Inverness, Scotland's most northerly city, is located on the A9 road 157 miles (253 km) north of Edinburgh and 174 miles (280 km) northeast of Glasgow. It lies at the head of the Great Glen, off the northeast tip of Loch Ness and is served by excellent rail and air links. Situated on the Caledonian Canal and regarded as the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness has grown dramatically since the 1960s to reach its present population of c.40,000. Almost a quarter of the Highland population lives in or around the city. Inverness Castle dominates the local architecture and dates from the 1830s. Inverness was home to Macbeth, whose 11th Century murder of King Duncan was immortalised in Shakespeare's play. To the east of the town, on the B9006 road, is Culloden Battlefield.
Affectionately referred to as Inversneckie by locals, Inverness was given the status of a City in 2000, as one of three Millennium Cities named across the United Kingdom. It is an ideal base for climbing, skiing, golfing, hill-walking and other sport holidays, with picturesque landscapes in all directions. Main tourist attractions include the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Balnain House, the Eden Court Theatre, Bught Park, home of an annual Highland Games, Hector Russell's Scottish Kiltmaker Centre, the Pringle Woollen Mill, the Inverness Leisure Centre and Aquadome and the Whin Adventure Park. Inverness is home to An Comunn Gàidhealach which organises the Royal National Ṃd, the annual festival of Gaelic language and culture held in towns around Scotland. The government environmental agency Scottish Natural Heritage in based at Great Glen House in Inverness. Notable people born in Inverness include plant hunter John Fraser (1750 - 1811), railway engineer Murdo Paterson (1826-98), civil engineer Sir Murdoch Macdonald (1866 - 1957), wartime naval commander Rear Admiral Sir Anthony Capel Miers (1908-85), authoress Jessie Kesson (1916-94), politician Charles Kennedy (b.1959), curling champion Janice Rankin (b.1972) and actress Karen Gillan (b.1987).
To the south and west of Inverness is Loch Ness, famous for Nessie its monster, but also noteworthy for the fact that the Loch contains more fresh water in its 23 miles (37 km) length than the lakes of England and Wales combined.