Fort George, Culloden and the Cairngorms National Park

News Blog 9 Jan 2023

New Year, New Tour!

The New Year is the perfect time for fresh starts, but it’s also the perfect time to introduce a couple of fresh tours. While you might have seen it on our website and in our newsletter (sign up here if you haven’t already), let’s take a dive into Fort George, Culloden and the Cairngorms National Park – a brand new day tour from Inverness launching in April.


Our daily tours from Inverness are a brilliant option to explore the north of Scotland, home to some of the most rugged landscapes and stunning scenery. This new tour allows us to cover even more of the country and show off all the area’s natural beauty.

This one-day tour from Inverness takes you to some of the most important historical sites in the north, giving a glimpse into how battles were fought and lands defended in the olden days of Scotland, whilst taking you through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cairngorms and surrounding areas.

Departing in the morning from Inverness, we will learn about the city and see some of its sights before heading to the first stop at Culloden Battlefield. After learning about the area’s history, we then head to the Clava Cairns for a glimpse into the beliefs of Scottish society in the Bronze Age. We then head to one of the star’s of the show, Fort George, an imposing fortress build in the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite Rising and still in use today as an active army base.

We continue on to Nairn for lunch and to relax in the seaside town, before heading into the Cairngorms National Park to marvel at the natural beauty of the area, spot local wildlife, learn about the area’s history, and stop for refreshments in the picturesque village of Aviemore before returning to Inverness.

To learn more about this tour's highlights, read below!


One of Scotland’s now 8 cities (welcome to the club, Dunfermline) and the most northerly, Inverness is often regarded as the “Capital of the Highlands” and is the administrative centre for the Highland Council. It might be on the smaller side compared to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but has a huge history as the former capital of the Picts in the Middle Ages, the site of battles that you can learn all about on this tour, and even home to its very own castle where King Duncan is murdered by MacBeth in Shakespeare’s play of the same name. It was also an important industrial city, with shipbuilding playing a key role in its history, but nowadays, tourism plays a much more important part. When Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster, the North Coast 500, and miles upon miles of stunning scenery are right on your doorstep – you can imagine why!

This tour departs from Inverness and on your way out of the city towards your first stop at Culloden Battlefield, you will be able to see some of its sights such as Inverness Castle and learn plenty from your expert driver-guide about the history of Scotland’s most northerly city.

Culloden Battlefield

Situated just a few miles from Inverness, this atmospheric battlefield is the site where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to an end. Here, you can learn all about the story of the Rising from the perspectives of both the Jacobites and the Government in the museum which is home to numerous interesting artefacts from the time. The battle was one of the most brutal in Scottish history, lasting less than an hour, and costing the lives of around 1,600 men, with 1,500 of them being Jacobites. At the visitor centre* here, there is also the opportunity to enjoy stunning views of the area, with the occasional highland cow grazing on the battlefield, browse the shop to get some souvenirs for your loved ones, and even learn about any ancestry and connections you may have to the Culloden area.


*The visitor centre is open from May 30th - October 31st.

Clava Cairns

A fascinating prehistoric site not far from Inverness. At around 4,000 years old, the Clava Cairns were originally built as tombs for the dead and gives us a great insight into the life, culture and beliefs of Scotland in the Bronze Age. Two cemeteries now remain from what would have been a much larger complex, holding cultural significance in the Bronze Age for a span of over 1,000 years. The Clava Cairns are an example of around 50 other similar cairns that can be found in this region of Scotland around the Moray Firth and Inverness, with other cairns of varying shapes, sizes, and purposes found across the globe.

Fort George

Built shortly after the Battle of Culloden in 1745, this striking fortress was originally used as a safe base for King George II’s army. Taking 22 years to complete, by that time, the threat of the Jacobites had diminished, however, Fort George still found use and is actually still used by the British Army today as the home of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

There will be plenty of time to explore the grand fortress, with the main rampart being over 1km in length. It also hosts the Highlanders Museum, the largest regimental museum in Scotland outside of Edinburgh. For anyone with a keen interest in historical weaponry, the grand magazine was originally designed to hold over 2000 gunpowder barrels but is now used to hold an impressive collection of weapons. It’s even home to some wildlife, with dolphins often seen to be playing in the Moray Firth. There’s even a café to grab some snacks and refreshments after soaking up all of the history, and maybe tiring yourself out walking the length of the expansive fortress.


Around 17 miles north east of Inverness sits Nairn, a picturesque seaside town that is home to 3 beaches, a championship golf course, and some of the best views in the area. Surprisingly, it’s also one of the sunniest and driest places in Scotland – so this might be the perfect tour if you want to avoid the clouds and the rain. Located on the Moray Firth, this is also a brilliant place to do some nature watching, with dolphins, seals, whales and plenty of birdlife calling the area home. We will spend time here to grab some lunch and take in the surroundings of the relaxing town before continuing our adventure.

Cairngorms National Park

At over 4,500sq kilometres, containing 55 munros, 5 of the UK’s six highest mountains, and 9 nature reserves – the Cairngorms National Park is the largest in the United Kingdom. Full of natural beauty, there will be plenty of photo opportunities here. Especially at Loch an Eilein – one of our photo stops. This stunning loch is home to a small island with its very own castle ruins, hence it’s gaelic translations “loch of the island”. Keep an eye out for all the wildlife known to inhabit the area like ospreys, the Scottish wildcat and golden eagles.

In the area, we will also stop at the village of Aviemore for some refreshments and some time to explore before heading back to Inverness. Surrounded by mountains and lochs, it’s the perfect place for a final exploration of the area and one last photo stop.

Our Fort George, Culloden and the Cairngorms National Park tour begins on Sunday 2nd April 2023 and from then will run all year round on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays from Inverness. It runs from 8:30am to 6:30pm and will be a smaller group tour, with up to 32 people. To book your ticket, head to the tour page, or call our friendly reservations team at 0131 226 6066 from 7am to 9pm.