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Culloden Battlefield, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Glen Ord Distillery and more!

Highland Day Tours

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Historic battlesites, a ruined castle, a 4,000 year old burial ground, beautiful countryside and whisky! This private customisable tour has it all!

First is Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last pitched battle on mainland Britain in 1746. Wander the historic site towards the memorial cairn and see markers of where the doomed clans lined up to fight against the Government forces.

Next is Clava Cairns said to be one of the sites that inspired the Outlander books. It’s a Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves, cairns, and standing stones.

Passing Clava Viaduct we'll reach Cawdor Castle (Macbeth anyone?) to explore the castle and the beautiful grounds.

After driving down Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle ruins, you can use the remaining ramparts to scour Loch Ness for monsters! Then its Beauly to a 13th century priory and to wander around this pretty Highland town.

Finally, we’ll head north and its whisky time! We’ll visit a distillery to sample some of the water of life!

What You'll Get

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Culloden Moor IV2 5EU Scotland

Fought on the 16th of April 1746, the battle of Culloden was the last action of the Jacobite uprising of 1745. The Jacobite forces under Charles Edward Stuart were defeated by Hanoverian forces under the command of the Duke of Cumberland. The last pitched battle on British soil was brutal, with 1,600 people dead in under an hour, more than 1,500 of them being Jacobites.

Inside the immersion theatre in the visitors centre, you will feel what it must have been like to have been in the middle of the battle. Then, join an expert guide who will escort you around the battlefield giving you an understanding of what happened at the various points on the field, including a visit to the memorial cairn around which the graves of 1,500 fallen Jacobites lie.

Finally, visit the 18th century restored thatched Leanach Cottage whose roof was created from the heather on the battlefield.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Clava Cairns, Balnuaran of Clava, IV2 5EU Scotland

Clava Cairns became a bucket list destination for fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books overnight after it was suggested that the fictitious stone circle, Craigh na Dun was inspired by the site.

Dating back over 4,000 years, Clava Cairns are a Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns, and standing stones. The cemetery itself was used in two separate phases, one in around 2000BC and again a thousand years later. This prehistoric site is very well preserved and provides a fascinating window into the distant past.

Here you will have the opportunity to wander amongst the cairns and standing stones, but will you be brave enough to lean against Craigh na Dun?

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Culloden Viaduct, Inverness IV2 5EJ, UK

Also known as the Clava Viaduct, this impressive feat of Victorian engineering is the longest masonry viaduct in Scotland, spanning 1800ft or 549m. Completed in 1898, this viaduct still carries the mainline trains to and from the south to Inverness.

Initially, we will approach this impressive structure and stop a little way off so that you have time to appreciate the sheer scale of this structure. Then we will drive right up close and under the viaduct so you can experience just how huge this structure is.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Cawdor Castle, Nairn IV12 5RD Scotland

Taking the back road from Culloden to Cawdor village, you will get a flavour of just how narrow these roads can be. This is farming country, so there is every chance we will need to pull in to allow a passing tractor to carry on its way.

Next stop is Cawdor Castle and Gardens. This castle was made famous in the Shakespeare play, Macbeth, although the current castle was only built in the late 1400s, so cannot be directly linked to the tragedy. The castle is still home to the Cawdor family, and has been filled with fine furniture, tapestries, portrait, and other objects over the 600 years the family have been here.

As well as the castle itself, there are three beautiful gardens for you to wander around, a coffee shop where you can relax over a drink and a cake, and a gift shop should you wish to purchase anything.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Loch Ness, Scotland

Loch Ness is home to the legendary monster, Nessie. The Loch Ness Monster was first mentioned in a book written in 565AD about St Columba. It tells the story of a man who was attacked and killed by a water monster whilst swimming in the river Ness. The beast is said to have been repelled by St Columba as he was about to attack one of his followers. The beast was said to have stopped in its tracks as if being held by ropes, and then fled. The story of the many humped beast reappears at various points over the next 1,500 years, the most famous of which was the photograph of the monster taken in December 1933 by Hugh Gray which is widely held to be a fake.

The question is, do you believe in Nessie? Will you see the monster as we drive down the loch on our way to Urquhart Castle? We will pull over to give you a chance to have a good examination of the deep, dark, mysterious loch!

