Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Inverness is considered the capital of the Highlands, offering beautiful scenery and a rich history. Art and culture buffs visiting the area should include a stop at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, which is located inside the 500-year-old Inverness Castle overlooking the city. Since its first redevelopment in 1982, the museum has served as the region’s leading venue for arts and heritage, with exhibits covering everything from Pictish stones to contemporary Scottish artists.

Housed on the iconic Inverness Castle grounds, the museum and gallery underwent another major redevelopment in 2006. State-of-the-art facilities include expanded gallery spaces showcasing works from the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, an on-site Café, an upgraded gift shop, new education workshops for kids and adults, and enhanced access for visitors with disabilities. 

If you plan to celebrate Highland life and uncover the rich cultural legacy of the Scottish Highlands, read on! We’ll cover all the essential details you need, how to get there, and the top attractions to look forward to during your visit.

Important Details to Know 

Here are the important details you should keep in mind before visiting the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery: 

Accessibility 

The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery has several accessibility options available on-site, including: 

  • Assistance and service dogs are welcomed inside the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. 
  • If arriving by car, there is a designated accessible parking space right by the main entrance. This spot offers convenient access for disabled visitors and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • There is a passenger lift that is large enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices. This allows wheelchair access to all public areas, including the exhibit galleries, gift shop, cafe, and restrooms.
  • The museum has accessible toilet facilities. The staff can provide directions or assistance getting to the restrooms if needed.
  • There is a digital floor plan on the museum’s website that shows the layout of the building along with the locations of the lift, accessible restrooms, gift shops, and other amenities. 

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Opening Times

The Inverness Art Gallery is open, which varies throughout the year. Between the months of April and October, the museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

During winter months, however, from November to March, the museum is open from 12 pm to 4 pm Tuesday through Thursday. The Gallery opens for longer hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm. Please note that the museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays throughout the year.

How Much Are Tickets?

A major perk of visiting the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is that your admission is completely free!

How to Get There?

Here are the most popular ways to reach the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery via public transportation: 

By Train

The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is located roundabout a mile from the Inverness Railway Station. You can walk there in about 5 minutes. Exit on Station Square and walk past the Royal Highland Hotel. Then, cross over at the pedestrian crossing on Union Street and continue straight to the Mercure Hotel. 

Next, you should turn left and follow Church Street to Bridge Street. Cross again towards Bella Italia, then you should take Castle Wynd (between the restaurant and townhouse). 

Go up the hill and make a right at the concrete steps by the public restrooms. The museum entrance is just around the corner. 

By Bus 

There are several buses that can take you to the Inverness Bus Station, like the 919, M10, and M90 buses. This station is just a short walk to the museum, main shopping area, and Inverness Railway Station.

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Attractions

Now that you know the essential details and directions to reach the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, it’s time to discover what this highly acclaimed museum and gallery offers. We’ve outlined the main attractions to immerse yourself in during your Inverness visit:

Discover the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Discover the Art Gallery

Without a doubt, the highlight of the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is its sweeping exhibits that cover centuries and centuries of the Scottish Highland’s unique history. The museum houses artefacts along with artworks representing the development of Highland art and culture up until recent history.

The permanent exhibits offer guests a chance to admire Pictish carved stones, wildlife dioramas showcasing native species, period rooms meticulously decked out in authentic furnishings, and galleries displaying landscape paintings. There are also illustrations and other works produced by artists like Will Maclean, Mary Potter, and Edmund Miller.

On the first floor, you can also discover Jacobite Memorabilia, the work of Highland silversmiths over five centuries, and other artefacts depicting Highland life in the 20th century. These diverse displays give you a vivid voyage through the evolution of the ancient clans, wildlife, artistic styles, and lifestyles unique to Scotland’s picturesque northern territory.

Visit the Art Gallery to Explore Temporary Exhibitions

Temporary Exhibitions

In addition to the permanent collections, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery features rotating temporary exhibits throughout the year across two first-floor art galleries and a foyer exhibition space.

The exhibition calendar showcases a refreshing variety of work by up-and-coming and renowned contemporary Scottish and international talents. Mediums spotlighted range from paintings, photography, ceramics and sculptures to multimedia digital installations.

Popular past exhibitions at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery are Artist Rooms: Robert Mapplethorpe and The Printed Line, highlighting printmaking techniques and works by local artists like David Hockney and Walter Sickert. An upcoming exhibition to look forward to is William Gillies: Monument and Nation tour.

Take Part in Events and Activities

Events and Activities

Beyond the core exhibits, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery has a fascinating range of programmes to engage visitors. If you’re looking to enrich your visiting experience, take advantage of the following special offerings:

  • Inverness Museum Top 10 Highlights Tour: This guided walkthrough highlights a curated selection of the Inverness Art Museum’s most intriguing artefacts to make navigating the museum more convenient. 
  • Highland Pictish Trail: This activity shows the natural history of the mysterious Picts tribe that ruled Scotland’s Highlands over a millennium ago. You can take a self-guided tour of Pictish stones, archaeological sites, and more. 

When planning your visit, be on the lookout for special events like art classes, kids’ activities, and curator Q&As.

Refuel at the Café

Refuel at the Cafe

After exploring the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, take a break at the on-site IMAG Café on the ground floor. The café provides a perfect spot for lunch, coffee, or a quick snack while touring the museum.

Like the Inverness Art Gallery and Museum, the café has seasonal hours that vary between peak visitor times in summer and the quieter winter months. 

During summer (April – October), the café is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:15 am to 4:30 pm. In winter (November – March), hours shift to Tuesday through Thursday from 12:00 pm – 3:45 pm and Friday to Saturday 11:00 am – 3:45 pm. The café remains closed on Sundays and Mondays year-round.

The winter menu features hearty soups, baked goods, and hot drinks to warm you up while exploring world-class exhibits.

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