17 Instagrammable Places in Inverness and Nearby
A photographer could really go wild in Inverness and the Highlands. Not only is the city packed with historic buildings and the beautiful River Ness, but there are endless spectacular places nearby Inverness to capture. Just make sure you take your time at each place, because these beautiful locations are also good for the soul. A photograph is to capture a memory, so, memories first, photographs after.
1. Inverness Cathedral
Situated on the banks of the River Ness, Inverness Cathedral is a mainstay for local weddings, not just because of its religious or historic significance, but because it is a marvellous place for wedding photos. If you’re lucky, you might just catch the bridal party outside the cathedral getting their photos taken. It’s such a beautiful place for photography so make sure you stop by the Inverness Cathedral.
2. Inverness Castle
This one likely goes without saying, but Inverness Castle is a city landmark, you can’t do photography in Inverness without stopping by the castle. Not only has it got a state-of-the-art viewing platform, but Flora MacDonald’s statue stands proudly outside the castle, marking the castle’s historical significance.
3. Inverness Town House
Barely a stone’s throw from Inverness Castle is Inverness Town House. There have been many a town house on this site over the centuries, with the first completed in 1708 and occupied by Lord Lovat. The newly refurbished town house is extremely impressive and an absolute must for a photo opportunity. Best to go first thing in the morning as the house is on a busy road through the city centre. Or, later in the evening in the Winter to see it beautifully illuminated.
4. The River Ness
Wander along the beautiful River Ness to find not just a sense of being, relaxation and food for the soul, but endless photo opportunities whilst doing so. The River Ness photographs beautifully, and with the historic buildings lined up alongside the river, and Inverness Castle sitting high on the hill, this is really a photographers dream. This stretch of river is also stunning at night, so if you’re looking for Autumn and Wintery scenes, look to the River Ness for a crisp wander, Autumn leaves and photos to boot. Match your walk with a wee hot chocolate and you’re doing things right.
5. Ness Islands
Wander only 10 minutes alongside the River Ness in Inverness City Centre and you will come to the absolute heart of Inverness, the Ness Islands, or as it’s known locally, “the islands.” The islands are exactly that, a collective of small islands in the middle of the River Ness, connected by a series of pretty footbridges. The Ness Islands are beautiful year-round, but are spectacular in Autumn. Visit the Ness Islands for mindfulness and beauty, and remember to pick up the camera, it’s easy to get carried away.
6. Bellfield Park Bandstand
Presented to Inverness City by The Aircrew Association, Highland Branch and dedicated to those who flew from the Highlands in wartime, and did not return, this pretty bandstand was unveiled by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, in 2000. The Bellfield bandstand is an important place to stop and remember those who came before us. A lovely place to photograph, but more important than that, a lovely place to stop and be.
7. Craig Phadrig
The site of an ancient fort at the top of Craig Phadrig, this magical forest lies on the west side of Inverness. Perhaps more than that, is the outstanding views over the Beauly Firth from the top. A marvellous place to be on top of the world, and to capture some beautiful images of the forest and firth.
8. Muirtown Basin
Speaking of the Beauly Firth, the walk from the Muirtown Basin out to the mouth of the Beauly Firth at Clachnaharry is truly special. Alongside passing by all of the coo wee boats at the basin, you also wander along the historic Caledonian Canal, past the historic railway station and the Moray Firth to the mouth of the Beauly Firth. On a crisp Autumnal day, it’s practically perfect (in every way).
9. Falcon Square
Just beside the Eastgate Centre in Inverness is Falcon Square. In the centre of the square, there is a statue with a bronze unicorn on the top, and falcons in mid-flight flying around it. The sandstone pillar is a nod to the city’s industrial past and to the expertise of the iron-founders, as the square used to be home to The Falcon Foundry. Head over the square early on a Saturday morning and the mornings light really amplifies the pillar, making for some lovely photos.
10. Whin Park
If there’s anywhere in Inverness that can make you smile like a big kid for a photo or two, it’s Whin Park. You can actually get to the park by walking past Bellfield Park, through the Ness Islands, and out by Whin Park. Whether you want to fly high on the swing sets, scale the climbing frames or be a little more demure on the boating pond, Whin Park is where the fun is at. Fun photos are the best kind, because that’s where the memories are.
11. Inverness Botanic Gardens
With a tropical house, a cactus house, beautiful well-kept gardens and a pond with friendly carp, the Botanic Gardens are perfectly placed nearby Whin Park and the Islands, before you head on the north Loch Ness road. If flowers and plants are your thing, stop by here for some beautifully colourful photos. Why not match the surroundings in a floral dress? This place is magical, and lovely for a peaceful wander.
12. The Caledonian Canal
This 60 mile stretch of water through the Great Glen isn’t exactly short of places to photograph, but if you’re staying in the Inverness area, you can get some lovely photographs out at the Dochgarroch Locks. With beautiful hills as a backdrop, and pretty canal bridges in the forefront, this is a perfectly pretty place to photograph as you wander along this pretty stretch of canal. A lovely place to see the ducklings too.
13. Abriachan Forest Trails
Up in the hills above Loch Ness lies an absolute hidden gem. The Abriachan Forest Trails aren’t unlike something from a fairy-tale. With interwoven woodland walks sprinkled with carved sculptures and benches, magical wooden signs, hidden huts and wee ponds, you best bring your camera.
14. Dores Beach
Popular in the Summer when the sun is out, but stunning all year round, and pretty magical on a crisp Wintery morning, Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness offers ample photography opportunities. It wouldn’t be a visit to the Highlands without stopping by the picturesque Dores Inn, on the 23 mile stretch that is the world-famous Loch Ness.
15. Falls of Foyers
Amazing all year round, but spectacular after a heavy rainfall is the 140ft waterfall near Loch Ness, the Falls of Foyers. This is a bit of a steep walk, but the first viewing platform is less steep than the rest of the walk that cuts down the gorge through the trees. The Falls of Foyers is a natural wonder and a photographers dream.
16. Urquhart Castle
And whilst visiting Loch Ness, it kind of goes without saying that you should stop at Urquhart Castle. Dramatic and unrivalled, Urquhart Castle sits on the banks of Loch Ness. The ruin is an amazing place to visit, not just for the photos, but for the wealth of rich history. If you don’t know much about Highland clans, you absolutely must visit Urquhart Castle. You might leaving feeling a little bit rebellious though. These parts have that effect on you.
17. Ord Hill View Point
For the most incredible view over the Kessock Bridge and the Moray Firth, head up Ord Hill. We’ve visited numerous times and it somehow holds the ability to look incredible (and somewhat different) through the different seasons and lights. It is especially beautiful in the crisp light of Autumn.
The best way to photograph is to capture memories. None of the places listed here are part of a checklist, you could spend hours at each place if you chose to do so. That’s what we recommend. Make the memories first, capture them afterwards. Always remember to look after our Highlands and they will stay as beautiful as ever.