Clan Robertson itinerary

The Robertsons are more properly called Clan Donnachaidh from the Gaelic for the 'children of Duncan'. The Duncan in question is Duncan I, King of the Scots and one of the tragic characters in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Illustrious ancestry indeed!

Robertson is a widespread name in Scotland today but the clan heartland lies in the beautiful countryside of Perthshire, set between Edinburgh in the south and the Grampian mountains to the north.

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  • The woodlands of the Blair Atholl estate
    The woodlands of the Blair Atholl estate
  • Looking to the town centre of Dunkeld
    The town centre of the beautiful 18th century town of Dunkeld
  • The main street in Pitlochry
    The main street in Pitlochry
  • Queen’s View looking toward Schiehallion
    Queen’s View looking toward Schiehallion
  • Looking towards Scone Palace, a 19th century castellated mansion located north of Perth across the River Tay
    Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish Kings

Start your discovery of Clan Robertson in Scotland’s historic capital city, Edinburgh. Here, you'll be spoilt for things to do and places to visit. A good starting point is the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street. Here, you'll find the history of Scotland from early geological times through to the present day. If time allows, call in at the nearby Scottish Genealogy Society library on Victoria Terrace where you'll find plenty of fellow travellers and enthusiastic researchers, as well as a wealth of genealogical information and guidance. No appointment is necessary but there is a small charge for non-members.

Depart Edinburgh and head north across the spectacular Forth Road Bridge from where you'll get a great view of its equally impressive companion the Forth Rail Bridge. Your destination is Perth, once Scotland's capital city where generations of Scottish monarchs were crowned at Scone Palace. There is an air of elegant, confident prosperity to the city that you are sure to enjoy. For ancestral researchers there is much to enjoy, too, at the Perth and Kinross Council Archive, housed at the AK Bell Library. Appointments aren't usually necessary but do call ahead if you have specific questions.

Travel north to the picturesque Victorian town of Pitlochry. Give in to temptation and stop here to explore or just to enjoy a warm local welcome. A little further north, passing the site of the historic battle of Killiecrankie en route, is Blair Atholl, where the white turreted Blair Castle, home of the Dukes of Atholl, nestles grandly in a spectacular landscape. Well-informed guides will help you enjoy your visit to this fairytale castle and, if you visit in May, you'll have a chance to see the annual parade of Atholl Highlanders. These proud men are the Duke of Atholl's private army, the last remaining such force in Europe.

Continue your exploration of the heart of Robertson country with a visit to the Clan Donnachaidh Museum at Bruar. This was the first purpose-built Clan Museum in Scotland and here you will find a wealth of information and inspiration on your ancestry. Next visit the Dunalastair Burial Ground where some of the clan's chiefs are interred. If you want to enjoy spectacular scenery then stop off at the Queen's View and soak up the captivating views across Loch Tummel to Schiehallion.

While your roots may be firmly in Robertson country, you won't be able to rival the ancient roots of the 3000 year old Fortingall yew tree in the village of Fortingall, west of Aberfeldy. A visit to the churchyard and a walk through the village are highly recommended. Legend has it that Fortingall was the birthplace of Pontius Pilate!

For you final day head south to the historic town of Dunkeld, where the 17th and 18th century buildings in the village give it real character. Set amongst thickly wooded hills, Dunkeld was once the centre of Christianity in all of Scotland. Dunkeld Cathedral is mostly ruinous but attracts visitors and pilgrims from around the world to enjoy its peaceful, spiritual setting and fascinating history.

Continue your journey back to Edinburgh where you can relax and enjoy one of the excellent bus tours of the city, visit the imposing Edinburgh Castle, explore the famous Royal Mile in the Old Town or take a stroll through the elegant New Town.