Bucket List Check #12 - Searching For The Loch Ness Monster and Jamie Fraser

After spending a full day in the Isle of Skye, Scotland, we spent the next day driving towards Inverness. It was a beauty and the beast kind of day - Scottish style.  Mike was on the hunt, looking for the famous sea monster, Nessie, in the Loch Ness......
BBC Loch Ness Might Be Giant Eel
Photo Credit: BBC
... while I was more pre-occupied looking for Jamie Fraser from the Starz series, Outlander. I know I wasn't the only one in Scotland looking for this hot Scottish man, as several old ladies were talking about him on the flight over to Glasgow.  Move over Claire...
Photo Credit: Foxshowcase.com.au
We had stopped in the morning to visit Neist Point Lighthouse in the Isle of Skye, and after taking in some amazing views, we decided to push the entire day on A82 road, driving a little over 4 hours to our final destination - Inverness. Because we left pretty late (around late morning) we didn't have much time for many stops. However, you could definitely tell when you had entered the Highlands, because there seemed to be a dense fog, no matter where you looked.
The usual mist found in the Highlands Scotland
In fact, we only made two stops on this drive, the first being Loch Ness.
Urquhart Castle Loch Ness Scotland

I had been to Loch Ness several times, and it is quite beautiful. There are the remains of an old castle off the Loch, called Urquhart Castle, and you can take a tour of its ruins, after paying a fee. Mike, who was doing all the driving, was in no mood to spend an hour on a historical tour of a dilapidated castle, so we settled for a speed tour, which consisted of us taking some pictures and me googling about the Urquhart Castle on Wikipedia. The castle was founded in the 13th century and was instrumental in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century and is considered one of the largest castles in Scotland. Sadly, we saw no sea monsters during our drive around the loch.

Urquhart Castle Loch Ness Scotland

Moving on, we continued driving for another 30 minutes to get to our final destination - Inverness. Having read all eight books of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and being of Scottish decent, I was interested in learning more about the famous Battle of Culloden. So, our first stop was at the Culloden Battlefield.

The Culloden Visitor Center had a wonderful museum that explained what happened during that historic moment that still defines Scottish history today, from both the Jacobite and English perspectives, and the many lives that were lost on that field.

After walking through the museum and seeing and feeling some of the weapons that the Jacobites and English used during the battle - which weighed a ton, by the way - you can venture out onto the battlefield, Drummossie Moor.

Here on the battlefield, you will see large carved stone markers placed along the walkway, honoring the clans that participated in the unsuccessful battle for Scottish independence, as well as an 18' high memorial clan honoring those who fell.

Clan Stewart Culloden Battlefield Inverness Scotland
Clan Stewart Headstone - the clan of the Bonnie Prince Charles who believed he was the rightful king of Scotland, before his army was obliterated by the English.

Clan Fraser Culloden Battlefield Inverness Scotland
You could see the Scottish people still to this day, honor these clans, placing clan tartans or roses by the headstones.
Admittedly, I was a little disheartened to find the headstone for Clan Fraser. No Jamie Fraser for me today...
Culloden Battlefield Inverness Scotland
There is a walkway where you can see all the carved stones representing the Scottish clans who participated in the battle.

Clan Stewart Culloden Battlefield Inverness Scotland
Walking out on the battlefield and being surrounded by the wet Highland mist was a somber, yet beautiful experience.  Check out the short video below of a panoramic view of Drummossie Moor.

If you're ever in Inverness and into Scottish history, I highly recommend adding the Culloden Battlefield to your bucket list!

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