded by bars and restaurants, giving easy access to the train station so you could explore the coastal towns, castles and much more.

A wide range of accommodation is offered by the Radisson group of hotels, from upscale millennial to budget, as well as for couples and family stay.

Read: Top 5 hotels in Inverness city centre.

Activities to do when visiting Scotland | Scotland at a glance

Here are some activities which you may want to consider when visiting Scotland.

1 | Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye, Scotland
Isle of Skye, Scotland | © timelesstravelsteps | Image: georgina_daniel

Isle of Skye can be visited as a day trip or a multi-day trip activity – all depends on how much time you have. If you are driving, then its pretty much your schedule. On the other hand, if you are thinking of going on a guided tour, then I would highly recommend doing the multi-day tour. Isle of Skye is a large island and there is so much to explore. It’s landscape transports you to a whole new level of natural features not seen elsewhere.

Suggestions for tours to the Isle of Skye

3-day small group tour from Edinburgh

3-day small group tour from Glasgow

Day tour from Inverness: Isle of Skye and visit to Eilean Donan Castle

Day tour from Inverness: Isle of Skye scenery tour with Fairy Pools

2 | North Coast 500

Strathcarron-Applecross | Landscape |
Strathcarron-Applecross on the NC500 route | © timelesstravelsteps | Image: georgina_daniel

North Coast 500 is unquestionably unique! It is UK’s version of Route 66. The NC500 route is a journey every visitor to Scotland must undertake to experience the unspoilt terrain of the north-coast of Scotland. The lochs, glens and the hills are mesmerisingly beautiful and seems a world away from the norms of ordinary life.

Learn more about the North Coast 500 tour


Scotland at a glance on a final note…

Scotland is beyond beautiful! It is a country that should be visited at least once in your lifetime and sincerely hope that this article on Scotland at a Glance has given you a flavour of what to expect. Head over to Ultimate Travel Guide to Scotland page for detailed articles on some timeless experiences.

Georgina xx

Some basic information about Scotland

__________Q

Population: Over 5.4 million (2020)

Common Language: English. Gaelic is spoken by 1.3% of the population mostly in the west and in the Highlands.

Currency: £ – Pound (GBP)

Capital City: Edinburgh. Home to the first fire brigade in the world, and is the second largest city in Scotland. The largest metropolis in Scotland is Glasgow.

High season: Summer (July – August)

Religion: Christianity – 40% Church of Scotland. 15% Roman Catholic and 6% other Christian denominations. Minorities include Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh with a quarter of the population has been recorded as having no religion.

Social courtesies: Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. When visiting someone’s home, a small gift such as flowers or a box of chocolates is appreciated.

Scotland: Travel and Transport

Scotland: International Travel

UK Government: Foreign Travel Advice

UK Government: UK nationals travelling abroad

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June 2021, Update

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What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building?

What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building?

Walkie Talkie aka Sky Garden

The Walkie Talkie building also known as Sky Garden  opened in 2015 and it is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Suitable for solo travellers, couples as well as for families, a visit to this iconic building should be one of London’s “must do” items.

The building’s unique design has not always been a popular one and had drawn many glances, as well as comments which continues to do so to this day. Here is a brief look at what makes the walkie talkie the talk of town.

walkie talkie building in London

What went wrong with the walkie talkie building aka Sky Garden

The Sky Garden which stands at 20 Fenchurch Street is a uniquely designed building in the heart of London’s financial district. It is also known as the Walkie-talkie building because of its distinctive curvy shape which has a heavier top to maximise floor space towards the top of the building. It is an open and vibrant place of leisure offering visitors a different kind of experience of London.

The design of the walkie talkie building

This distinctive building, designed by Uruguayan architect, Rafael Vinoly, was not always a popular building. It was once described as “inelegant, bloated, thuggish” and in 2015, it won the Carbuncle Cup, for being the worst building in London. Referred to as “The heavy top sticks out like a sore thumb and does not fit into the rest of the buildings in London’s skyline”.

Moreover, the sun reflecting off the glass façade was said to have blistered paintwork on cars and shop fronts. The temperature was said to be so high that it could fry an egg on the pavement.

In addition, the shape of the building was said to create a wind tunnel at the base so strong that it started to blow-off food trolleys and people!

The “death ray” situation was fixed by attaching sunshades to the glass panels to prevent the sun reflecting off it and wind-turbines to help reduce the wind issues associated with the downdraught.

However, to a great extent, it is still true, I think, that it does stick out and does not fit into the rest of London’s skyline and the surrounding area that has low-rise buildings.


Recommended read: 5 Reasons Why you will enjoy a visit to the Sky Garden London


How about you?

What do you think? Does the Walkie Talkie fit into London’s skyline? Do let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, would love to hear from you.

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I hope our stories at TTS will inspire you to travel and discover more of our world. Perhaps by sharing we can support each other.

Look forward to connecting & happy discovering London

Georgina xx

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