Read our guide for things to do in Inverness without a car

What to do in Inverness without a car?

Published: Mon Nov 14

Fancy visiting the Highlands without a car? Why not start your adventure in its cultural capital, Inverness. The thriving city is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to learn and explore. With so many exciting places on its doorstep, it’s no wonder Inverness is the hub of the Highlands. So, if you fancy learning about things to do in Inverness without a car, this Happy Tours blog is the perfect place to start. We’ll be covering accessible attractions, transport links and the delights of the scenic Highlands this winter.


Now you may be wondering at this point; Where even is Inverness? How do I even get there without a car? Can I actually explore the Highlands without driving? In this blog, we hope to answer all of your questions, with useful tips and suggestions. So, if you’re ready to plan your next Scottish adventure, read on…

Where is Inverness?

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Inverness is located within the Scottish Highlands, on the northeast coast of Scotland. It’s one of the eight cities that Scotland has to offer and it’s also the most northerly city in the United Kingdom. Despite it being on the smaller size in comparison to other Scottish cities, it’s the largest city in the Highlands and with it being located in the heart of it all, Inverness provides a great starting point for any trip up north. This striking city blends heroic history with modern-day culture, giving you plenty to see and do. So, whether you’re here for a few days, weeks, or even a whole holiday season – your itinerary will always be full.

How to get to Inverness without a car?

Whilst it’s often suggested that you should travel through Scotland by car, it is not the only form of transport readily available. There are various ways to get to Inverness via public transport, plus it allows you to take in the glorious wintery landscapes without the hassle of traffic. If you plan to fly into one of the large Scottish airports or even just the local one, bus and train links are available to get you through your final part of the journey. Or if you don’t mind longer-haul travel, then you can take the train or bus direct from London to Inverness.

The likes of the Caledonian Sleeper train is a great way to reach the north, traveling through the night allows you to get some well-deserved rest before you start on your sight-seeing adventures. Then once you’ve got into Inverness, transport options are gladly awaiting your arrival. The bus and train station is located in the city centre, making traveling round the city largely accessible.

What to do in Inverness without a car?

There are plenty of accessible attractions around Inverness that can be explored on foot. If it’s souvenirs you’re after, there is no better place than Inverness City Centre or the Victorian Market. Filled with various unique and independent gift shops, you’ll be sure to get something special for the people back home.

Or if it’s history you’re after, why not explore Inverness Castle? This Victorian landmark is perched at the edge of a cliff, overlooking and offering beautiful views of the River Ness. Whilst you can’t get inside the castle at this moment, the grounds are open to the public and the viewpoint offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the cultural capital. You might also recognise this spot from Shakesphere’s ‘Macbeth’ – adding an extra tale to the place.

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Looking for a bit of heat this winter? The Inverness Botanic Gardens are also available on foot, with various cosy greenhouses and native plants to spot in its Tropical House. Open 7 days a week, it’s the perfect accessible attraction for a family day out.

Inverness also hosts a wide selection of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Whether it’s tea and cakes or a local seafood catch, there is always something new to try. Despite the small city size, these places are constantly busy so if you fancy trying a new delicacy make sure to check the reservation list first.

Getting around Inverness without a car?

A trip to Inverness without a car does have its benefits, it can allow you to avoid the hassle of parking, queueing, and traffic – which can be especially difficult in peak tourist times. Planning ahead with your carless travels is beneficial, be sure to look out for the transport options before your days of adventuring. Public transport options such as bus routes are frequent, but to save yourself waiting at the bus stop in the cold, be sure to check online for bus times.

If you’re wondering about seeing the great sites of the Highlands without a car, you’ll be pleased to know it is possible. A popular place to visit and one that is definitely recommended is Loch Ness, located just 8 miles away from Inverness. This can be reached via the bus, just simply head to Inverness bus station and hop onto the Number 16. If unsure, just ask one of the friendly locals and they’ll be sure to help you out. However, if you’re not sure about how to plan your Inverness itinerary and are worried that you can’t see all the great sites via public transport. You might just want to read on…

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Want to travel further into the Highlands without a car?

You may be wondering “what’s the best way to explore the Scottish Highlands without a car?” Well, a Happy Tours tour of course! We offer a variety of pre-planned tours covering all the best spots the Scottish Highlands and Islands have to offer. Our day-trip tours offer an easy and accessible way to venture further afield with your family and friends. You can travel in style in one of our luxury eight-seater minibusses, perfect for getting panoramic views of the stunning Scottish scenery. Or you can hop into one of our premium Land Rovers for a memorable day out. Allowing you to relax and unwind, without the pressure of touching a single pedal.

Or if you fancy adding even more luxury to your trip why not join us on a private tour? Allowing you to customise your day out with one of our friendly and passionate guides. With this tour package you can choose between our eight-seater minibus or one of our premium Land Rovers, so whether you’re traveling solo or with a great bunch there’s always a tour ready for you.

What is the weather like in Inverness this November?

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Traveling without a car means you’re more likely to face the elements. Whilst it may not be snowing at this point, the weather is most likely to be incredibly chilly and somewhat rainy. Packing a warm jacket, jumper and gloves are definitely recommended for your day trips out. Although November can’t offer the same daylight hours as summer, it does provide a charming start to the Christmas festivities. Seeing the seasons transition from crisp autumnal colours to the well-loved snowy whites.

While temperatures may be slightly cooler than the likes of the summer season, this does have its benefits. Tourist season in Scotland is usually in the height of summer, meaning traveling later in the year can be on the slightly quieter side. Allowing you to visit popular spots such as Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield, and Eilean Donan Castle, without the hustle and bustle of crowds. Plus, the wintery backdrops for these beautiful sites can offer postcard-worthy pictures.

Inverness Bus Tours:

Wondering what to expect on one of our tours you ask? Well, you can expect to visit all the best locations the Scottish Highlands has to offer. Our Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness Tour starts in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness – making it a perfect addition to your trip. All you need to do is hop into one of the minibusses or Land Rovers at our meeting point and one of our friendly, knowledgeable guides will show you the way. There is no need for complicated planning, your itinerary is sorted for you. On this particular tour, you get to see Loch Ness, which offers views of Urquhart Castle, and the historic Clava Cairns, with its mysterious folklore tales, and you even get to taste some of the finest local flavours at Glen Ord Distillery.


Getting around the Highlands to see all of these beautiful spots couldn’t be easier with Happy Tours. Offering an easy and accessible way for you to explore the Highlands without a car. We offer tours to suit a range of interests but if you find yourself seeking more, consider a private tour. These tours allow you to customise your plan and make your trip extra special. Whatever you choose to do with your time in Inverness, we are sure you’ll be charmed by the thriving nature of the city this wintertime. If you fancy a tour, get in touch with our Happy Tours team to arrange one of our fun-filled tours. For more information or to book a tour, give us a call at +44(0)7828 154 683 or email us at tours@happy-tours.biz.