A Tour by Jamie, Lord Sempill
This is a five day tour about the Jacobite risings that took place from 1689 through to 1746.
The Highlands of Scotland were particularly important in the story of the risings, and the tour will take you to key landmarks which will help to relate the story of the Jacobites and the history behind the extremely popular “Outlander” series.
The Tour Itinerary
Upon arrival in Edinburgh settle into your hotel. In the mid-afternoon we will visit the National Portrait Gallery, to see a fine collection of portraits of the leading figures in the Stuart Royal Household. This will be followed by an evening reception held in the Royal Overseas Club, and a presentation on the Jacobites will be given by Dr. Bruce Durie.
This day is spent in the city. As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh had been the seat of government but the act of Union in 1707 saw government move to London. Nevertheless, control of the city would have been essential to a successful uprising. We will visit both the historic Castle and Holyrood Palace, and spend a short while in the Museum of Scotland, which has a substantial collection of artefacts related to the Jacobite risings.
Overnight in Edinburgh. Free evening.
Day 3. A picturesque journey to the Highlands and to two places of immense significance to the clans and their involvement with the Jacobites. First, we visit Glencoe, the scene of Scotland’s most infamous massacre. Then onto Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard and signalled the start of the last Jacobite rebellion.
On our way North to Inverness, we will stop at Glen Moriston, to visit the grave of a little known Jacobite hero. Then a drive along the Great Glen, which was the key arterial route into the Highlands. We overnight in Inverness. The evening will include a talk on the role of the clans in the Jacobite rebellions.
There is probably no greater landmark in the Jacobite story than Culloden Moor. Here the Jacobite dream was ended followed by brutal suppression of the Highland culture.
We then visit Fort George, a military base conceived in the immediate aftermath of the 1745 uprising. Fort George was intended to be a once and for all solution to the threat posed by the clans, and the Jacobites in particular.
Speyside, famous for its distilleries, witnessed many skirmishes and battles involving the Jacobites. On our way to the Glenlivet distillery we will stop at the Haughs of Cromdale, scene of a Jacobite battle in 1690. The afternoon drive takes us through the Cairngorms past Corgaff Castle, which featured in all of the Jacobite uprisings. It had immense strategic importance. From there we follow in the footsteps of the Earl of Mar, who launched the 1715 rebellion, and drive south through Braemar, on Royal Deeside. The evening is spent in Perthshire at the Killiecrankie House Hotel.
The spectacular Killiecrankie Pass was the scene of a key battle in the first rebellion of 1689, which would have been a major Jacobite victory, but for the death of their leader, Viscount “Bonnie” Dundee.
We visit one of the most striking buildings in Scotland, Blair Castle, home of the Murray family, the Earls of Atholl who were involved in the various uprisings with mixed fortunes.
Close by is the small market town of Aberfeldy. Here we will have a brief stop at Wade’s bridge. The government of George I sent General George Wade to inspect Scotland in 1724. He recommended the construction of barracks, bridges and proper roads to assist in the control of the region. Over the next twelve years Wade directed the construction of some 240 miles (390 km) of roads, plus 30 bridges. Wade’s military roads linked the garrisons at Ruthven, Fort George, Fort Augustus, and Fort William. This network enabled the government to effectively crush future support of the Jacobite cause from the Highlands.
The Last evening is in Edinburgh. The tour will end with dinner and some entertaining contributions from the literary and musical legacy of the Jacobite rebellions.