Whisky Tasting this autumn

The River NessAutumn break in the Scottish Highlands

If you’re feeling in need of a break this autumn but stuck for ideas have a look at this.  It’s an ebook produced by VisitScotland.  It’s packed full of ideas for activities to take in the best of Scotland’s beautiful landscapes. As the number of tourists exploring the Highlands is thinning this is the best time to enjoy the stunning autumnal colours with added peace and tranquility.  So an Autumn break in the Scottish Highlands is the perfect time to visit the area.

It’s not too late to take in the wonderful autumn colours and we’re surrounded by nature all around Inverness.  Even in the city the trees are impressive along the riverside, just a short walk from here.   The Ness Islands are fabulous all year but especially just now.

Take in the seasonal changes to the countryside by whatever means suits you.  From watching wild life to hill walking, it’s all on our doorstep.  There’s plenty of outdoor pursuits available.  Or take time to learn about one of our largest exports by visiting one of the many whisky distilleries.

Grab a Bargain

Of course quieter times also means bed and breakfast prices are lower too.  This is an ideal time to get great value on your Autumn break in the Scottish Highlands.  There are bargains to be had in the shops and if you’re really organised you can make a start on the Christmas shopping.  There’s a much greater chance of getting a table in your favourite restaurant at this time of year.  What better way to round off a full day in the Highlands than a warming glass of your favourite tipple, maybe accompanied by live traditional Scottish music.

The best rates available for your autumn break and throughout the year at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast are here –  rates page.  There are considerable discounts for staying more than one night all winter season.  Let us kAlfie on the Ness Islands, showing off the autumn leaves at their bestWhisky Barrels, there's a huge choice of distilleries to visit on an autumn breaknow what you think or if you need help planning your next trip to Scotland.       Loch Ness scotland,an essential spot to visit on you autumn break to the Scottish Highlands

Travel to the Ness Islands
Snug Room for single traveller

The Snug Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be challenging finding accommodation for the single traveller in Inverness during the summer season.  Although there are hundreds of places to stay, the summer months are very busy.  It can turn out to be  very expensive when you travel alone.  Most hotels have double rooms but let them out for single occupancy at a premium.

Here at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast we have one room The Snug Room, which is only available for single use.  It has a standard double bed and modern ensuite shower room.  It is called the Snug for a reason, it is cosy but well equipped and very comfortable for one traveller.  Many people have tried to persuade me that 2 people could easily stay in The Snug but I have always preferred to have one happy guest than two grumpy ones who have tripped over each other and the furniture. Of course you can also book any of our other rooms for single occupancy but the Snug Room offers great value for money.

Travelling alone can be daunting too, in a strange environment and having to make all the decisions alone.  Staying in a bed and breakfast gives you a more personal service where you interact more with the owner and other guests if you wish.  There’s an opportunity to share information on trips and places to visit, restaurants and bars.  Over the years I’ve seen guests share lifts to music festivals or just to the train station.  They’ve found a favourite live music venue and arranged to meet up with fellow guests.  Many times one guest will have just arrived from the Isle of Skye and chat over breakfast the best places to visit with someone who’s on their way there next stop.

You can also get recommendations from me – I’ve lived in Inverness for 12 years whilst running my bed and breakfast.  In that time I’ve amassed a great deal of information from personal experience or from finding out from my guests.

Equally if you’ve come here to get away from others, that’s fine too.  You can stick to your own plans and enjoy peace and tranquility.

Ready to book your next solo trip in the Scottish Highlands?  Check our availability here.

Inverness B&B Bannerman Bed and Breakfast.

delicious breakfast

Inverness from the castle

Bedroom

mackintosh room pension

 

 

 

 

 

Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, is a thriving tourist town.  With iconic places of interest nearby, like Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield, Inverness is a must-visit destination.  If you’re taking a trip to Scotland, Bannerman Bed and Breakfast is perfect accommodation in Inverness.

