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Feedback - Staying in Inverness area for 3 days

After spending 3 nights in Edinburgh, 4 of us (wife, myself, two older teenagers) are taking the train to Inverness and renting a car for the remainder of out 10 day trip (July). We want to stay in that area for 3 days. Seems like lots of rooms at B&B's already taken for the dates we want and the prices at the larger hotels are sky high. A few questions I'm hoping a previous visitor can answer:

I found a family room at the Castle Hotel downtown, but on past trips the family rooms (at two hotels in England) tended to be shoved in what once was the attic spaces and they are hot in the summer. Feedback on the Castle Hotel appreciated please and this room in particular?

How noisy are the downtown hotels in Inverness? Like sleeping in SOHO with people yelling into the night?

Recommendations for a quieter place like an old converted estate someplace nearby? We can drive.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Bob

Posted by
261 posts

Bob, I have to say I have not stayed at a downtown hotel in Inverness, but I cannot imagine that any hotel or B&B downtown will be very loud. The downtown is lively, and there is nightlife but I don't think you'd have trouble with noise from the outside. We stayed outside of downtown a bit but still very close to Inverness city center at Kingsmills Hotel. I don't know if that's one of the places you looked at. It is a bigger, modernized place (with a tour bus or two in the parking lot) built in an 18th century mansion and in a very quiet area near downtown. We loved that it was 20 minutes walk to downtown and felt like it was close to a more residential Inverness. For example, we were traveling with our young son (10 years old at the time) and we visited the park across the street and met people who were out in the evening and playing with their dogs in the park. I'm sure there's lots more options that would fit in case you choose to stay somewhere other than downtown. Inverness is a great jumping off point for so much Highland fun, and the town itself is more charming that it is probably given credit for even if it lacks any single major tourist site.

Posted by
941 posts

Hi, Bob,

It gets pretty noisy along Bridge Street, especially near the pubs and McDonalds, but that's about it for the nightlife.

If all else fails, the Travelodge at Inverness Fairways would be a good second option. It's relatively inexpensive, especially if you pay in advance, but they don't have family rooms for four, as far as I know. You could get two rooms for the price of what you'd pay for one in the middle of town. I found a room there last July, and booked it in mid May. It's a short drive in to town down Culduthel Road.

As Scotland was undergoing a heat wave (!!) at the time, the Travelodge was the only place we stayed on our holiday that provided a fan.

Good luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks folks. All this make sense to me. We'll have a car and are going to use this hotel as our home base for 3 days, so I don't think I want to be downtown. A short walk to downtown makes sense.

I'll probably lock in a refundable/cancel-able higher rate some place and keep searching. Sometimes as the time draws nearer, you can get a better deal someplace.

And I hear you about the heat wave last year. We spent 14 days in England & Wales last July and the only air conditioning we had was in London. Makes you appreciate the extras we sometimes take for granted.

Bob

Posted by
519 posts

Hi Bob
You could also look at the Holiday Inn Express and Premier Inn options. Both are reasonably priced. Holiday Inn Express certainly has air conditioning - I know because I always turn it off and open the window instead (much better for the planet). We generally don't need air conditioning in Scotland as we don't generally experience heat waves!

Don't assume prices will fall as the dates get nearer. Inverness will be full to capacity throughout the summer months.

Skyegirl.

Posted by
82 posts

How noisy are the downtown hotels in Inverness? Like sleeping in SOHO with people yelling into the night?

Sorry, but I have to say I had a little chuckle at this;)

All too often on this forum I get the impression that people think Inverness is a big city - it's not! It's a town with a population of 60k and as such it doesn't have wild nightlife, "funky neighborhoods" (as I've seen others ask about) - or even particularly a downtown in the US sense. Although I guess a few of the locals like a few drinks on a Fri or Sat night, you don't need to worry about crazy nightlife keeping you up!

Inverness is pleasant enough, but there nothing special about it and there's not really much to see there - it only gets so many visitors cause it's the only "large" town in the Highlands and as such a transport hub. There's barely enough to occupy most people in Inverness for 1 day. Nevertheless, as you've found, it gets crowded with tourists and expensive. In light of all the above I'd personally recommend basing yourself somewhere else than Inverness, but in the same area - depending on where else you plan to visit there are other places in the area that might have nicer or cheaper accommodation.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks for the feedback. Any recommendations for places that might make an alternative home base?

Posted by
5563 posts

I have stayed in "downtown" Inverness and I really like it. It is centrally located. There are some lovely restaurants. The only noise can be on weekend nights when the pubs close. So ask for a back room if you are worried, or better yet bring some earplugs with you. I stayed at the Castle View Guest House a few years ago and it was great. I also stayed a few years earlier at the Glenmoriston Hotel and really enjoyed it. I am pretty sure that they had parking which would be important for you. It looks posher now than when I was there, but it was a great location.

An alternative would be to stay in one of the smaller towns in the area. I've done that as well. I stayed in Strathpeffer at the Richmond now called Crystal House. I also stayed in Fortrose on the Black Isle at The Anderson. I know that the latter has been up for sale, so I would check with Jim Anderson to see what's happening. I enjoyed staying at it in the past. I stayed there last June and had a good time, but I know Jim wants to sell. But, if they are open for business it's a great place.

Posted by
1833 posts

We enjoyed our 3 night stay in Inverness. We stayed at Moyness B&B, about a 10 min walk from town. We loved walking along the River Ness and don’t miss a nice dinner out at Rocpool restaurant.

Posted by
5563 posts

RocPool is great, isn't it? I was staying at the Castle View B&B and got in late to Inverness. RocPool gave me a great meal that woke me up to enjoy it and then was head upstairs very contented and ready to catch up my sleep. The food was so good and the service excellent.

Posted by
1190 posts

Check VRBO for listings near Castle Brodie or Nairn which are centrally located to many of the places you'll probably be visiting such as Culloden, etc. Sorry can't give a specific recommendation. We just enjoyed the location close to the sea.