Local Dark Deeds Tour – Itinerary
The Dark Deeds Tour sees you travelling east to visit the exterior of Brodie Castle, before continuing on to the historic city of Elgin and it’s ruined cathedral. The rest of the morning will be either a visit to the luxury shop, Johnstons of Elgin or the ruined bishop’s residence of Spynie Palace. If timings have gone well then there is an outside chance of being able to see them both. After lunch you will travel on, to Pluscarden Abbey, followed by Cawdor Castle. On your return to Inverness there will be time for a photostop at the darkest deed of them all; Culloden.
This castle was, for centuries, the home of the Brodies of Brodie. This family held the ancient Celtic title of Mormaer (Earl), and their castle grounds are a particular glory around April. This is because of the hundreds of varieties of daffodils among the trees.
Next you visit the historic city of Elgin. Hear how it used to be a fine, walled medieval city containing twenty two colleges and a Norman Cathedral, which was then sacked and burned by the Wolf of Badenoch in 1390. During your visit to the cathedral we will show you an ancient Pictish carved stone, and you can visit the many exhibition rooms where there are displays of riotous medieval stone carving.
Spynie Palace stands a little way to the north of Elgin and was the palace for the bishop of the cathedral. It is described as being the largest tower house in Scotland, and yes, you can get right to the very top!
Johnstons of Elgin
Johnstons of Elgin are a woollen mill working in luxury textiles like Cashmere and Vicuna. They also developed the whole concept of estate tweeds for camouflage on the hill. Elgin is where it all began, in 1797, and that is still where we can visit their elegant mill shop and cafe. They are the UK’S last remaining vertical woollen mill, by which they mean that the actual loom stands up vertically.
Pluscarden Abbey nestles in a sylvan setting by the Black Burn. Here there is an opportunity to see the beautiful interiors and windows, and listen to the white-robed Benedictine order as they perform the Gregorian Chant – a sound little changed since the time of the Wolf of Badenoch. Pluscarden was also attacked in the Wolf’s raids of 1390.
Cawdor Castle has been (and still is) the home of the Cawdor family since its construction, around 1380. A visit takes you through more than a dozen of its finest rooms, especially enjoyable because it is a living family home and not a museum. There are also three fine shops and a restaurant within the castle.
Cawdor Castle Gardens
Cawdor Castle Gardens are extensive. The Walled Garden (dating back to Renaissance times) contains the Paradise Garden, the Knot Garden, the Orchard and the Minotaur’s Maze). The Flower Garden, laid out in 1710, contains many sculptures, and the Wild Garden lies near the Cawdor Burn (the local river).
Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle on British soil, stands atop a ridge, four miles from Inverness. Here, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army met a final and chilling end. We only have time for a photo on this tour. As a result, we will ensure that we take you to the best place on site to do that.
Local Dark Deeds Tour – Price
£450 for the tour.
Local Dark Deeds Tour – Departure
The tour departs from your Inverness accommodation, or any transport hub, such as bus station, train station or airport. You tell us, and we’ll be there.