12 Pushchair-friendly walks in and around Inverness

With several small children, it can be hard to find walks that are suitable for all the family. Here are twelve of our favourite pushchair-friendly walks in the Inverness area. They are also suitable for kids on balance bikes! We’ve split the guide up into two sections: walks in Inverness itself, and walks in the surrounding area.

We have a full walk guide for each walk, so do click through to read those if you would like further details.

Pushchair-friendly walks in Inverness

1. Ness Islands

Ness Islands

Distance: 1.5 miles / 2.4km

The Ness Island circuit is a delightful family walk right in the heart of Inverness. This small group of islands sits in the middle of the River Ness in the southern part of the city, and the islands are connected across the river by a series of footbridges. The Ness Islands are beautifully landscaped, and contain a number of interesting sculptures. The full loop is good quality tarmac paths, and is suitable for most buggies. A must-do walk if you are exploring Inverness city.

2. Merkinch Local Nature Reserve and the Caledonian Canal

The end of the Caledonian Canal

Distance: 2.8 miles / 4.5km (easy to shorten or lengthen as desired)

The walk through Merkinch Nature Reserve to the end of the Caledonian Canal is my favourite walk in Inverness. Magnificent views open up all around you: the Beauly Firth with the hills rising beyond, the railway, the loch-keeper’s cottage, and the water running out to sea under the Kessock Bridge. This is a gem, and not to be missed if you want to get a sense of the area around Inverness.

The walk is very pushchair friendly with wide, level paths, but there are several railway crossings, and it runs close to water, so care is needed with small children.

3. Craig Phadrig

Craig Phadrig

Distance: 1.5 miles / 2.3km

On the hilltop to the west of Inverness lies the hill fort of Craig Phadrig, dating back to Pictish times. This is the mostly likely scene for the famous encounter between the Pictish King Bridei and St Columba, which happened around the year 565AD. The hill fort itself is not accessible by buggy due to steps, but you can circumnavigate the hill with an off-road pushchair, and enjoy views out over the Beauly Firth.

4. Torvean Park

Torvean Park

Distance: 1 mile / 1.5km

Torvean is one of the newest parks in Inverness, and is the venue for the city’s Park Run on Saturday mornings. This is a short walk, but the park is well landscaped, and a pleasure to walk through. You can see two Esker ridges from the park, part of the geology of Inverness.

Pushchair-friendly walks in the Inverness area

These walks are within about 30 minutes drive of Inverness itself.

1. Abriachan Forest Trust


Distance: 1 mile / 1.5km

The Abriachan Forest Trust was one of the first community buyouts in Scotland. They have a wonderful, quirky site up above Loch Ness, with lots to see and do, including ponds, treehouses, and a replica Bronze Age roundhouse. The paths and boardwalks around the main site are suitable for pushchairs, but this is also a lovely place for toddlers to explore under their own steam. There is something new around every corner to keep motivation high!

2. Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield

Distance: 1.2 miles / 2km (various walks available)

Culloden was the last battle fought on British soil. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite and government armies met here, resulting in a decisive victory for the government forces, and effectively the end of the Jacobite campaign. You can explore the battlefield on its own, or also visit the Visitor Centre (there is a charge for the centre). The paths around the battlefield are very high quality and mostly suitable for pushchairs.

3. Rosehaugh Estate

Rosehaugh Estate: the old formal gardens

Distance: 1.5 miles / 2.4km with the possibility to extend

Rosehaugh Estate lies just outside Avoch on the Black Isle. The big house was demolished about sixty years ago, though some of the cellars and the garden terraces remain. The estate itself is beautiful, and well worth exploring.

4. Loch Moy Circular

Loch Moy

Distance: 4 miles / 6.5km

Loch Moy is one of the larger freshwater lochs near Inverness, and it is a beauty. This circular walk begins and ends on the pavement, but the glorious views along the far side of the loch more than make up for this. Take some binoculars and admire the Isle of Moy, with its obelisk and traces of a ruined castle.

5. Touchstone Maze

Touchstone Maze

Distance: 2.25 miles / 3.5km

Up in the woods above Strathpeffer is a labyrinth of rocks, the Touchstone Maze, brought from quarries all over the Highlands. The rocks themselves are ancient, but the maze itself was built in 1994, celebrating the rich geological environment of the Scottish Highlands. The walk up to the Touchstone Maze runs through Blackmuir Woods along the slopes of Cnoc Mor, with beautiful views down over Strathpeffer. The route as far as the maze is buggy-friendly.

6. Ardersier to Fort George

Ardersier looking towards Fort George

Distance: 3 miles /4.5km return

This walk runs along the shoreline from Ardersier towards Fort George, and has stunning views across the firth. There is a really nice quality path beginning in Ardersier village, and heading out across the common. There is a bumpier section near the Fort George end, so I would recommend starting from Ardersier, and then you can turn back if you need to. See our full walk report for further details.

7. Nairn Beach coastal walk to the west

Nairn Beach coastal walk

Distance: 1.8 miles / 3km

Nairn is one of my favourite beaches, with miles of glorious white sand, rock pools, lovely cafes and lots of fun for children. It’s possible to walk in either direction; this route heads west from the main Central Beach towards the golf club, and is suitable for all pushchairs with wide tarmac paths.

8. Ord Hill Circular

Ord Hill Circular Walk

Distance: 2.5 miles / 4km

Ord Hill lies just over the Kessock Bridge to the north of Inverness. It is topped by an ancient hill fort, the pair to the fort atop Craig Phadrig on the other side of the Firth. Both hilltops command great strategic views over the surrounding area, and both forts have evidence of vitrified (burnt) stone work, suggesting a violent past. The hill-fort itself is not accessible to pushchairs, but you can take a circular walk around the hill, with views of the Moray Firth and the Black Isle (albeit rather obstructed by the heavy forestation).

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