Today we travelled to Culloden via Schiehallion to Killiecrankie, to Blair Athol and the Bruar merino and cashmere outlet. Unfortunately what they were selling didn’t fit into our budget!
At one stage we travelled through a place called Tummel, marked by a hotel, which, it seems only opens in the high season! What was interesting for me as an inscription on a stone across the road from the hotel that contains words from a well know song - Road to the Isles – “by Tummel and Lochaber and Loch Rannoch we will go …”
Throughout this area there are wonderful views of hills and lochs. It is also marked by a place with a restaurant and splendid view called The Queen’s View”.
After Blair Athol we decided to stay off the main highway and travel a route that ran parallel to the A9. That led us into the back blocks and had us doubting the wisdom of our decision. We found ourselves on a one-way road. That doesn’t seem to mean anything here since vehicles still travel in both directions. But we stuck to our guns, drove through some interesting highland country and eventually returned to the main road. We are sure you wouldn’t be able to use this particular road in winter!
Later in the morning we travelled another back road from Daviot to the Culloden visitor centre. This was a visit we didn’t have time to make in 1988; perhaps that was just as well since the visitor centre wasn’t there in 1988!
The designers etc of the centre have done a fantastic job of describing the lead up to the battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746. There is an excellent audio-visual presentation (war room style) of the actual battle and a highly illustrative film type presentation of the battle. The second was not a pretty sight but was really well done and helped to fill in gaps left by secondary school history lessons.
We spent some time walking around the battlefield, now marked by flags showing where each party to the battle had squared off against each other. We also noted the swampy areas they fought in and the memorial erected to remember the fallen.
This was certainly a case of people fighting for what they believe in while others defended what they were paid to defend. From a Jacobite perspective it seems they fought largely on passion and courage. In 2008 it is easy to consider the strategy chosen by the Jacobites as ‘plain stupid’ and the follow-up by the government as cruel and unnecessary. It is obvious that and other debates concerning that period of history continues today.
Cottage on the site of the battle.
For more on Culloden see:
After a very busy 3 hours we were ready for our lunch which we ate in the car before travelling on to Nairn. Returning home involved another ‘off the beaten path’ journey via the A939 to Grantown-on-Spey and the A983 to the A9.