The Bonnie Prince Charlie Ride (and Outlander add-on)
On the Bonnie Prince Charlie ride we ride through the countryside and visit places associated with the '45 rebellion when the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart famously returned to Scotland to reclaim the throne that was rightly his. The Prince and his loyal Jacobite army of Highland clansmen marched South into England and came close to regaining the throne with famous victories at Prestonpans and Falkirk, taking Edinburgh and Carlisle and marching south as far a Derby. But fortunes changed as the expected support from English Jacobites was not forthcoming and funds began to run low, so the Prince pulled back into Scotland awaiting promised funds from France and Spain which never arrived. The final and most famous battle of all took place on Culloden Moor near Inverness, where the Princes army of near starving Highlanders met the Duke of Cumberlands men in a battle that saw both the Jacobite army and the Princes dreams of regaining his fathers' throne destroyed. The battle took less than an hour and it's aftermath changed the Highlands of Scotland and it's peoples' way of life forever.
The Prince fled from the battlefield and spent five months as a fugitive, running through the heather and hiding out in caves, sometimes being offered shelter by loyal Jacobites. He covered a huge amount of ground, never staying anywhere long and travelled as far as the Western Isles, where he was famously aided by Flora Macdonald, posing as her maid for his journey 'over the sea to Skye'. From Skye he returned to the mainland hiding out again in the hills, until he finally set sail for France, never to set foot on Scottish soil again.
Wherever possible, we try to faithfully follow the routes that the Prince took, however, this is a riding holiday and much of his flight through the heather was on foot as the ground was deemed unsuitable for horses, so we have chosen the best routes that can be ridden - if we cannot ride the exact route, we ride as close to it as possible!
We collect our guests in Fort William around lunchtime, then take you to Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standart on the 19th August 1745. We visit the monument and visitor centre, then head to our hotel for the night - the Princes House Hotel, which was an Inn, at the time of the uprising.
First day riding. We are transported to the start of the ride at Fassfern, where BPC famously plucked a white rose from the gardens , putting it on his bonnet - the white cockade, the symbol of the '45 uprising. We ride along an old pony path, winding through the glen, following faithfully the route that BPC and the clans took to bypass Fort William.
We ride past Highbridge, where the first action of the uprising occured, then through Spean Bridge, to ride on old trails and forestry tracks, taking us to Luiblea, the entrance to the wild land where the Prince hid in Clunys Cage on Ben Alder.
We ride today through Ardvirikie Estate, famous nowadays as the setting for the Monarch of the Glen TV series.
Passing stunning Ardvirikie House overlooking Loch Laggan, we ride to the head of the Loch, site of the largest freshwater beach in Britain, then follow another old drovers route to leave the horses for the night at Garva Bridge, on General Wades road.
Today we head over the stunning 770m (2526 ft) Corrieyairack Pass. This high, lonely stone track was one of General Wades military roads and was famously taken by the Prince and his men on their march South, when his hopes of victory were still high. The views are stunning!
We leave the horses behind for a day of sightseeing, we drive through Stratherrick, where Prince Charlie fled from Culloden, passing Gorthleck house, where he took shelter then drive on to Inverness to visit Culloden Moor, where we join a tour of the battlefield and visit the clan stones. We also visit the fantastic new battle field exhibition, which is full of interesting memorabilia with interactive characters and an immersion theatre where you can experience first hand what it was like to be in the middle of the action at Culloden. Then we also visit the stone circle at Clava Cairns with it's cleft stone.
After our visit to Culloden, we will take you back to Inverness, from where there are good transport links to get you home.
Price: 1190 GBP
6 days - 4 days riding, 5 nights accommodation, 2 days sight seeing - full board
The Bonnie Prince Charlie ride might also be of interest to any 'Outlander' fans (Cross-stitch in the UK), as our routes take in many sites referenced in this popular series of books by Diana Gabaldon. This ride can be extended to a 10 day ride by joining the Outlander 2 ride, which is a 4 day add on tour, visiting other sites associated with the tales of Jamie and Claire.....
Price: 840 GBP
4 days - 3 days riding, 4 nights accommodation and 1 more day of sight-seeing - full board
We will collect you from Fort William mid morning on the day of the ride and take you to the start at Glenfinnan. After the ride has finished, we can transport you back to Inverness, from where there are good transportation links back to Fort William, or onwards.
The Bonnie Ride!
We also offer the Bonnie Prince Charlie ride without the PC bit! Same fantastic route, but without the visits to Glenfinnan and Culloden. See here for details Bonnie Ride
4 days riding, 5 nights accommodation, full board
Price: 890 GBP
Payments can be made by cheque, bank transfer or credit/debit card via PayPal below. Please contact us if you require our bank details for transfer. Please email or phone us to check availability on the ride before paying deposits.