Home > Vacation > Scotland – Day 6: Culloden, Cawdor, Loch Ness

Scotland – Day 6: Culloden, Cawdor, Loch Ness

Itinerary

At CULLODEN VISITOR CENTRE the story unfolds of the crushing Hanoverian victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish clans. Then, call at CAWDOR CASTLE, setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and home to the Thanes of Cawdor for over 600 years. Back in Inverness, the rest of the day is at leisure. Our recommendation would be to join the Loch Ness Experience optional excursion, which includes a cruise on the loch followed by supper.

Culloden

Being a couple hundred miles further north today means a drop in temperature. Nothing unpleasant, but definitely cooler. No rain! Our first visit today was to the nearby battlefield of Culloden. By now, we were much more versed in Scottish history. This was the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite uprising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. After more than 260 years, there is obviously little, if any,  evidence of the battle. There is a large memorial cairn and a farmhouse built a few years after the battle.

The visitor center is pretty good. To avoid the crowd (us), we did the self-guided audio tour of the battlefield and afterwards toured the visitor center. If you go, do everything in the opposite order of what we did. First, take photos of the Highland cattle by the parking lot if they are there. We did not, and this was our only opportunity to take photos without a window in the way. Then go through the visitor center, followed by the battlefield. The latter is the least interesting, IMHO, since honestly, it’s just a big field. I would rather read and look at the artifacts, especially when it’s nice and warm inside.

Cawdor Castle

Supposedly the castle is the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, but I have no idea. Not a Shakespeare fan really, and I had never heard of the castle before. But it’s a picturesque castle, nonetheless. As usual, we were not allowed to take photos inside. Now, I think it was this castle, but I may be wrong, where they had fake people (wax)? posing. It freaked the heck out of us. It’s just weird and creepy. Anyway, it’s a neat place and almost worth going just for the gardens. The gardens also provide a really nice foreground when taking photos of the castle outside. Of course, with the overcast conditions, everything is dreary. Ah well.

Inverness

By the time we got back to Inverness for lunch, it was clear blue skies and actually warm. The River Ness (flowing from Loch Ness) divides Inverness. With all the recent rains, the river was extremely full. We ate  lunch at one of the cafes on the river.

Loch Ness

Can’t come to Scotland without visiting Loch Ness. The bus dropped us off at the visitor center for a walking multimedia tour. John had warned us a bit about it, and he was spot on. Honestly, the tour itself is kind of confusing, as you don’t know where the movie projection is going to occur. Once it starts, there’s a shuffle of people trying to move around in the dark. But the worst thing, is that by the end of the tour, you’re almost totally convinced there is no monster! They should be trying to do the opposite. I wasn’t expecting much, but it’s rather a letdown. My recommendation is to just stick with the gift shop. It was, after all, the second largest one on the tour.

After that, we divided into groups to take boat tours of Loch Ness. Ours was pretty small and it was hard to understand the pilot/driver/captain. Regardless, it was alot of fun actually being on Loch Ness. The scenery is great for photos, too, and Urquhart Castle overlooks the loch. I wish we could have gone there and tromped around.

We ended the day with dinner by the visitor center (very good).

Full Gallery – Day 6

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