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People have seen the ghost of Duncan in Inverness, wearing his brightest kingly attire, many times.  Or so we hear!

In the 11th century, Macbeth’s castle was situated in the area of Inverness.  This is probably another place where Duncan was NOT murdered.  Nonetheless, Duncan’s avenging son, Malcolm, burned Macbeth’s wooden stronghold to the ground.  Shortly after Macbeth’s castle was burned, the first stone castle was built on a bluff to the east, and David I made Inverness a royal burgh.

Inverness is the true capital of the Highlands.  With 50,000 people, Inverness is one of Scotland’s fastest growing cities.  It is also one of the Highland’s oldest settlements.

Early signs of occupation are found on Craig Phadraig, a wooded hill west of the River Ness, which was the site of a Pictish Capital.  It was here that St. Columba came to convert Brude, King of the Northern Picts, in 565 AD.  The gates of the fortress were slammed in the saint’s face, so he drew a sign of the cross on them.  The gates flew open of their own accord…according to legend.  Brude was so impressed that he agreed to become a Christian, ASAP.

All roads still lead to the Highland’s center, Inverness.  It feels like a compact town, but it has the bustle and air of a lovely city.  Let your imagination run wild, and take a ghost tour led by an 18th century ghost, complete with period costume.  Expect to hear tales of the city’s blood-chilling past, including ghosts, witches, murders, and spells.  What fun!

Stroll along the River Ness, or cruise on the Moray Firth, searching out bottlenose dolphins. It is very peaceful, especially if you’ve just been ghost-hunting. The River Ness flows through Inverness, and salmon fishermen come during the summer, even where the river runs right through the city’s center.  It feels charmed to watch them angling.

High above the city is Inverness Castle, a unique Victorian built of red sandstone.  Just below the castle is the museum and Art Gallery which runs exhibitions and workshops for kids.  The main shopping area fans out from there in three directions, and includes a lively gathering place where pipers and other musicians get together and make music.

Across the river is the Kiltmaker Visitor Center.  Find out about the history, culture and tradition of the kilt.  Discover your own family tartan and take a workshop in kilt-making!  Now that Scotland has its own Parliament, wearing the kilt for dress-up is becoming hip! Just up the river, you’ll find an aquarium, a suspension bridge to walk across, swimming pools, spas and more wild flumes and slides than you can enjoy in an entire day.

Inverness can be a wonderful base to explore the rest of the Highlands.

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