Information about Bannerman Bed and Breakfast and what’s available in the area

What to see in Inverness

Inverness Castle Viewpoint
Inverness from the Castle

If you are planning a day without the use of a car, here’s what to see in Inverness city on foot. Take in the picturesque setting of the River Ness and landmark buildings along it as well as some highlights of the city centre.

From Bannerman Bed and Breakfast take a walk up Glenurquhart Road to Inverness Botanical Gardens. This is a small but wide ranging garden including greenhouses and space to admire the horticulture outside. Admission is free and there’s a friendly cafe inside.

Ness Islands

It’s a short walk to the Ness Islands along Bught Drive, passed Inverness Leisure Centre and the Ice Rink. There’s a handy kiosk at the Crazy Golf if you’re in need of a drink or ice cream The Ness Islands are a collection of small islands in the middle of the River Ness which are connected with bridges. This is such a scenic spot with all that nature has to offer. There are wonderful vistas and photo opportunities, you’ll forget you’re in a city.

You can walk through the islands to the other side of the River Ness, along Ladies Walk, for a picturesque view. Inverness Castle is up ahead and on the other side of the river is Eden Court Theatre and Inverness Cathedral. For now it is not possible to visit Inverness Castle, as it’s currently undergoing a major facelift. From 2025 it will be a major tourist attraction in the city and the marvellous view of the city will be available again.

Nearby is Inverness Museum, tucked back from the shops on Bridge Street. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday and you can see a range of collections and artefacts celebrating Highland life and heritage.

Victorian Market

The High Street features a selection of chains and coffee shops, as well as a few unique independent shops selling Highland dress and gifts. There’s the Eastgate Centre at the far side of the pedestrianised high street, with familiar stores and food court. For something different a couple of minutes walk is the Victorian Market. There are several entrances but the main one is opposite the train station. The market dates back to 1890 and has a cast iron and wooden domed roof. There are 30 independent businesses there, which includes a new food and drink hall.

As well as the food and drink hall in the market, there’s a great choice of eateries in the city centre with an emphasis on local produce. Read more on my favourite eating places in Inverness.

Leakey’s Bookshop

When you’re in the city centre it’s worth a look in Leakey’s bookshop, which is open Monday to Saturday 10am – 5.30pm. For book lovers, you could stay here all day as it has a huge collection of rare and antiquarian books.

From here you may want to head back along the riverside on the other side of the river, this time taking a closer look at Inverness Cathedral and Eden Court Theatre. During the summer months there’s a number of food stalls along the riverside.

You might prefer a more formal tour of the city, rather than just a few of my suggestions. There are many tour guides in the city, such as Cath’s Inverness Tours, a qualified local guide. If you want to go further afield, there’s a great choice of day tours from Inverness, to Skye, Orkney or Loch Ness and Culloden.

Open to bus tour

Dog Friendly Inverness Restaurants

For all us dog owners, it’s good to know we are starting to have more dog friendly Inverness restaurants. Here’s my recommendations for dog friendly eating places in Inverness. It’s nice to know there are places ready to welcome you and your dog, and ready to offer a water bowl for your pet. There are more places than just the ones featured. As the weather improves in the summer there are many more eating outside options.

Dog Friendly Bars

Black Isle Bar

A city centre bar with a relaxed and friendly vibe. As it’s owned by the Black Isle Brewery, there’s a plentiful supply of craft beer and the wine is organic. The food is mostly pizzas which are cooked in their wood fired oven and topped with local ingredients.

Rose Street Foundry

A city centre venue with the bothy bar downstairs and restaurant upstairs. The bothy bar is dog friendly. This historic building has been restored into a vibrant bar featuring Cairngorm and Loch Ness Brewery brands.

Blackfriars Bar

A traditional old bar which has recently been refurbished. This friendly bar focuses on locally sourced food and drink.

The Walrus and Corkscrew

A small but perfectly formed wine bar in the city centre, with an impressive wine list. The wine can be accompanied by sharing platters of locally sourced meat, cheese and bread.

