Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Inverness photos added

29th August 2006

Inverness Castle, Inverness-shire, Scotland

In spite of its status as the main administrative centre in the Highlands and Islands, Inverness always seems to be a place where I have never spent more than a few hours. Here’s a list of my encounters with the city, starting before it attained city status:

July 1998: On a day trip from Edinburgh, I passed through the city on my way to Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness. Sadly, the day was cloudy and it even rained in the evening. Nevertheless, I did get a chance to walk around the city centre.

July 1999: A short stop on my way back to Edinburgh from my first visit to the Isle of Skye. The sun was out and I managed a few photos.

August 2002: Only stayed long enough to change buses on another Portree-Edinburgh journey. Rain was plaguing Portree when I left Skye, but Inverness was drier. My priority, though, was to meet up with friends in Edinburgh and a change of bus in Perth was ahead of me.

May Day weekend 2006: Stopped off for a few hours on Sunday while on my way from a cloudy Fort William to a sunny Pitlochry. Some accommodation booking took place (don’t expect Inverness TIC to be open on Sundays out of season, though) and I got in some photography in the sunshine before a train took me to my destination.

The new photos are from my latest visit and feature the castle and the River Ness. There could have been more of them if I had stayed in Inverness rather than Fort William: a serious possibility due to a motorcycle event taking place in the latter. Every May Day weekend, bikers descend on Fort William and book up almost every room in the town. Even the hotels get booked out: bikers are particularly after single rooms and you could find that double and twin bedrooms getting let as singles to satisfy demand. I can understand their logic: it is still the off season up there so any trade gets welcomed and who’d blame them. I’ll know it for the future, though. Genteel Pitlochry offered no such difficulties (once I remembered the name of the hotel into which I had booked…). The same level of accommodation provision allowed me to arrange a four-night stay there at short notice in July.

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