View of Urquhart Castle from Loch Ness
WOAH, NESSIE!

Cruise to Inverness / Loch Ness, Scotland

The Scottish Highlands are home to famous battles, historic castles and to an even more famous legendary sea monster: Nessie of Loch Ness. Explore Inverness' picturesque riverside on foot. You'll pass by the 18th-century Old High Church and the Castle of Inverness, built of red sandstone in 1863 on the site of an 11th-century fortress. Join a Loch Ness cruise to explore Culloden Battlefield, a windswept moor where the Jacobite's last stand took place in the 1760s. Seeking even deeper roots? See a 4,000-year-old burial site built by neolithic farmers at the Clava Cairns. Before you depart, toast your adventure with a wee dram of single-malt Scotch whisky, savoring its distinctive peaty aromas.
National Language English, Scots
Currency Accepted Pound Sterling (GBP)

Things To Do in Inverness / Loch Ness

Yellow flowers blooming on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland

Search for a Sea Monster

Yellow flowers blooming on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland

Yellow flowers blooming on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland

Search for a Sea Monster

Cruise Scotland's famous lake, Loch Ness, with camera at the ready to see if its legendary monster, Nessie, will finally make a definitive appearance. Or cast your eyes wide over the lake from the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

View of Dunrobin Castle from a garden

Castles and Shakespeare

View of Dunrobin Castle from a garden

View of Dunrobin Castle from a garden

Castles and Shakespeare

The Scottish Highlands have several castles to explore. Dunrobin Castle has a museum, a falconry and gardens inspired by those at France's Palace of Versailles. Check out Cawdor Castle's tower and legendary thorn tree, where Shakespeare set one of the (many) murder scenes from "Macbeth."

Four glasses of malt Scotch
Four glasses of malt Scotch

A Wee Dram

No trip to Scotland would be complete without sampling some fine single-malt Scotch whisky, with its distinctive smoky, peaty quality. There's no "e" in the Scottish spelling; "whiskey" is for the Irish and American versions. Learn about the whisky-making process at the award-winning distillery Glenmorangie.

A bowl of Cullen Skink fish soup in Scotland
A bowl of Cullen Skink fish soup in Scotland

Local Cuisine

Fans of Boston clam chowder should try cullen skink, a similarly rich fish soup made with potatoes and smoked haddock. For dessert, cranachan is the Scottish version of parfait, with raspberries, cream, toasted oatmeal — and a little Scotch whisky, of course. As you wander the streets of Inverness, the scents wafting from the local chippy will make it hard to pass by without ordering some fish and chips.

Various kilts for sale in Scotland
Various kilts for sale in Scotland

Shopping

Scottish sweets like shortbread, toffees, caramels and Edinburgh rock make an ideal gift — if you can prevent yourself from eating them before you get home. Cruise to Loch Ness and pick up a bottle of the favorite single-malt you sample from one of the local distilleries. You'll find many products made in tartan patterns, a type of plaid associated with specific Scottish clans.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Scots take pride in being Scottish. Remember, Scotland is distinct from England, though both are part of the U.K.
2 The currency here is the British pound, though you'll find notes in Scotland marked with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Sometimes shopkeepers in other parts of the U.K. don't like to accept Scottish notes.

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