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Craft Beer and Ceilidh Dancing - A Night Out in Inverness

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The old Gaelic word craic is often used to describe the lively atmosphere in a Highland pub on a Friday or Saturday night. You'll experience it yourself in Inverness as you mingle with friendly locals over craft beers and malt whiskies. Many bars host traditional music sessions and Scottish ceilidh dances - like line dancing, you can easily pick up the simple steps and join in the fun.

The traditional music scene

 

As capital of the Highlands, Inverness is a major center for traditional Scottish music. At a live performance in a city pub or concert venue, you'll quickly learn there's nothing quaint about the pipes, fiddles, accordions, and drums that go into that sound. The bands at Hootananny play loud enough to bounce you right onto the dance floor, while the Old Market Inn packs talented musicians onto its tiny stage for rowdy and intimate sessions through the week. Most Inverness pubs are part of this thriving, ongoing music scene, so you're always assured a tuneful night on the town.

 

Hootananny

 

This wildly popular Inverness pub, restaurant, and performance venue also hosts rock bands and comedy shows on 3 floors. But ground level is where you'll find world-class musicians playing Scottish folk tunes and lively crowds of locals dancing to them.

 

67 Church Street, Inverness IV1 1ES Tel: +44 1463 233651

 

Hootananny website

 

The Old Market Inn

 

Also known simply as the Market Bar, this is one of Inverness's oldest, smallest, most musical pubs. You can sip a quiet pint in the friendly, scruffy main bar before enjoying an intimate acoustic set or noisy full-band session upstairs.

 

32 Church Street, Inverness IV1 1EH. Tel: +44 1463 220203

 

The Old Market Inn website

Highland pubs and beer gardens

 

The weather can be a little unfriendly in the Scottish Highlands, especially in winter. You may find that this only adds to the pleasure of stepping inside a warm, old-fashioned Highland pub like the Phoenix for a craft ale or a dram of single malt whisky. When the sun does come out, the Scots are quick to take their pints outside. The Castle Tavern's beer garden becomes a popular spot for soaking up the rays with a cool drink, and you'll want to stick around to enjoy the holiday atmosphere through a warm summer Inverness evening.

 

Phoenix Ale House

 

A few modern tweaks haven't changed the character of this historic Inverness pub. You can admire the Victorian artistry of its horseshoe-shaped mahogany bar while choosing from a range of house ales, brewed nearby in Cromarty, Aviemore, and Loch Ness.

 

106-110 Academy Street, Inverness IV1 1LX [WEBSITE SAYS 110, NOT 106-110, BUT YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT}. Tel: +44 1463 240300

 

Phoenix Ale House website

 

The Castle Tavern

 

This cozy, busy pub looks right onto Inverness Castle, with an elevated view over the Old Town. A cool drink in the beer garden makes a satisfying end to a long walk or bike ride along the nearby River Ness.

 

1 View Place, Inverness IV2 4SA. Tel: +44 1463 718178

 

The Castle Tavern website

 

Inverness nightclubs

 

Inverness is small compared with other Scottish cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh, but it does give you options for a big night out. G's has been a long-serving nightclub of choice for several generations of young Highlanders, and on Fridays and Saturdays you can join hundreds of those revelers on its vast main dance floor. The Den is a touch more sophisticated, a wine and cocktail bar where guest DJs gradually pump up the volume to build a party atmosphere through the evening and into the small hours.

 

G's Inverness

 

The biggest club space in Inverness gives you 2 floors to dance on and 3 bars for taking a break. Lovers of 1970s and 1980s pop hits may prefer the retro music of in-house sister club Vinyl.

 

9-21 Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DX. Tel: +44 1463 233322

 

G's Inverness website

 

The Den

 

You can wear your sharpest going-out clothes to The Den, a stylishly designed wine bar and club tucked away at the back of Johnny Foxes Irish pub. Signature cocktails will get a long, fun night off to a smooth start.

 

26 Bank Street, Inverness IV1 1QU. Tel: +44 1463 236577

 

The Den website