Part 2 of our road trip, down the A9 from Dornoch. I was going to do a post on Dornoch but to be honest, we spent a maximum of 30 minutes in the actual town getting dinner. We never really saw much. I’ll not lie and say the road back down was just as scenic as the way up (Check out the post HERE), it’s not. However, there is plenty of history to be soaked up along the road. Thankfully it never took us 10 and a half hours, but we did make the full day of it! There’s no need in going in to the route this time, we literally went down the A9 and only came off the road to visit attractions.
Culloden Moor Battlefield
The battle of Culloden took place on the 16th April 1746. On the way up, we saw the area where ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ raised his standard and began the Jacobite uprising, well this is where it came to a brutal end. Walking across where the battlefield was certainly has an eerie feel to it. There’s gravestones scattered all over the Moor, marked with the clan names that took part in the battle. If you’re lucky, there are Highland Coo that can be seen in a small field just outside of the visitor centre.
The Clava Cairns are Bronze-Age burial chambers, dating back around 4,000 years. The largest stones and the entrance channel to the Cairns aligns with the rising and setting of the winter solstice/ midwinter sun. Clava Cairns have links to the Outlander TV series, it is suggested that the fictional ‘Craigh na Dun’ was inspired by this historic site.
House & Falls of Bruar
After leaving the Inverness, we continued down the A9 from Dornoch until we reached the House and Falls of Bruar. The House of Bruar is ultimately an upmarket department store with country clothing and accessories. There’s also a fishing, hunting and food hall department as well as a lovely wee restaurant. We picked ourselves up a couple of sandwiches then went to the Falls. The Falls of Bruar are a series of waterfalls that flow through a gorge, a short walk from the House of Bruar. You can get a good view of them from the old stone bridges.
Killiecrankie & The Soldiers Leap
The first Jacobite uprising in 1689 had a significant battle at Killiecrankie. On the 27th July 1689, the Jacobite forces defeated the Government forces. One of the legends that arose from this battle was that of ‘the Soldiers Leap’ where it is said that Donald MacBean of the Government side, leapt 18.5 feet across the gorge to evade capture by the Jacobites. After taking a look at the Soldiers Leap myself, I don’t know how he survived, but he did. I know I certainly wouldn’t make it! Wee fact; the term Jacobite means follower of King James, coming from the Latin term ‘Jacobus’ which means James.
Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve
The Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve is located near Dunkeld. From April til the end of August, it is home to ospreys that come to breed. There is also a chance of seeing beavers, deer, other bird species and even maybe an otter! Entry to the visitor centre is £4.50 and lets you see the osprey nest up close (using a telescope) and a cracking view of the Loch.
After that stop, we continued our journey down the A9 from Dornoch, until we reached Dunblane, joined the M9 and then straight to home. It was a cracking night away and we saw a lot more than I thought we would. Check out some of the photos from day 2 down below! I’m in the process of editing my photos and re-doing my photo galleries, hopefully they’ll be live in the next week or two.
Cheers for reading,