Culloden, Loch Ness and onto Thurso

We started the day by looking for the monster at L0ch Ness.  A sighting was made courtesy of one of our tour group!

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We then went on to  Culloden Moor  where  Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was finally crushed in 1746.  Prince Charles Stuart was the son of James the III and 8th who was exiled from England. The Jacobites were trying to restore the Stuart dynasty to the throne, occupied by George III. Those efforts ended in the bloody battle at Culloden. The visitor centre takes you through the entire  history of the  Jacobite cause. On 16 April 1746, the final Jacobite Rising came to a brutal head in one of the most harrowing battles in British history.  Jacobite supporters, gathered to fight the Duke of Cumberland’s government troops. It was the last pitched battle on British soil and, in less than an hour, around 1,500 men were slain – more than 1,000 of them Jacobites. Not all Scots were in support as we saw at Blair Castle where the family was split. One of the brothers died  on Culloden Moor (photo).   The visitor centre has a square room on which 4 screens are displayed. A  short movie depicting the battle is shown with troops from both sides on the screens and you the viewer are in the middle. The battle was quite bloody and women and children were among the victims. Prince Charlie escaped over to Skye and then to Europe where he lived out his days. 

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Next, we followed the coast north to the fishing port of Wick where we had lunch. It is a small place and pays homage to people who emigrated to places such as Canada, the U.S. and Australia (photos).  We then visited the Old Pulteney Distillery to taste a wee dram of whisky and learn about the production of this national drink. The long day ended with some wonderful entertainment. The night was spent in the town of Thurso, which looks out over the Pentland Firth towards the ‘Old Man of Hoy’.

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