1. Inverness Castle
Perched atop a cliff overlooking the River Ness stands the red sandstone Castle of Inverness – one of the city’s most prominent landmarks and one of our favourite Inverness attractions. Built on the same site as an 11th century defensive structure, the Castle boasts a long and bloody history with a succession of different castles built on the site over the centuries. Today, the Castle is home to Inverness Sheriff Court and is not open to the public (for now at least). But when the leaves begin to change, the Castle grounds are definitely worth a visit.
2. Urquhart Castle
From one great castle to another, no trip to Inverness would be complete without visiting Urquhart Castle. Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, this medieval fortress was at the centre of conflict for over 500 years. When control of the Castle wasn’t being passed from Scotland to England (or back again) during the Wars of Independence, it was being raided by the Lords of the Isles – only to be blown up during the Jacobite Risings when the last of the government troops garrisoned there left. Today, these famous ruins of a once-great Castle offer a glimpse into Inverness’ ancient past for all to see.
3. Culloden Battlefield
With a battle-weary past, Inverness attractions are usually steeped in history. And one of the best historical sites in all of Inverness is the Culloden Battlefield where the last hand-to-hand battle fought on British soil took place. A short and bloody battle that would change the course of history. Today anyone can visit the site and hear first-hand accounts of the battle, visit the gravestones of the fallen clans and bring history to life in a Living History presentation.
4. Cawdor Castle
From Culloden it is a short drive to Cawdor Castle, home of the Thanes of Cawdor. Famed as Shakespeare’s location for the murder of Macbeth, the Castle is still home to the Cawdor family. Today the 14th century castle boasts a large collection of Shakespeare’s work, sumptuous interiors and breath-taking grounds, where visitors can enjoy an inside look into the lives of Scottish aristocracy through the ages.
5. Fort George
After the Jacobite Risings and the Battle of Culloden, a mighty fortress was built to keep unruly Highlanders in check – Fort George, the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain. A beacon of military strength, today the imposing fort is a historic landmark that has served the British Army for almost 250 years. It also plays host to the Highland Military Tattoo in September. And with the largest regimental museum outside of Edinburgh, it is well worth a visitor for history-lovers.
6. Clava Cairn
As all good Outlander fans know, no trip to the Highlands would be complete without a visit to some of Scotland’s awe-inspiring standing stones. And just east of Inverness, stand the remains of a 4,000-year-old Bronze Age burial site. A well preserved complex of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones, a trip to Clava Cairn on an eerily misty autumn morning is nothing short of an Outlander adventure.
7. Chanonry Point
From ancient castles and historical attractions to famous legends and Outlander locations, Inverness has something for everyone. And if you happen to be a bit of an animal lover, then you don’t want to miss an opportunity of seeing the beautiful bottlenose dolphins at Chanonry Point where you can glimpse these intelligent animals all year round. Even if you don’t happen to see dolphins frolicking in the water, with a beautiful lighthouse and spectacular views overlooking Fort George, the Point itself is still worth a visit.
8. Plodda Falls
One of the most beautiful (although not widely known) waterfalls in all of Scotland, Plodda Falls is the perfect attraction for anyone who appreciates the wonders of nature. 151 feet of cascading water collects in a small pool surrounded by towering fir trees. Set inside the beautiful Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, there’s no denying Plodda Falls is a magnificent sight to behold.
9. Beauly Priory
Another favourite attraction (although it’s not quite in Inverness) has to be the ruins of Beauly Priory. One of three priories founded in Scotland by the monks of the Valliscaulian order in 1272, the ruins tell the tale of Inverness’ history like a silent watcher bearing witness through the ages.
10. Pretty Much Any Which Way You Look
Rolling hills, endless wilderness and roaming wildlife as far as the eye can see. There’s no denying that one of the greatest allures of the Scottish Highlands is its breath-taking natural beauty. Which is why the natural beauty of the Highlands is one of the best Inverness attractions this autumn. It is arguably one of the most beautiful times to visit Inverness as the leaves begin to turn and the Highlands are ablaze in hues of red and gold.