When it comes to historical sites in Scotland, few are as significant as Culloden. This iconic battlefield is the site of the infamous battle that took place on April 16, 1746, between the Jacobite forces and the British Army. For anyone interested in Scottish history, visiting Culloden is an absolute must. In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about visiting Culloden Battlefield and why it’s such an important part of Scotland’s history.
Located just a few miles east of Inverness, the Culloden Battlefield is a hauntingly beautiful place that attracts visitors from all over the world. As you walk around the battlefield, you can almost feel the weight of history on your shoulders. This was the site of the last battle fought on British soil, and it marked the end of the Jacobite uprising.
You may wonder, what in the hell would put this on your list if you’re not a history buff? Well, to put it frankly, Outlander. When I watched Outlander’s scene of the battle of Culloden and learned the history behind it, I was fascinated. I had never heard of this little snippet of history so I wanted to know more and see it for myself.
Culloden Battlefield Visitor Center
One of the best things about visiting Culloden is the excellent visitor center. Here you’ll find a wealth of information about the battle, including interactive displays, videos, and artifacts from the time. You can take a guided tour of the battlefield or explore on your own with the help of an audio guide. The guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the history of the site, and they can answer any questions you might have.
We opted to do a self-tour and walk the whole field. It was incredibly humbling to walk on the very ground where so many lives had ended so many years ago. If we had more time, I would have loved to do a guided tour another day as well as I’m sure there’s so much more to learn from the guides than my own research.
Walking the Battlefield
As you walk around the battlefield, you’ll see the various markers and memorials that have been placed over the years. These include the clan markers, which are placed at the spots where each clan fought during the battle. You can also see the graves of the fallen soldiers, which are marked with simple stones. Many of these markers were covered in coins, Scottish thistles, tokens from their bloodlines, and more.
One of the most moving experiences at Culloden is standing on the spot where the Jacobite forces made their final charge. Known as the “Field of the English,” this is where the Jacobites met their fate. As you stand there, you can almost hear the cries of battle and feel the desperation of the men as they charged into the waiting guns of the British Army.
David and I stood in ‘aw’ soaking everything up and replaying how the battle must have unfolded. There are flags to mark the lines of each side all the way across the field so it was easy to envision how they were lined up. To think so many lost their lives in a few hours and ultimately ended the Scottish Clans.
If you’re visiting Culloden, be sure to take some time to explore the surrounding area as well. There are several walking trails that lead through the nearby countryside, offering stunning views of the Scottish Highlands. You can also visit the nearby Clava Cairns, which are ancient standing stones that date back to the Bronze Age. These stones are part of the duo that created Craigh na Dun from Outlander so of course, it is a must-see for Outlander fans.
In conclusion, visiting the Culloden Battlefield is an experience that you won’t forget. Whether you’re a history buff or just interested in exploring the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, Culloden is a must-see destination. With its excellent visitor center, knowledgeable guides, and stunning scenery, it’s the perfect place to learn about Scottish history and pay your respects to those who fought and died on this hallowed ground.