Properties for sale in Inverness-Shire

Inverness-shire, also called the County of Inverness, has gone through many border changes in the past 100 or so years. In 1890, the County of Inverness was established, stretching from just at the tip of the Moray Firth to some of the Outer Hebrides.
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Inverness-shire Area Guide

Loch ness, Inverness-shire Image courtesy of Flickr user Guillaume Capron

Inverness-shire, also called the County of Inverness, has gone through many border changes in the past 100 or so years. In 1890, the County of Inverness was established, stretching from just at the tip of the Moray Firth to some of the Outer Hebrides. From 1975 to 1996, it contracted drastically away from the Little Minch and was renamed the Inverness District. In 1996, it was joined up with many other districts to form the Highland council area, which encompasses most of northern mainland Scotland.

Today, when people speak of Inverness-shire, they generally refer to the borders of the Inverness District. This part of the Highland council area consists of six wards: Aird and Loch Ness, Culloden and Ardersier, Inverness Central, Inverness Milburn, Inverness Ness-side, Inverness South and Inverness West.

In terms of both geography and economy, the area is shaped by the world-famous Loch Ness and Inverness. The only city in the Highland council, Inverness is home to most of the area's amenities and shopping, whilst Loch Ness draws visitors from around the world hoping to catch a glimpse of the monster.

Inverness's economy has shifted from a focus on the traditional distilleries to high-tech companies like medical researchers and supplies manufacturers, and the surrounding areas rely mostly on tourism and agriculture.


Inverness-shire has a population of 222,370, which is about 4% of the population of Scotland. The area of the Highland council area takes up almost 40% of the total area of Scotland, however.

The demographics do not deviate much from those of Scotland as a whole, though its population is slightly older. About 17.5% of the population of the Highland council are children, and about 17.4% of Scotland's population are children. Whilst 60.1% of the council's population is working aged, about 62.8% of Scotland's population is working aged. Almost 22.4% of the population of the Highland council has reached the pension age, compared to 19.8% in the whole of Scotland.

Despite the rural nature of the area and its aging population, it is slightly better off economically - in Scotland, 13% of the total population is described as economically deprived, but only 10% of the Highland council population is described as such.


Because of its rural nature, Inverness-shire does not have a large number of schools. Still, many of the schools do have good reputations. In its HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) report, Ardersier Primary School was praised for "the quality of the children's learning experiences", and Kilchuimen Primary School's report highlighted "the highly effective way that staff meet the wide range of children's needs".

The few secondary schools in Inverness-shire are similarly praised. The Glen Urquhart High School report acknowledged the "pupils' achievements and their enthusiastic engagement in the life and work of the school." Millburn Academy's students were described as "attentive, actively engaged and [with] positive attitudes to learning" in its HMIE report.

Inverness-shire has one university campus. The University of the Highlands and Islands is a collection of 13 colleges and research centres throughout the Highlands. In Inverness-shire, the university's Inverness College provides further education as well as university courses to students in the city.


Roads provide most of the transport options in Inverness-shire. The major roads throughout Inverness-shire include the A9, which runs from Falkirk to Thurso, via Inverness. The A82 connects Inverness to Glasgow, and the A835 goes north-west from Inverness to Ullapool. The A96 branches out of the A9 at Inverness and continues on to Nairn and Aberdeen.

There are two rail stations in Inverness-shire: Inverness and Beauly. Inverness railway station is along five lines, and it has services to destinations including London, Perth, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Thurso and Glasgow. Beauly railway station is on the Kyle of Lochalsh Line and the Far North Line. The Kyle of Lochalsh Line goes throughout the Highlands and stops in Kyle of Lochalsh, Plockton and Inverness. The Far North Line connects Inverness and Beauly with Thurso and Wick.

Inverness Airport has services to London-Gatwick, Amsterdam, Zurich and other British and European destinations.

Amenities and Shopping

Most of the amenities in the area are located in Inverness.

Museums and galleries

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery explores the history of the area, starting with geological, archaeological and natural history exhibitions. The collections also include Jacobite exhibitions, Inverness silverware and Highland weapons and bagpipes.

The Kilmorack Gallery in Beauly features painting, sculptures and ceramic works of some of Scotland's best artists. Beauly Gallery specialises more in the work of local craftspeople, though it does also sell paintings and ceramics. The Highlanders Museum in Ardersier is in the Lieutenant Governor's quarters at Fort George, and it covers the stories of three Scottish regiments, the Seaforth Highlanders, the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders and the Lovat Scouts.

Theatres and venues

The main theatre in Inverness-shire, Eden Court Theatre is a large multi-use venue to the south of Inverness city centre. It has two theatres, two cinemas, two dance and two dance and drama studios. The Touring Network is a traveling performance art troupe that is based in Inverness.


The Northern Meeting is a festival celebrating Scottish culture, and it is famous for its pìobaireachd bagpiping competitions. The Inverness Summer Festival runs for 13 weeks and includes the Inverness Highland Games, the Inverness Tattoo, the Inverness Book Festival and the Inverness Flower Show.

Rockness, held on the banks of Loch Ness, features artists from almost every popular musical genre, from hip hop and pop to alternative rock and electronic dance music. The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival is a music and arts festival held near the village of Beauly. Its music side originally focused mostly on alternative, indie and folk music, but it has grown to include R&B and dance acts across its five stages.


Inverness is home to three football clubs: Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. (also called Caley Thistle), Clachnacuddin F.C. and Inverness City F.C. Caley Thistle play in the Scottish Premier League, and Clachnacuddin are in the Highland Football League. Inverness City, meanwhile, represent the area in the Scottish Junior Football Association's North Division One. Based in Inverness, Highland RFC are the local rugby union club, and they play in the Caledonia Regional League Division 1.

Highland HC consists of five hockey teams - two men's, two women's and one junior team. Inverness Highland Cricket Club and Northern Counties Cricket Club both play in Inverness.

Inverness-shire hosts many sporting events. The City of Inverness Highland Games are amongst the first modern highland games to be organised, first staged in 1822. The Loch Ness Marathon is run along Loch Ness and ends in Inverness.


Most of the shopping in the area is found in Inverness. The Old Town area is packed with shops, boutiques and the Eastgate Shopping Centre, Inverness's main shopping centre. It has more than 60 shops, including Topshop, Crabtree & Evelyn and Debenhams. Nearby, The Village is a shopping centre driven by an anti-mass consumerism philosophy: they aim to give independent shop owners a cheap place to start their businesses to encourage more people to start local businesses.

Additionally, each of the villages in Inverness-shire have local crafts people and artists catering to the shopping desires of the area's many tourists.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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