Encore

A large friendly bar with a great selection of food and drink. This one is nearest to Bannerman Bed and Breakfast, as it’s about a 10 minute walk from here.

The Corriegarth Hotel

This is a small hotel in the Crown area of Inverness. It has a friendly bar and restaurant with an outside terrace,

Dog Friendly Cafes

Jammy Piece

A friendly cafe along the Caledonian Canal. A perfect stop for a snack while walking the dog along the canal.

Caffe Nero

Part of the chain, this high street coffee shop welcomes dogs.

An Talla

Four miles from Inverness, An Talla is located beside the Caledonian Canal and is the departure point for Jacobite Cruises on Loch Ness. As well as a gift shop and ticket office, there’s a friendly cafe serving breakfast and lunch. After a lovely dog walk along the canal path the cafe is a great spot for a snack.

Dont Forget to Make a Reservation

If you’re planning a break in Inverness with your pet, this list of dog friendly Inverness restaurants is a good starting point. Inverness is a busy vibrant city with many eating options. With thousands of visitors all year round it’s always a good idea to make a reservation, especially as not everywhere is dog friendly. At the same time you can make a reservation here, Bannerman Bed and Breakfast, an Inverness dog-friendly guest house. Click here for more eating out options in Inverness.

Fraser Room

Accommodation for Loch Ness Marathon

With years of experience hosting Loch Ness Marathon runners, participants from all over the world have stayed here. There’s 2 main reasons runners choose to stay at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast for the marathon.

1. Location

This is a perfect location to stay in if you’re running the Inverness marathons. Whether it’s the Inverness half marathon in March or the full Loch Ness Marathon in October or one of the many events based around the Bught Park, we’re a short walk away. The Bught Park hosts the registration events for all races. With an early start, it’s great to be near the action. The half marathon starts on the riverside next to the park and finishes at the nearby Queens Park stadium. Runners for the full marathon are picked up at the Bught Park and driven by coach to the start point at the other end of Loch Ness. The finish is on the riverside alongside the park. So it’s not far for either event to drag your weary body from the finish line to Bannerman Bed and Breakfast for a rest.

2. It’s a lovely place to stay

We have 4 very comfortable ensuite rooms with all the usual facilities you need for a relaxing stay. Each room has a TV, tea/coffee, silent fridge, free wifi and a hairdryer. The 2 double rooms have king-size beds and the single has a standard double bed. The twin room has 2 single beds with double duvets for extra comfort.

Breakfast is delicious with flexible arrangements for runners. Early breakfast is available for runners on race day. A warming bowl of porridge is an excellent start to any day but it’s a particularly popular choice for slow release energy to get you round the route. Of course once you’ve completed the marathon you’ll be keen to indulge in a full breakfast the next day.

Everyone feels slightly anxious and excited on race day before they head to the start. Whether it’s your first Loch Ness Marathon or your hoping to improve your time you can be assured of friendly encouragement and be reassured everyone feels the same.

Now you’ve made a great choice to run one of the most scenic races in the world, make sure you also book accommodation at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast. This is a popular choice and Inverness gets very busy. It’s also a good idea to make dinner reservations for the night before and the night of the race. With thousands of competitors staying in the city you wont be the only visitors looking for a bowl of pasta the night before. Read more on my top 10 eating places in Inverness.

Inverness Castle

What’s happening at Inverness Castle

You can’t miss the big red boards around Inverness Castle at the moment. On closer inspection you’ll see the boards show some of the fascinating history of the castle. The reason for the boards is to close the castle buildings to the general public whilst Inverness Castle gets some dramatic changes. Access to the grounds is still available, so you can still enjoy the terrific views of the riverside and take a snap of Flora MacDonald.

