If you’re staying in Inverness and aren’t so keen on taking on one of the many incredible walks around or near Inverness why not take a short stroll along the Caledonian Canal, along River Ness and through Ness Islands.
Head out of Inverness on the A82 Tourist Route (Glenurquhart Road) and just a mile from the City Centre you’ll find Tomnahurich Bridge which is a swing bridge over the Caledonian Canal. This is our starting point and go left walking along the footpath with the canal on your left. If you look across the canal you will probably see the Jacobite Queen which is the flagship vessel of Jacobite who run cruises on Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle.
Continue along the canal enjoying the view of the beautiful, clear water which changes colour continually if the sun and shade are battling for control. You can walk all the way along the Caledonian Canal as far as the loch at Dochgarroch but it is just over 3 miles and best covered when you have a little more time or a push bike. The footpath ends at Dochgarroch when the canal meets Loch Dochfour which then joins the amazing Loch Ness.
After about 10 minutes you will see a drop to the left and then the River Ness. This is a great vantage point to see the river especially if there has been a lot of rain as the water flows so quickly the noise is incredible. On the left you will see an old wooden staircase which you descend perhaps resting on the bench half way down and watching the river. At the bottom of the steps you progress forwards with the river on your right and cross the two rugby pitches. On a hot, sunny day these fields always seem really warm and quiet probably because the trees surrounding them block out the wind and the noise.
After a few hundred yards you reach the entrance to Whin Park which is well worth a look. It always surprises me how busy the park is even on weekdays and you can hear the buzz of families enjoying it. At the entrance of Whin Park is a small shop which is excellent for buying cold drink or my particular choice and ice lolly.
Heading away from the park you walk along the footpath past the new Archive Building and a few hundred yards further on you get a clear view of the River Ness. Here you’ll see the footbridge which lead onto Ness Islands. If it’s a hot day you’re very likely to see the lads jumping from the bridge into the river. Cross the bridge and you’re on the Islands. You can then meander around the pathways and see the river from different vantage points as you make your way along to the opposite end. Keep an eye out for the fallen trees that have been sculpted into various things including a “Nessie” and they also make great benches for a quick sit down.
Just before you reach the end of the Islands look to the right and you’ll see the marked graves of a few dogs. We don’t know why they are there but I guess the owners used to walk their dogs there and wanted it to be their last resting place. I don’t think dogs are allowed to be buried there now though.
At the end of the Islands you can then head back towards the City Centre along the footpath with a great view of the main road bridge.
This is just one of many walks in and around Inverness. Why not take a few days away and relax in the beautiful scenery that Inverness has to offer. Inverness Hotels have details of all of the best hotel, guest house and bed and breakfast accommodation with the lowest rates available.