Follow in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie 300 years on from his birth. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, born to the exiled Stuart King James II, was raised in the belief that his family were the true rulers of Britain. Supported by his fellow Jacobites, he landed in Scotland in 1745. His planned invasion of England starting promisingly but ultimately ended in a disastrous defeat with the Prince forced to go on the run, always one step away from capture, before escaping to the continent. We tell the fascinating story of the young prince’s time in Scotland, visiting the places where he sought refuge, in a story that has shaped Scottish history and been immortalized in books and songs from Sir Walter Scott to the current Outlander TV series.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
May 8, 2022 - May 18, 2022
Nights One, Two and Ten– Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Edinburgh
Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, the Principal Charlotte Square Hotel is made up of seven inter-connecting Georgian townhouses overlooking one of the town’s prettiest garden squares. All the carefully-designed rooms are cosy yet eclectic and are divided between the townhouses and the hotel’s modern wing. There is also a spa and a newly refurbished gym.
Night Three – Fonab Castle Hotel, Pitlochry
Nights Four and Five – Marcliffe Hotel & Spa, Aberdeen
The Marcliffe Hotel is a luxurious yet relaxed country hotel set in beautiful grounds on the outskirts of Aberdeen. The 40 bedrooms provide all the amenities one comes to expect from a 5-star hotel and the hotel also boasts a restaurant, an intimate drawing room bar and lounge plus a spa.
Nights Six and Seven – Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant, Inverness
Situated in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, the Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant is a beautifully renovated Georgian mansion house with stunning views over the River Ness. This elegant boutique hotel offers individually-designed bedrooms with spa style bathrooms, the renowned Chez Roux restaurant and a contemporary bar.
Night Eight – Glenfinnan House Hotel, Glenfinnan
Night Nine – Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort, near Glasgow
May 8: Arrival (depart U.S. on 5/7)
On arrival at Edinburgh airport, a private transfer will take you to the Charlotte Square Hotel, our hotel for the next two nights. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink and dinner followed by an introductory lecture.
May 9: Palace of Holyroodhouse, National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle
We enjoy a private guided tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, followed by refreshments. Today the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, back in September 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie set up court at the palace. We go behind the ropes in selected rooms and into the West Drawing Room, used by the Royal Family and not normally open to the public. Next, we venture to the National Museum of Scotland, which houses a significant collection of material relating to the Jacobite story. We then enjoy an audio guided tour of Edinburgh Castle, one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, which has witnessed many of the defining events of Scottish history.
May 10: Linlithgow Palace, Huntingtower Castle and Perth
We begin at the ruins of Linlithgow Palace. Built by successive Stuart kings, Linlithgow was a comfortable country retreat visited by Charles Drum Castle Edward Stuart during his march south in 1745. From here we make our way to Huntingtower Castle. Lord George Murray was born at Huntingtower, and both he and his brother Charles were involved in earlier Jacobite risings. Afterwards, we visit the city of Perth, ‘Gateway to the Highlands’. A former capital of Scotland, Perth has a rich history that stretches back over 800 years. We then continue to our overnight hotel, Fonab Castle.
May 11: House of Dun, Drum Castle and Aberdeen
The Georgian House of Dun was built for David Erskine, a distant cousin of John Erskine, the fervent Jacobite. On our guided tour we discover subtle nuances that hint at David Erskine’s clandestine loyalties, such as the white roses (a symbol of the Jacobite cause). Next we enjoy a guided tour of Jacobite Drum Castle. Alexander Irvine, 17th Laird of Drum, fought alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden. After the defeat, he was listed ‘never to be pardoned’ but managed to make his way back to Drum where his sister hid him in a secret room to avoid capture. Our final stop is the ‘Granite city’ of Aberdeen. We then check in to the Marcliffe Hotel, where we stay for two nights. After dinner, we are treated to a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.
May 12: Craigievar Castle and Castle Fraser
Our day begins with a guided tour of Craigievar Castle, built in the 17th century and boasting a fine collection of baroque furniture and original Jacobean woodwork plus the Order of Battle for the Battle of Culloden. Afterwards we visit Castle Fraser for a guided tour. This magnificent fortified castle was one of the strongholds of the Fraser Clan, who came out for the Jacobites in the 1745 rebellion.
May 13: Fyvie Castle, Brodie Castle and Dallas Dhu Distillery
Fyvie Castle blends 13th-century origins with opulent Edwardian interiors. This magnificent Scottish Baronial fortress was once a Royal stronghold before being owned by five successive families. We continue on to Brodie Castle where there are tales of government troops camped out in the wood behind the castle. As well as an extensive library, the house has a major collection of paintings plus antique furniture and ceramics which we discover on our guided tour. Our day finishes at the Dallas Dhu Distillery which operated between 1899 and 1983. Today we can see how whisky was made in the 1900s and sample a wee dram. This evening, we check in to the Rocpool Reserve Hotel, our base for the next two nights.
May 14: Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and Urquart Castle
We start with some free time in Inverness. This vibrant city is full of historical buildings including Inverness Castle perched picturesquely above the River Ness. From here we visit Culloden Battlefield, scene of the final battle of the 1745-46 Jacobite rising. We also spend time at the state-of-the-art visitor center which puts this infamous period of Scottish history into vivid context. Next we experience the sights, wildlife and history of Loch Ness on a scenic cruise. The loch is most famous for the legend of the elusive Loch Ness monster that is said to live in its deep waters! We then make our way to Urquart Castle, one of the most famous castles in the Highlands. In 1689 government troops were stationed here and on their departure in 1692, they blew up the gatehouse to ensure the location could not be used by the Jacobites.
May 15: Fort William, Jacobite train journey and Glenfinnan Monument
This morning we visit Fort William, where we board the famous Jacobite Train which takes us across the mountainous west coast of Scotland to the port of Mallaig. This iconic railway takes in wonderful sights such as the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Afterwards we rejoin our coach to visit the Glenfinnan Monument – a chance to stand on the site where Bonnie Prince Charlie came ashore on 19 August 1745 and raised the Stuart standard. We then travel to our overnight hotel, the Glenfinnan House Hotel.
May 16: Glencoe, Loch Lomond and Dumbarton Castle
Our day begins at Glencoe. Showcasing a dramatic landscape, Glencoe is regarded by many as a natural monument to the infamous massacre of February 1692, where 38 people from the MacDonald clan, who had supported the 1689 Jacobite rising, were killed by government troops. We then embark on a cruise of Loch Lomond, the largest expanse of fresh water on mainland Britain with a stunning mountain backdrop and a variety of wildlife. Our final visit of the day is to Dumbarton Castle, once a military base and prison. Aeneas MacDonald – one of the ‘seven men of Moidart’ who had accompanied Charles Edward Stuart to Scotland – was imprisoned at the castle after the Battle of Culloden. We then make our way to the Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort where we stay overnight with dinner included.
May 17: Royal Yacht Britannia and Edinburgh Underground Vaults
We return to Edinburgh where we step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Queen’s floating Royal residence for over 44 years. Used not only for state visits but also for family holidays our fascinating tour with audio guides tells us more. Following this, we have some free time to enjoy Edinburgh at leisure before checking back in to the Charlotte Square Hotel, where we enjoy a farewell dinner together. After dinner, we will take a trip beneath the bustle of Edinburgh’s Old Town, to the dark, damp and eerie Underground Vaults. Discover more about the city’s history on our tour as we explore a world of streets and tunnels that were once the main streets of Edinburgh until they were built on top of.
May 18: Departure
A private transfer will take you back to Edinburgh airport for your return flight home.
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