Clan Campbell Tour
We have developed the Clan Campbell Tour for anyone fascinated by the history of the great Campbell clan and its involvement with Scotland’s story. It’s also for those who want to experience some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery, and to get a flavour of local Scottish culture.
The tour has been designed by Lord Gray, whose seat is in Argyll and who is closely connected to the clan. Andrew Gray is a knowledgeable and experienced guide in his own right, and will, depending on timings, be available to lead the tour.
Each tour is with a group small enough to access the best places to stay and the most interesting sites, but with a convivial feel. It is for a maximum of seven people, travelling in a car or nine seater minibus. It includes:
- All accommodation (with breakfast)
- Transport including ferries
- Entry to key sites
- Meeting local clan members and chiefs
- A knowledgeable driver/guide
This seven night tour takes you into the heartland of Campbell country. We visit the territory of several of the clan's branches and their ancient castles. Our journey takes you through the most dramatic parts of Scotland, including Argyll, the Great Glen and Lochaber.
The tour is designed to fit around a working week for those who can’t take more time off, but the holiday can of course be extended at either end for those who want to spend more time exploring Scotland. We’d be happy to offer advice and ideas for an extended vacation.
If you are interested in this tour, please get in touch with preferred dates and group numbers. Prices are available on application and will depend on the time of year and numbers in the group. We can also help to bring groups together if you wish to travel with others.
Castle Campbell in Dollar Glen
Experience teaches us that people prefer to give themselves at least a full day to recover from the flight, adjust to the time zone and explore a little on their own. We are therefore including a night at a chic Bed and Breakfast close to Edinburgh city centre before you meet your tour guide.
Day 1 with guide
Leaving Edinburgh we cross the Firth of Forth, heading to Castle Campbell situated in the hills above the town of Dollar. This was the chief seat of power in the Lowlands for the Earls of Argyll until they moved to Argyll's Lodging, adjacent to Stirling Castle, which is where we travel on to next. We can have a tour of the castle, the Royal Residence of the Stuart Kings, then visit the Lodging itself. The plains of Stirling behind us, we drive northwest via Doune & Dunblane to Sherrifmuir and the site of the major battle of the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion. Thereafter we travel north through the Cairngorm National Park up towards Inverness, where we will stay.
We travel East along the Moray Firth and up on to the bleak moor at Culloden for a visit to the fantastic battlefield exhibition centre. Aside from any specific Campbell involvement, the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and its bitter end here at Culloden, makes this site well worth seeing. Following this we travel on to Cawdor Castle, home of the Campbells of Cawdor. There is a range of curious history attached to it (including William Shakespeare...). The architecture and interiors are interesting and the gardens are beautiful. Following a pit-stop in Nairn, we make our way to the village of Auldearn, the site of a significant battle in the Covenanter Wars of the 1640s and a defeat for the Campbell Earl of Argyll.
Today we travel southwards down the Great Glen along Loch Ness via Fort Augustus towards the West Coast & Argyll. We stop just north of Fort William at Inverlochy, to visit Old Inverlochy Castle and the site of another bloody battle in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; an infamous rout of the Earl of Argyll's Covenanter forces. After this, we continue South, heading into Argyll and crossing the bridge at Ballachulish, we pass nearby the spot where Colin Campbell of Glenure was murdered in 1752. Just above Port Appin, we catch a view over Castle Stalker with its backdrop of the Firth of Lorn, heading on for a short visit to the 'Black Castle' of Barcaldine to round things off.
Today follows a circular route, first heading north over the Connel Bridge, retracing the coast we finished with yesterday as far as Ballachulish before turning southeast, taking the road that leads us through Glen Coe, (pit-stop at the very good National Trust visitor centre). Surrounded on all sides by increasingly craggy mountains, the route climbs steadily. We make a stop at a viewpoint across from 'The Three Sisters' peaks and hear about events leading up to the infamous Glen Coe Massacre of 1692. Climbing up out of the Glen we cross the bleak plateau of Rannoch Moor before making our descent down through the beautiful Glen Orchy and back Loch Awe-side where we visit St.Conans Kirk, the architectural curiosity built by a Campbell.
The day incorporates much of the Clan Campbell Argyll heartlands. We visit Dunstaffnage Castle on the edge of the Firth of Lorn, once a McDougall Clan seat but forfeit to the Campbells.
Heading inland we make a brief stop in the village of Taynuilt, home to a little-known monument to Admiral Lord Nelson's naval victory at Trafalgar. Driving on to Loch Awe and rounding the head of the loch we make our next stop to take a walk out to the iconic ruins of Kilchurn Castle, built by Duncan Campbell of Glen Orchy. A narrow road follows along the southern shores of Loch Awe and we pause to view all that remains of Innischonnell Castle, earliest stronghold of the line of Clan chiefs. We reach the southern tip of Loch Awe at Ford, re-joining the main road. There is an option to see the standing stones in Kilmartin Glen before travelling back up the coast towards Oban.
The final day saves a major Campbell gem till last. Leaving the West coast, again taking the road round the shores of Loch Etive & Loch Awe, as we salute Kilchurn once more, we turn south to Inveraray. Here we visit the ancestral seat of the Clan Chiefs for a tour of the castle. With a pit-stop offered at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, we then follow the military road through to Loch Lomond and so to the Glasgow area. Onward travel from here or returning again to the Edinburgh area and a final night in a comfortable hotel.
Price, Transport, Guide, Accommodation and Shopping
The tour will be for a maximum of seven people travelling in a nine seater minibus. Prices on application - they will depend on dates and numbers on the tour.
If you wish to plan a ‘self-drive’ version of the tour, please email me Diana Gray for a quote.
Breakfast is included throughout. At the other meals there is a range of bar meals, snacks and more formal options available to choose from.
Luggage- we suggest a medium sized case plus hand luggage for easy access at your seat. If you are continuing your trip please ask us about left luggage facilities in Edinburgh.
- Bed and Breakfast for all nights
- Services of expert tour guides
- Entry to castles (occasionally, by mutual consent, we change one castle for another)
- Meeting key clan figures including the chance of a chief or two!
- Air Fares
- Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
- Trip insurance
The balance is payable thirteen weeks prior to the start of the tour.
We strongly recommend that you take out trip insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances.Special arrangements for Covid related cancellations on request. Clans and Castles is registered under the official 'Good to Go' scheme. For more details on our terms and conditions please click here.
Price varies according to dates of travel. If you would like to know, more about the trip then send an email to me, Diana Gray