Tucked away in the viridian hills of the Scottish Highlands, rests the city of Inverness, an increasingly popular destination for Scotland's burgeoning tourism industry. In an effort to increase tourist traffic to the Northern-end of the Scottish Highlands, officials are considering opening the North Tower of the city's cliff-side, Inverness Castle.
Designed and constructed in 1836, by famed architect William Burn, the Inverness Castle was built upon the grounds of an 11th century defensive structure, where a succession of castles have stood and been subsequently destroyed, making way for today's current structure.
Today Inverness Castle looms over the banks of the River Ness, whose name is derived from its reservoir, Loch Ness - a famous mystery-shrouded locale, known its for lake-monster sightings. Though the hunt for the mythical Loch Ness Monster surely draws in a favorable amount of tourist traffic to the region, the city of Inverness wishes to bolster its vacation-travel potential from other channels, most notably Inverness Castle.
A feasibility study is being conducted by the Highland Council, looking into the potential tourism benefits of opening the - currently-private - Inverness Castle to the public, hoping to gather evidence that public-entry into the castle's North Tower would drastically increase the city's annual travel industry earnings.
Steve Barron, the Highland Council Chief executive, has said of the study, "Tourism is currently worth £88 million per annum to the city of Inverness ... However a greater range of attractions and activities would help to keep people in Inverness itself for longer and also help bring more tourists and boost the economy as a whole."
Recent airline route additions from Inverness to London further increase the tourism potential of Scotland's Highland capital, and the Highland Council believes that opening a portion of the Inverness Castle will increase domestic tourist traffic from other regions within the UK as well.
Whether in search of curious lake-dwelling monsters, ancestral pilgrimage, or ancient architecture, the sheer ubiquity of Scotland's diverse landscapes - endless viridian hills and rocky highland cliffs - inspire many travelers from around the world to visit, and with the help of Auto Europe, now you can too. Take a detour through Inverness, and hopefully within the next year or so, the majestic views of the surrounding highlands will be visible by all from atop the Inverness Castle North Tower.