Curving through the city of Inverness, the River Ness provides a place for locals and tourists alike to relax. Whether that’s through a spot of salmon fishing, walking or simply sitting by the banks, the river offers something for everyone. However there’s more than meets the eye. In the middle of the river, a short walk from the train station, sits the Ness Islands. These havens for wildlife are sanctuaries for finding calm in a busy city. When you visit Inverness, take some time here.
The Ness Islands
Sitting in the River Ness, the Ness Islands have been a city attraction for years. There was a time when if you wanted to explore them, you would have to ride on a boat. Fortunately, there are sturdy Victorian-built bridges which you can take over to remain dry these days!
On any day of the week, a Ness Island walk is often just what you need to blow those cobwebs away. The fresh air and beautiful surroundings can set you up for the day. You might even spot some wildlife too. Ness Islands wildlife includes seals, bats, otters and even deer. The islands also boast a wonderful array of trees. Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and a magnificent Sequoia can be seen. Sitting under one of these trees and watching the day go by can be most refreshing.
The paths around the islands are well maintained and flat. This means they are suitable for wheelchair users, as well as buggies and prams. The islands are a great place to bring kids. There’s plenty of room for them to run around and explore the area. You can also park pretty close should you wish, in the event you have people of limited mobility in your group.
Closeby you will find the Ness Islands Railway. A treat for both adults and children, this 7 ¼ inch gauge railway makes for a fun activity for all the family. The railway is owned by Highland Hospice, and all operating surplus goes to the hospice. It’s run by enthusiastic volunteers and is not to miss on your visit. Opening times are limited though, so check their website first before making a trip.
And if you are really in the mood for nature, make sure to check out the Inverness Botanic Gardens nearby. Here’s where you can visit a tropical house, a cactus house and walk around the gardens too. The River Ness and Ness Islands area is where you will walk if you start Section 1 of the Loch Ness 360° trail. It makes for a wonderful beginning to your walk.