What is now called Inverness was once home to the Pictish King Brude, who Saint Columba converted to Christianity around the year 565AD, and there has been a settlement here ever since. The city and surrounding areas are full of historic — and prehistoric — sites for the visitor to explore. Here are nine, spanning a huge range of time, but all within a short distance of the city itself.
Visible from most of Inverness is the hill of Craig Phadrig, and this is the most likely contender for the original site of King Brude’s settlement. It is a lovely walk through the woodlands, and offers fine views. There is little to see of the original Iron Age hillfort located here apart from some lumps and bumps at the top of the hill, but it is worth the climb to gaze out across the Beauly Firth and to the mountains, all the while imagining what life must have been like, living on this hill 1500 years ago.
Just a short drive north of Inverness is the former home of the 19th century geologist, folklorist, author and all-round polymath, Hugh Miller. The house is run by the National Trust for Scotland and contains many of Miller’s possessions and, as such, gives a glimpse into life in the early Victorian era in Scotland. There is an attached museum, itself a Georgian Villa, and the cobbled courtyard and small garden are quiet and peaceful places to pause.