Council offices and court buildings on Castle Hill, Edinburgh
Pedestrian suspension bridge over the River Ness in Inverness
View from Clachnaharry Lock in Inverness
Inverness
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Inverness has got a castle... oops, wait a minute... oh, I see... it's a prison... no? It's not? It's council offices? A court? Okay okay okay, let me get this right: Inverness has not got a castle. It's got something that looks like a castle, a big red sandstoney thing with towers and turrets and battlements. It features prominently on much of the town's tourist bumf, looking very grand and majestic and almost Windsoresque in its castleishness. But it's not a castle
Inverness did once have a castle; in fact, quite a few castles, all right at this very spot. But they couldn't have been very good at being castles as they were forever being attacked and destroyed. The last person to have a go, so to speak, was Bonnie Prince Charlie, who razed it to the ground in 1746. This, I have to say, is a bit of a shame because if you look at a picture by John Clerk in the early 18th century it was clearly a fairytale castle of dreams and legends. Now all that remains for visitors who make the climb to the top of Castle Hill is a bit of a wall and a well. But it's a very nice well. Inverness has a well; full of water and wishes.
Once up on Castle Hill the small disappointment at not finding a real castle is tempered by great views and a bronze statue of Flora MacDonald, gazing towards a horizon, eternally wondering when Charlie will be home for his tea.
Will ye no' come back again?
THIS IS NOT A CASTLE, HONEST
SUSPENSION BRIDGE IN INVERNESS
VIEW FROM CLACHNAHARRY LOCK
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How to
GET THERE
You can get a train to Inverness from Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh railway stations. It takes over 3 hours, and includes spectacular scenery.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo