Highland History

Trip Start May 01, 2007
Trip End Dec 11, 2008

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Saturday marked the start of our shortish road trip, the destination being the far north west of Scotland - Durness. On a map you can't go any further north. I thought it would be a good idea to just drive north until we couldn't go north no more. Along the way we hoped to experience some amazing landscape, history, and towns.

So we set off early Saturday morning, and heading north up past Loch Lomond along the A82. As soon as we hit the top of the Loch I knew we were in for some snow. And that was only a small taste of what was to come. We headed up through the western hihglands making a few short photo stops on the away (the moutain scenery is stunning), making our first major stop at the specatuclar Glen Coe. This was my fourth time to the spot, and it still didn't dissapointed. After a wee while admiring the view we continued on passing through Fort William then north east along the Great Glen towards Inverness, our destination for the day.

Along Loch Ness we made our first major stop for the day to visit Urquhart Castle, on the shores of Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle in its heyday was one on the largest medieval castles in Scotland, and was also nearby the location of the Nessie sightings. The castle today is a decent ruin at best, but has an impressive visitors centre and some interesting history. Not to mention it's glorious location overlooking the loch. After a good look around (with no sightings of a monster in the loch), we headed further north to Inverness.

We soon arrived at Inverness around mid-afternoon, but shot straight through the town to Culloden, a few miles east of Inverness. The attraction to Culloden was Culloden Moor, the location to the Battle of Culloden - the last full pitched battle fought on British soil. The Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746), was the final clash of the 1745 Jacobite uprising. The moor has a very sombre feel to it, and the terrain is quite marshy. Seeing the headstones of all the clans Scots that lost their lives was particularly melancholic. A side from the moor itself, which contained flags simbolizing the Jacobite's and redcoat's front lines, there is also an impressive brand new visitors centre. The centre explaining in good detail the events leading up to the battle, and the battle itself, as well as containing various aritifacts discovered. The trip to Culloden was one I had wanted to do since arriving in Scotland, and was very worthwhile. It gave me a good historical background, as well giving the opportunity to visit one of the places that has defined Scotland's history. There was definitely a very grim sense to the area, and did give me a sad feeling.

After our side trip to Culloden we returned to Inverness to find our B&B. Our hosts were extremely hospitable ex-Glaswegians, and had some lovely big fluffy cats. In the evening we had a look around the town before heading to the pub for a meal and few pints. The weather had turned sour as it rained for most of the night. I had a great nights sleep that night as bed was so comfy!! It was a fantastic day driving through the highlands, and getting in some good history.
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