Today is yours to enjoy at your own pace. Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is a thoroughly modern town with ancient roots and will no doubt entice you with its array of offerings. A visit to the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery offers up a vibrant presentation of the heritage of the area, from its archaeology to its natural history. Clan Donald is said to have burned the town at least seven times, while Bonnie Prince Charlie's forces destroyed the fort here in 1745. Peace prevails today in the city's most welcoming environment.
Or, join us on an optional Historical Highlands tour to grasp a sense of the past that is so inseparable from this region's identity. We visit Culloden Moor, scene of the last major battle fought on mainland Britain. The final Jacobite uprising, and their efforts to restore the House of Stuart to the British throne, ended here on April 16, 1746, when Government forces led by the Duke of Cumberland crushed the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. You'll see the reconstructed turf and stone dikes that played a crucial part in the battle. On site you can view the Graves of the Clans, the Well of the Dead, the Memorial Cairn, the Cumberland Stone, and the Field of the English. The Visitor Centre offers a Jacobite exhibition.
Our tour also takes us to the 14th-century Cawdor Castle, a splendid fairy-tale castle that is still home to the Cawdor family. Legend has it that in 1454, the Thane of Cawdor, drawing inspiration from a dream, fastened gold to a donkey's back and vowed to build a new castle wherever the animal lay down for the evening. The donkey rested under a holly tree, and that tree still stands within the medieval tower. The turreted castle also has literary claim, as the title character of Shakespeare's Macbeth is the Thane of Cawdor. You'll be able to view the fine tapestries, portraits, grand furniture, and decorative objects that the resident owners collected over six centuries. Follow the paths through quiet gardens and woodlands, and walk the drawbridge to experience the full history of place that pervades this storied site.
You'll pause to enjoy an included light lunch, made with fresh local produce, in the Castle's restaurant.
The evening is yours to make your own discoveries and enjoy dinner on your own.