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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The month of September | Presently September 2021 | September e-column | About the month of September | Gregorian calendar | Folklore in September | Traditions in September | Festivals in September | Harvest festivals in September | Michaelmas Day | Lammas | Poems in September | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/The month of September | Presently September 2021 | September e-column | About the month of September | Gregorian calendar | Folklore in September | Traditions in September | Festivals in September | Harvest festivals in September | Michaelmas Day | Lammas | Poems in September | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

Recommended | Royal Windsor Steam Express

TTS logo

Sit back, relax, and let the meditation of steam travel take you through masterpieces of art as you pass through countrysides. Enjoy an unforgettable ride onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express to one of UK’s most popular destinations, the town of Windsor, Berkshire.

About Royal Windsor Steam Express

The Royal Windsor Steam Express is managed by The Steam Dreams Rail Co. Since its inception in 1999, the Company has been making dreams come true for steam train lovers! They have been running services with practical itineraries to popular Cathedral cities, beautiful coastal towns and gardens in the UK. Also on offer are some incredible holidays to The Highlands and Islands with Flying Scotsman and the Emerald Isle Craic Express.

Royal Windsor | Train Travel
Royal Windsor Steam Express | Image: GYG

The Royal Windsor Steam Express takes you through beautiful countryside while experiencing exceptional dining options.

Your journey onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express is one-way, giving you the flexibility to spend as much time in Windsor as you like.

A little about Windsor, Berkshire

Windsor Castle, Berkshire: View from the Cambridge Gate
Windsor Castle, Berkshire: View from the Cambridge Gate

Located on the River Thames in the southeast of England, Windsor has a rich mix of history, culture, heritage, and fun. Windsor is best known for its historical links to the British royal family. Towering over the town of Windsor is Windsor Castle, home to the British monarchy and the largest inhabited castle in the world. Built as a fortress to protect London, the royal castle is now a stately retreat of Queen Elizabeth II.

Things to do in Windsor – An overview

Visit the royal castle and learn about the castle’s 900 years of history. Marvel at the splendour of the State Apartments, renowned as the grandest apartments in England. There are paintings by Van Dyck and Rubens that hang from the walls. The ceilings are painted with elaborate, magnificent murals.

The architecture inside St George's Chapel_Windsor Castle_Berkshire
The architecture inside St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire | Image: georgina_daniel

Pause a little while at St George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018. The chapel is also the final resting place of departed kings and queens from England’s illustrious history. These include Henry VIII, Charles I, and now Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Later, take a stroll to Eton. Visit the grounds of its College – one of the largest secondary schools in the country and amongst the most prestigious. 

Aside from the castle, there’s much more to see and do, including visiting the award-winning Savill Garden, taking a guided tour of the town’s numerous cobbled streets and Tudor buildings, or enjoying a walk along the river.

For more ideas on what to do on your visit to the royal town, view article on Windsor Castle and Windsor in 1 day.

What to expect from the Royal Windsor Steam Express Train Ticket activity

Royal Windsor Steam Express
© Royal Windsor Steam Express

Your journey onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express is one-way. You shall begin your journey from London Victoria. The route pass some of London’s famous landmarks including Chelsea Bridge, The Royal Hospital, and Battersea Power Station. Head towards the leafy suburbs, crossing the Thames and passing reservoirs and lakes to reach Windsor and Eton Riverside Station.

After spending an amazing day exploring Windsor, return to London from Windsor and Eton Riverside onboard the South Western Railways. Your destination in London is London Waterloo Station .

Your return ticket is flexible, and can be used anytime on the same day. This gives you as much time you need to explore the town of Windsor independently at your own pace.

Classes of Travel on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

Select between First Class or Standard outbound ticket.

A ride on The Royal Windsor Steam Express is a unique railway experience that offers two classes of travel to suit your occasion and budget.

First Class or Standard Class passengers may order from a range of delicious snacks or hot and cold drinks.

