Our Highland Jacobite tour begins in Inverness where we head south towards Kingussie and the ruined eighteenth-century Ruthven Barracks. Built on the remains of Ruthven Castle (itself destroyed in the first Jacobite rising) these barracks were home to government troops that eventually surrendered to Bonnie Prince Charlie's forces in early 1746. Following the defeat at Culloden, thousands of Jacobites gathered at Ruthven - only to be informed of the Prince's decison to flee.
We then continue to Newtonmore where we visit the Highland Folk Museum. This wonderful open air, living history site stretches over a mile and includes a great example of a 1700s Highland township where you can experience what life was like for Highlanders during the Jacobite period.
After lunch we head towards the beautiful Rothiemurchus estate, surrounded by the stunning Cairngorm mountains. Here we take a short woodland walk to Loch an Eilean, where from the shoreline we can admire the small island with its ruined castle where Jacobites took refuge after the Battle of Culloden.
Heading back to Inverness, the late afternoon is spent at Culloden Battlefield exploring the bloody history surrounding the Jacobites last stand. The excellent interactive visitors centre sets the scene of this decisive battle along with Charles Edward Stuart's campaign through 1745-46 before you embark on a poignant walk through Culloden field.
We end the day with a wonderful visit to the Bronze Age burial cairns and standing stones of Clava. Whilst not directly connected to the Jacobites, they are often requested by Outlander fans as a popular alternative for the fictional Craig na Dun. These are some of the finest examples of ancient burial cairns that we have in the Scottish Highlands and date back over 4000 years giving us a fascinating glimpse of the very ancient past of the Highlands.
Highlights of a Highland Jacobite Tour inc. Culloden Battlefield
As many of the specific locations in the Outlander series, such as Ladybroch and Castle Leoch, are fictional (or represented in the TV series in other areas of Scotland that we do not cover) we do not offer a specific Outlander tour. However, Outlander's central historical theme of Scottish Highland clans in the eighteenth century and the Jacobite uprising of 1745-46 is very relevant to this tour.
Additionally, we visit the Highland Folk Museum township (used in an episode of Outlander as a Mackenzie village), Loch an Eilean, which is close to Tulloch Ghru (used in some woodland scenes and credits), Culloden Battlefield (central to the story and seen in one episode) and Clava Cairns (wonderful set of ancient standing stones and cairns).