Inverglen News – December 2019

River Ness and Ben Wyvis in winter glory

Winter has truly arrived in the Scottish Highlands. Snow is lying on the mountains and we have even had a small sprinkle in Inverness (although it only settled for a few hours before melting away). Indeed, despite the reputation for severe winters, the Highlands (and Inverness in particular) is often far less prone to snow than you might expect. It is actually a great time of year to visit and we have some great deals at Inverglen Guest House to make your stay in Inverness great value for money (details shown later in this article – or you can go straight to them by clicking here).

The remote mountain areas do see plenty of snow. Indeed, Scotland has 6 outdoor ski centres (Cairngorm Mountain, Glencoe Mountain, Glenshee, Nevis Range, The Lecht, and Lowther Hills).

Corgarf Castle in the snow

The picture above is of Corgarff Castle high in the Cairngorm National Park (close to The Lecht ski centre). However, for the most part, the main roads, towns, and cities see little in the way of the white stuff and traveling on the main roads is rarely a problem.

Of course, the minor roads can be a little more tricky and some will have occasional closures whilst the snow ploughs clear a path. If your visit will be taking you to places off the main roads you may wish to check where you will get up-to-date travel information.

Glenlivet Distillery
Glenlivet Distillery

The key thing to remember in winter is that the daylight hours are quite limited. In deep mid-winter in Inverness, it doesn’t really get light until after 8 am and with dusk falling by about 4 pm this gives just 8 hours of daylight (or a little less) to work with. To make the most of your days you will want to be making sure you are on the go as soon as possible in the morning. Also, remember that some attractions close over the winter (like Glenlivet pictured above) so do check opening times before making a journey).

Despite having fewer hours of daylight and the chillier temperatures there are plenty of good reasons to visit the Scottish Highlands during the winter months.

Glorious Winter Landscape

Snow covered mountains at Glencoe
Snow at Glencoe

Scotland in general and the Highlands, in particular, are spectacular in winter. With a dusting of snow, the landscape takes on a magical feel that is only enhanced by the low, soft winter light.

Photographers are drawn to the Scottish Highlands and with scenery like the images below who can blame them?

At Inverglen Guest House we also run private landscape photography workshops which will help you get some spectacular images like those shown above. Why not check out our photography page – Photography Services

Live Music

Cosy Pubs & Live Music

Although it may be cold and dark outside, Scotland has the perfect antidote with our wonderful pubs, bars, and restaurants. Many have open fires or wood burners to keep you toastie warm while enjoying great food and drink as well as the local craic.

For those interested in live music, Inverness has some fantastic venues (mostly in great bars and pubs). Here are a few of our favourites:

Hootananys & Mad Hatters

MacGregors Bar (recently named Scotlands best live music pub)

Johnny Foxes

Gellions Bar

Eden Court

Visit Eden Court Theatre

In Inverness, we also have the wonderful Eden Court Theatre. Of course, this is a great place to visit in the summer, but it takes on a special persona on a crisp winter evening. With a great schedule of entertainment, you will always find something to delight you. Here are just a few of the upcoming events that perfectly match the winter theme:

Beauty & the Beast – 6 December 2029 – 5 January 2020

Buddy Holly & The Cricketers: Holly at Christmas – 13-15 December 2019

Christmas Gothic – 16 December 2019

RSNO Viennese Gala – 9 January 2020

The Snow Queen – 29 January – 1 February 2020

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2020

On 25th and 26th January 2020, the biggest event in the British sled dog racing calendar will take place in the forests around Loch Morlich near Aviemore.

This event will attract around 250 mushers and over 1,000 sled dogs. Races involve teams of between two and eight dogs pulling a sled around a four to seven-mile trail. The event is split into eight adult classes and two children’s classes. Whilst most sleds are pulled by Siberian Huskies, race dogs include Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Greenland Dogs, and Canadian Eskimo Dogs.

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally

The event can draw large crowds, and is especially well attended when there is snow on the ground. However, even when there is no snow on the ground the races still take place with wheels replacing the runners.

Looking for a Great Deal?

Winter can be a great time to find exceptional deals and Inverglen is no exception. Not only are our base rates lower than in the peak summer months, but we also have some extra special offers that will tempt you to see the Highlands in all her winter glory.

Take a look at the great offers below. Some of these only apply in the winter, whilst others are available all year round.

Just be aware that some of these offers (especially the all-year-round ones) have limited availability so they may not hang around for too long at popular times of the year.