Comfortable Ensuite Bedrooms

With 4 comfortable, ensuite rooms, guests often say they feel very much at home here.  Each room is quite self-contained with a TV, clock/radio/ipod dock, hairdrier, tea/coffee and free wifi.  There’s also home comforts like big fluffy towels and nice toiletries.  Double and twin rooms also have a silent fridge, perfect for keeping drinks cold.  You are given a front door key as well as a room key so you can come and go whenever you please.  The days are gone when b&bs issued a curfew and you had to be in by a certain time – not ideal when you’re on holiday having fun, enjoying the nightlife of Inverness.  The location is convenient too – a few minutes walk from the riverside and Eden Court Theatre with the Bught Park and Ness Islands nearby.  We’re about a 15 minute walk from the town centre.

Choosing overnight accommodation in Inverness

There’s a huge choice of places to stay in Inverness, from youth hostels to 5 star hotels.  We’ve had a lot of coverage in the local papers highlighting extremely expensive hotels in Inverness over the summer season.  Some have compared extortionate rates with those of London hotels and certainly some are very expensive at peak times.

There’s also the Airbnb option which suits many.  We had some guests stay here recently who loved this place and said it was their favourite.  They had toured the country staying in mainly Airbnb properties up to then which they found impersonal. They were so pleased to receive some personal service here and interact with someone who has lots of local knowledge and recommendations.  There is an army of guest houses and bed and breakfasts in Inverness to choose from.  Not only are their prices more affordable but they don’t fluctuate over the season and suddenly change when there’s a special event on.

Making the right accommodation choice is key to relaxing and enjoying your holiday.  We look forward to welcoming you here.

A look at our bedroom gallery to help you make a decision.

New Ways to Book Bannerman Bed and Breakfast

Try our new way to book Bannerman Bed and Breakfast

Fraser Room

When you look online at hotel accommodation do you get overwhelmed with all the choice?  Are you going to make the right decision?  Will it be cheaper somewhere else or will it be cheaper if I wait? To help you plan ahead and get organised we’ve introduced a new type of room rate.  Our cheapest rate is now the Non-Refundable Rate, which is booked in advance and cannot be cancelled.  In return for your commitment in advance, you are guaranteed the best price.

I know life isn’t always as simple as that.  It’s not always possible to plan ahead or to know for sure that something wont crop up and you have to change arrangements.  But for those occasions when you’re able to commit confidently our Non-Refundable Rate will ensure you get a bargain.  Maybe you’ve booked flights coming into Inverness Airport or theatre tickets at Eden Court or your going to a family wedding.  The dates are not going to change and you need somewhere to stay.

Two Night Stay for Two – £110

In the winter months there is also a discount for booking more than one night.  So if you’re planning a two night break in Inverness, it is just £110 bed and breakfast for two adults in total- perfect for a Christmas shopping trip in the Highland capital.  Normally this would be £150 for 2 nights.

I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of this way of booking.  We still have our Flexible Rate which allows you to amend or cancel your booking up to 3 days before the arrival date.  And for either rate no payment is taken in advance and you pay when you check out.  From time to time life can still throw unforeseen situations at us.  For these times we recommend taking out holiday insurance so you can avoid cancellation fees.

You can stop searching, make a booking and start looking forward to your next trip.

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle

Inverness – the destination for all Outlander fans

Outlander fans don’t need me to tell them that Inverness is a key destination for all Outlander fans, readers and viewers alike.  In the unlikely event the story has passed you by, let me set the scene.  In 1946, after WWII, a young English woman called Claire Beauchamp Randall travel to the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank.  They have been separated for 6 years during the war and this is a second honeymoon for them.  They stay in Inverness, the destination for all Outlander Fans.

One day whilst walking on her own, Claire discovers a circle of standing stones.  She walks through a cleft in one of the stones and is instantly transported to 1743.  There begins a new life for Claire in a mysterious world where both her freedom and life are threatened.  She flees from the sadistic Jack Randall, who bares an uncanny resemblance to her husband Frank. Then Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Highland Scots, including the dashing Jamie Fraser.

Diana Gabaldon

The drama series is based on the books written by American author Diana Gabaldon and is one of the most watched shows.  Scenes for the fourth series were shot in Glasgow earlier this year.  Other Scottish locations have also been used, including Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, Glen Coe, Blackness Castle, Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace.  All have seen visitor numbers surge in what has been called the Outlander Effect.

Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairnson the outskirts of Inverness are must-see places for your Outlander pilgrimage.  Culloden doesn’t feature in the TV drama but is a key part of the story.  The battlefield is very atmospheric and you can immerse yourself in the history of the place.  Nearby the Clava Cairns standing stones include one cairn with a curious split.

See the setting for Yourself

With the increase in visitors seeking Outlander knowledge, there has also been a rise in tour companies offering Outlander tours to fulfil this.  Companies include Outlandish ToursWow ScotlandOutlander – the Pastlives Experience   and the Jamie and Claire Tour

Delicious B&B breakfast

Delicious B&B breakfast

Breakfast Menu 2018

Now that we’re preparing for a busy season ahead, we’re ready to launch our updated breakfast menu for 2018.

When you’re away from home with full days of travelling or sightseeing it’s great to start the day with a tasty breakfast.  We like to provide options for all tastes whether you want to start the day with an indulgent fry-up or a healthy and nutritious bowl of porridge.  There are always vegetarian options and we also cater vegan and gluten free diets on request.  I have been asked a few times ‘do Scottish people eat all this for breakfast?’ which always makes me laugh.  It is optional and there’s lots of choices for different tastes.  No you don’t have to eat it all but it can be your fuel for the day, saving you from spending money on lunch.

Help yourself to the buffet

So you’ll still find all the favourite options like the Full Highland Breakfast but we’ve made a few additions.  The buffet selection has been extended to include stewed fruit and overnight oats.  We’ve been serving these for a little while now, we’ve tweaked the recipe here and there and eventually settled on a combination of oats soaked in almond milk flavoured with vanilla, figs and sultanas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hot choices have been updated too all cooked to order.  Scotland’s traditional breakfast, porridge, is a firm favourite.  We offer it the old-fashioned way –  just oats, water and salt.  Or you can add stewed fruit, jam, honey or sugar.  Warm tattie (potato) scones have been added to a few options and the very popular breakfast sandwiches are served with spicy tomato relish.

To get the season off to a fresh start we’ve also given the dining room a new look.  Hopefully we’ll have a decent summer and guests will enjoy views of the garden from here.  We hope you like the new look.

 

World Porridge Making Championships took place this weekend in Carrbridge.  It was the 24th Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship, which happens each year in Carrbridge, Scotland since 1996.  Competitors from across the globe were there to fight for the coveted Golden Spurtle trophy and World Porridge Making Champion title.

Ellinor Carsson and Per Carlsson 2017’s World Porridge Making Champions, photo courtesy of James Ross

Congratulations go to Sweden’s Ellinor Persson.  She took the coveted title of World Porridge Making Champion.   Per Carlsson took the Speciality title. The 23-strong international line up included competitors from the USA, Russia, Switzerland, Holland, Iceland, Sweden and across the UK and Ireland.

The title of World Porridge Making Champion is awarded to the competitor who makes the best traditional porridge.  You can make it using only three ingredients – oatmeal, salt and water. The porridges are judged on three factors – consistency, taste and colour. 

The Speciality title is awarded for a dish comprising mainly of oats but can be sweet or savoury.  From the simple traditional recipe of oats, water and salt, so this competition celebrates the diversity of porridge.  Previous winners have included Sticky Toffee Porridge, Fruity Date Porridge and Pinhead Risotto with Lemon and Thyme and Parmesan.   This simple set of natural and healthy ingredients transform into hearty, flavoursome meals.

Health

Plain porridge oats and oatmeal are 100% natural with no added sugar, salt or additives.  They are naturally low in calories too.   An average bowl of porridge made with water is  only 171 calories.  Health experts say that oats have many health benefits.  Oats have a high content of complex carbohydrates and soluble fibre so they release energy slowly. A bowl of porridge for breakfast should provide the body with all the energy the body needs until lunch time.

World Porridge Making Championship 25th Anniversary

The Golden Spurtle trophy comes from the traditional wooden spurtle that is used to stir porridge.  Ready to test your porridge making skills?  There’s plenty of time to hone your skills to be ready for next year’s competition.  The village of Carrbridge will be pulling out the stops for the 25th anniversary.  Entry details can be found at www.goldenspurtle.com.

