Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, became a city in 2000. It is economically booming and rapidly expanding, but the centre, arranged beside the wide and fast-flowing River Ness, is very attractive as well as providing the best shopping for hundreds of miles. There is an excellent museum and art gallery, a superb swimming pool and a wide range of bars and restaurants.
The city itself may not be the first place that springs to mind for walkers, but there are some worthwhile outings to be had without even leaving town. The banks of the River Ness and its islands, together with the Caledonian Canal, give a superb urban circuit, whilst Craig Phadraig, site of an old iron age fort, can be seen from most of the city.