Tours Of Scotland
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"No one who Tours Scotland can escape the past.
It is everywhere, haunting like a ghost."

Tours Of Scotland

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Tours of Scotland, Glencoe and The Great Glen

The Great Glen, a chain of narrow lochs marking a giant geological fracture of the land, cuts across a wild and lovely landscape of peaks, lakes and rivers overlooked by Britain's highest mountain, the giant Ben Nevis. Ruined forts and glens emptied by the 19th-century Clearances testify to the violence that marked the slow end of the traditional Highland way of life. Glencoe.

Achnacarry House has been seat of Camerons of Lochiel since 1660. Present building dates from 1802, has Gothic decoration, crenellated parapet and corner turrets. Clan Cameron Museum, housed in reconstructed 17th-century croft house, commemorates role of Camerons in the armed forces.

Lighthouse marks entrance to Loch Linnhe's tide race. Superb walks in surrounding woods and mountains. Behind Corran village is steep mountain with waterfall known as MacLean's Towel.

Access to 6400 acre National Trust estate with woodland walks, lochs and streams. National Trust for Scotland information centre. Lochalsh Woodland Garden was established in 1887 for Lochalsh House. Converted Coach House is visitor centre.

Locality near south end of Caledonian Canal, by set of eight locks forming Neptune's Staircase.
Locks, built 1822, climb 64ft in 1 mile. Walk of 1 1/2 miles up canal bank leads to Torcastle Farm and ruins of Tor Castle, overlooking River Lochy.

Bealach Ratagain
Also known as Main Ratagain Pass. Steep road zigzagging up to 1,116tt was for centuries major strategic route through Western Highlands. View from the top over little Loch Shiel, Shiel Bridge and Loch Duich.

Ben Nevis
Britain's highest peak rises 4,406ft above sea level. Massive, round-shouldered hulk with steep cliffs on its north face. Rough 5 mile long footpath leads to mountain's summit from Achintree House near Fort William. Initial strenuous climb levels out at 2,500ft; summit offers views stretching for more than 100 miles from Great Glen to Atlantic islands.

Caisteal Grugaig
Iron Age Pictish fort, or broch, overlooking bay at junction of Loch Duich and Loch Alsh. Fort has walls 9ft thick and 13ft high, and a huge triangular block above the doorway. Wall chambers, part of staircase and part of gallery also remain standing.

Caledonian Canal
Series of 28 locks and cuts stretching along 22 miles of the Great Glen. Links 43 miles of lochs to create route between east and west coasts, through spectacular scenery of mountains and glens. Built mainly in early 19th century by Thomas Telford.

Hamlet on an ancient site, with a chambered cairn, or passage grave, of about 2000 BC. Mound 60ft across contains 23ft long passage into central chamber with fine corbelled roof.

Duirinish Lodge
Woodland garden with heathers, azaleas and rhododendrons over-looks Skye and Raasay.

Dun Grugaig
Remains of Iron Age fort stand on cliff top, above precipitous side of gorge. Protecting wall is 14ft thick, 8ft high, and curves from cliff edge to cliff edge. Wall has internal chambers and entrance passage.

Eilean Donan Castle
MacRae stronghold dates from 13th century. Ruined by naval bombardment in 1719, rebuilt earlier this century. Causeway, three-arched bridge and gateway with portcullis lead through walls up to 14ft thick. Restored chambers, billeting room and banquet hall with furnishings.

Falls of Glomach
Tumbling down 750ft cleft, falls make single leap of 350ft. Among highest falls in Britain. Also known as The Hidden Falls because of inaccessibility. Best approached along 5 mile track from car park at Dorusduain. Round trip takes five hours.

Fort Augustus
Village spanning six locks bringing Caledonian Canal into Loch Ness. Great Glen Heritage Exhibition covers local history. Fort built after 1715 Jacobite uprising named after Duke of Cumberland, Prince William Augustus. Site of fort now occupied by 19th-century St Benedict's Abbey, now a school. Inchnacardoch Forest Trail begins 2 miles from village centre.

