Visiting your Ancestral Heartlands

To trace the steps of your ancestors, stand on the same lands where they stood, is as close as you can get to your heritage. See where your ancestor once lived, visit the very spots where great battles were fought, now silent in memory

Scottishold surnames are unique in the way that that are linked to an area. Clans and larger landed families had defined territories. The Clan or Family Seat – home of the Chief – can usually be located. Most castles and grand houses are well maintained and many are open to the public.

The old graveyards are evidence of when the clan or family populated the area, common surnames can be seen and relatives’ final resting places found.


Making the most of visiting your Ancestral Heartlands

Dr Bruce Durie and Lord Sempill advise on starting your search for Scottish ancestry.

Exciting time! You have booked your ancestral tour, got your travel tickets and headed for the airport. But how much preparation did you do before booking? Not just packing, but having all the information at your fingertips to really make the best of your experience.

There’s no question that anyone who comes to Scotland has a good time. The culture, the stunning scenery, the visitor-friendly towns and cities, the welcoming inhabitants, the food and drink and even (most of the time!) the weather – they all add up to an unbeatable experience. And yet, many visitors say it could have been so much better if they had thought a bit more deeply about what they wanted to achieve.
find out more …


Ancestral Tours

Let Jamie, Lord Sempill, take you on one of his stunning tours. Or have Jamie Sempill and Bruce Durie build a bespoke tour based on your personal ancestry. Have your next Family Reunion in your Scottish Ancestral heartlands, with expert guides and personalised research opportunities.
Take a look at some of the Ancestral tours >>



Attend a Highland Games

Scotland’s Highland games date back almost a thousand years. Held across the country from May to September, this national tradition is said to stem from the earliest days of the clan system.
Go to Highland Games >>


mapClan & Family Map of Scotland
Clan map of Scotland showing the historic territories of Scottish clans and families .
View map >>





What you can and can not wear and display

Attending a Clan or Family Gathering? Want to get it right? Well aware that feathers may be ruffled and noses out-jointed, Dr Bruce Durie, Shennachie to the Chief of Durie, offers this straightforward guide.
Read guide >>