I have recently been offered a job in Inverness and, having visited both Inverness and wider Scotland quite a bit, I was wondering if I could seek some advice about relocating there from the UKC community. I've already read through a lot of previous threads on Inverness too.
A bit about myself... I'm a single male, mid-twenties and just finishing my degree. I enjoy trad, looking to do more sport and in general thrive off being in the mountains walking/scrambling/camping. I also love the coast and surf a bit, with wanting to surf more regularly. It seems Inverness is a perfect location!
A few thoughts/questions that I'd love some advice on:
How is the social life/live music scene and general town stuff? Its great being close to the coast and mountains, but I'd want to get out and make friends and have a decent social life too. I've seen there is a climbing club there which is a great start. And the wall in the leisure centre too.
Any experience with the airport and/or train service? Though I'll be driving, for trips to the South (family and friends is Northern England/London) and for holidays, is being this far North a hindrance?
Anyone live in the area and surf too? How are the breaks East from Inverness/getting around to other areas? I hear Thurso is something else!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Its quite some decision so it will help im for sure!
Lived here for 11 years now. It's lively enough, and some decent pubs. Plenty of live music, but it's a bit off the beaten track for established acts, so mostly traditional music and shite cover bands. You can get an idea of the sort of caliber of things that come through town by looking at the listing for the Ironworks. Make of it what you will... http://www.ironworksvenue.com/
It's pretty touristy in the summer, which keeps it from seeming too dead, but also means that a lot of things are catered towards that.
Trains are OK: 11 or 12 trains a day going south, and a similar number to Aberdeen. Edinburgh around 3:15 to 3:40 hours away, and Glasgow pretty similar, Aberdeen around 2 and a half hours away. Airport is OK for connections to the rest of the UK, but doesn't have many flights abroad. There are normally a couple of flights a day to Manchester, Luton and Gatwick, as well as single flights to Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast and Dublin (looks like Heathrow flights exist again, after a gap of a few years). You can fly to Amsterdam just now, which is handy, but other than package tours, there aren't any other international destinations. Oh, and of course access to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.
Driving is a similar sort of time to the Central Belt, maybe a little faster. For me to drive back to my parents place in NW Wales takes around 7.5 - 8 hours; I'd imagine another hour or so to London.
Personally I don't climb any more, and have never surfed, so can't tell you much about that. I think there's a reasonably healthy climbing scene, although probably not on the scale of Fort William.
Personally I love it up here, but I'm not really after a particularly lively lifestyle, so it doesn't bother me that it's a bit out on a limb.