Clan Mackenzie Tour inc. Kintail
Discover the history of the Clan Mackenzie with a tour of their clan lands including the ancient heartland of Kintail. Along the way visit their former stronghold of Eilean Donan Castle, enjoy a stunning view across Mackenzie lands in Easter Ross and explore a 15th century Mackenzie chief's tomb at Beauly Priory.
Our tour begins at Inverness where we follow the banks of Loch Ness to Invermoriston before turning west through Glen Moriston on the way to Loch Cluanie and Glen Shiel. We visit the site of the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719 where the Clan Mackenzie fought in support of the Jacobites. Next we take a short detour up Mam Ratagan for a breath-taking view of the Highlands and a wonderful panorama of Loch Duich overlooked by the Five Sisters of Kintail - the ancient heartland of the Clan Mackenzie.
Arriving at Eilean Donan Castle we explore the castle’s ancient and historic past as well as savouring the wonderful Highland views around the castle. Although now restored by the Clan Macrae, this was once the domain of the Clan Mackenzie - with the Macraes as castle constables on their behalf - and the two clans have been strongly bonded for centuries.
Leaving Eilean Donan Castle we enjoy a stunning drive along Loch Carron and through Clan Mackenze lands towards Easter Ross where we visit Knockfarrel for a beautiful distance view of Castle Leod, ancestral home of the Mackenzies of Cromartie. On the way we pass Loch Ussie, allegedly home of the Brahan Seer (Kenneth Mackenzie). According to legend, Kenneth (or Coinneach Odhar in Gaelic) had the gift of second sight and made many predictions - some which came true!
Before our return to Inverness we visit the ruins of Beauly Priory which contain the wonderful 15th century effigy and tomb of Kenneth Mackenzie, the 7th Chief of the Clan Mackenzie of Kintail, famous for his victory over the Macdonalds in the Battle of the Park around the 1480s.
Castle Leod is the home of the current Chief (Cabarfeidh) of Clan Mackenzie. As the castle is only open for about 25 days per year (and due to tour timings and the distance being covered) we do not build a visit to Castle Leod into this tour. However, we do drive to Knockfarrel for a view of the castle in the distance and the surrounding lands (see photo above). Should you wish to visit the castle independently, the current list of open days can be found on their website - Castle Leod - and they can be contacted to request private tours outwith those dates (if available).
Finally, I hope your group doesn’t mind being taken around Clan Mackenzie lands by a Macdonald - I promise to be impartial (most of the time) especially as two of my great grandmothers were Mackenzies!
Private Tour Price (per tour)
February to December: £360 *
Depart Inverness 9am
(approx. 8 hours)