Take the A96 to Inverness. If parking in the centre of town you can use one of two car parks at the Eastgate Centre. Follow signs to Town Centre and just past Morrisons you’ll see signs to each of the main car parks. Alternatively, on the edge of Inverness, take the A9 north and at the next roundabout exit left. Follow signs to Fort William and Loch Ness – A82. At the second roundabout you’ll see the Rose St Car Park. Of course, if you prefer there is an hourly 10 bus and the No 11 every 30 minutes from Nairn to Inverness. No need to take the car!
Take the day to explore Inverness, see the shops, Eastgate Centre and the pedestrian High St, walk round the exterior of the Castle (no public entry), or take a leisurely walk along the River Ness to the Ness Islands and back down the other side past Eden Court Theatre and the Cathedral.
Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
From Nairn follow the A96 to Inverness. Take the A9 north and at the next roundabout exit left. Follow signs to Fort William and Loch Ness – A82. This will take you over the River Ness; take second exit down Kenneth St. At the end of this road turn right into Tomnahurich St – the A82. Follow the road out of town and along the side of Loch Ness.
There are a number of stopping places to take in the scenery. A pleasant coffee stop on the way is the Clansman Hotel. It is also possible to arrange a two-hour cruise on Loch Ness from the Clansman Hotel which includes a visit and entry to Urquhart Castle. Alternatively you can drive to the Castle via Drumnadrochit and perhaps take in one or more of the Monster Exhibitions. Driving time from Nairn around 40-50mins.
If using public transport you can get to Urquhart Castle by bus from Inverness. The Fort William bus calls into the lay-by at the Castle.