Inverness must be one of the few cities in the world where you can take a short walk starting from the city centre and feel as though you are right in the middle of the countryside.
Occasionally you can see seals, you will certainly see a variety of seagulls and maybe one or two other wild creatures too. The best place to spot seals is between the two road bridges in the centre of Inverness. Seals are very timid creatures and wary of humans, so do not make it obvious that you have spotted a seal, and you will often be able to watch it for ages, bobbing up and down.
There are a number of footbridges along its length of the River Ness where you can cross from one side of the river to the other. Walk upstream alongside one side of the River Ness to Ness Islands and return down the other bank, this allows you to have two totally separate views of some magnificent buildings.
On the walk, look out for the Inverness War Memorial, if you do the walk in the summer or early spring, the floral gardens here can be spectacular, thanks to the Inverness Council parks and gardens team.
Also look out for Inverness Cathedral, highly recommended, spending a moment or two to visit when passing.
Walking upstream you will get to Ness Islands a collection of small islands in the middle of the River Ness. The islands are connected to one another by a series of suspension foot bridges (their construction makes one think they were installed during Victorian times, very sturdy and well built).
You might see a salmon fisherman standing in the river. It was somewhere around here that a massive salmon was caught a few years back. It was reported that it was so big that it surpassed the Scottish record for a salmon at 64lbs. The fisherman returned the fish to the water after having had it photographed. The story goes it was not accepted as a record as the scales used to record its weight were not calibrated. At least the salmon had a chance to live and spawn for yet another year or two.
When you get to Ness Islands a slightly longer walk will take you past the Inverness Leisure Centre to the Floral Hall (previously mentioned) – a sub tropical horticultural gem with small waterfalls, fish and an assortment of plants/trees.
Allow 1 to 2 hours for the complete circular walk. The great thing about this walk is you can make it as long or as short as you like as there are a number of bridges that allow you to shorten it if time is running out, and return on the opposite bank to your starting point.
You can extend your walk along the Great Glen Way or the Caledonian Canal.