The Courier Building, 9-11 Bank Lane
The Courier Building, 9-11 Bank Lane
Located in the North-Western most point of the UK, residents are frequently able to bear witness to the Northern Lights and, in summer, the region benefits from remarkably long days: up to 18 hours of daylight. It is blessed with a dramatic landscape; mountain ranges dominate the region and the Highlands are home to an amazing collection of lochs and lochans and Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. The area is one of the least densely populated in Europe and as such is extremely rural with unrivalled wildlife and scope for outdoor pursuits. The area’s quaint villages and remote islands offer a relaxed way of life and the area as a whole usually scores high in quality of life surveys.
Strutt & Parker’s Inverness office covers the whole of the Highlands and further afield, boasting an incredible repertoire of properties that includes magnificent family homes in extensive grounds, enormous country houses with breath-taking views, successful and profitable B&Bs, properties on the banks of the Loch Ness, cottages and bungalows on the Isle of Skye and eco homes in stunning rural locations. In the Highlands, you can get a lot of space, both inside and out, for your money and an unusually high number of properties have splendid, far reaching views over the lochs to the mountains and beyond. The Strutt & Parker Inverness office also manages farms and estates in the Highlands as well as sporting property; the fishing, shooting and stalking estates for which the Highlands is famous.
It is home to the Cairngorms, the UK’s largest national park, and Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain and is generally known for its stunning, unspoilt landscapes, offering unrivalled vistas. The Highland Access Project is significantly improving the Highlands’ already extensive opportunities for walking, cycling and riding by providing a vast network of versatile paths and accompanying recommended routes. The numerous lochs in the Highlands, including the largest by volume and most fabled off all, the Loch Ness, provide a beautiful setting for a wide variety of outdoor pursuits including bird watching, water sports and golf, with Nairn and Dornoch boasting two of the best golf courses in the country.
Stalking and fishing are also extremely popular in the Highlands, where the remote and rugged landscape lends itself well to this sort of sport. With the Highlands experiencing extreme weather, a number of Highland mountains also offer alpine, telemark and cross-country skiing in the winter months, with three resorts offering a lift network, ski hire and lessons: Glenshee, The Lecht and Nevis Range 131.
The perfectly preserved natural landscape is exemplified by the beautifully peaceful Isle of Skye, which alone boasts 400 miles of wild and rugged coastline and unforgettable sunsets. Across the length and breadth of the Highlands, spectacular and rare wildlife is widespread; seals, otters, golden eagles, red squirrels, dolphins and even puffins are frequently spotted in their natural habitat and such treats are not limited to the confines of the extensive national parks.
Inverness has a vast selection of restaurants for all tastes, some of the best include the Rocpool Restaurant which is situated on the River Ness and is only a two minute walk from the city centre. It offers a contemporary, relaxed environment enjoying views of Inverness Castle which looks impressive lit up at night. Another popular restaurant is The Mustard Seed which is also located on the River Ness and Café One on Castle Street which offers some of the finest local produce from around the Highlands. Hootananny and Johnny Foxes/The Den are popular pubs which attract not only the locals but tourists with their regular live music bands.
Rockness is an annual music festival which takes place close to the banks of Loch Ness in Dores, near Inverness which has increased in popularity over the years attracting headliner acts.
The Highlands is well known for its stunning scenery and vast open space for those who enjoy the outdoors whether it be walking along the sandy beaches on the Moray coastline catching a glimpse of the dolphins, enjoying the picturesque views of Torridon & Applecross on the West coast, hillwalking along the Great Glen or trying to locate the legendary Monster ‘Nessie’ on a boat journey down the famous Loch Ness.
Inverness is generally regarded to be the capital of the Highlands. It sits in an enviable position at the mouth of the river Ness and its impressive castle forms a picturesque backdrop to the city’s striking architecture. The nearby Moray Firth, home to a school of dolphins, is just one of many attractions in the surrounding area; Inverness is also host to one of the largest Highland Games and is within easy reach of both mountains and beaches. The Old Town offers varied shopping opportunities, including a Victorian covered market; the High Street and Eastgate centre have all the big names. The Hootananny bar and live music venue comes very well recommended.
Formerly a busy herring fishing port, Nairn is now a popular seaside and golfing resort benefiting from lots of sun and relatively little rain. Nairn was put on the international map in 2008 by Tilda Swinton’s quirky film festival, the Cinema of Dreams, and other event highlights of the area include the Nairn Agricultural Show and the Nairn Highland Games. The town centre has an enviable range of independent shops, including a butcher, a craft shop and a bookshop.
Beauly is a peaceful village just ten miles from Inverness, sitting on the Beauly river, one of Scotland’s most popular salmon fishing spots. A charming, well preserved town retaining much of its original architecture and stone construction, it allegedly got its name from the French for ‘beautiful place’. Along its single main street, headed by the ruins of Beauly Priory, a number of thriving independent stores can be found, including the award-winning butcher’s shop, owned by John M Munro.
The county town of Sutherland, Dornoch is located on the edge of Dornoch Firth, a designated National Scenic Area. With its relaxed and unhurried pace of life and fantastic and remote location on the east coast of Scotland, Dornoch has become a popular holiday resort. The fascinating historic town centre is home to a number of interiors and antiques shops as well as a hotel which was once a Bishop’s castle. The Dornoch Castle Hotel has a great reputation among locals and further afield as one of the best eateries in the North. Dornoch also boasts a surprisingly mild climate, which has encouraged the town’s growth as a golfing and walking resort.
Newtonmore is located in the Spey Valley, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. It has become a popular holiday resort, particularly with outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to is peaceful atmosphere, stunning views and proximity to Aviemore. Its outdoor opportunities are endless, including golf, fishing, pony-trekking and cycling; a number of local museums celebrate the area’s rich history. Betty’s Tearoom and Pantry joins a number of thriving independent stores on the main street and has excellent reviews for lunches and teas.
Inverness does very well for schools
With both the Charleston Academy (in Inverness) and Glen Urquhart High School (in Drumnadrochit, 15 miles from Inverness) being judged good/very good by HMIE. Fortrose Academy (13 miles from Inverness) has some excellent features. Further afield, Invergordon Academy and the high schools in both Kinlochleven and Thurso are all judged to be very good; Dornoch Academy is good with some very good aspects.
Inverness is also lucky as far as primary schools are concerned, with Aldourie and Balloch Primary Schools being good/very good and Dochgarroch Primary School being judged very good. Elsewhere in the Highlands, Millbank Primary School (in Nairn), Cannich Bridge Primary School (in Beauly) as well as the Primaries at both Dingwall and Newtonmore are all judged as good/very good.
For a more comprehensive list of schools in the area we recommend the Good Schools Guide.
From Inverness, there are regular direct trains to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and other Scottish towns. Regional trains provide links within the area: Newtonmore is an hour from Inverness (every four hours); Nairn is 18 minutes (every 2 hours); Beauly is quarter of an hour (every couple of hours). Two direct trains a day (8 hours) take you from Inverness to London.
An A-road links Inverness to Perth; from there, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the rest of the UK are accessible by motorway. Dornoch and Newtonmore are both about an hour by car to Inverness; Beauly and Nairn are less than half an hour.
There's beautiful scenery no matter where you are in the Highlands, friendly locals and plenty of outdoor pursuits.