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An Area Guide to Inverness – The Scottish Highlands

Moving to Inverness

Inverness, is the northern most city in the UK and known as the capital of the Highlands.  Voted the “happiest place to live in Scotland” and “second happiest place in the UK” in a 2014 BBC Survey, it combines both urban living and the great outdoors.  The city sits on the mouth of the River Ness, where the river meets the Moray Firth, its impressive castle forms a stunning backdrop to the city’s distinctive architecture.  Inverness city centre is split into an Old Town, with a 19th Century Cathedral and a Victorian covered market, selling food clothing and craft; the High Street and Eastgate centre, which have all of the big named brands you would expect from a city centre.  There’s a great selection of places to eat and drink like the Rocpool Restaurant, River House and Mustard Seed on the banks of the River Ness, where you’ll be able to sample some of the Highland’s finest produce.

Where to live?

The city itself has been undergoing redevelopment in recent years with a £9million extension to the harbour and green spaces, plus a further £12.5 million retail and residential project planned for the city, no wonder it’s one of Europe’s fastest growing cities.  Living in Inverness is not only affordable but there is a great choice of period and modern homes.  Crown in the city centre is one of the most sought-after areas to live, with many of the larger Edwardian and Victorian houses along Union Road converted into flats.  Ballifeary is another popular area for families, south west of the centre with large stone detached houses, for a more modern home look at Holm, a small neighbourhood south of the city.  Clachnaharry is a former fishing village which has been absorbed into the city and forms part of Greater Inverness.  The suburbs of Culloden and Westhill have more modern properties and Moray Park and Dovecot Park in Culloden have a selection of bungalows.  All of the areas have a good selection of primary and secondary schools, not to mention Inverness College, which is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands and home to 6,500 students.

Getting Around and About

There are great connections all around Scotland, with regular direct trains to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and other Scottish towns, plus the surrounding areas of the Highlands, like Nairn, Fort William or Newtonmore.  There are two trains a day which take you directly from Inverness to London in 8 hours, with the Caledonian Sleeper option if required.  The airport is situated only 8 miles from the city centre with daily international and national flights.

What to do?

Inverness is steeped in history, therefore it’s not surprising that it also hosts numerous events year-round including one of the largest Highland Games, the World Porridge making Championships and numerous whisky and gin festivals.  If music is your thing, Rockness is an annual music festival which takes place close to the banks of Loch Ness in Dores, or the Tartan Heart Festival at Belladrum, which has sold out every year since 2008.

The Highlands is well known for its stunning scenery and vast open space, whether its walking along the sandy beaches, catching glimpses of dolphins at Moray Firth or trying to locate the legendary “Nessie” monster on a boat journey down the famous Loch Ness.  Located on the doorstep of the Cairngorms, the UK’s largest national park, and Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, there are a variety of outdoor pursuits to be enjoyed from the usual country sports of stalking, fishing and shooting, to walking and cycling on the numerous networks of paths and terrains.  When the weather turns during the winter months, a number of nearby mountains offer alpine, telemark and cross-country skiing in the winter months, with resorts like The Lecht and Cairngorm Mountain offering a lift network, ski hire and lessons.

Wherever you are moving to throughout the Highlands, call Clockwork’s local Inverness branch today on 01463 237 774 for your FREE no obligation quotation.

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