Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle & Clava Cairns Tour

A wonderful 1/2 day tour exploring three of the most popular locations in the local area.

Rated 5* on TripAdvisor TripAdvisor by more than 1750 happy customers # 1 on TripAdvisor for Scotland tours from Inverness

Tour Highlights

  • Visit Culloden Battlefield, where a guided tour brings the landscape to life
  • Explore the 4000 year old Bronze age cemetery of Clava Cairns
  • Experience stunning Cawdor Castle and its unique gardens
  • Take the roads less travelled to experience the beauty of the Highlands
PricesAdults £25
Seniors/Students £23
Under 18s £15
Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) £75

Private tour from £275
Times9am - 2pm
DatesJuly, August and September 2021
2022 dates TBC

Itinerary and Map+

Itinerary & Map

1

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield
Visit the site of the 1746 Battle of Culloden, which was the final chapter of the Jacobite Uprising, as well as the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil.

The tour starts in the centre of Inverness, where you will board our luxury mini-coach and depart at 9am. After a 10 minute drive we will arrive at our first historic sight of the day; Culloden Battlefield.

The Battle of Culloden took place on 16th April 1746 and was hugely significant, as it was the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising, and the last battle to be held on British soil. The battle itself was a short but extremely bloody one, with 1500 Jacobite troops being killed or wounded in around one hour, due to the flat, boggy ground being entirely unsuitable terrain for their previously effective charging manoeuvres. The opposing government forces were victorious and the Jacobite leader, Bonnie Prince Charlie, fled. This victory for the Duke of Cumberland’s forces paved the way for the destruction of the Gaelic language, clan culture and indeed every aspect of Highland life, prompting mass migration of Highlanders to the new world.

We will spend one hour at Culloden Battlefield. Your guide will provide a 30 minute walking tour of the site, bringing the poignant battle of this windswept moor to life.

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2

Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns
Explore the fascinating remains of this 4000 year old Bronze Age cemetery, a sacred and spiritual place which provides a unique insight into the burial and ritual activities of that time.

Clava Cairns is an exceptionally well-preserved group of prehistoric burial cairns, which were built around 4000 years ago. There are a whole range of interesting historical structures to explore, including: passage graves; ring cairns; cup-marked kerb stones; and a plethora of standing stones.

This sight is captivating, and there are a couple of interpretation boards to explain it, but the tour provided by your guide is incredibly valuable here. He will explain the significance of the stones’ alignment, the importance of the sun throughout the year, and how all of this can inform us of the beliefs of past societies, and their understanding of the world.

For Outlander fans, this site might just be the fictional Craigh na Dun, where Claire travels back in time from 1945 to 1743. Feel free to quiz your guide on all things Outlander and, of course, beware of the split stone buzzing!

We will spend 30 minutes here and your guide will provide a 20 minute tour of the site.

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3

Beautiful Highland Scenery

Beautiful Highland Scenery
From Clava Cairns, we take the road-less-travelled to Cawdor Castle, enabling you to enjoy our wonderful Highland scenery from the comfort of your seat.

One of the highlights of this short journey is Clava Viaduct.  This impressively curved viaduct was opened in 1898 and, at 549 metres in length, is the longest masonry viaduct in Scotland. 

We will stop to take an uninterrupted photo of its impressive form and the surrounding green countryside.

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4

Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle
Our final stop of the day is at Cawdor Castle, one of Scotland's most beautiful and well-preserved castles, dating back to the 14th Century.

Despite many fortifications and alterations over the years, Cawdor Castle is remarkably well-preserved, giving a wonderful impression of how the landed gentry would have lived back in the 15th Century. Unusually for a Scottish castle, it remains in the family, with the Dowager Countess Cawdor, stepmother of the 7th Earl of Cawdor, residing there over the winter months.

The audio guide provides an interesting and entertaining overview of each of the castle’s 12 principal rooms, which contain collections of 17th Century tapestries, fine art, antique furniture and sculptures. Every object has a story behind it and this is no more so than in “The Thorn Tree Room”, where you hear the story of the legendary tree which the castle was built around back in 1372 and which, remarkably, still exists there today!

After you have completed the audio tour we would recommend heading outside to the immaculate gardens: The Flower Garden is a formal garden designed in the 18th Century and featuring lavender borders and yew tree hedges; The Walled Garden features exotic plants, a maze, a Knot Garden and a hidden Paradise Garden; The Wild Garden is a hidden delight which leads to 5 miles of nature trails in ancient oak woodlands. For those who are bringing children, these trails are a wonderful place to let them run around and play!

We would recommend that you stop off at the Courtyard Cafe, which offers delicious lunches (be sure to leave room for their tasty home baking!)

There are also three gift shops here, one of which sells a wonderful selection of classic Scottish souvenirs unique to the castle.

You will have around two hours at Cawdor Castle. Admission to the castle is not included in the tour price and is payable on the day (adults £13.50, see FAQ section for all other prices)

After departing from the castle at 1.30pm we will arrive back into Inverness at 2pm.

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FAQs+

Tour FAQs

How much is the entrance fee to Cawdor Castle?+

Entrance to Cawdor Castle is not included in the tour price and is payable on the day.

2021 prices are as follows;

Adults – £13.50

Seniors/Students – £12.50

Child (age 6 – 15) – £7.50

Child (under 5) – Free

Family (2 adults and up to 5 children) – £35

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Meet your Guides

Gordon Pearson

Founder & Tour Guide

  560 Reviews

Gordon founded WOW Scotland in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. He loves talking about the Scottish Highlands, both on tour and on the TV and radio.

Robert Carr

Tour Guide

  85 Reviews

Prior to being a tour guide, Rob ran successful food and tourism businesses in Edinburgh and Perthshire. He has now been in the Highlands for 16 years, where he loves to indulge in his joint passions of golf and hiking.

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