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Urquhart Castle, A82 Road, Drumnadrochit IV63 6XJ Scotland

Situated on a headland halfway along Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle occupies a commanding position with wide views up and down the loch. Now a ruin, it has occupied a long and chequered place in Scottish history. Built in several stages between the 13th and 16th centuries, it was destroyed during the Jacobite risings to prevent it from falling into their hands. It subsequently fell into ruin until it was placed into State care in the 20th century and re-opened to the public. It is now one of the most visited castles in Scotland.

You will have the opportunity to explore the ruins of the castle as well as the surrounding grounds which features a full-sized trebuchet. This was a commonly used siege weapon used to catapult large boulders and other items at and into castles. It is said that dead cattle were used as ammunition with the aim of throwing them over the castle walls, where they would rot and spread disease to the inhabitants inside! What a time to be alive!

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Beauly Priory, Beauly IV4 7DY Beauly IV4, Beauly Scotland

Beauly Priory is one of three priories founded in Scotland around 1230 for monks of the Valliscaulian order. The Valliscaulians came from Val-des-Choux (‘Valley of the Cabbages’) near Dijon in France, and adhered to strict ideals of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Beauly, coming from the French for ‘beautiful place’, must have seemed to be the perfect spot to devote themselves to their beliefs.

After passing through a number of religious orders, the priory fell into disuse and ruin following the Reformation. It is said that some of the stone was removed by forces loyal to Oliver Cromwell and taken to Inverness for use in building a citadel there.

Only the abbey church still stands today, housing some fine funerary monuments.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Glen Ord Distillery Inverness, Muir of Ord IV6 7UJ Scotland

OPTIONAL STOP: No tour of Scotland is complete without a visit to a whisky distillery, and this is no exception. Here you will learn about the whisky distilling process, what makes a whisky have a particular flavour, take a tour of the distillery itself, and finally enjoy a tasting (if you wish, this is not obligatory). Glen Ord produces the Singleton which is only available in South East Asia, or at the distillery itself.

Note we will only have time to visit one distillery on this tour unless your switch out some of the other attractions. The cost of tours and tastings is not included.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: The Dalmore Distillery, Alness IV17 0UT Scotland

OPTIONAL STOP: Dalmore was one of the first single malts to be exported to all corners of the world. For a period of time through the 60s to the early '00s, it was used as part of a blended whisky. It was then transformed once again, into a prestige single malt whisky.

At present, you can taste up to 11 single malts from their core and travel range at £5 per dram, irrespective of the RRP of the bottle. This represents great value as they can retail at up to £175 per bottle!

Note we will only have time to visit one distillery on this tour unless your switch out some of the other attractions. The cost of tours and tastings is not included.

Duration: 30 minutes

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Private transportation

  • Breakfast - Meals can be taken as required but are not included in the price.
  • Lunch - Meals can be taken as required but are not included in the price.
  • Dinner - Meals can be taken as required but are not included in the price.
  • The cost of the tour does not include any entrance fees for any of the locations visited.
  • Gratuities are not included and are entirely at the discretion of the tour party.
  • Entry/Admission - Culloden Battlefield
  • Entry/Admission - Cawdor Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Urquhart Castle

Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
We will pick up from hotels, B&Bs, private residences, airports, railway stations etc.


  • Inverness Airport, Inverness Scotland


  • Invergordon

Departure Time
8:30 AM

7 to 9 hours

Voucher Info
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

The tour identified in this promotion is made available through Viator. Groupon is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Highland Day Tours in connection with this deal. Please contact Groupon customer service for all inquiries related to this offer. Inquiries placed to Viator will be directed back to Groupon.

This offer is not eligible for promo codes.

The Fine Print

14-day cancellation rights do not apply; no refunds or exchanges permitted. Voucher valid only for date and time listed; may not be exchanged or redeemed for other dates. Purchaser name and phone number must be provided at checkout; this information will be shared with Viator and the tour operator for purposes of order fulfillment. Groupon promo codes may not be used for this offer. Groupon voucher Terms of Sale do not apply. See the tour operator's terms and conditions for this offer here.

About Highland Day Tours