First Class travel on the Royal Windsor

royal windsor steam express first class (2)
© Royal Windsor Steam Express | First Class

First Class passengers are automatically seated on tables for 4 so you may be seated with other passengers if you have less than 4 in your party.

Food and drinks may be purchased on-board. You are also welcome to bring your own food, drink or hampers on board.

Standard Class travel on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

Royal Windsor Steam Express Standard class
© Royal Windsor Steam Express | Standard Class

Passengers who opt to travel in Standard class will be seated in 1960s open carriages with large picture windows. The carriage has individual seating (as opposed to bench style seating) around tables of four.

Food and drinks may be purchased on-board. You are also welcome to bring your own food, drink or hampers on board.

What does Royal Windsor Steam Express Train Ticket activity include?

Royal Windsor Steam Express Train Ticket (1)

This experience onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express is brought to you via Get Your Guide, Trusted Partners of Timeless Travel Steps.

The following Information is from Get Your Guide:

There are three options to starting time:

7:30 A.M. | 10:30 A.M. | 1:30 P.M.

1 | One-way steam train journey from London to Windsor and Eton Riverside;

2 | Reserved seats aboard the steam train;

3 | Flexible return train ticket in standard class from Windsor to London on South Western Railways.

What you need to know before you go on this trip:

Meet the representative at the booked time outside Hotel Chocolat on the main station concourse by platform 7;

Refreshments are available for purchase onboard;

This tour is unescorted;

The outbound steam train departs from London Victoria Station;

Return train is with South Western Railways;

Your return train arrives at London Waterloo Station;

Please note that your return train ticket is flexible but must be used on the same day;

Not suitable for wheelchair users.

COVID-19 Special information – Masks are required, please bring your own.

Note: Windsor Castle is closed to visitors every Tuesday and Wednesday in 2021

On a final note

The most stylish way to travel to Windsor is onboard the Royal Windsor and is available to book now.

From £56.00** > Outbound Royal Windsor Steam Express from Victoria Station, London + flexible return journey on the same day onboard standard South Western Railways to Waterloo Station London.

Plan ahead >> Book your seat onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express Train

** prices correct at time of writing May 2021.

** Steam Dreams Railway Co.

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Latitude:
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Longitude: 0° 36′ 34.20″ E

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An Unforgettable ride on the Royal Windsor Steam Express
An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express
An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

A ride on the Royal Windsor Steam Express first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Step back in time as you travel from London to Windsor in style aboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express, restored from a bygone era. Subscribe-Follow4latest | Royal Windsor | Unique Train Travel experiences | Unique London Experiences | Travel London | London to Windsor by train | London to Windsor travel | London Train Travel | Steam train travel | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Step back in time as you travel from London to Windsor in style aboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express, restored from a bygone era. Subscribe-Follow4latest | Royal Windsor | Unique Train Travel experiences | Unique London Experiences | Travel London | London to Windsor by train | London to Windsor travel | London Train Travel | Steam train travel | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

The small city of Inverness in the northeast coast of Scotland, also known as the Capital of the Highlands is popularly visited because of its ideal location to exploring Loch Ness. 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 and the wider region of the Highlands. As such, the city offers a number of accommodations to suit all budgets and lifestyle.

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

Why select a hotel in the heart of Inverness City centre | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

The surrounds of Inverness city boasts breathtaking landscapes and makes the location a special place to be. Here are some reasons to select the city centre as your point of stay when exploring the Scottish Highlands.

1 | A compact city

Inverness is compact and is easy to walk around the city. The main attractions in the city are all within easy reach and public transportation is not really needed.

2 | Choices in entertainment and eateries

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

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 to stay in Inverness
Inverness Castle, Inverness, Scotland

For places to visit in Inverness city centre, I would highly recommend a visit to Inverness Castle. The red sandstone fortification sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness. Although the Castle is used as a Court house and there is no public access into the castle, visitors can purchase a ticket to access the viewpoint at the Castle Tower. The Castle Tower offer 360° degree views over the city of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.

