Scotland – Jacobite Fortresses and Battlefields


The Jacobite Risings of the 17th and 18th centuries had an impact on the whole of Scotland, making their mark on the land forever.  On this tour of Edinburgh and the Highlands you’ll see first hand many of the strongholds and battlefields involved in the risings, as well as other sites that help us piece together the Jacobite cause and its consequences. 

The Jacobites came from a variety of backgrounds, regions and clans; what united them was their endeavour to restore the Stuarts to the Scottish (and British) thrones.  Risings, bloody battles with the British Government forces, timely retreats and epic escapes ensued over a period of several decades. 

On this private tour of Scotland you’ll see some of the most important sites in the Jacobite story and learn how the risings changed the shape of Scotland’s culture forever.

Activity Level

Speak to your travel designer about how active you like to be on vacation.
This trip can be adapted to include easy, moderate or more challenging hikes, or you can choose to do a less active version.

We will pair you up with a guide who is most suited to your activity level. 


Day One – Welcome to edinburgh

Arrive at Edinburgh Airport where you will be met by your private driver and transferred into the city.

The afternoon is free to enjoy all that Edinburgh has to offer. You may want to visit Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood House or the Royal Yacht Britannia. Edinburgh also has a great variety of museums and art galleries to explore.

Overnight: The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
Included meals: None

Day Two – The Jacobites in edinburgh

Meeting a local city guide this morning you’ll walk through the cobbled streets and hidden lanes of Edinburgh’s characterful Old Town. The streets here have changed little since the Jacobite forces occupied them in 1745. 

Start at the Palace of Holyrood House where Bonnie Prince Charlie set up court as he was welcomed into Edinburgh by the locals. The tour ends at Edinburgh Castle which remained in the hands of the government forces despite the rest of the city falling to the Jacobite army.

Overnight: The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
Included meals: Breakfast

Day Three – Killiecrankie and blair castle

You are met by your driver guide this morning and you’ll start your journey north into the Scottish Highlands. 

In the lush region of Perthshire you’ll visit Killiecrankie, site of a battle which took place in 1689 during the first Jacobite Rising. In the churchyard in the quaint village of Old Blair lies the grave of ‘Bonnie Dundee’ who led the Jacobite forces to victory at Killiecrankie but died from the wounds he suffered in battle. 

You may want to visit Blair Castle, the ancestral home of Lord George Murray who led the Jacobites to their defeat in the Battle of Culloden. Blair Castle is the home of the Dukes of Atholl, the only clan that have their own private army, The Atholl Highlanders.  The castle itself is open to the public and has its own Jacobite exhibition. 

Travelling further into the Highlands you’ll enter the interior courtyard of the ominous Ruthven Barracks near Kingussie, a fortress built to house the government army following the 1715 rising and subsequently destroyed by the Jacobites as they retreated from the Battle of Culloden.

Overnight: Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Blair Castle in Perthshire, Scotland

Day Four – Culloden and the aftermath

Perhaps one of the most important sites in Jacobite history is that of the Battle of Culloden near Inverness, the place of the final defeat of the Jacobites in April 1746. Here you’ll walk out to the battle lines and see where the opposing sides stood against each other, visit the mass graves marked by stone cairns, naming the clansmen who fell. 

After the government’s victory at Culloden the Jacobites had very little resources left to continue their rebellion.  The government forces took the opportunity to build their presence in the Highlands constructing a network of roads, bridges and fortresses to keep the Jacobites under control and changing the infrastructure of the Highlands forever. Fort George is the most significant fortress that was built, a vast stronghold on the Moray Coast 20 miles north of Culloden. You’ll visit the fort which is still in use by the military, walk the ramparts and see what life would have been like for the soldiers based there.

Overnight: Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

The visitor centre at Culloden Battlefield near Inverness in Scotland

Day Five – Loch Ness and uRQUHART cASTLE

The Great Glen is a large fault line that runs through the highlands, with Loch Ness it’s largest freshwater lake. 

On the banks of the dark loch we start with a visit to Urquhart Castle, a fortress that has a long and violent history due to its sought after position. The last of the government forces garrisoned here during the Jacobite uprisings blew up the castle’s gatehouse when they left so it could not be occupied again by the rebels.  The castle ruins remain as a reminder of Scotland’s violent past. 

At the south end of the loch enjoy a lunch stop at the canalside village of Fort Augustus, once site of another important fort that no longer exists. 

Later visit the banks of Loch Arkaig and the tumbling waterfalls of Eas Chia-Aig. It is rumoured that a large amount of Spanish gold given to the Jacobites to fund the 1745 rebellion is still hidden at Loch Arkaig, left abandoned after the failure of Culloden.

Overnight: Inverlochy Castle, Fort William
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day Six – glenfinnan

Eight months before the defeat at Culloden the Jaocbites gathered at Glenfinnan where 1,200 men pledged their allegiance to Prince Charles Edward Stuart. At the head of Loch Shiel a monument stands to honour those who gave their lives for the cause. You’ll visit the monument and take a scenic boat trip on the loch where you may also spot Scotland’s largest bird of prey, the white-tailed eagle. 

Later today choose to either hike into spectacular Glen Nevis to Steall Falls, a filming location for Rob Roy and Braveheart, or head to the West Highland Museum in Fort William, the collection here has many artefacts and information relating the Jacobite Risings of the 18th Century.

Overnight: Inverlochy Castle, Fort William
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

The Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the standard starting the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Glenfinnan, Scotland

Day Seven – rob roy’s grave

Travelling south today back into Perthshire you’ll pass through stunning Glencoe and Rannoch Moor. Our first scheduled stop is at the remote village of Bridge of Orchy where one of the military roads built following Culloden cuts through the village and you can see a fine example of a bridge built by Major Caulfeild around 1751.

Later visit the grave of Rob Roy MacGregor, a romanticised outlaw figure who was enshrined in Scottish legend by Sir Walter Scott. With a reputation for cattle rustling and extortion, Rob Roy was also known to be a Jacobite supporter having fought on the Jacobite side at the Battle of Killiecrankie. MacGregor’s grave is located in an old churchyard in the village of Balquhiider. A hike up a nearby hill will provide a wonderful viewpoint overlooking the surrounding landscape.

Overnight: Monachyle Mhor, Balquhidder
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day Eight – Stirling castle and Falkirk muir

Due to its location between the Lowlands and Highlands and the strength of this fortification, Stirling Castle is considered one of the most historically significant castles in Scotland. During the 1745 rising the Jacbites besieged Stirling Castle but did not succeed.

After walking the grand halls of Stirling, you’ll get the chance to walk the battlefield of Falkirk Muir, site of the battle that took place in January 1746, a few months before Culloden. The Jacobites took the victory at Falkirk Muir but it did not have much impact in the overall campaign.

Overnight: Spend your final night in Glasgow or Edinburgh.
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Stirling Castle in the Lowlands of Scotland

Day Nine – Depart

A private transfer will take you to either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport to make your onward journey.

What’s included

  • 8 nights accommodation based on 2 people sharing a room
  • Private driver guide from Day 3 to Day 8 inclusive
  • Private airport transfer on Day 1 and Day 9
  • Meals as listed in the above itinerary (lunches are a mixture of bagged and cafe)
  • All entry fees, activities and hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Gratuities for local services and experiences

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Flights 
  • Any accommodation, meals, entrance, fees and activities not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for your main driver guide


Speak to your travel designer to find out what accommodation and vehicle upgrades are available for this tour. 

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