Clan Mackenzie itinerary

Clan Mackenzie was one of the most powerful in Scotland, with key territory in the land of Kintail. It included 14,000 acres of magnificent Highland scenery and the Five Sisters of Kintail, now a popular hillwalking challenge. Follow in the footsteps of Mackenzie clansmen on this four-day itinerary from Inverness, and experience some of the wildest and most rugged landscapes in Scotland.

  • Cuillin Hills, Isle of Skye
    Cuillin mountains from Sligachan, Isle of Skye
  • The inscription on a memorial cairn at Culloden Visitor Centre marking the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1746 near Inverness
    The inscription on a memorial cairn at Culloden Visitor Centre near Inverness
  • Eilean Donan Castle and Loch Alsh
    Eilean Donan Castle and Loch Alsh
  • Outside the Highland Archive and Registration Centre, Inverness
    The Highland Archive and Registration Centre, Inverness
  • Old woman in historic dress cooks at an open hearth in the centre of a reconstruction of an old croft house
    The Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore

Start your search in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands where you can visit the Highland Archive Centre which includes genealogy records of the area dating back to the 13th century.

On the outskirts of Inverness, make sure to visit Culloden battlefield and visitor centre and discover the story of the 1746 Jacobite rebellion, led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, which was crushed by government forces.

From Inverness, take the half hour drive south to the small town of Newtonmore and stop off at the fascinating Highland Folk Museum. Explore the museum which brings more than 400 years of Highland living to life through a series of exhibitions through which you can track the everyday experiences of clansmen and crofters.

The picturesque village of Beauly which lies 15 miles to the west of Inverness is a good starting point for your second day in the Highlands. Visit the red sandstone ruins of Beauly Priory where you’ll find the impressive tomb of Kenneth, son of 7th chief Alasdair of Kintail. The monument features full armour and all the ceremonial attire of a knight and is said to be testimony to the importance of the chief.

Travel west and visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle which is situated at the meeting point of three great sea lochs, Duich, Alsh and Long. Although the current building was only constructed during the 20th century, it was the original stronghold for the Mackenzies when they first settled here in 1267 and was the site of many clan battles and skirmishes with the Lord of the Isles. The Macraes now own the castle which is the open to the public.

Further west at the Kyle of Lochalsh, cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye, where you’ll find plenty accommodation and food and drink options before you explore the island.

Soak up the land of your ancestors as you enjoy hillwalking in the jagged Cullin mountain range or you could find out more about Highland heritage and general clan life at the Museum of the Isles at the Clan Donald Skye centre in Sleat.

From hillwalking in the jagged Cuillin mountain range to visiting the Clan Donald at Sleaat

Back on the mainland, head north to the busy fishing town of Gairloch where you can enjoy the rugged beauty of the Torridon mountain range. Or you could stop off at the Heritage Museum in the town which gives a wonderful overview through exhibits and interactive displays of Highland life, from the Bronze Age to the present day.