New Development

Until recently Inverness Castle was the home of Inverness law courts. So unless you want to enter the building in handcuffs it’s not open to the general public. Now that the law courts are rehomed, the new plan is to develop the building into a stunning tourist destination. The first phase of the development sees the castle transform into an attraction for visitors and locals. The refurbished castle offers an insight into the fascinating history of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. The landscape, culture and language will feature heavily. With a history as a court and prison, there are many intriguing spaces and stories to explore. As well as learning, the castle’s raised position overlooking the town will provide areas for eating, drinking shopping and taking in the stunning views. The grounds of the castle are to form an outdoor space to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Storytelling in the Highlands

Storytelling is a great Highland tradition and will feature heavily. Inverness Castle and grounds will celebrate the Spirit of the Highlands in 100 stories, which will capture the essence of the unique history of the area. The project aims to create an ‘Autobiography of the Highlands’. As a result we will have a digital archive built from a collection of stories all told by the people who live, work and visit here.

Inverness Castle Then and Now

Inverness Castle is currently 2 separate buildings. The first of those dates from 1830s and was the a courthouse. The second was built as a prison in the 1840s. This is the same site the original medieval castle. With a long and tempestuous history, the previous castle was set ablaze several times and endured many sieges. The castle was finally destroyed by the Jacobites prior to the Battle of Culloden in 1746. You can find out more about the history of the area and your Scottish roots at the Highland Archive Centre.

In the future a new glass building will link the two towers, providing a wonderful light space with views to the riverside. This public space will be a perfect location to take in Inverness and plan your day from here.

Work has started now on the development with a tentative opening date of the first phase around late 2022. In the meantime there are still many sights to see in and around Inverness. The surrounding grounds are open including the famous statue of Flora MacDonald. The boards around the castle are really interesting and worth a read. For anyone travelling the Great Glen Way the castle is a welcome sight. There’s a stone marking the end of the journey from Fort William to Inverness.

Book your next Inverness stay at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast. This is the perfect base for taking in the sights of Inverness and the surrounding Scottish Highlands.

Signpost at John O'Groats

Is it worth visiting John O’Groats?

For the journey alone, it is worth visiting John O’Groats. It is almost the northern most tip of Scotland’s mainland and a destination many want to achieve. Charity runners and riders often trek from Land’s End at the southern most tip of England to John O’Groats. From Inverness it is 120 miles away. With some stunning scenery enroute and pretty villages full of history, it’s a great day out from Inverness. Going up the north east coast of Scotland on the A9 it is part of the circular North Coast 500.

John O’Groats is a tiny village. The name comes from a 15th century Dutchman, Jan de Groot, who ran a ferry from the mainland to the Orkney Isles. On a clear day you can see the first of the many islands of Orkney. These days many people stop here for the iconic photograph of the famous signpost. There’s plenty of space for parking, stretching your legs, toilets, as well as cafes and shops.

Dolphin Spotting on the Black Isle

Whilst there isn’t a great deal at John O’Groats itself, the journey there and back is full of interest. From Inverness you head north on the A9 over the Kessock Bridge and through the Black Isle. There’s a well known viewing point for dolphin spotting at Channery Point. It’s a few miles off the A9 between the villages of Fortrose and Rosemarkie. If you are privileged to see the dolphins jumping and playing it’s a wonderful sight.

Falconry at Dunrobin Castle and Gardens

The next bridge takes you over the Cromarty Firth and you can’t fail to notice the unused oil riggs across the seascape. You’re soon in Tain, which is home to the world famous distillery Glenmorangie. Tain Pottery is also based here. Next stop is Dunrobin Castle, which is near Golspie, and is a magnificent building full of history. The gardens are beautiful with breathtaking views out to sea. Twice a day there is a falconry display in the gardens.

Timespan Museum, Helmsdale

The fishing village of Helmsdale is worth a stop. On the outskirts is the Emigrants’ Statue, in memory of all the people forced from their homes to leave Scotland during the Highland Clearances. You can learn more about this and the history of the area at the excellent Timespan Museum in Helmsdale. North of Helmsdale you head into Caithness and soon encounter the Berriedale Braes. This notorious stretch of road has recently been improved to iron out the severe hairpin bends, but you still need to take care. Check your breaks before this point in the road.

