Bonnie Prince Charlie tried to destroy Inverness, but jump off an East Coast train in the Highlands capital today and you’ll find this scenic city alive and well and ready to pour you a wee dram.

Our top attraction

Staring across the peaty brown waters of the River Ness to the cathedral is Inverness Castle, a castellated gothic-style red sandstone giant standing guard over the heart of the city. Built in the 1830s, it’s now the area’s Sheriff’s Court. Out front you can take part in the Castle Garrison Encounter, a superb guided tour/show where period costumed garrison soldiers tell you what they had for breakfast and describe the state of the latrines.

Best for nightlife

Hurl yourself into the Scottish spirit in one of the pubs and bars squeezed into the medieval houses on Church Street that host riotous live traditional music and ceilidhs.

Best for dining

Tuck into fresh game pâté in a cosy traditional deli or splash out on Loch Fyne salmon, sweet Orkney crab or Scotch beef fillet at one of the smarter restaurants. Inverness has built up a pretty impressive culinary reputation for its city centre dining.

Best for Shopping

Stroll through between the carved bulls’ and rams’ heads of the triple-arched colonnaded entrance of the Victorian Market and discover a hive of independent shops. Look out for the marks in the walls where merchants sharpened their knives in the days when it was a fish market.