When the night came, silently lay Dead on Culloden’s field.

Culloden Battlefield

As I have been researching facts about Scotland, I found it unintentionally appropriate that our travels took us from Edinburgh to Stirling, then to Inverness and onward to Skye. Especially after reading the meaning behind the original Skye Boat song.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be king
Over the sea to Skye.

Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclaps rend the air;
Baffled, our foes stand by the shore,
Follow they will not dare.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be king
Over the sea to Skye.

Many’s the lad, fought on that day
Well the claymore did wield;
When the night came, silently lay
Dead on Culloden’s field.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be king
Over the sea to Skye.

Though the waves leap, soft shall ye sleep,
Ocean’s a royal bed.
Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep
Watch by your weary head.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be king
Over the sea to Skye.

Burned are their homes, exile and death
Scatter the loyal men;
Yet ere the sword cool in the sheath
Charlie will come again.

It is a song about the Bonnie Prince Charlie and how he fled the battlefield at Culloden and escaped to Skye. The adaptation of the song has become very popular after the hit TV show, “Outlander” debuted. Not only is the song popular, but American women have been flocking to Inverness just hoping to run into Jamie Fraser, the fictional male lead from the show.

Well… we also went to Inverness, for many reasons. One of them was the fact that we both love Outlander. But also, because we are history nerds.

We woke up to a SUPER cold morning. We got the fire going and slowly roused ourselves out of bed and lo and behold – COWS.

If you will remember from the previous post, we were staying in a Shepherd’s Hut on the Black Isle Brewery Farm just outside of Inverness.

I had to go out and make friends. I’ll have you know that it was slightly snowing and I was still in my pajamas. This little fella was not interested in me. He wanted to scratch his body up against a post instead.

This guys is a different story. Maybe it was a girl. I have no idea. I’m a little obsessed with cows, specifically hairy cows. These had a little hair, just not the flowing locks. Either way, I got to squish them a little.

Finally we get ready and head to one of the most important spots in Scotland: The Battlefield of Culloden.

I could go into the long history of the quest for Scottish independence from England, but at the end of the day, I think this one plaque spells it out. THIS is what happened to the Highlanders.

The battle, which lasted only 40 minutes, resulted in bitter defeat for the heavily outnumbered Jacobites. Some 1,000 of the Young Pretender’s army of 5,000 weak and starving Highlanders were killed by the 9,000 Redcoats, who lost only 50 men.

A devastating blow to the Bonnie Prince Charlie and to the Highlanders who supported the Jacobite cause.

We wandered the grounds, taking in our own little battle of sorts: blustery wind, snow, and freezing cold temperatures. I was probably the coldest on this very morning.

We wandered the grounds as we were waiting for the museum to open. We saw this adorable thatch-roofed home right in front of the Highlander’s side of the battlefield.

We came upon the moor where the clans were buried in mass graves. We found Clan Fraser and sort of fan-girled out. The main character of Outlander is based on this clan in particular.

We finally got inside of the museum and took a bathroom break and snack break. We skipped breakfast and we were both cold & a little hungry. I opted for a flat white coffee and croissant with clotted cream.

Oh clotted cream. Be still my beating heart.

The museum at the battlefield was so well done. Minimal entry fee and you get to see the weapons and so many other items the Highlanders and the Red Coats used in the war.

After touring this amazing and truly sobering spot, we decided to drive over to Loch Ness and look for the lake monster Nessie!

Loch Ness

The picture above is the one and only time we used my new selfie stick. Why? Because my phone fell out of it and crashed onto the stones below. Yes, a completely cracked screen. But, Loch Ness is behind us.

It is a BEAUTIFUL lake or loch as they call it. The winding roads, the green hills, the leaves on the trees changing colors – it was a beautiful Thanksgiving day. Oh yeah… it is Thanksgiving.

We kept driving around the lake and saw the signs for Urquhart Castle. The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification. Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. It was subsequently held as a royal castle, and was raided on several occasions by the MacDonald Earls of Ross. The castle was granted to the Clan Grant in 1509, though conflict with the MacDonalds continued. Despite a series of further raids the castle was strengthened, only to be largely abandoned by the middle of the 17th century. Urquhart was partially destroyed in 1692 to prevent its use by Jacobite forces, and subsequently decayed.

The castle, situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness, is one of the largest in Scotland in area. It was approached from the west and defended by a ditch and drawbridge. The buildings of the castle were laid out around two main enclosures on the shore. The northern enclosure or Nether Bailey includes most of the more intact structures, including the gatehouse, and the five-story Grant Tower at the north end of the castle. The southern enclosure or Upper Bailey, sited on higher ground, comprises the scant remains of earlier buildings.

You can see Loch Ness from the Castle

After we plundered the castle, we decided to head back to this little area that had restaurants and gifts shops. It was almost 2 pm and we had not eaten anything since around 9 that morning. And guess what? NOTHING was open. One of the biggest rules I would give you is know that the kitchens close at 1 pm. Plan accordingly.

We decided to head back to the brewery to see if they served food there. We knew they had a restaurant, we just weren’t sure where.

Once we got inside, we realized that they had the cutest gift shop. So I bought a cap, a t-shirt, bag and the coolest pullover!

From the very sheep outside of out door.

THOSE sheep.

And for the record, I repel sheep. They see me coming and run the other way. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I only wanted a little squish – squish.

Inverness

Finally, we head back into the town of Inverness for our Thanksgiving feast. It was around 5pm and we finally found the Black Isle Brewery Pub.

I went for the Pepperoni, Chili & Honey Pizza: passata, mozzarella, pepperoni, red onion, chili, mascarpone, honey and oregano.

Not your typical American Thanksgiving feast, but it wasn’t too shabby! All of the ingredients were grown or raised there on the farm and is organic!

After dinner, we headed back to the Shepherd’s Hut and chatted it up with the owner’s son, who happens to be from the Clan Fraser. He brought us some more fire starter, because a blizzard was expected to come that night. Telisa and I snuggled into our bed, I in my thermals, and read until I fell asleep.

Our time in Inverness was coming to a close and it was time to get ready to head to the Isle of Skye, just like the Bonnie Prince Charlie did hundreds of years ago.

Published by nicolesdestinationunknown

Tourism Director * Freelance Writer * Southern * Catholic * Crazy Cat Lady * Wonder Women * Coffee Addict * Traveler * Voracious Reader * Cultural Junkie * *GSD Mom*

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