There are a couple of small towns near the most northerly point, Wick and Thurso. There are more castles, museums and churches to visit. Just south of Wick is Old Wick Castle, which is a Norse ruin on an amazing cliff walk. Also nearby is Duncansby Head where you will see the Duncansby Stacks.

The next stop is John O’Groats and you have reached your destination. These are just a few suggestions of places to visit along the route. There are many more to suit all interests. If you’re continuing round the North Coast 500, here‘s some useful information to help plan your trip. You don’t have to stop here, you can go further north to Orkney. Find out why you should stay here at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast, the perfect base before heading north.

Stones of Stenness

3 Days in Orkney

Orkney is really worth a visit and easily reached from Inverness. Although it is possible to take a day trip from here, it is a very long day. As I’ve just experienced, there is so much to see so I recommend going for at least 3 days. I also recommend going on a tour so you get the full experience of all Orkney has to offer. My tour was 3 days in Orkney from Inverness with Rabbies. They organise the travel, ferry, timings and bookings at attractions. So it is great to be able to relax in a very comfortable minibus and enjoy the spectacular views without having to organise a thing. There are a lot of places off the typical tourist route on the trip, which are very memorable.

World Heritage Site

Orkney is a collection of islands just off the coast of northern mainland Scotland, which is reached by air or ferry. There are about 70 islands, about 20 of them are inhabited. People have lived on Orkney for over 5000 years. It contains some of the oldest and best preserved Neolithic sites in Europe. The Ring of Brodgar dates from around 2500 BC and is the third oldest stone circle in Britain. This Ring plus Skarra Brae, the Stones of Stenness, Maeshowe, Barnhouse Stone and the Watch Stone make up the Heart of the Neolithic Orkney World Hertitage site.

More Recent History

The Royal Navy had a base at Scapa Flow, which played a major part in both WWI and WWII. The German fleet scuttled their boats at the end of WWI at Scapa flow and a German U boat sank HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow. After this huge loss prisoners of war built barriers across the water to close access to the channels. As a result these barriers became causeways linking islands, allowing travellers to move easily between islands without the need of a ferry. The prisoners of war also built the amazing Italian Chapel.

The Italian Chapel

Kirkwall and Stromness

The capital is Kirkwall and about one third of Orkadians live there. Stromness is on an inlet of Scapa Flow and is the main port. Both are pretty towns full of character. The centre of Kirkwall is dominated by St Magnus Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace, so they are well worth visiting. There is an impressive amount of local food suppliers throughout Orkney and many independent shops. The land is very fertile and as a result award winning local produce is available. Check out JP Orkney’s site for some delicious examples available, with deliveries to the rest of the UK. As well as offering the fabulous little honesty box pictured below, they run tours of the islands.

This is a rich and fertile land. Full of history, culture, nature and stunning scenery, Orkney is well worth a visit. After a busy 3 days in Orkney I’m sure there is still a lot more to see. To find out more about all there is to see read more at Orkney.com. Read more on the journey to John O’Groats from Inverness on your way to the ferry port. You can start your adventure to the northern isles with a break in Inverness. This is an ideal starting point to explore the Scottish Highlands. Read more on why you should stay at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast and how to travel to Inverness.

Highland Archive Centre

Highland Archive Centre

The Highland Archive and Registration Centre is a fantastic resource, which is near here. The Highland Archive Centre collects and preserves historical records about the Highlands, so they are accessible to the public. Scots have travelled the world for centuries, so it’s not surprising international guests flock to Scotland to find out about their past. Generations of people living thoughout the globe have Scottish roots. If you are looking into your family history, the Highland Archive Centre is the place to start.

The centre includes a Family History Room, which has a wealth of information for anyone exploring their family tree. The staff are experts in researching Scottish genealogy. They are available for one to one consultations, which is worth booking. You can also get their help by remote contact so you don’t have to visit in person.

