When you have seen too many Castles and want to see more of the history Scotland is famous for. You will find plenty of historical sites close by. Many visitors will have their own Clan connections and so start with Culloden Battlefield dating back to 1746, a battle that changed the Highlands, banned the use of tartan and resulting in many Scots dispersing throughout the world. Find your Clan memorial and take a minute to reflect on the battle.
Close to Culloden is Fort George a magnificent 300-year-old Fort home to the Highland Regiments and when standing on the ramparts you might spot a dolphin in the Moray Firth.
At this time period in history General Wade was establishing a road system that we still use today. His transport routes went via the Forts and Barracks and enabled the Highlands to be kept under control. Some of the bridges and roads are still in use today and Dulshie Bridge over the River Findhorn is a good example. Even further back visit Carrbridge to see the oldest Packhorse bridge in the Cairngorms. Built in 1717 it was known as the Coffin Bridge. Last but not least there is the renowned Craigellachie Bridge over the River Spey built by Thomas Telford in 1812 to a revolutionary new design.
Closer to us take a trip into Elgin where you have the stunning historic ruin of Elgin Cathedral that replaced Spynie Palace in 1224 a truly a magnificent building. Opposite the Cathedral you have Johnstons of Elgin – a Scottish institution producing today the best Cashmere and Woollens using a mill established 200 years ago still worked by the same generations of families. Book the free Mill Tour and take a step back in time. Less historical but highly recommended is both the shop and the café! Another recommended woollen mill is Knockando Woolmill – established as the local mill for farmers in 1784 the mill has excellent examples of housing and living standards for people in the Highlands during that time period.
Stepping further back in time we have many Pictish sites – not least of which is Sueno’s Stone in Forres which has been standing there since between 800AD – 900AD. Legend has it that Macbeth’s three witches are imprisoned within the Stone. On the subject of witches check out the Witches Stone marking the grave of one of the 3 witches rolled down Cluny Hill in spiked barrels, the barrel and its contents were then set alight.
Top Tip – Summer visitors check out which Highland Games are on during your stay – the origins of these games go back to 1314 and beyond as a way of conditioning the troops for battle – no battles involved now but they are very competitive.