I absolutely adored my time in Inverness, and as a result, I have literally zero photos of the city itself! Dan and I didn’t feel much like city sightseeing, so instead we ate a lot of delicious food, drank a lot of delicious coffee, enjoyed our absolutely phenomenal AirBnB and when we felt like exploring, we got in our car and drove to various places on the outskirts of Inverness.
We only made the trip to Brodie Castle because it was relatively close and as we had purchased a short term National Trust of Scotland pass (which I highly recommend) it wouldn’t cost us a thing to visit!
From the outside, this 400 year old home of the Brodie Clan may not look like much (I blame the scaffolding) but it ended up being one of the more interesting castles to visit. The tour of the castle was highly engaging thanks to a magnificent collection of 17th century art and ceramics, as well as an impressive library, which claims to hold over 6,000 volumes.
The grounds surrounding this castle are expansive, and if you are looking for a place to go for an afternoon stroll, this is certainly an ideal spot.
When I started working out what I wanted to see and do on this return trip to Scotland, a visit to the Culloden Battlefield was extremely high on my wishlist – mostly thanks to a newly acquired obsession with everything Outlander related.
For those who don’t devour Diana Gabaldon’s time-bending tales and/or Scottish history, Culloden was the site of the final confrontation between Jacobite rebels and the British Army.
On April 16th in 1746, the Jacobite forces fighting for Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) clashed with Hanoverian forces. Due to the flat and open state of Culloden moor, the Highlanders were significantly disadvantaged and were swiftly and brutally massacred, and with it, so was much of Highland culture.
Today, Culloden is a hauntingly beautiful and sombre memorial to the many lives that were lost on that fateful day.
Next to the battlefield is a visitors centre, and in my opinion, it is one of the few visitors centres that manages to be engaging and informative without feeling cheap or cheesy. For me, he highlight of this visitors centre was the reenactment film – I am not ashamed to say that it brought me to tears.
There is also a timeline of events running through the centre. On one side you can follow these events from the point of view of a Jacobite supporter, and on the other side from the point of the British Army.
Let’s just say, I would’ve been a Jacobite.
On another day, we drove from Inverness to Urquhart Castle – a route which allows you to drive with views of Loch Ness for much of the way. We opted not to go in (the entrance fee was rather exxy) but I think we still got some rather beautiful views from afar.
Urquhart may not look like it is in fantastic condition, but when you consider the fact that it dates back to the 13th century, it is rather incredible how much is still standing.
For those who haven’t visited Loch Ness before, it is possible to take boat trips out onto the Loch if you do so wish. I had already visited Loch Ness twice before (both times through the more southern town of Fort Augustus) and as such, didn’t particularly feel the need to do so – my prior Nessie searching had been totally fruitless!
Random Highland Pit Stop
When our time in Inverness was over, we pressed onwards toward the Isle of Skye. Along the way, we came across some fricking gorgeous scenery and I could not resist the opportunity to take Droney Boy out for a fly.
Droney boy’s repeated high wind warnings sent my anxiety skyrocketing, but after looking at these photos I really do think that it was worth it.
Eilean Donan Castle
I first visited Skye in 2012, and I had extremely fond memories of stopping off at the picturesque Eilean Donan castle along the way.
It was certainly a lot busier this time around, but that didn’t make it any less gorgeous!
For a second time this day, I simply couldn’t resist seeing what things would look like from above – and for the first time ever, my little Droney was not the only one flying around!
Entrance to this castle is quite expensive at £10, but if you have the moolah to spare it is a really lovely one to explore.
Petrol station just before crossing the bridge to Skye
We thought petrol would be more expensive on Skye (it wasn’t) and so we decided to fill up our tank before actually crossing the bridge to the isle.
While Dan filled up the tank, I got out to pee, and when I turned around to close the door of the car, these mountains were waiting for me.
Not a bad view from a petrol station!
The drive from Inverness to Skye is easily one of the most scenic and majestic routes in all of Scotland, so if you have the time to spend a couple of days self driving in this region, you certainly wouldn’t regret doing so.
Stay tuned for drone shots, sheep traffic and much more on the Isle of Skye!
Getting to Edinburgh: One of Scotland’s largest air and rail hubs – you’ll have lots of options
Inverness AirBnB: This small apartment was one of the best AirBnB’s I’ve ever stayed at – I can’t recommend it enough! If you are new to AirBnB, make sure to click this link to get $38 AUD off your first stay or experience
Vehicle Hire: We hired a car through Budget with no issues, which seemed to be the most affordable option
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: Scotland is utterly gorgeous – make sure you keep your camera batteries charged