Highland Collections

The fascinating collections held by the Highland Archive Centre go back centuries. These include maps, property valuations, education records and poor relief records. If you haven’t done any digging into your history before, there are many useful guides here.

Conservation Services

The Conservation Studios provide a range of treatments for conservation and preservation of documents and artefacts. Services include cleaning, re-construction and repair of archaeological objects. They also bind and repair volumes, parchment paper, seals, photographs and plans. The highly trained staff advise institutions on how to conserve their precious artefacts.

Highland Registrar

Also on the site is the Highland Registrars, continuing the theme of record keeping for now and the future. This is the registration service where births, deaths and marriages are recorded. The centre regularly holds civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies for up to 130 guests.

Highland Bed and Breakfast

If you need the services of the Highland Archive Centre, then this is your perfect base. If you’re looking into your family tree or your a history lover, Bannerman Bed and Breakfast is ideally located. Looking for wedding accommodation in Inverness? If you’re attending a wedding at the Highland Regitrars’ office in Inverness, book your accommodation at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast. We are a short drive or 10 minutes walk from the Highland Archive Centre, which includes the Registrars. We’re also ideally located for getting into town as well. Drop us a line for more details. Read more about why you should stay here.

You might like to learn more about What’s Happening at Inverness Castle.

inverness-castle-bnb

How to travel to Inverness

There are many ways to travel to Inverness. The journey from every direction is beautiful, so worth savouring if you can. If you’ve never been to Inverness take a look on a map. It’s on the north east coast of Scotland but it’s situated more west than the west coast of England. It sits at one end of the longest loch in Scotland, Loch Ness, the Great Glen Way and the Caledonian Canal which stretches to Fort William on the west coast. It’s at sea level but surrounded by hills and mountains.

By Train

Scotrail run the train service and provide all information on timetables and tickets. The journey from Edinburgh or Glasgow is about 3 hours 20 minutes and from Aberdeen it’s 2 hours and 15 minutes. From London it takes about 8 hours. How about taking the Caledonian Sleeper so you can leave the busy city in the evening and wake up in the beautiful Scottish Highlands feeling refreshed about a good night’s sleep. Have a look at The Trainline website to help plan your journey with live running times and facility information.

By Bus

There are a few coach companies running bus services to Inverness. Check my bus give you details on the best prices and routes available.

By Car

From the south the most direct route to Inverness is up the A9, taking in the Grampian mountains with plenty of interest along the route. The House of Bruar is a good stopping point. It’s 2 hours from Inverness and is an excellent opportunity for refreshments, toilets and a stretch of the legs. From Glasgow and the west coast you can also take the A82, which is a very scenic route, passing Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland.

By Plane

Inverness airport is 7 miles from the city and it’s small, so it’s an easy connection, Most flights are internal with a few international exceptions including Amsterdam and Dublin. The flight time from London is about one hour and thirty minutes. Easyjet and British Airways fly most of the flights with Loganair providing vital connections to the Scottish islands.

Whichever way you get here, you’ll discover Inverness is a perfect base for exploring the Scottish Highlands. Read more in my blog on why you should stay in Inverness and in particular, why you should stay at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast. For help in planning your next trip, please get in touch.

The road to Kylesku

What is the North Coast 500?

The North Coast 500 is one of the best road trips in the world with the most beautiful landscape. It’s a circular route of the north coast of Scotland taking in rugged coastline and breath taking scenery. The key to making the most of this memorable experience is planning in advance. Here’s some tips on getting the best out of the trip.

The usual starting point is Inverness, the highland capital. You can go clockwise or anticlockwise, it’s entirely up to you. The route takes you through the east coast villages of Brora, Golspie, Helmsdale and up to Wick. It takes in John O’Groats, the most northerly point of the UK mainland. From there you go along the top of the north coast of Scotland, possibly taking in the view of Orkney on a clear day. Then there’s the dramatic north coastline and equally rugged west coastline down through the port of Ullapool and to the village of Applecross and back to Inverness. The route is challenging in places, with sections of single track road.

