Local Tips – Malcolm’s Interview for Holiday Scottish Highlands

Interview re-printed with kind permission from Holiday Scottish Highlands


Malcolm and Maggie Allan moved to Inverness in 2018. They’re loving their new life running a guest house and self-catering business. Malcolm shares his tips for things to do near Inverness and in the city itself. He tells you some great places to eat and where to get the best view of Loch Ness.

View down Loch Ness from Dores – a favourite of Malcolm and Maggie

About me

We moved to Inverness in April 2018 to run a small business that includes a 5-bedroom guest house and one self-catering apartment in the centre of Inverness. I moved from the IT industry into hospitality and Maggie moved from education into hospitality, so it has been a massive, but hugely rewarding change in career and direction.

The pleasure of welcoming guests to Inverness and to the guest house has been amazing and thoroughly enjoyable. We are delighted with the feedback that we have received from our guests and in the second season had the pleasure of welcoming both new and returning guests.

We enjoy walking, cycling, eating out and socialising. Keeping us company at Pitfaranne is a 12 year old Labradoodle called Cassie that also enjoys speaking to and welcoming our guests and a not so welcoming 15 year old cat called Lily (our daughter named her after Lily Allen), which is kept well away from guests.

How long have you lived in Inverness?

We have lived in Inverness for 2 years and moved here to have a lifestyle change to run our own small business in the Capital of the Highlands. We moved up to Inverness from Fife where we lived in Cupar for 26 years. We are now going into our third season and so far have loved every minute.

Favourite beach

There are many beautiful beaches in the Highlands and Islands a couple that are special to us are:

Arisaig beach – because it is just stunning
Dores Beach as it’s nice and close to Inverness and provides a great view right down Loch Ness (see above)
Nairn Beach – close by and great for a walk in a nice summers evening

Best walk

There are loads of choices for walks in and around Inverness:

  • The Great Glen Way, it’s a fantastic way for both visitors and locals to experience Scotland, the scenery, the people and the ruggedness of the landscape.
  • The Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie on the Black Isle – it is a lovely walk up the glen with the Fairys at the doors at the bottom of some of the tree trunks.
  • The walk round Loch Ness – this is great now that we can walk right round the Loch – it needs to be done over a few days, but the scenery is stunning and places like Falls of Foyers is amazing.
  • Walk over the Ness Islands in Inverness – Lovely city walk where you feel you are away from the hustle and bustle of a city.
  • Walk up Ord Hill in Inverness – great way to get a view over the city.
  • Walk along the canal tow path to Dochgarroch – this is a really relaxing walk with the boats slowly passing as you walk down the edge of the canal.

The Rver Ness by the Ness islands (near Pitfaranne)

Most special time of year in the Inverness

Summer, with all the visitors it provides a fantastic mix of cultures and nationalities and it’s a delight to see them all come together in Inverness City.

The one thing every tourist should do in the Highlands

Stay in Inverness for more than one night and use it as a base to explore the surrounding areas.

Your best wildlife encounter

Red squirrels in Inverness, salmon at Rogie falls and dolphins at Chanonry Point on the Black Isle.

Favourite road or drive

North Coast 500 especially the west coast. The scenery is stunning and you see parts of Scotland that are a rare and very unique experience.

Most loved view

The road down the east side of Loch Ness, just after Dores the road goes up around 700 feet and at the top of the hill it provides a stunning view down Loch Ness.

Favourite place to eat and drink in Inverness

There are many great restaurants in Inverness, a couple that stand out are:

  • Roc Pool in Inverness is outstanding and our favourite dishes are scallops for starter and venison wrapped in parma ham with haggis, parsnip puree and parsnip crisps for main course. A wee dram to finish – there is a great choice.
  • We also love Sam’s Indian restaurant in Inverness and our favourite dishes are king prawn puree starter and herb sizzler main.
  • For a drink the Black Isle Bar and Malt room are excellent.

Inverness is also great for getting to the Speyside whisky trail and experiencing the abundance of great malt whisky that is available. Further afield we also love going to Islay and Tayvallich on the west coast of Scotland for their natural beauty and, of course, a wee dram on Islay.

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