The name Inverness means at the mouth of the River Ness and the name gives us a great clue as to its location!

The newest city in the United Kingdom, Inverness was granted city status as part of the millennium celebrations in 2000, but historically it has always been called the Capital of the Highlands.

In ancient times the city was one of the strongholds of the Pictish people led by their ruler, King Brude, who was made legendary by his encounter with St Columba.

By the end of the 18th century Inverness, the largest town of the Highlands, was acknowledged as its capital with its theatre, Assembly Rooms and polite society. Its winter season dazzled the eyes of the townsfolk - balls, concerts and plays all diverted the local gentry and wealthy merchants who made the town their base for the dark winter months.

As the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness increasingly provided metropolitan sophistication and diversions as the town attracted wealthy families from all over the Highlands to settle. A ring of mansions and fine houses sprang up around the town where a civilized living style could be enjoyed distant from the noise and bustle of the town yet close enough to enjoy its facilities.

It might not seem a big city with a population of around 70,000 people but it serves a much greater area and is therefore the centre of highland administration and the “town” to over a third of the Highland population.