Accommodation

There is a wide range of types of accommodation whatever your budget. You’ll need at least 3 days to travel the route, although many advise longer. Booking accommodation in advance is essential. The route is popular all year round, especially in the summer months. Most of the road takes in small villages, so it’s advisable to book ahead for accommodation and dinner reservations.

Road Safety

Always remember to drive on the left and keep to the left starting off and when turning into another road. Visitors should familiarise themselves with the Highway Code in advance, especially on how to drive on single track roads. There are some parts of the NC500 which are not suitable for large/long vehicles. An alternative road is a better option for a long motorhome in places. You wouldn’t want to get stuck on a hairpin bend and block the traffic in both directions. You can find more information on maximum size of vehicles and alternative routes here.

Remember this wonderful route is shared by local people whose lives and livelihoods depend on these roads. You are also sharing it with fellow travellers from all over the road, who are not familiar with the area. Some stretches of the NC500 are unfenced, so it’s quite possible to encounter cows, sheep, goats or deer crossing the road. So please drive and ride responsibly, safely and respectfully. Remember to leave the countryside as you would wish to find it – leave no trace of your visit.

Take Your Time

There’s such a lot to take in on the North Coast 500. It’s worth doing some research before your trip and deciding what interests you and your travellers most. You can immerse yourself in the Scottish wilderness. You’ll find mountains, hidden hill lochs, Highland glens and deserted golden beaches right on your doorstep. This is a great opportunity to experience the Highland way of life and Scotland’s rich culture through amazing food, music and craftmanship. The main thing to remember is to take your time – you’re on holiday after all.

Inverness Base

Bannerman Bed and Breakfast is a perfect base to start and finish your trip around the North Coast 500. From here you can soak up the culture of the capital of the Highlands, Inverness and visit the iconic Loch Ness. Read more on why you should stay at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast and check availability for your next trip here.

Craig Phadraig

Dog Friendly Inverness Accommodation

Many people are holidaying in the UK for the first time. If you want to include your dog, you’ll need dog friendly accommodation. This is a perfect base in the Scottish Highlands providing Inverness dog friendly accommodation.

We have 4 comfortable ensuite rooms, 2 large king-size doubles, a twin and a single with a double bed. Each room has home comforts – a television, tea/coffee, silent fridge, hairdryer and free wifi. There’s space for a dog bed in each room.

This is a great location with or without your pet. We are walking distance from the riverside, with the Bught Park and Ness Islands nearby making an ideal walk. We’re also not far from the Caledonian Canal, a superb setting for a picturesque walk with a tempting dog friendly pub along the way. Further afield we have a great choice of beaches, golf courses and gardens to visit. Or you may prefer getting out in the hills and making the most of the Highland air and stunning scenery. Read more on my favourite beaches in the area.

I can recommend a few dog friendly eating places too.

An Talla

Four miles from Inverness on the banks of the Caledonian Canal, this modern cafe is at one of the starting points for a cruise on Loch Ness. Jacobite Cruises own this restaurant, shop and ticket office for boat trips. An Talla is open from 10am – 4pm every day, so it’s an ideal spot for coffee and cake after a dog walk along the canal. You can also take your dog on a boat trip.

Black Isle Bar

This is a city centre bar with a great relaxed atmosphere. They serve organic wine and beer and the beer is from their own Black Isle Brewery. Also excellent pizzas are made in their wood fired pizza oven. They are quick to offer a bowl of water for your dog.

McGregors Bar

Another city centre bar specialising in Scottish fayre. It’s a former Scottish Pub of the Year and often features live traditional music. The food, service and atmosphere are great and there’s lovely outdoor terrace.

Clachnaharry Inn

This is a very well known pub locally with a great reputation for a Sunday roast. It’s situated near the Caledonian Canal so it’s a perfect spot for a pub lunch after a dog walk along the canal.

To book a break with your dog, then look no further than this Inverness dog friendly accommodation. To find out our rates and availability check out website.