|Scottish Gaelic: Alanais|
Dalmore Distillery reception house in Alness
Alness shown within the Ross and Cromarty area
|OS grid reference|
|Lieutenancy area||Ross and Cromarty|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross|
|Scottish Parliament||Caithness, Sutherland and Ross|
Alness (//, awl-NIS; Scottish Gaelic: Alanais) is a town in Ross and Cromarty, Highland, Scotland. It lies near the Cromarty Firth, with the town of Invergordon, 3 miles to the east and the village of Evanton, 4 miles to the south west. The population in the 2011 census, based on the 2010 definition of the census locality, is 5,782.
For most of the 1990s and early 2000s Alness regularly entered and won flower competitions such as Scotland in Bloom, Britain in Bloom and others winning a large number of awards and this also helped regenerate some areas of the town with some housing estates winning separate awards themselves.
They have not entered in recent years due to the financial cost however the town is still adorned by flowers maintained by hard working volunteers.
Divided by the River Averon, the town is in two parishes, Alness in the west and Rosskeen in the east. Historically these were in different presbyteries. Today there are three churches; Free Church, Church of Scotland and Baptist.
The town is served by a high school, Alness Academy, one of the main schools in Ross and Cromarty, with around 600 pupils on the school roll. There are three primary schools, Obsdale Primary, Bridgend Primary and Coulhill Primary, situated in the east, centre and west of the town respectively. The academy is also fed by schools from nearby towns Ardross and Evanton.
In 2013 The Highland Council announced plans for a new super school to serve Ross shire which could result in Alness Academy closing and the primary schools being merged. This is in the early stages but there has been much protest by the local community.
In September 1715 the Skirmish of Alness took place between Jacobite clans such as the MacKenzies, MacDonalds under the Earl of Seaforth, and pro-government Munros, Rosses, MacKays under the Earl of Sutherland. The Jacobites drove their opponents over Struie to Bonar. For the middle part of the twentieth century there was a seaplane base, RAF Alness.