New tourist trail to follow in Bonnie Prince Charlie’s footsteps

The new initiative will encourage visitors to explore a seminal period in Scotland's history which is prominent in hit US series Outlander. Picture: SWNS
The new initiative will encourage visitors to explore a seminal period in Scotland's history which is prominent in hit US series Outlander. Picture: SWNS
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From the shores of Loch Shiel where the Stuart standard was raised to the bloody battlefield where an army and a dream fell away, it is a tour through one of the most turbulent chapters in Scotland’s past.

A new trail chronicling key sites connected with Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites has been established by the country’s main tourism agency.

Scotland’s history and culture is one the top reasons for visiting Scotland and 2017 offers huge opportunities for the tourism industry

Malcolm Roughead

The network, unveiled on the 229th anniversary of the Young Pretender’s death, spans more than two dozen locations closely identified with the Jacobite Rising.

Ranging from Dumbarton Castle on the River Clyde to Brodie Castle in Moray, the sites cover much of the mainland and cumulatively, tell the story of the ill-fated campaign to restore the Stuart monarchy to the British throne.

VisitScotland hopes the initiative will improve the footfall of international tourists keen to explore a seminal period in the nation’s history, particularly given its prominent role in the hit US television series, Outlander.

It said that by creating the dedicated trail, it would allow visitors to follow in the footsteps of the young prince and his supporters.

The trail, a joint initiative by VisitScotland, National Museums Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Royal Collection Trust and The National Trust for Scotland, covers 25 locations.

While some, such as Glenfinnan and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, are places where Charlie himself once set foot, others look to shed new light on his rebellion.

They include the National Museum of Scotland, where a major new exhbition about the rebelliion is due to open in June. The exhibition, the biggest of its kind in more than 70 years, will feature Charlie’s shield, sword, and his travelling canteen.

As part of the trail project, some £40,000 will be put towards create online videos and promotional material to appeal to overseas audiences.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s history and culture is one the top reasons for visiting Scotland and 2017 offers huge opportunities for the tourism industry and collaboration across sectors. Bonnie Prince Charlie is one of Scotland’s most enduring historical figures and we are delighted, through the VisitScotland Growth Fund, to support this collaborative campaign that will help visitors follow in his footsteps.”

David Forsyth, lead curator of the National Museum of Scotland’s exhibition, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites, said: “Our exhibition will present the best material there is – real objects and contemporary accounts and depictions – to present the truth of a story which is even more layered, complex and dramatic than the many fictional and romantic interpretations which exist in popular culture.

“Through this partnership, we are delighted to extend the exciting invitation to people to not only come here and see those real objects and hear that real story but also to travel the country and visit the places where many of these momentous events actually happened.”

Simon Skinner, chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland, said the trail helped bring to life one of Scotland’s “most complex, compelling and, ultimately, tragic tales.”

A copy of the new Jacobite trail can be downloaded from the website, www.jacobitetrail.co.uk.