Scotland – Day 9 (Battle of Culloden, Castle Cawdor, Clava Cairns and Carrbridge)
All day, Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” floated through my brain as we ventured out to visit the sight where it is often said the destruction of all things Scotland occurred – the Battlefield of Culloden. Brought most recently into the knowledge of most people via the ever growing popular show – Outlander. Here is where Johnny Lobster a/k/a the Redcoats annihilated Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army in a battle that lasted a mere 45 minutes and changed the course of history. Over 1500 deaths on the Jacobite side during the battle and many more thereafter as all who fled the battlefield with their heart still beating were pursued and, if found, were executed as traitors. Few people outside of Scotland know what I mean when I say that this 45 minute battle not only changed Scotland forever but the world as we know it. Read up on it and learn what I mean before you come here. The history surrounding this one battle and the effects it had, are fascinating.
While you are here, you will learn about the battle itself and all its precursors both from the government side and the Jacobite side and it is likely to be quite a bit more accurate than it’s portrayed in Outlander. Moreover, you will learn what taking the schilling means and where the word pummeling came from. You can see and hold the targes and swords used by the Scots and the guns used by the Brits. You will also learn how incredibly long it takes to reload that gun and how it was done. You will also learn why the Jacobites lost (spoiler alert for you Outlander fans!)
Afterwards, we went to the Clava Cairns. Think Stonehenge and burial sites made up of stones and while it is not likely true, you can’t help but sense that a little witchcraft occurred here from time to time.
Our final destination before heading back to Carrbridge was Cawdor Castle known to most as Macbeth’s castle from Shakespeare. I couldn’t stop thinking of the dowager hidden in some dungeon on the estate repeatedly saying “Out, damned spot. Out, I say”.
Carrbridge, where our cottage is for this week, has The Cairn Hotel Restaurant and Pub which served sumptuous fish pie, haggis lasagna and sticky toffee pudding that far surpassed any other culinary treats we were blessed to try thus far in Scotland so stop by here if in the area. Not only will your taste buds thank you, so will your eyes! Across the street, is a 300 year old pack horse bridge which withstood a catastrophic flood that destroyed everything else in the area sometime ago. And the featured photo for this post is why there is the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
That’s all for now from the back yard of my cozy cottage in Carrbridge which, consequently, used to be a farmhouse so I can check farmhouse off my list of places to stay now along with castle and cave and tree house as well as car, bus, train and plane, of course!