For more recommended activities to do on your visit to Inverness City, the Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands offers 11 suggestions for you to experience in the city itself and further activities that you could do around Inverness. Includes day trip and multi-day trips options as well.

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

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.


Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City centre

Booking dot com Logo

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 | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Ness Walk, 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 to stay in Inverness City Centre

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

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

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

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

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

Travelling to Inverness City | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

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

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 onboard 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 offered by Easy Jet, Jet2 and On the Beach . For a greater selection on air travel, Opodo is pretty good – link below.


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 tip

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:

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

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

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.


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 trip guided tours with reputable tour providers.

Peruse the following day trips:


You may like the following multi-day trips and ensure you book early to lock in the low price:


A final note on the Top 5 hotels to stay 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 and I also check Travel Supermarket to compare prices, 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 and as always, your support is greatly appreciated.

If you have visited Inverness, please share your experiences – you never know who you might inspire.

Have a splendid time exploring Inverness and the Highlands.

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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Related Travel Resources which you may like to peruse:

Travel Insurance - A Complete Guide
10 Valuable benefits of a package holiday


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5 hotels in Inverness city centre


Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and regularly updated. Latest update June 11 2021

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Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

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 freshly 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 Highlands so that you do not miss the highlights of the city and things to do around the cultural city of the Highlands.

complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands

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 Highlands. 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)

Quick facts about Inverness | City of the Highlands

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

Highlights and Things to do around Inverness | Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands

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
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 Highlands

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.

June 2021 prices:

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

8 | The Victorian Market | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

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 Highlands

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

This beautiful 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 in one day – especially the spectacular rock formations of the Quiraing and Trotternish Ridge. It is breathtakingly beautiful.

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 should not be missed.

Hogwarts Express

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

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 also to explore the bars and the many restaurants for a Scottish culinary delight.

Places to Eat and Drink in Inverness | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

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. The Scottish Highlands is a great source for prime steak, organic vegetables, freshly caught kippers, salmon and mussels. It’s a gastronomical heaven. 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 | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Booking dot com Logo

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.

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) what 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.

If you have visited Inverness, do share your experiences – I would love to learn more. Do return to this page as I will continue to add more places to visit and experiences to enjoy as I shall be returning to Inverness to explore further.

Have a splendid time in Inverness. As always, please get in touch on ggdaniel166@gmail.com if I could help plan your itinerary.

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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complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last updated June 10 2021

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Inverness City | Capital of the Highlands | Gateway to the Scottish Highlands | Weekend in Inverness | Things to do in Inverness | Places to Stay in Inverness | Where to Eat in Inverness | Why visit Inverness | Is Inverness worth a trip | NC500 | Inverness | Visit Scotland | Visit Inverness | City guide Scotland | Leakey's Bookshop | Inverness Castle | Loch Ness | Nessie Lochness Monster | Train travel to Scotland | Ness Walk Inverness | Tours from Inverness | Day trips from Inverness. via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Inverness City | Capital of the Highlands | Gateway to the Scottish Highlands | Weekend in Inverness | Things to do in Inverness | Places to Stay in Inverness | Where to Eat in Inverness | Why visit Inverness | Is Inverness worth a trip | NC500 | Inverness | Visit Scotland | Visit Inverness | City guide Scotland | Leakey's Bookshop | Inverness Castle | Loch Ness | Nessie Lochness Monster | Train travel to Scotland | Ness Walk Inverness | Tours from Inverness | Day trips from Inverness. via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

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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Explore a little more of our world

Italy
Japan
Scotland
Malaysia

Windsor + Windsor Castle in one day
Stonehenge - A sophisticated architecture
Inverness
Isle of Wight and the Victorian Love Affair

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scotland at a glance
scotland at a glance
scotland at a glance