Cruising the British Isles: Invergordon and Inverness — why all these “Invers”;”

by Janis on July 30, 2011

We’ve recently returned from a 14-Day Celtic Circle cruise around the British Isles on Holland America Line’s ms Prinsendam.  This post is part of a series detailing our discoveries in port and on the ship.

Why do the names of so many towns and cities in Scotland start with “Inver”;”?

Only to the second port of our cruise and we’ve been to Inverkeithing, Invergordon and Inverness.

Along a similar line, what’s a “loch”?

When we took a shore excursion to Loch Ness and Inverness from the port of Invergordon, our tour guide on tour bus #5 was full of information.

A “loch” is a lake, she explained, while “Inver” means the “mouth of a river”.  Many towns and cities in Scotland are named after rivers, i.e. the city of Inverness means the place at the mouth of the Ness River, which runs from Loch Ness, or Lake Ness.

Located on the banks of the River Ness — with a castle towering above — Inverness is the capital of the Scottish Highland. Inverness seems more like a peaceful tourist town than a capital city.

Invergordon is the port town for Inverness, and gateway to Loch Ness and the Whiskey Trail.  Invergordon was a boom town during the oil heydays in the 1970s, but today it’s fairly quiet.

Oil drilling platforms are plentiful in the waters around Invergordon near the cruise port – but they are not drilling.  The platforms are towed to the waters around Invergordon temporarily for repair and safety checks.

Like many towns with an oil boom past, Invergordon is trying hard to reinvent itself – with oil platform repair, call centers, and tourism.

Directly across from the cruise pier, the Invergordon Museum details the history of the port and the Highlands area.

In the town, a series of murals covers the sides of buildings.

Public bus service connects visitors to Inverness, but not to Loch Ness.

Have you been to any Scottish cities named “Inver”;..”?  Which ones?     

See other posts in this series: 

Follow us on Twitter or interact with us on Facebook.

Previous post:

Next post: