Unspoiled and uncrowded, Scotland’s 790+ islands are steeped in tradition, with many containing remnants of ancient cultures and civilizations. Thanks to the country’s compact size, it’s possible to reach more than one archipelago from Inverness. Here are the top Scottish islands tour options.
Tomnahurich (Fairy Hill)
Fairy Hill, or Tomnahurich in Scottish Gaelic, is an esker (glacier-formed ridge or mound) in Inverness that overlooks the Caledonian Canal. While visitors and locals are drawn to its 18th-century cemetery, the hill is most known for its Scottish folklore legends.
Inverness, IV3 5BD
Tomnahurich features a cemetery that is the final resting place of a handful of prominent 18th- and 19th-century Scottish figures, including Major General Sir Robert Adams and submariner Sir Anthony Capel Miers. The graveyard also has a World War I memorial, and tranquil gravel and dirt walking paths that offer bird’s-eye views of the surrounding landscape.
The cemetery and hilltop are best explored at a leisurely pace, so either go on your own—hassle-free hop-on hop-off bus tours stop here and at other top Inverness landmarks—or with a private Inverness tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
Tomnahurich is a must for bird-watchers and anyone seeking a quiet respite from the city.
The hill is a great place for a picnic during the warmer months.
Don’t forget comfortable or casual walking shoes, as some walking paths have a steep incline, and most are dirt or gravel.
The walking paths are not suitable for those with limited mobility.
How to Get There
Tomnahurich is about a 35- to 40-minute walk from the Inverness city center. Cross the Ness Bridge, take Tomnahurich Street to Bruce Gardens Street, and enter the walking paths at the cemetery gates opposite Bruce Gardens. By car, take the A82 to Bruce Gardens Street.
When to Get There
While the Scottish Highlands are busiest from June through August, summer visitors to Tomnahurich are rewarded with lush greenery along the cemetery’s walking paths and clear views of the landscape below.
The Legends of Tomnahurich
Tomnahurich is famous for its folklore legends. According to Inverness locals, Fairy Hill got its name when two traveling fiddlers disappeared because the fairies who reside there tricked them into playing music for them for the rest of eternity. If you believe the lore, keep an eye out for the fairies when visiting.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Tomnahurich (Fairy Hill)?
What else should I know about attractions in Inverness?
- Inverness Botanic Gardens (Floral Hall)
- Whin Park
- Eden Court Theatre and Cinema
- River Ness (Abhainn Nis)
- Inverness Castle
- Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)
- Merkinch Local Nature Reserve
- Culloden Battlefield
- Clava Cairns
- Chanonry Point
- Glen Ord Distillery
- Fort George
- Loch Ness
- Cawdor Castle and Gardens
- Urquhart Castle (Caisteal na Sròine)