We were hoping to find accommodation on the banks of Loch Ness but it seemed there was none to be had. We were very happy with the compromise of a lovely hotel overlooking the River Ness, only a short walk into town.
A succession of castles has stood guard over the river since 1057. Built in 1836, the magnificent red sandstone of Inverness Castle shone in the afternoon sunshine. It is now the Court house and not open to the public.
We had planned on a Loch Ness cruise for the next day but the weather was threatening inclemency so we decided to explore the Black Isle instead. Not far from Inverness, it is not actually an island, but a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water. As well as gorgeous villages and towns, the highland scenery was spectacular.
We had many issues with our satnav throughout our trip, we named her Holly (if you have ever seen Red Dwarf, you will understand why). She was adamant that this was a major road!
We had our sights set on snow-capped Ben Wyvis.
Unfortunately, Holly was not in the mood to co-operate and after negotiating a multitude of narrow mountain roads, we returned to Inverness.
We awoke the following morning to a beautiful winter wonderland, an early snowfall.
After breakfast, we wandered through the Ness Islands.
The two wooded islands are connected by footbridges
and have been used as a public park since the 1840s.
The walk in the crisp, fresh air amidst the stunning autumn foliage was a perfect start to the day.
Reluctantly leaving Inverness, we continued our southward journey.