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Living in Invergarry: The local area guide

Invergarry is a small village with an enormous landscape. The village lies along the River Garry amid mountains and glens, and epitomises the glory of the Scottish Highlands in every way.

Apart from the impressive Highland surroundings, Invergarry Castle is one of the village’s most defining features. Built in the early 1600s by the MacDonnells, the castle was to serve as a defence after the family defended their lands against the Mackenzie clan raids. The castle, now just ruins, lies along the bank of Loch Oich on a rocky outcrop known as the Rock of the Raven, likely named due to the MacDonnell of Glengarry clan crest, which features a raven.

Invergarry’s geography is truly unique, situated along the route between Fort William and Inverness. It lies between Loch Garry and Loch Oich, connected by the River Garry. Loch Oich is the lake between Loch Lochy and Loch Ness, all three of which are joined by River Oich. There are countless tributaries and run-offs throughout and surrounding the village, colouring the woodlands and mountains with breathtaking waterscapes.

The MacDonnells were known for exploiting their estates for timber, and Invergarry was no exception. Fortunately, however, the woodlands have been greatly replenished. In 1866, the Ellice family became the estate’s new lairds, and they did much to restore and nurture the local Scottish traditions. In the grounds of Invergarry Castle, they built Invergarry House, which today is the beautiful Glengarry Castle Hotel, and the village has retained its charm, unique identity and beautiful old stone buildings.

Demographics

Due to its extremely remote rural location, information regarding Invergarry’s immediate demographics is not easily found. The official Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics data zone that includes Invergarry and several-mile radius, encompassing nearby villages and countryside, is cited with a population of 660. Some sources suggest that Invergarry’s population accounts for as much as 438 of these residents. The total number of school pupils living in the Scottish data zone is 81, and as of 2011 there were 254 households. Typical of the Scottish Highlands, the age band breakdown is about 16.8% children, 57.6% working age adults and 25.6% adults of pensionable age, though the population of pensioners is slightly above average. Invergarry’s wider ward, Lochaber East and North, has a population of 4,858.

The Index of Multiple Deprivation standards ranks Invergarry as better than 65% of the rest of Scotland, with Income (89%), Employment (85%), Health (85%) and Education (80%) factors all exceptionally strong. Crime rates are better than 72% of the rest of Scotland.

Education

The town has its own primary, Invergarry Primary School. There are 32 pupils, served by a clerical assistant, two teachers and a classroom assistant, and the school also has a nursery. Specialist tutors and visiting teachers are brought in to provide a more varied and stimulating education, and the school is very engaged with the community.

Lochaber High School is the secondary school, offering a comprehensive six-year education in Fort William with 862 pupils on roll. The school has produced quite a few notable pupils, from sports players to MPs.

Transport

Invergarry has excellent road connections, as it lies at the junction of the A82 and the A87, and there is a good bus network along this route. This route lies directly between Fort William to the southwest and Inverness to the northeast. The A82 travels to Fort William in 24 miles from Invergarry, which is 30 minutes by car and just under an hour by bus. Inverness is a bit further away but still within an easy 52-minute drive along the A87, or 1 hour 30 minutes by bus.

Fort Augustus is a small village between Invergarry and Inverness just 8 miles to the north along the A82. The closest railway stations lie to the south towards Fort William.

Amenities and shopping

The village has a beautiful old parish church, a post office and several quaint bed and breakfasts and hotels. There is the Glengarry Heritage Centre and the Invergarry Shinty and Sports Field, and the area is fantastic for fishing and walking along the Glen Way trail. There are several cafes and pubs along the A82, and just a short journey northward to Fort Augustus at the south end of Loch Ness, there are more options for dining, shopping and groceries.

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 editor@primelocation.com

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

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