Invergordon

by Kshaunish Jaini

The Scottish Highlands have been fabled across history as some of the most beautiful places in the world, with rolling hills and fairytale port towns. They are home to a rugged mountain terrain, magnificent seascapes and a tumultuous history that is home to an eclectic highland culture.

The port town of Invergordon is located in Easter Ross, Ross and Cromarty, Highland, Scotland. Situated in the center of the Eastern Highlands, Invergordon is an old port which used to serve as the northern terminus of the ferry route across the Cromarty Firth to Balblair on the Black Isle. In the medieval times it used to be an important port in the network of routes that was used by pilgrims to make their way to the chapel dedicated to Saint Duthac in Tain.

Invergordon Scotland

Cromarty Firth

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The town of Invergordon was built around this port in the 18th Century. The harbour itself grew in size and infrastructure in the 19th Century, and served a crucial function for the Royal Navy during both the World Wars. Interestingly, it witnessed the only mutiny of the British Royal Navy, known as the Invergordon Mutiny of 1931. More than 1000 sailors of the British Atlantic Fleet rose in open mutiny in September 1931 as a result of pay cuts and poor working conditions. The mutiny was so effective that it caused nationwide panic and a major impact on the London Stock Exchange. The naval ties with the Invergordon port officially ended in 1993 after the end of the Falklands War.

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With its proud maritime history and its fine natural harbour, Invergordon stands today as a major Scottish port town involved in the import and export of materials such as fishmeal, coal, road salt and grain among others. Since the late 1950s, the town has also taken on a new identity as a major producer of scotch whiskey, with giants such as Whyte and Mackay producing some of the finest grain whiskey of the region.

Invergordon Scotland

How to Get to Invergordon

The closest airport is the Inverness airport that provides regional, national and international airline and helicopter services across the Highland region. Apart from that, bus and train services are continuously available from the Inverness City Center. Invergordon is located only 25 miles north of Inverness and is connected by the A9 trunk road, which passes by scenic mountain and shoreline paths that are a delight to drive on. An alternative road is the historic ‘King’s Route’ that can be used to cross the firth towards the Black Isle.  Stagecoach buses and Scotrail connect the town and port of Invergordon to the rest of Scotland.

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What to See in Invergordon

Modern day Invergordon is a staple port for cruise ships travelling around the Scottish coast due to its excellent harbour and proximity to the famed Scottish Highlands. As a result, the town itself sees an influx of more than a 100,000 tourists and passengers each year between Easter and October. Most cruises disembark at the Admirality Pier, a mere 500 meters away from the High Street - an attractive double width avenue lined with shops like essential food stores, beauty shops, post office, banks and gift shops.

A must-see attraction at Invergordon is the Invergordon Naval Museum and Heritage Center. Situated in the Hayes Hall - an old dance hall of the British Legion, the Invergordon Naval Museum and Heritage Center is a great way to explore the history of Invergordon during the turbulent times of World War I and II.

Invergordon Scotland

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Another great attraction of Invergordon is the Town Mural Trail. Known as the Invergordon Off the Wall, the town mural project was inspired by a similar project in the town of Chemainus, British Columbia, which used murals as a method of promoting awareness towards the history of the town. Currently, Invergordon has 17 large scale murals that have been created by local artists with the help of the townsfolk, each depicting a specific incident in the history of the port town. Together, the murals make up the Invergordon Mural Trail - a trail that takes you through some of the most historically significant parts of town while also telling their story.

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The town of Invergordon also boasts an 18 hole golf course that offers stunning views of the Fyrish Monument, Ben Wyvis and Wester Ross. A few miles out of town there is the Invergordon Sailing Club that is a haven for sailing enthusiasts.

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