Winter Discount Offer

3-Night Winter Special – 15% Discount

Bookings made via our website for stays of 3 or more consecutive nights completed before 29 February 2020 will automatically receive a 15% discount off our standard rates.

When combined with our non-refundable offer (see below) for a winter stay, this means you can get a King Size en-suite room for just £65.00 per night (or £76.50 per night without the non-refundable offer).

Click to Book

2-Night Special – 10% Discount

This offer runs all year round. Bookings made via our website for stays of 2 or more consecutive nights will automatically receive a 10% discount off our standard rates. Any bookings that qualify for a bigger discount (e.g. the 3-Night Winter Special mentioned above) will automatically receive the higher discount.

Again, this offer can be combined with our non-refundable offer to provide an even better deal.

Click to Book

Non-Refundable Offer – upto £35.00 Discount per room per night

Great Offers at Inverglen Guest House

This is our most generous offer and it runs all year round. Bookings made at least 90 days in advance via our website for stays of 2 or more consecutive nights will have the option to choose our non-refundable option which gives a discount of £35.00 per room per night off our standard rates. If you aren’t quite that organised then up to 30 days in advance we still give a generous discount of £25.00 per room per night.

Click to Book

Looking Forward to 2020 in the Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands is firmly established as a major tourist destination. Each year we see ever more people choosing to visit this wonderful country.

Whilst this interest in Scotland is much appreciated, it does mean that planning a trip has become more important than ever. Scotland is a fantastically diverse country with something for everyone. However, much of its beauty (especially in the Highlands) lies in the fact that it has some of the most spectacular, remote and least densely populated areas in Europe. This is a joy to behold, but it also means that the tourist infrastructure isn’t always able to fully support the tourist demands for accommodation, restaurants, campsites, etc. Certain areas, like Inverness, the Isle of Skye and towns and villages along the NC500 route can get fully booked out weeks or even months in advance.

With 2020 already shaping up to be one of the busiest ever, we can’t stress enough how important advance booking of accommodation is. For the last 7 years, we have just about sold out every available room from May through to mid-October (and the peak season seems to keep getting longer).

On the upside, the increase in tourist numbers has led to many initiatives that have further enhanced the tourist experience. In and around Inverness we have seen many improvements with still more in the pipeline.

Inverness Town House at night

Inverness Town House Renovation

Inverness Town House is a Historic Grade A listed building in the heart of the city. Unfortunately, it had fallen into a state of disrepair and had to undergo major renovation work. The first stage of the restoration is now complete and resulted in the building being commended in the UK Natural Stone Awards, 2018.

The project won joint first place with the Palace of Westminster in the Repair and Restoration category which was sponsored by Historic England.

The Town House is used for council meetings, but there are often opportunities for the public to see inside and these are well worth it as the interior work is as spectacular as the outside.

Exciting plans for Inverness Castle

Aside from the viewing platform in the north tower, most of Inverness Castle has been inaccessible to the general public. It has been used as a Court House and administrative center. However, this is soon to change with plans to turn Inverness Castle and its surroundings into a major attraction capturing the spirit of the Highlands.

The intention is to transform the castle, build a new museum and gallery, and eventually transforming Bridge Street with a hotel as well as more leisure and retail facilities.

At the castle, the two towers will be joined together for the first time in its history. This will create a multi-purpose space for culture, heritage, and the arts.

Work is due to start in spring 2020.

The River Ness at Night

Riverside Improvements

Inverness is blessed with a fantastic setting. The River Ness runs right through the centre of the city and with many churches and the Castle located along its banks it certainly looks spectacular.

Over recent years much work has been done to improve the riverside and it is now a fantastic walking route affording excellent views of our city.

Key Highlights in the 2020 Calander

Fireworks at Fort Gorge

Inverness and the Highlands has a fantastic range of events that draw people in from around the World. The events listed below are amongst those that bring the most people to Inverness, and at these times there tends to be a shortage of available rooms. If you expect to be in Inverness on or around any of these events (irrespective of whether you are attending the event) then it is particularly important to book early.

You can find a more comprehensive list of events on our webpage including links where you can find further information. Inverness Schedule of Events

·         8 March 2020 – Inverness Half Marathon

·         18 April 2020 – Battle of Culloden Memorial

·         26 April 2020 – Etape Loch Ness

·         29 – 31 May 2020 – The LochNess360° Challenge

·         30th May 2020 – The Gathering

·         27 June 2020 – Piping Inverness

·         18 July 2020 – Inverness Highland Games

·         30 July – 1 August 2020 – Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

·         5 August 2020 – Black Isle Show

·         4 October 2020 – Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running

Latest News – December 2019