The name of the village may have come from the Scottish Gaelic innis, meaning an island, or, as in this context, a piece of terra firma in a marsh.  Alternatively, inch or innis can refer to a meadow or low-lying pasture which more closely corresponds with the site of the village.  Innis also indicates the presence of water - a river, loch or estuary, perhaps - often seen as Inch in place names, as in Perth's famous North and South Inches on the west bank of the River Tay.  Inchnadamph at the eastern end of Loch Assynt is another example. Innis can also be translated as haven or sanctuary - an island where you can be safe from your enemies as much as a resting place on the cattle drove.
There is a small selection of general and specialist shops, and a post office. There is also a leisure centre with a variety of activities next to which there is an 18-hole golf course. There is also a (greens) bowling club attached to the local library. Plans have been passed for a much needed coffee shop in Commerce Street.
There is one hotel: The Commercial Hotel, towards the centre of the village. A growing number of houses are offering Bed and Breakfast facilities in response to demand from migrant workers.
There is also a local Paint Balling area within five minutes walking distance from the railway station. A health centre, part-time fire station and a community centre.
A number of small playparks are scattered around the village, along with a larger play park and football pitch beside the leisure centre.
The village has a regular bus and train service, located on the main Aberdeen to Inverness train line.
Within the village there is a nursery and a primary school, Insch Primary School. For secondary education, the pupils usually attend The Gordon Schools in Huntly or sometimes Inverurie Academy in Inverurie.
Insch Golf Club
The local golf club has just celebrated its centenary. The game of golf in Insch was first recorded before World War I, with the course being laid around Dunnideer Hill. It was then moved to its present location around 1923 where it existed until 1940, when the ground was seconded by the War Department for use as a grenade range.
Golf was absent in Insch until a committee was formed in 1977 to provide the village with such a facility. A nine-hole course was built by voluntary labour along Valentine Burn and was reopened for play in 1982. The club expanded further in 1987, when an innovative clubhouse facility – complete with changing rooms, office, bar, café and dance floor – was provided from the remnants of temporary accommodation for a local school.
The course was extended by the addition of 12 new holes on the slopes of Dunnideer. The design intent of the new course was to match that of the old course, in providing a Parkland course for all golfing abilities, designed around the undulating terrain, with innovative use of water and trees, that would mature over time. The course extension started in 1995 and was completed a year later. It was officially opened on 28 June, 1997 and has now fully matured to met the vision of the original course designers.
With rising membership and rapidly ageing clubhouse, the club members approved a new business plan which included the design and construction of a modern clubhouse – to the design outlined below – at the Golf Club EGM held in March 2003.
The vision of the Golf Club Committee was to provide a modern clubhouse facility that would meet the needs of the modern golfer, funded by a modest increase in annual membership fees and designed to retain the friendly club atmosphere and stunning views over the old course and Dunnideer.
This vision became reality in April 2004, when the new clubhouse opened its doors for the first time.
The clubhouse was officially opened in June 2004 by Paul Lawrie, a local Scottish golf hero and past British Open Champion.
Gordon Brown has connections to Insch; his mother's family lived, and ran a business in the village for many years. Robert Alexander Smith was president of Toronto stock exchange till June 17 1912 when his car crashed in Richmond Hill , Toronto Ontario
86% were born in Scotland, 10% in England and 4% elsewhere. Source: National Statistics Online
- "Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig".
- "Scottish Parliament: Placenames collected by Iain Mac an Tailleir" (PDF).
- Watson, W.J., Celtic Placenames of Scotland, (Edinburgh, 1926)
- Smith, Alexander (Ed.). A New History of Aberdeenshire in Two Parts: Part II, Lewis Smith, Aberdeen, 1875.
- Watson, W.J. Place-Names of Ross and Cromarty, 1904, reprinted in paperback 1996 by Highland Heritage Books).
- "Glossary of Gaelic origins of place names in Britain (G to L)" Archived 2008-08-28 at the Wayback Machine, Ordnance Survey, accessed 30 September 2007