We’re sure you’ll agree that oor wee country is endlessly inspiring, from its wild untouched landscapes to its ancient rituals, bloody battles and feuding clans. For many of us, it’s Scotland’s rich cultural past and fascinating clan history that’s most intriguing – a story alive today as it was hundreds of years ago. Today we’re talking a closer look at the great clans of Scotland and how they shaped our country’s turbulent past.
Isle of Skye, The Macleods
You may already be familiar with the Macleod clan’s famous motto, “Hold Fast”. Containing some of oor countries most spectacular landscapes and unspoilt vistas, the Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful islands in the Inner Hebrides. No visit to this idyllic island would be complete without seeing The Macleod’s ancestral home, Dunvegan Castle. Expect to see idyllic gardens and treasures like the Dunvegan Cup.
Glencoe, The Macleans
Literally translated as “Valley of Weeping,” Glencoe is one of oor most famous locations, but do you know about its bloody past? The brutal massacre of 1692 is one of the most brutal examples of feuding clans, with the treacherous slaughter of the MacDonalds by the Campbells. History aside, this famous glen – with its soaring peak looks both formidable and picturesque. As you travel through the area, make sure to keep an eye out for wild red deer and native golden eagles.
John O’ Groats, The Sinclairs
John O’Groats has been Sinclair land for centuries and is the final location of the trek that begins at Land’s End in Cornwall. This beautiful part of Scotland remains wild and untouched and it’s thought that the Sinclairs are descended from the St Clares of Normandy. Prepare for puffin watching and expect to see a fantastic array of marine wildlife off the coast.
Ross & Cromarty, The Mackenzies
Extending from Ross on the east coast of the mainland up to the Island of Lewis, the Mackenzies remain one of the principal clans in Scotland. Their most famous stronghold has to be Eilean Donan, which is widely regarded as one of the most famous castles in Scotland (appearing on everything from calendars to shortbread tins). It’s not difficult to see why this Scottish icon attracts countless visitors every year.
Inverness, The Mackintoshes
Sitting pretty on the bonnie banks of the River Ness, there’s a chance you may spot Nessie from the Loch at Cawdor Castle. Typically associated with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the Macintosh clan came to dominate the area of Inverness after helping King Malcom IV quell a local uprising.