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 10, 2020 - May 20, 2020
- day 1
May 10: Arrival
On arrival at Edinburgh airport, a private transfer will take you to the Principal 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.
- day 2
May 11: Palace of Holyroodhouse, National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle
This morning we visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse for a private guided tour followed by refreshments. Back in September 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie set up court at the palace and today we visit the rooms that became the focus of the Jacobite cause in Edinburgh. Next, we venture to the National Museum of Scotland, which has a significant collection of material relating to the Jacobite story, from documents to costumes. We then head up to Edinburgh Castle, which has witnessed many of the defining events of Scottish history including the unsuccessful Jacobite blockades during the 1715 and 1745 risings. Highlights here include the Crown Jewels of Scotland which we discover on our audio guided tour. This evening is free to make your own dinner arrangements.
- day 3
May 12: Linlithgow Palace, Alloa Tower, Huntingtower Castle and Perth
We begin our day at the ruins of Linlithgow Palace. Built by successive Stuart kings, Linlithgow was a comfortable country retreat visited by Charles Edward Stuart during his march south in 1745. However, in 1746, Linlithgow was ravaged by fire after British troops ransacked the house searching for retreating Jacobites. From here we visit the Alloa Tower, one of Scotland’s largest and oldest keeps. Interestingly the tower was once home to John Erskine, the Jacobite who led the 1715 rising. Later we venture 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’, located on the banks of the River Tay with a rich and influential history that stretches back over 800 years. We then continue to our overnight hotel, Fonab Castle. After checking in and some time to freshen up, we enjoy dinner together at the hotel.
- day 4
May 13: 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 visit Jacobite Drum Castle where we enjoy a guided tour. Alexander Irvine, fought alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden and after the defeat, hid in a secret room at Drum Castle to avoid capture. Our final stop today is the cosmopolitan port and ‘Granite city’ of Aberdeen. Just a short walk from the city center, you might be surprised to also find a sandy beach. We then check in to the Marcliffe Hotel, where we stay for two nights. Tonight we enjoy dinner at the hotel followed by a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.
- day 5
May 14: Craigievar Castle and Castle Fraser
Our day begins with a guided tour at Craigievar Castle. Don’t miss the Order of Battle for the Battle of Culloden which you will find in a manuscript cabinet here. Afterwards we visit Castle Fraser. This castle was one of the strongholds of the Fraser Clan, who came out for the Jacobites in the 1745 rebellion and we discover more on our guided tour. Tonight is left free for you to make your own dinner arrangements.
- day 6
May 15: Fyvie Castle, Brodie Castle and Dallas Dhu Distillery
Known as Scotland’s pink castle, Fyvie blends 13th-century origins with opulent Edwardian interiors and this is our first point of call today. We then continue on to Brodie Castle where there are tales of government troops camped out in the wood behind the castle, in an area known today as the ’45 Wood. As well as an extensive library, the house has a major collection of paintings that span the centuries plus fine antique furniture and ceramics which we discover on our guided tour. Our day finishes with a visit to Dallas Dhu Distillery where we can see and hear how whisky was made in the 1900s – and then sample a wee dram too. This evening, we check in to the Rocpool Reserve Hotel, our base for the next two nights. Here we enjoy dinner together.
- day 7
May 16: Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and Urquart Castle
This morning we enjoy some free time in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. This vibrant city is full of historical buildings, liked the 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, the short but bloody battle which changed the course of history. We also spend time at the state-of-the-art visitor center. We then make our way to Urquart Castle. 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. The evening is free for you to make your own dinner arrangements.
- day 8
May 17: Loch Ness, Jacobite train journey and Glenfinnan Monument
We visit picturesque Loch Ness in Drumnadrochit this morning, where a multimedia presentation in the Exhibition Centre leads us through 500 million years of history. From here we head to Fortwilliam, known for its breathtaking location on the shores of Loch Linnhe. Here we board the famous Jacobite Train, featured in the Harry Potter movies, which takes us across the mountainous west coast of Scotland to Mallaig. Take in wonderful sights such as the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Afterwards we 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. Thus began the final Jacobite rising, which would end at Culloden. The lone kilted Highlander atop the 18 meter-high column is a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought to defend the Highland way of life. We then travel to our overnight hotel, the Glenfinnan House Hotel where we enjoy dinner together.
- day 9
May 18: 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.
- day 10
May 19: 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 Principal 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. But be warned, this tour is not for the faint hearted with tales of supernatural happenings to be heard.
- day 11
May 20: Departure
A private transfer will take you back to Edinburgh airport for your return flight home.
Everything you need to know about the tour
Save this information for later by downloading the full tour brochure.
Be prepared with the National Trust Travel Plan
Since 1973, USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services has served travelers just like you, to help protect their travel plans