Inverness is a city of 58,000 people in the north of Scotland. It is found at the mouth of the river Ness and is where The Caledonian Canal, which conects the east and west coasts of Scotland starts. It is easily reached by road (A9 from the south) and rail. The city termed the Gateway to the Highlands as most tourists going to the Highlands pass through the city.
The city centre is quite compact with several areas pedestrian only and a large shopping centre. The city is dominated by Inverness castle which is used as a courthouse.
Places to visit include; Culloden battlefield; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Loch Ness (monster); the Caledonian Canal and visit the Titanic!

Inverness has a mixture of different types of pubs. . The vast majority of the pubs and hotels try to cater in some way for the tourists flowing through the city by offering food and entertainment, sometimes both. As a general summary the drinking placers serve food, have places for singers to perform and are decorated in wood, including distressed flooring. Lager is the drink of choice with few pubs having more Heavy (Bitter) than lager. About half of the pubs on the trail serve real ale, although only half of these offer a choice.

There are three trails in Inverness. Two go along the river side and one is in the town centre.

1. Around the Castle (8 pubs) - green icons
This starts at the traffic bridge across the river and takes you along the river bank in front of the castle then around te Castle and back to the Bridge. This is the most attractive and relaxing of the trails.

2. Across the river (6 pubs) red icons
Starting again at the bridge only on the opposite side it is the shortest and one with the widest quality of pubs

3. City Centre (10 pubs) blue icons
These 10 pubs reflect what you would expect to find in a city centre with a mixture of music venues, one roomed pubs, cocktail bars and food places - some try to fit more than one description. The trail sticks to one side of Academy street. There are a few pubs across the road which could be added in if you brave the traffic.

On the city side as you move from pub to pub you will find that buskers abound - from young girls playing the pipes to old men bing a one man band. Crossing traffic in Inverness can be frustrating - lights take a long time to change and traffic apears from odd angles so the trails avoid crossing main roads where possible.

Pubs in Inverness can disappear and appear regularly. As one closes another makes an attempt at capturing tourists or those escaping from tourists.

PUB QUIZ
During World war 2 what awards were made out of wood to preserve metal?

ANSWER

Drink and Music

Ray Charles -
One Mint Julep

I saw a notice that said "Drink Canada Dry" and I have just started.

Brendan Behan

Local breweries
Loch Ness Brewery - Benleva Hotel brewpub at Drumnadrochit
Black Isle Organic Brewery - 16 minutes from Inverness by car
Cairngorm Brewery - beers from Aviemore
Windswept Brewery - based in Loussiemouth

How much is that doggie in the window?

Other views on Inverness pubs can be found at http://www.urbarred.com/index.asp

Real Ale trail - 13 pubs - some have only one hand pump (1)
Come out of the station and turn right down Academy St. Look into The Exchange (it should have real ale; Highland CAMRA mag). Cross over the road and continue down it to Blackfriars. Leave here and turn down Friar's Lane, the next left,l then left again into Church St.
Going along Church St brings The King's Highway, Hootenanny, The Room (1) and eventually Lauders.(1) Keep going in the same direction then turn down towards the river. Turn right, rather than go across the bridge and find Johnny Foxes (1).
Continue along the river and cross the river by the footbridge. Turn right as you come off the footbridge and walk on until The Waterfront (1).
Retrace your steps walk along the riverside but going straight on past the footbridge and past the road bridge to reach The Palace Hotel (1). Leave here and continue upstream to the next footbridge. Cross over this and turn back towards the city centre. The river bank takes you past The Waterside Hotel (1) and Nico's at Glen Mhor (1).
Keep going towards the centre turning right at the staue of Faith, Hope and Charity. Up this hill is The Castle Tavern. Further down this road, Castle St towards the city is Number 27 and at the end of the road is The Caledonian. Leaving here you can go towards the river but turn right into Church St and go up the lane at the side of Lauders to return to the station

A more managable trail of 8 pubs, missing 5 pubs with only one pump each and a long walk, is to got straight from The Room to The Caledonian missing out Lauders. This means turning left away from the river at the end of Church St so instead of going down to Johnny Foxes at the river go up to The Caledonian at the start of the pedestrian area. From here go up the hill, Castle St, straight ahead. Pass Number 27 and go onto The Castle Tavern. Visit Number 27 on the way back. Return to station by going up the lane at the side of Lauders.

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