3 Day Trips from Inverness

The charming city of Inverness sits at the crossroads of the Scottish Highlands, making it an ideal base for exploring the scenic sights that stretch out in every direction: the A9 leads south to the Cairngorms and north through the beautiful Black Isle; the A82 takes you into the Great Glen along the shores of the mighty Loch Ness; and the A96 reaches out towards the Moray Coast.  With the massive expanse of the North Highlands on its doorstep rolling out towards the West Coast, it’s no surprise that Inverness is known as the ‘gateway to the Highlands’.

If you’re planning a self-catering holiday in Inverness this summer or an autumn break during the Highland Homecoming festival (12th September to 18th October), here are 3 ideas for day trips from Inverness.

Nairn Beach

Nairn Beach

Nairn Beach

Half an hour’s drive along the A96 takes you to the seaside town of Nairn, with its gorgeous long stretch of beach and pretty harbour.  It’s a real gem of a beach, with clean, white sands and stunning views of the Moray Firth and the Black Isle –  if you’re lucky, you might even spot some Moray Firth dolphins as you soak up the seascape.  This year’s TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award is a testament to just how loved Nairn Beach is.  

With cafes and a children’s play park and paddling pool nearby, it has everything you need for a great family day out – just don’t forget the bucket and spade.


Nearby Culloden Battlefield is the site of the famous battle in 1746 that ended the hopes of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite army.  In the care of the National Trust for Scotland, the battlefield is just a 15 minute drive from Inverness (follow the B9006) and gives you the chance to delve deeper into this chapter of Scottish history.  As well as walking around the battlefield itself, the wonderful Visitor Centre tells the story of the battle in an interactive way, with an immersion theatre to bring the battle to life before you.  

Loch Ness Loop

Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness Scotland

Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness Scotland

A visit to Loch Ness is of course a must for any visitor to Inverness – why not appreciate the scale of this world-famous loch by driving the loop around it?  From Inverness follow the B862 to Dores; the stony beach here makes an ideal photo stop and allows you to bask in the beauty of the majestic loch as it spills out before you.  The B852 then hugs the edge of the loch before rejoining the A862; winding through a remote and rugged landscape, showering you in wonderful mountain and loch vistas.  The road then descends to the pretty town of Fort Augustus, perched at the base of the loch, where you can enjoy lunch in one of the many lovely restaurants.   The A82, clinging to the loch-side, takes you north right back into the heart of Inverness.  Stop at the atmospheric ruins of Urquhart Castle, gazing out over Loch Ness, and find out more about the legend of the monster at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition in Drumnadrochit.  The circular drive is a fantastic way to take in the spectacular scenery of this iconic loch, as well as the landscape gathered around it.


Do you have a day trip to recommend in the Inverness area?  Leave your comments below.

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