Inverness, an incredibly scenic city is the capital city and gateway to the Highland region. The name Inverness is translated from the Gaelic Inbhir Nis meaning mouth of the River Ness.
Inverness received city status in 2001 and is believed to be the fastest growing city in Europe. With an estimated population of around 54, 000 in 2006, the city is forecast to grow by as much as 40% over the next two decades. Inverness is ranked 5th out of 189 cities in Britain for its quality of life.
The city provides an excellent base for outdoor enthusiasts wishing to exploit the vast potential of the highland region. Alternatively there is plenty in around the city for a relaxing, entertaining city break . Inverness has many comfortable and quality hotels and a good choice of bed and breakfast accommodation . There are also plenty of camp sites offering modern facilities for tents and caravans or there are self catering holiday cottages around the Inverness area for a more home from home feeling.
The surrounding countryside offers a great variety of options whatever your outdoor interest and there are outlets within the city which hire out the likes of Mountain bikes or canoes. For a fun day out there is golfing, paintball, pony trekking, quad biking, dolphin watching and Loch Ness cruises to name but a few and all within a short distance from the city. For a more challenging day out, a short drive from Inverness will take you to some of the most stunning mountain ranges in the UK. The likes of Torridon or Assynt on the west coast offer great hill walking, ridge walks and rock climbing opportunities. If you aren't feeling so energetic, a drive through this area can prove very satisfying with epic scenery, imposing mountains and beautiful white sand beaches tucked away in rocky bays.
The people of the Highlands are well known for their hospitality and you will soon be made to feel welcome in the bars or cafes of Inverness. The River Ness runs through the city and provides an impressive backdrop to many of the cities excellent choice of restaurants. Whatever your taste or budget Inverness will have an option to suit you. Once fed and possibly warmed by a wee dram of whisky there are plenty of options with many bars putting on live music on a nightly basis. The Eden court theatre is host to many different shows with ballet, drama, live music and comedy frequently playing. Alternatively the Ironworks music venue attracts some of the biggest and best acts in the UK. It's well worth checking local event listings to see which acts are playing when you plan on visiting the city. The Inverness college is the main campus for the University of the Highlands and islands millennium institute and the resident students ensure a modern lively buzz to the city. If you are in the City through the Summer then you may be tempted by some of the large open air music festivals. Rockness is the main festival spanning three days and attracting some of the biggest names in dance and rock music. Situated beside Dores and on the bank of Loch Ness, Rockness has got to be one of the UK's most scenically impressive outdoor venues.
Tourists to Inverness will soon find that this City is the Hub to a large region and the transport system has evolved to cater for a widely spread and growing population.
Airport: Located at Dalcross roughly 8 miles or 13 kilometres northeast of the city, Inverness Airport is a major gateway for tourists to the North of Scotland. Inverness is an international airport with many scheduled services to the UK and Ireland, also limited freight and chartered flights to Europe. Almost 680,000 passengers past through the city airport in 2008.
Train Station: Situated on Academy street the city train station drops you in the heart of the city. The station provides regular services to the north and south of the city with direct links to London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Thurso. There is a ticket office in the station for information and ticket sales. You will also find available refreshments, newsagent, locker facilities, luggage trolleys and short stay car park facilities. There is a taxi rank as you leave the station to transport you to your accommodation.
Bus Station: As with the train station the bus station is situated in the centre of Inverness at Farraline park. The station is a short walk away from the main shopping area and minutes from the railway station. The station's main operators include Megabus and Scottish citylink who provide regular services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth. There are also Stagecoach coaches which operate in and around the city and provide a service to the airport. Stagecoach also provide services to Fort William, Ullapool, Thurso and Aberdeen. Also available is the overnight National express service from Inverness to London Victoria.
Taxi: There are two main taxi ranks in Inverness one on Academy street just outside the train station and the other beside the Museum and below the castle on Castle Wynd. You will also find Taxis at the airport to bring you into the city.
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