dores inn loch ness

Inverness from the CastleFrom talking to many guests who come to stay in Inverness I’ve realised people have all sorts of ideas about Inverness before they get here.  The majority love it and and would say it’s an essential place to see whilst on holiday in Scotland.  It has so many places of interest, history, culture, there’s really something for everyone.  It is a perfect base for exploring the rest of the Highlands.  From here you can travel to the Isle of Skye or take a day trip to Orkney.  You don’t need to go as far as that, we are surrounded by beautiful landscapes, castles, gardens, beaches, golf courses …

The Famous Sights

You couldn’t possibly visit Inverness without taking in the iconic Loch Ness, just a couple of miles from here.  You can go monster hunting via a boat trip on a Jacobite cruise.  Or take in the fascinating Urquhart Castle and the other sights around Drumnadrochit.  Culloden Battlefield is also just a few miles away and offers an insight into the background of Scotland’s history and culture. Going north the Black Isle has a selection of beautiful little fishing villages, marinas and beaches.  There’s an excellent chance to see wildlife including dolphins too.  For whisky lovers we have plenty of distilleries nearby – Glen Ord, Tomatin and Glenmorangie are all a short drive from here.

Vibrant and Fascinating

But lets dispel some misconceptions.  Inverness is not an Outlander theme park or a wee quiet village in the north.  It’s a vibrant, fascinating city that’s been welcoming tourists for centuries.  Inverness has a population of around 70,000 people which increases by several thousand as we welcome visitors from around the world for most of the year.  Unlike the larger cities in Scotland, you can walk easily from one side of town to the other, although there’s also a hop-on, hop-off bus too.

There’s a wonderful selection of restaurants and bars, many offering traditional Scottish food as well as our famous whisky and ales.  We have plenty of retail opportunities, whether it’s souvenirs, outdoor clothing or Scottish produce.  You can even pick up your own kilt with all the accompanying regalia.  Music lovers will be impressed with the choice available.  There’s more formal entertainment at Eden Court Theatre or the Ironworks.  Many love the relaxed atmosphere of live traditional music in several city centre pubs.

Peace and Tranquility

Within this amazing city, there’s still the chance for peace and tranquility.  You’ll love to wander along the banks of the River Ness on the way back from a delicious dinner in town.  The bridges and trees are lit up in a quite unique setting.  The place we never get tired of visiting are the Ness Islands.  A collection of little islands in the middle of the river are connected by a series of bridges.  For a calm and peaceful spot full of ancient trees and wildlife, it’s unbeatable.

Still wondering why you should stay in Inverness? Need some help planning your trip?  Please get in touch.

Eating Places in Inverness

 

 

Eden Court Theatre

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 a great place to stay 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.

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

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 – perfect for a Christmas shopping trip in the Highland capital.

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 scotland

    Eilean Donan Castle by Brian A Jackson on Envato

A bed and breakfast owner’s top tips for choosing your holiday accommodation.

As the season is hotting up and visitor numbers are increasing it can be difficult to find suitable accommodation in Inverness.  Particularly when there’s an event or concert taking place demand can be very high.  Wherever you opt to stay here’s my top tips for selecting the right venue at the right price.  Once it’s all booked, you can relax and start looking forward to your holiday.

Location, location, location

So what kind of location are you looking for?  City, rural, suburban, near an event location.  You might want to be in the heart of the action and it might be handy to be near shops, bars, restaurants but will you be disturbed by noise by late-night revellers.  Being on a main road, your b&b will be easy to find but will traffic noise keep you awake.  If you prefer somewhere rural and secluded are you happy to take a drive for the nearest restaurant or shop?

Flexible Dates

If you’re dates are fixed there’s not much to consider but if you have flexibility it’s worth checking what’s going on in the area.  For example, a big event taking place on your first choice of dates could mean a shortage of available rooms and the prices jump up.  Looking at dates nearby could give you a considerable saving and more choice.  You’ll find hotels are more likely to increase their room rates during high demand so they can fluctuate dramatically in the same week.   Whereas if you choose a bed and breakfast or guest house the rates are more consistent.

Hotel or Bed and Breakfast Holiday Accommodation

What kind of place do you want to stay in?  Here in Inverness we have the complete range of places to stay from hostels to 5 star hotels.  Consider what’s important to you – room service, bar, restaurant and leisure facilites in a hotel or the more personal service and recommendations in a guest house.  Maybe you just want somewhere to sleep if you’re going to a special event, so maybe a budget hotel would suit best.

So now it’s time for a little research.  There are so many on-line travel agents to help you find a place to stay, just google your destination and they will come up first.  They are great to give you an idea of what’s available and at the click of a button you can find out what’s available on your chosen dates with a price comparison.  You can find out what other travellers think by reading the reviews.  Maybe they’ll highlight features you hadn’t thought about, like access to public transport.   But did you know that they charge hotels a minimum of 15% commission for each booking they receive?  Many hotels pay a higher than 15% commission rate to be ranked higher in the list of available venues.

