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Inverness-Shire Guide

Walk down along the river banks (in the direction of the Caledonian Canal) and you'll find the Ness Islands where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the shops. Cross the river on the little bridges and you can visit Bught Park. Close by you will find the Floral Hall - a sub-tropical horticultural extravaganza with small waterfall, fish and alsorts of plants/trees (open all year round). Small admission charge. I particularly like the cactus hall - quite a surprise!

Here are some facts about Inverness-Shire:

• Inverness-shire contains another county called Nairnshire, or more accurately, a part of Nairnshire. A neighbouring Scottish county lies right in the middle of Inverness-shire.

• Inverness-shire is home to Loch Ness, 24 miles long, and 1 mile wide, in places it is 700 feet deep. It is of course the legendary home of the Loch Ness monster. The area is also a flight path for birds migrating between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. You might spot a buzzard or even an eagle while in Inverness-shire.

• The Caledonian Canal was planned and built at the beginning of the 19th century by Thomas Telford. The idea was to connect the east and west coasts of Scotland, so save ships a lengthy detour round the north of the country. Running from Inverness in the east to near Fort William, the canal is about 60 miles long. It's 28 locks include Neptune's Staircase, a flight of eight locks at Corpach in Inverness-shire, which has a total lift of 64 feet.

• Inverness is Scotland's 2nd newest city, it was granted as a city in 2000. But even as a town, it was a winner, Inverness received the 1996 Award for Best Large Town in the annual 'Bloom of Britain' competition.

• Fort William grew from a settlement next to a fortified barracks, named after William of Orange. It was built to control the local population after Oliver Cromwell's invasion during the English Civil War.


• At 4,406 feet, Inverness-shire's Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK. The simplest and most popular ascent to the summit is the 1883 Pony Track also known as the Ben Path, Mountain Path or Tourist Route, that begins at Achintee near Fort William in Inverness-shire. During a clean up of the peak in 2006, a piano was found buried under one of the many cairns. It's thought it was carried up there in a charity stunt 20 years earlier.

• Shinty, a variant of the Irish game of hurling, is now played almost exclusively in the Highlands. Inverness-shire's shinty team 'Kingussie Camanachd' has featured in the Guinness World Records as the world's most successful sporting team of all time. It won 20 consecutive league championships and went unbeaten for four years in the early 1990's.

Here are just some places to visit in and around Inverness-shire:

Urquarhart Castle
Drumnadrochit Inverness
Inverness-Shire IV63 6XJ
Castle Stuart
Airport Road Dalcross Inverness
Inverness-Shire IV2 7JH
Treasures of The Earth
St. Annes Corpach Fort William
Inverness-Shire PH33 7JL
Tomatin Distillery
Inverness
IV13 7YT
Culloden Visitors Centre
Inverness
IV2 5BX
Cumberland Stone
Inverness
IV2 5EH
Battle of Culloden 1746
Inverness
IV2 5EB
Museum & Art Gallery
Inverness
IV2 4AW
Bught Floral Hall & Visitor Centre Inverness
IV3 5PD
Saint Andrew's Cathedral,
Inverness
IV3 5AF

Scotland is packed with stunning countryside views, steaped in history and proud of its many traditions.
There really is something for everyone in Scotland and the BEST way to get the full experience is by camping.
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