On our first full day of exploring from the Lord of the Glens, we travelled through time from 2000 BC to 1800 AD!
Starting our day in the capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness, we toured through the city before making our way to our first stop of the day: the Culloden Battlefield. The site of the last ever pitched battle to be fought on British soil, Culloden marked the endpoint of the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Led through the battlefield by James, our National Trust for Scotland guide, we learned how Prince Charles Edward Stewart’s efforts to reclaim the throne of Scotland ultimately ended on the battlefield on 16 April 1746. The poignant memorial wall at the battlefield’s visitor centre, with raised bricks for each of the 1200 Jacobite dead, clearly demonstrated the scale of the defeat.
From Culloden, we travelled back in time to the Clava Cairns at Balnuaran. These stone burial cairns date from the Scottish Bronze Age and are approximately 4000 years old! As we explored this peaceful forest clearing, we learned how these burial mounds were carefully planned, with some of the stones used in their construction specifically selected for their colour and size, while others were specially carved before being added to the cairn.
From there, we rejoined Lord of the Glens at Dochgarroch Locks, near the head of Loch Ness. During lunch, we enjoyed a scenic cruise along the length of this incredible loch, which is the largest by volume in Britain, and we kept our eyes peeled for sightings of the famous Loch Ness Monster!
At the southern end of Loch Ness, the Lord of the Glens entered the locks of Fort Augustus and, over the course of five locks, we climbed up to our berth for the night. Before settling in for the evening, some of us explored the tiny town of Fort Augustus, while others took a scenic hike in the countryside around the town. We then retired to the ship for dinner and a fascinating plaid demonstration!