Never underestimate Inverness. This dark horse is both the capital of the Highlands and one of the happiest hotspots in the UK with a high quality of life. Add its rich history and smashing wee restaurants, and it’s almost too much. Small enough to shimmy about on foot, yet massive in allure, here are some out-of-the-box things to do for those with a keen inquisitive streak.
Scot or not, you can’t go to the site of the Battle of Culloden without experiencing a deep connection with the land and history behind it. The Culloden Battlefield sits a brief 15-minute car ride from Inverness and marks the spot where the final battle of the Jacobite risings took place in 1745. Windswept and wholly poignant, this land is the site of the brutal demise of upwards of 1,500 men, more than 1,000 of which were Jacobites. The visitor centre presents the history for what it is, with the immersion theatre and collection of Jacobite artefacts that serve as tangible reminders.
Perfectly anchored amidst the backdrop of the Caledonian Canal, Ship Space, in a nutshell, is one man’s lifelong passion for all things maritime-related. This wonderfully eccentric place won’t take up too much time. It operates from the home and back garden of the man behind the magic and is free for all to explore. The star of the show is the impressive 1:10 scale model of the Titanic, with interior Parisian café and Marconi wireless room. Trust us—you have to see this place to believe it!
Ship Space, 16 Clachnaharry Rd, Inverness, Scotland, +44 01463 716839
Entering Leakey’s Bookshop is like stumbling into the deepest and most complex hinterlands of a bibliophile’s mind. Housed in the charismatic old Gaelic Church, this literature dreamland is punctuated with 100,000 books that span every topic imaginable and make it Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. Between the spiral staircase, sprinkling of sofas and the crackling wood burning fire, finding Leakey’s is like coming home.
Leakey’s Bookshop, Church St, Inverness, Scotland, +44 01463 239947
The Clootie Well at Munlochy is certainly not something you see every day, but that’s the fun of it. Awash with an ocean of weary coloured rags, or cloots, that desperately cling to forest branches, these ancient wells are rooted in the pre-Christian era and age-old Celtic rituals. The rags are offerings that are dipped in the sacred wells or springs and are then tied to the branches while a prayer is said. When the rags are no more, the thought is that any illnesses will be gone with the wind. Many visitors still leave offerings, along with inspirational quotes and dreams. Just use biodegradable cloth for the environment’s sake!
Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop
A torrent of creative bursts, Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop is a multifaceted social enterprise centred around the charming café-cum-workshop. Between the pleasing selection of proper coffee, hearty soups, chunky bread and homemade cakes (all made with love from locally sourced ingredients) and the bike workshop decked out with all the necessary supplies (think work-stands for hire and knowledgeable bike mechanics), this place is the epitome of cool. Making Queen proud one bicycle at a time!
Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop, 1 Crown Avenue, Inverness, Scotland, +44 01463 419 956
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.