If you just want to visit the land of porridge, then look no further.  Bannerman Bed and Breakfast features porridge on the breakfast menu, so you can start your holiday with a nutritious bowl inside you.

 

dog-walking-inverness

Dog Walks around Inverness

As a lucky dog owner we are very fortunate to live in an area surrounded by beautiful scenery.  There’s a tremendous choice of dog walks around Inverness.  Our Highland dog, Hector, enjoys regular trips to the Ness Islands, Inverness, which is just a few minutes walk from here.  He also loves the beach and has several favourites.  We also like walks in the woods along trail paths, always better if there’s a bit of water nearby for a quick dip.  Best of all is when we walk with friends and their pooches, it’s great to sniff the Highland air with your chums around.

The Ness Islands

A fabulous, safe environment for dogs and children to walk and play.  The Ness Islands are a collection of small islands in the middle of the River Ness, connected by pedestrian bridges.  There are plenty of places to paddle in the river and you’re bound to meet other 4 legged friends there.  Even without a dog it’s a must see for visitors to Inverness.  It’s very close to the town centre yet it’s tranquil with some huge old trees and wildlife to see.

Beaches

Our favourites are Dornoch, Rosemarkie and Nairn.  Each is a car ride away but worth the trip.  A good stretch of the legs on the beach can be followed up with coffee and cake at the Rosemarkie Beach Cafe for the dog owners.  Whilst the cafe thoughtfully provides water bowls and dog biscuits for our charges.

Walks in the Woods around Inverness

To get away from it all we like to walk in the woods around Inverness.  Craig Phadraic is within Inverness and gives a terrific view of the city from one of the highest points.  Ord Hill is just over the Moray Firth on the Black Isle and one of our favourites is Aldourie woods near the village of Dores.  It backs on to the shore of Loch Ness  so it gives the dogs a chance to cool their paws in the water.

Dog Walks around Inverness

Ord Hill overlooking the Moray Firth

Here’s a selection of Hector’s dog walks around Inverness with some of his paw pals.  if you’re wondering how we get the dogs to sit so beautifully for the photos, there’s a great deal of shouting going on in the background!

 

Dog walks around Inverness

Aldourie Woods on the banks of Loch Ness

Dog Walks around Inverness

Hector and Gordon Kanyewestie

Dog walks around Inverness

Hector and Alfie at the beach near Nairn

Dog Walks around Inverness

Fun at the beach

 

North Coast 500 is a route of 516 miles of the most stunning coastal scenery in the highlands of Scotland.  It starts and ends in Inverness and takes in places like Ullapool, Durness, John O’Groats and Dornoch.

nc500map

Many visitors to the north don’t realise quite how much there is to see beyond Inverness but this route shows off the rich heritage of the Scottish Highlands.  From Inverness the route heads to the dramatic west coast across to Applecross and then north to Gairloch, Poolewe and Ullapool.  Then it’s up the north west coast to Durness and along the north coast right across to John O’Groats, the furthest north on the mainland of the UK.  Then it’s back to Inverness taking in the softer landscape of the east coast.

A straight forward loop but whilst you will enjoy the most fantastic scenery the roads can be challenging in places with single track driving in parts, although there are plenty of passing places.  This isn’t a journey to rush but one to savour with meandering country roads and some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.  You will enjoy golden sandy beaches, mountains, lochs and rugged coastal roads.  You will be spoilt for choice for walks and hikes along the route.

What shall we see?

This is also a great opportunity to find out more about the history of Scotland from the many cultural attractions including castles, museums and heritage centres.  Dunrobin Castle, Timespan Heritage Centre, Ullapool Museum are all fascinating places to visit.  You can also take in the rich food and drink heritage and sample local specialities along the way.  As well as a vast choice of accommodation and eating options you can also visit farm shops, distilleries and examples of cottage industry providing locally sourced produce.  The Caithness Smokehouse, Rock Rose Gin Distillery, Cocoa Mountain and the Black Isle Brewery are just a few examples.

 

Where do we start?

To help plan your trip around the North Coast 500 NC500 is the place to start with full details of the route and what you will find along the way.