Inverness has put itself well and truly on the map as the Highland Capital, with a lively social scene and some of the best restaurants in Scotland its the perfect place for a couple of nights away, for the more active amongst us, Skiing, Top Class Fishing, excellent walking and some of the world best golf courses (including Castle Stuart, where the Scottish open will be again in 2012) provide all you can ask for for a more active break.
Inverness (from the Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis pronounced, meaning “Mouth of the River Ness”) is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. Inverness lies near two important battle sites: the 11th century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway which took place on the Aird and the 18th century Battle of Culloden which took place on Culloden Moor. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen (Gleann Mòr) at its north-eastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth.
At the latest, a settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim (King David I) in the 12th century. The Gaelic king, Mac Bethad mac Findláich (MacBeth) nicknamed An Rígh Dearg (The Red King) held a castle within the city where he ruled as Mormaer of Moray and Ross.
The population of Inverness increased by over 10% from 1991–2001 and from 1997–2007 with an estimated population in 2008 of 56,660 or 72,745 including surrounding suburbs. Inverness is one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, with a quarter of the Highland population living in or around the city and is ranked fifth out of 189 British cities for its quality of life, the highest of any Scottish city. In the recent past, Inverness has experienced rapid economic growth – between 1998 and 2008, Inverness and the rest of the Central Highlands showed the largest growth of average economic productivity per person in Scotland and the second greatest growth in the United Kingdom as a whole, with an increase of 86%. Inverness is twinned with one German city, Augsburg and two French towns, La Baule and Saint-Valery-en-Caux.