I am traveling with some friends in May to Inverness for a few days. We are renting a car to explore some areas outside the city but would prefer not to drive in the city if it can be avoided. We have rented an apartment near the river which is probably a half hour walk from the train station. Does Inverness have any internal public bus system? I have tried to find one on-line but could not.
Hi Charlotte, not sure where you are from, but Inverness is more of an overgrown town than a city. It's less than 50,00p people. That means it is smaller than Appleton Wisconsin was back in the 1970s! So as for the basics, you can walk to most places in Inverness if you stay anywhere near the city centre. But, you will want a car to see the countryside. There are buses that you can take out to Culloden Battlefield. It I had a rental car, I would drive it, as it would be easier to go see the Clava Cairns and Fort George or Cawdor Castle. There is some traffic in the town. But honestly, if you are patient it will be fine.
What type of driving are you used to?
I doubt whether anything 'in' Inverness is half an hours walk from the railway station! However, your biggest issue is likely to be parking. Have you checked whether your accommodation has parking? If not, then have a look at Google maps and street view to scout around and see what parking options you have nearby. It is not always possible to just park up on the roadside. Some places in town have meters which restrict how long you can park for, and other streets, particularly in residential areas may have signs indicating that the on street parking is for those with resident permits only.
Traffic in the town is not really that bad at all. It is fairly slow moving, but that can often be a good thing if you are unfamiliar with the town.
There are buses, but honestly you won't need them to explore the town. It is pretty small.
Thanks for your responses. We are coming from the States, so our biggest concern with the car is making sure we drive on the correct side of the road! We are getting a car (and yes, our accommodation does have parking) for some of our time in Inverness and our weekend on the Isle of Skye. The first couple of days we stay in Inverness we will be walking everywhere. One of our party has arthritis and I was trying to see if there might be an alternative to walking if it ever got too painful.
For a small city, Inverness has a surprisingly comprehensive public transportation system. If you're unable to print out a bus schedule before you leave for Scotland (you may have to print out individual schedules for each route), the TI office on Bridge Street should be able to help.
If one of your party has difficulty walking due to arthritis, you may have to rely on taxi service to get about the city. Or a combination of bus and taxi. Unfortunately, it's not cheap to park in Inverness, so you're lucky to have found lodging with parking.
As you will most likely have had the car, and the experience of driving on the "opposite side" by the time that you get to Inverness, you shouldn't have too much of a problem driving there. There are quite a few roundabouts in the city, but nothing insurmountable. Just try to make sure that you know which road you're taking when you come out of the roundabout. Also, the central part of the city will be full of tourists, so you have to be really aware of your surroundings, as some tourists (and locals) will cross the street without looking.
You can park for a little less than two hours at the Tesco Metro on Tomnahurich Street. When you leave the car park, walk through the front of the store so that it looks like you are buying something. There are also very clean loos in the front of the store at the south exit. Make sure that you're back within two hours, as the charge for excessive parking is positively draconian.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!