Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s) Tours
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Dating back to 1897, Old High Church (or Old High St. Stephen’s) is the oldest church and congregation in the Scottish Highlands capital of Inverness. The church is noteworthy for its Arts and Crafts/Gothic-style architecture, Ballantine stained glass, 1902 organ, and adjacent cemetery overlooking the Ness river.
Visitors to Old High St. Stephen’s Church can explore the main nave and pulpit, or sit in a pew and observe the intricate stained glass that Ballantine and Allen crafted in the early 20th century. The church’s turn-of-the-century organ, restored in 2011, can be played during your visit if you call to schedule in advance. The cemetery also offers insight into the dark history of Inverness and contains gravestones that date back to the 18th century. Due to wear, the bell tower is no longer open to the public.
While the church does not offer guided tours, volunteers are occasionally available to answer questions. Hop-on hop-off bus tours stop at the church and offer hassle-free navigating.
Things to Know Before You Go
- As a major landmark for the Jacobite Uprising of 1746, Old High Church is a must for Scottish history buffs.
- Call in advance to inquire about volunteer-led tours and church service schedules.
- The church is not accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
On the banks of the Ness river and just steps from the city center, Old High St. Stephen’s is easily accessible on foot or by car. It’s about an 8-minute walk from the Inverness railway station. If driving, take the A82 to Church Street; there is parking at the Rose Street lot.
When to Get There
The church is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm. Church services usually occur at 11:15am on Sunday. Inverness’ peak season is during the warmer summer months, June to August, so go in the early spring or late autumn for a quieter experience.
Old High Church is featured in the wildly popular Outlander books and TV series, written by Diana Gabaldon. Look for a re-creation of the cemetery in the first episode of season 3, when the Redcoats take the rebels prisoner after the Battle of Culloden.
Address: Old High Church, Church Street, Inverness, Inverness-shire IV1 1EY, Scotland
3 Tours and Activities to Experience Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)
Private and Luxury
This tour is a must do on a visit to Inverness. Meaning "Mouth of the River Ness", Inverness is surrounded by the river and other natural beauty. It is the capital of the Highlands and therefore acts as a main shopping, entertainment and travel centre for the North of Scotland. On this 1.5 hour tour, you will explore the history and modern culture of Inverness. You'll learn about how the city has grown from its humble beginnings into officially the happiest city in Scotland. This is a family-friendly, leisurely stroll around the city. Key sights: Inverness Castle Eden Court Inverness Cathedral River Ness The Old Town House Old High Church Balnain House and many more hidden gems too
This tour visits many of the actual locations mentioned in the Outlander Novel/TV series. Whilst much of the filming took place in the South of Scotland the true location of the Jacobite Strongholds are to be found in the Highlands.Like all my tours this will be a laid back and relaxed day and flexible in every respect. The tours are conducted in a luxury van type vehicle which has excellent head and leg room and adult sized seats for all occupants. Complimentary water and snacks are carried in the vehicle and WiFi is also available wherever reception allows. Entry tickets are not included but can be obtained in advance for you at cost on request. Lunch stops are at your own discretion however the driver will be able to find you somewhere nice to eat as you require.
On this tour you will learn about Inverness’ fascinating and rich history, as well as being thoroughly entertained with lesser-known stories and light-hearted anecdotes! You will hear: gruesome tales of kidnap, slavery and battles; amusing anecdotes about our infamous Loch Ness monster; legends of witches, body snatchers and prophets; and the story of the cheese battle! Your local guide will keep you enthralled from start to finish as you have a leisurely walk around the picturesque town centre, ticking off all of the key sights and seeing them in a completely different light.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)?
The best ways to experience Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s) are:
- Inverness City Centre Walking Tour
- Elegant Outlander Tour
- Terribly Good Tales : The Inverness Walking Tour
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