Baden-Powell Council BSA
at the
2008 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

Day 3 - July 18th - Great Glen to Culloden

Our third day of touring began at a rainy Spean Bridge. The weather continued wet as we drove up the Great Glen and along Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle. We watched a short film on the history of the castle, then went out into the rain to tour the ruins high above the waters of Loch Ness. 

Nathan overlooking the inner courtyard

Alec, Kyle, Ryan and Jon in the Gatehouse

Jon and Ryan

Brad in the Grant Tower

After touring the castle, we headed further north to Drumnadrochit and the Official Loch Ness Monster Centre. It's actually very well done, a scientific analysis of the evidence. In the end, they concluded that there just couldn't be a Loch Ness Monster. 

Of course, after they prove there couldn't be a monster, you exit into the gift shop where you can buy stuffed Nessies in all possible sizes. I couldn't resist...

Having seen the site where Bonny Prince Charlie's 1745-46 Jacobite Rising began, we now toured the spot where it ended - the battlefield at Culloden Moor. On this spot, on April 16, 1746, the final battle in the last of the Jacobite wars ended in total defeat for the Highland Jacobite forces. The moor remains a very haunting place, where so many were killed for their cause. Prince Charlie himself survived the battle, fleeing to Skye, and thence back to exile in Rome. The Highland men were less fortunate - those left on the field were killed where they lay, or hunted down as they fled. Hundreds were captured, tried and executed or transported. Highland dress, carrying weapons and playing the bagpipes were banned for Scots until the end of the eighteenth century. 

The new visitor center, which opened only a few months before our visit, is very impressive. It's recessed into the landscape, so it doesn't intrude on the field itself. As you walk down the corridors, the Jacobite view is presented on one wall, the Government view on the opposing wall. Finally, you're given a GPS-based audio player and walk the field of battle, hearing the stories of those who fought there. 

Listening to the audio tour

The red flags mark the Government positions

Old Leanach Cottage, which was there during the battle. 

Brad viewing the stone marking the burial place of the men from Clan Stewart of Appin.  

The Clava Cairns are only a mile or two from Culloden, but they're thousands of years older. The complex is a collection of tombs dating back to approximately 2,000 BCE. 

Jon, Ryan and stone...

Ryan, Nathan, Kyle and Brad... and more stones.

Alec taking picture of Jordan.

Our host for the night was Logie Gray, who met us at the Scout Group's hall in Keith, just a short drive from the Cairns. We unloaded the cars, then walked down to dinner at the local Fish and Chips shop. When we got back, Logie and his wife Norma were waiting for us with Bruce and Anne MacLaren. Pete and Jerry and I knew them all from past Blairs, so we had a pleasant visit before they left for Blair Atholl to begin setting up camp. We retired into the Scout Hall, well fed and ready to settle in for the night.  

Can't beat fish and chips for a filling, inexpensive meal. Our budget easily stretched to ice cream for dessert. 

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