Fort William
Small town at foot of Ben Nevis provides base for climbers planning to scale Britain's highest mountain. Fort built in 17th century, demolished in 1850s. West Highland Museum focuses on regional history, including 1745 uprising. Scottish crafts and Ben Nevis Exhibition. Three miles east, Nevis Range Gondola takes visitors 1 1/2 miles up mountain.

Glen Affric
Landseer's paintings made glen's woods, crags and tumbling waters famous. Glen links lochs Affric and Beinn a' Mheadhoin (Benevean) and forms part of long-distance path to Kintail. Several one to three-hour walks marked from Dog Falls and car park between lochs Affric and Beinn a' Mheadhoin.

Stone cross marks site where 38 Jacobite MacDonalds were murdered by their guests, pro-English Campbells, in 1692. Surrounding mountains provide walks and rock climbs. Visitor centre with story of massacre and local ecology. Glencoe and North Loin Folk Museum displays clan and Jacobite relics.

Small harbour at foot of Glen More, backed by hills of Glenshiel Forest. North lie remains of Ber-nera Barracks, 18th-century English military headquarters. To south are Iron Age Pictish forts Dun Telve and Dun Troddan, best-preserved on Scottish main-land; double walls once 40-50ft high, now only 25-30ft; spiralling galleries and chambers remain.

Fishing village at head of Loch Shiel. Pillar, 65ft high, erected in 1815 to commemorate Bonnie Prince Charlie's 1745 arrival to raise Highland army. Spiral stair-case inside pillar leads to parapet with views over Loch Shiel. Visitor centre contains displays on the prince's campaign from Glenfinnan to Derby.

Glen Garry
In lee of high moorland hills, picnic area at east end of Loch Garry is start of 2 mile long walk through Glengarry Forest to impressive Falls of Garry. Forest comprises mostly conifers.

Glen Moriston
Cave where Bonnie Prince Charlie hid in 1746 after defeat lies 1 mile west of An Reithe, and can be reached by lengthy walk from the west end of heavily wooded glen. Roadside cairn commemorates Roderick Mackenzie, one of the prince's bodyguards, killed when mistaken for him.

Glen Nevis
One of Scotland's loveliest valleys with varied terrain of rivers, crags and steep wooded gullies. At eastern end, flanked by steep tracks, is 1,250ft 'water slide', Allt Coire Eoghain, tumbling from flanks of Ben Nevis.

Glen Shiel
Road runs through valley with mountains rising over 3,000ft on both sides; Five Sisters of Kintail to east and The Saddle to west.

Kyle of Lochalsh
Busy little port that expanded when railhead was built in 1897. From hilltop nearby superb views westwards over Skye.

Loch Morar
The deepest lake in Britain, reaching 1,017ft at its eastern end, this glacier-carved loch is 12 miles long. Like Loch Ness, it is said to have a monster -- Morag. Morar, hillside village on narrow neck of land above loch, looks across sea towards Rhum and Eigg.

Loch Oich
Nearby slopes bear ruin of Invergarry Castle, former Macdonnell stronghold -- destroyed by Duke of Cumberland because Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed there before and after his defeat at Culloden. One mile south is Well of Seven Heads, monument erected in 1812 by Alastair Macdonnell to recall revenge taken on seven murderers of his clan in 1660s.

White houses line the shore of an inlet in Loch Canon, with gardens and palm trees encouraged by warmth of Gulf Stream. Sheltered anchorage for yachts.

South Ballachulish
Loch-side village with superb views up Loch Leven. Monument to James Stewart who was wrongfully hanged there in 1752 for murdering a Campbell.

Spean Bridge
Hamlet with 1819 bridge over fast-flowing River Spean. Commando Memorial, with Scott Sutherland sculpture nearby, was erected in 1952 to commemorate the commandos trained in surrounding area during World War II.

Village at mouth of River Strontian is base for salmon and sea-trout fishing. Walks include 7 mile Ariundle Nature Trail, passing old mine workings and derelict village of Scotstown. The village gave its name to the mineral strontianite, from which the element strontium comes.