My advice is to use Booking.com or Expedia or any of these sites to find out what’s available and then check the hotel or guest house’s website direct. You will often find the same room is available at a cheaper price or there is more availability of different types of rooms.  If you’re booking for a group it’s always worth contacting the hotel direct and asking for their best price.

Still struggling to find what you’re looking for.  The tourist office provides a great resource and often lists small properties that don’t have their own website.  In Scotland, VisitScotland‘s website is a great one-stop shop.  You can search availability on your chosen dates and refine your search to suit your needs.  Whether it’s Accessibility or Pet Friendly options you’re looking for, this site will help you filter the right venue.

Happy Holidays x

 

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

Inverness Highland Games

Inverness Marathon

What’s On In Inverness This Summer

As usual we’re expecting a busy summer in the Highland capital, Inverness.  The clocks have changed and the days are noticeably longer.  Tourist attractions have dusted off their summer timetables and Scottish castles get ready to open their doors for the summer season.  We are lucky to have a great number of varied events and festivals taking place throughout the Highlands and therefore tourists flock to our shores.  Because there seems to be something for all tastes and many events are free.

Here are just a few of the main events taking place.  So which will you be attending?

2018 Dates

7th April Whisky and Gin Festival, Bogbain Farm, Inverness

27th April Inverness Science Festival

29th April Etape Loch Ness – competitive cycle round Loch Ness

5th May Bandstand Beer and Music Festival, Nairn

7th May The Scottish 6 Day Motorcylce Trials, Fort William

27th May Race for Life, Bught Park, Inverness

31st May Tony Christie, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

15th and 16th June Inverness Provincial Mod, Eden Court Theatre

24th June Billy Ocean, Inverness Leisure Centre

26th – 30th June Sunshine on Leith, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

21st July Inverness Highland Games

29th July Little Mix, Bught Park, Inverness

1-2nd August Black Isle Show, Muir of Ord

2-4th August Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Beauly

8th September Simple Minds, Chrissie Hinds and KT Tunstall, Bught Park, Inverness

17th September Joe Lycett, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

23rd September Loch Ness Marathon

31st October and 1st November Jason Manford, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

23 November The Proclaimers, Inverness Leisure Centre

31st December – The Red Hot Highland Fling, Inverness

This is just a flavour of  what’s on in the Highlands this summer.  Keep an eye out for additional events.  We’re very excited for a fun-packed schedule once again this season.

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Inverness Highland Games

Inverness Highland Games

Eden Court Theatre

 

 

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.

 

Eden Court Theatre

Cultural hotspot Eden Court Theatre!

Inverness' premier cultural venue

Eden Court Theatre

Eden Court Theatre, the cultural hotspot of the Scottish Highlands, is a magical centre for performing arts.  It has a broad programme of art and entertainment to suit all tastes and all ages.  It offers something for all whether you’re in to stand-up comedy, opera, musicals or traditional Scottish music.  With 2 theatres, a cinema, bar, restaurant and exhibition space there’s always plenty of choice on offer.  Over 300,000 people visit each year from throughout the Highlands.

The main theatre, the Empire, hosts productions by the Scottish Opera, the Scottish Ballet and a choral and classical programme.  We also get musicals on tour from the West End, well-known stand-up comediens and all sorts of great music acts.  There are also occasional talks including a memorable one from the Dalai Lama.

High Class Cinema

A varied programme of films is available in the cinema including the latest feature films and international choices.  All the theatres include comfortable well raked seating ensuring a good view wherever you sit.

Classes for All

The theatre works hard to support the local community.  A range of classes in creative skills, dance and drama are available and ensure continued interest in the theatre.  Former Dr Who’s assistant, Karen Gillan, began her acting career and part of the Senior Youth Group at Eden Court Theatre.

Food and Drink

There’s a comfortable bar and the restaurant overlooks the River Ness so it’s a great spot to stop for lunch whilst you watch the river view.  The striking building has a prime spot on the river, not too far from the Ness Island and Bught Park but also only 10 minutes walk from the centre of Inverness.

We recommend paying a visit to Eden Court whilst you stay in Inverness, especially if you’re staying here for a few nights.  Right now, we’re ready for Panto season and will also pay a visit to the Excusively Highlands Food and Craft Fair this weekend.

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 the Scottish Highland village of Carrbridge since 1996.  Competitors from across the globe came 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 who took the coveted title of World Porridge Making Champion, with Per Carlsson taking 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 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, 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 can be transformed 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 said to be only 171 calories.  Health experts have shown 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, when the village of Carrbridge will be pulling out the stops for the 25th anniversary.  Entry details can be found at www.goldenspurtle.com.

 

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 and 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

Hector with Ellie, Charlie, Reuben, Penny, Sophie, Alfie and Kali at 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

Hector, Alfie, Maisy and Kali at Aldourie woods overlooking 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

Hector with Reuben, Ellie, Maisy, Kali and Alfie