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Our Jacobites Tour: From Killiekrankie to Culloden
SUMMARY: Who were the Jacobites, and why have they become such an intrinsic part of Scottish history? This specialist tour will allow you to understand more about the Jacobites than a general tour of the Highlands; explore the sites of the risings, the marches and the battles, and uncover the personalities and motives of key figures.
From the first skirmishes and battles in 1689 to the all-out war which ended in slaughter on the battlefield at Culloden, the Jacobites have inspired and fascinated people the world over. For some, the Jacobites were the valiant heroes who fought to restore King James VII and his heirs to their rightful throne; to others, they were fanatical rebels intent on overthrowing the government and removing the Hanoverian monarchy.
Our tour will cover all the famous battlefields such as Killiecrankie, Dunkeld, Sherrifmuir, Glenfinnan and Culloden, plus some equally important, if lesser-known, locations. A journey of romantic ideals, clan loyalty, politics and power, religion and revenge, our tailored Jacobite tour offers an insight into the hearts and minds of the Jacobites and their leaders.
HIGHLIGHTS & KEY LOCATIONS: Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Dunkeld, Inverness, Fort William, Glencoe, Glasgow
TOUR DURATION: 4 Days
Day 1: Our tour will start with a morning walk through Jacobite Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile; the scene of the triumphant arrival of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army in 1745. We will also take time to explore Greyfriars Kirkyard and the Grassmarket, the site of imprisonment, suffering and execution of defeated Jacobites in 1746.
After lunch, we will travel east to Prestonpans, the site of a decisive Jacobite victory over the government forces led by General Cope in 1745. We will return to Edinburgh where we will spend the night.
Day 2: Departing Edinburgh we travel to Falkirk, site of the last Jacobite victory in January 1746, before their retreat north and final defeat at Culloden. We then travel to Stirling Castle for a tour and lunch. Stirling was one of many castles fortified and extended by the government during the Jacobite uprisings in early 18th century.
After our tour we travel the short distance to the wild and windswept Ochil Hills and to Sheriffmuir, scene of the main battle during the 1715 Rising. On this desolate moorland the Jacobite forces led by Earl of Mar were pushed back by the government forces of the Duke of Argyll, thus ending the Jacobite attempt to bring back the son of the last Jacobite king, known as the ‘Old Pretender’, to the throne of Britain. Our journey then follows the same route as Mar’s retreating forces to Perth, where we spend the night.
Day 3: After breakfast and a quick tour of Perth we head north following the River Tay to the ancient town of Dunkeld. It was here, in August 1689, that a bloody battle was fought between a large Jacobite army and the heavily outnumbered government force led by Col McLelland. This fiercely devout Protestant militia, considerably outnumbered, resisted the full brunt of the Jacobite attack on Dunkeld and despite the loss of their leader and the near total destruction of the town, the government force prevailed.
After coffee in quaint Dunkeld, we will travel north to Killiekrankie and the Soldiers Leap at the River Garry, scene in July 1689 of, perhaps, the most famous Jacobite victory. Although victorious the Jacobites were to lose their charismatic leader ‘Bonnie Dundee’ during the battle and were subsequently defeated at Dunkled. We then head north following the route taken by a different group of retreating Jacobites, the followers of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746; stopping briefly at the ruined buildings of Ruthven Barracks, where on 17 April 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie sent word to his remaining supporters that the Jacobite cause was over.
We will spend the afternoon visiting the haunting battlefield at Culloden; site of the final Jacobite defeat and the last battle on British soil. Taking time to walk the length and breadth of the battlefield, visualising opposing lines of soldiers in the landscape to understand exactly how the battle became a slaughter lasting little more than an hour. We will then travel to Inverness where we will spend the night.
Day 4: After breakfast, we will visit the mighty military stronghold of Fort George. This was built in the 18th century as a military base to control access to Inverness from the sea and is still in use by the military to this day. We will then follow the route taken by Bonnie Prince Charlie as he retreated west from Culloden. Our route will take us along the side of Loch Ness to the village of Invermoriston where we will hear tales of the ‘Seven Men of Moriston’ who assisted the Prince as he attempted to evade the government soldiers. We will continue to Fort Augustus where we will stop for coffee. Our route then follows the Caledonian Canal westwards to Fort William where we will have lunch.
In the afternoon, we start our journey south, passing through the haunting beauty of Glencoe where we will visit the site of the infamous massacre of 1692. The final leg of our journey takes us south, passed Crianlarich and along the banks of Loch Lomond before arriving at our final destination in Glasgow. Here we will visit Glasgow Green, the site which became a military encampment for Jacobite troops in 1745.
Overnight Stops and Accommodation: We will be happy to recommend suitable overnight accommodation in each of the locations on this tour. The tour has also been designed to allow a ‘shorter’ version to be offered for those clients with less time available in Scotland.
Photo Opportunities: There will be ample photo stops at all main locations.
Please contact us for more information.