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Inverness Design Studio

Unlocking the Magic of Inverness Castle: A Journey to Highland Culture

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Inverness, the historic Inverness Castle is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The newly envisioned Inverness Castle Experience promises to captivate the hearts of locals and tourists alike, offering a gateway to Highland culture, heritage, and breathtaking scenery. As of the latest updates provided on April 27th, this remarkable journey is set to open its doors to the public in 2025.

Mather & Co have been the team behind delivering an inspirational vision for the project.

What will the new Inverness Castle development be like?

The story of Inverness Castle dates back centuries, where it once served as a prison and courtroom. Now, it's poised to take on a new role – that of a visitor attraction. This transformation is not only a celebration of the castle's rich history but also an invitation for visitors from around the world to explore its hidden treasures.

Watch The Highland Council's latest promotional video:

The Enchanting Gardens: Where Gaelic Culture Blooms

Your adventure begins in the castle's gardens, where the influence of Gaelic language and culture is interwoven into the very fabric of the Scottish landscape. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in spectacular views down the River Ness while immersing themselves in the enchanting world of Highland culture.


South Tower: A Gateway to Highland Tourism

Within the South Tower, visitors will embark on a sensory journey designed to ignite their passion for Highland tourism. The exhibition, crafted by renowned designers Mather & Co., combines the expertise of in-person guides with cutting-edge digital technology. This dynamic blend promises to immerse visitors in the vibrant landscape, heritage, culture, and community of the Highlands.



360-Degree Immersion: Celebrating Highland Scenery

The climax of the experience awaits in a full 360-degree immersive space where audio and digital techniques merge to celebrate one of the Highland's most iconic features – its breathtaking scenery. It's an invitation to lose oneself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Highlands.


Crowdsourced Stories: A Tapestry of the Highlands

The stories that fuel this attraction have been crowdsourced from across the Highlands. They capture the essence of the region's past, present, and future, creating a tapestry of Highland narratives that resonate with every visitor.


North Tower: The Highland Music Experience and More

In the North Tower, visitors will discover the Highland Music Experience and Bar, a place designed for people to come together and savour the best of Highland music, food, and drink. This immersive experience pays homage to the profound contribution of musicians to the rich tapestry of Highland culture.



Honouring Runrig: A Musical Legacy

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the formation of the iconic band Runrig (April 28, 1973), it was announced that the opening exhibition would feature the music and stories of Runrig. This tribute recognises the band's profound impact on the cultural scene of the Highlands over the past half-century. Founding members Calum and Rory Macdonald, who started their musical journey in Skye, expressed their excitement to be a part of the Inverness Castle Experience.


North Tower: The Highland Music Experience and More

In the North Tower, visitors will discover the Highland Music Experience and Bar, a place designed for people to come together and savour the best of Highland music, food, and drink. This immersive experience pays homage to the profound contribution of musicians to the rich tapestry of Highland culture.

Also in the North Tower, visitors can get up close to the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands. This awe-inspiring tapestry is a collaborative project, involving communities across the area. It's part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, a partnership project between The Highland Council, High Life Highland, and VisitScotland.


Glowing Remarks from Officials

Fergus Ewing, MSP, Co-chair of the Inverness Castle Delivery Group, expressed his delight at reaching this significant milestone, heralding the Inverness Castle Experience as a gateway for Highland tourism and an international attraction.


Cllr Ian Brown, Leader of Inverness City and Area and Co-chair of the Inverness Castle Project Delivery Group, lauded the immersive approach designed by Mather & Co. He highlighted that visitors would connect with Highland stories through themed immersive rooms, where they could walk through forests, gather around the fire for story time, and witness iconic moments of Highland history.


Economic Boost and Investments

Scottish Government Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray welcomed the progress made in designing the Inverness Castle Experience, acknowledging its potential to attract tourists from around the world, generate jobs, and stimulate investment in Inverness and the surrounding area.


UK Government minister for Scotland, Malcolm Offord also expressed optimism about the castle's transformation, emphasizing its role in boosting the regional economy.


Support from All Quarters

The Inverness Castle project, set to open in 2025, is benefiting from substantial investments from the Scottish and UK Governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and various other partners. This project is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, aimed at promoting sustainable regional economic growth.

The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, supported by the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, is set to inspire visitors to explore the entire Highlands and Islands region, fostering engagement with festivals, events, attractions, and outdoor destinations across the area.


In closing, the Inverness Castle Experience promises not only to breathe new life into this historic site but also to serve as a beacon, drawing visitors from far and wide to experience the magic of the Highlands, its culture, and its music. As we eagerly await its opening in 2025, the future is undoubtedly bright for this remarkable attraction.



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