With its imposing pink sandstone turrets presiding over the River Ness, Inverness Cathedral is one of the most striking of the city’s many churches. The 19th-century Gothic-style structure is conspicuously spire-free. Though architect Alexander Ross put them in his original design, they had to be scrapped due to lack of funds.
Because of its prominent riverside position, Inverness Cathedral is hard to miss. Most visitors glimpse it only from outside, but it is possible to venture inside the cathedral and soak up the serenity of the hushed interior. Walking and coach sightseeing tours of the so-called Highland capital pass by Inverness Cathedral, as well as other local landmarks such as Inverness Castle. The cathedral also features as a stop on hop-on hop-off bus tours of Inverness.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The cathedral is a must-see for architecture fans.
- Part of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the cathedral is still an active site of worship, so be respectful of parishioners as you explore.
- Listen for the cathedral’s bells; they are regularly rung to announce services.
- The cathedral is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Inverness Cathedral is located on the west bank of the River Ness, about a 15-minute walk from Inverness rail and bus stations, which offer connections to other parts of Scotland, including Edinburgh and Glasgow. Local buses stop at nearby King Street, a 3-minute walk away from the cathedral.
When to Get There
The cathedral is open daily and is rarely crowded outside of service times. If you want to hear the cathedral choir sing, attend the 11am Sunday service, or the Sunday choral evensong, which takes place at 5:30pm once a month.
Highlights of the Cathedral
As you explore the cathedral, look out for several noteworthy design details and artworks. Among the most eye-catching adornments are the carved stone capitals at the entrance, which are decorated with images of foliage, flowers, and birds. Inside, you’ll see the five 19th-century Russian icons that depict biblical characters such as Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and various saints. These icons were gifts given to British Anglican Bishop Robert Eden, the Bishop of Moray, Ross, and Caithness, by Tsar Alexander II.