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Bonnie Prince Charlie

Scotland’s main tourism agency recently announced the opening of a brand-new historical trail meant to educate both nationals and foreign tourists hoping to learn more about one of the most important periods of Scottish history. The trail is the result of a combined effort among multiple agencies including VisitScotland, National Museums of Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Royal Collection Trust, and the National Trust for Scotland.

The trail features 25 different locations important to the story of Charles Edward Stuart and his Jacobite rebels. Stuart, also known as the Young Pretender and Bonnie Prince Charlie, attempted to assume the thrones of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and France after the death of his father in 1766. He and his Jacobite rebels hoped to restore Roman Catholic rule as the governing body across Britain.

Stuart’s efforts eventually ended in failure. However, the bloody warfare that made up the Jacobite rebellion did have one positive benefit: it brought about the end of the clan warfare that had decimated Scotland for hundreds of years. Scotland became a more peaceful and civilised place following the end of the rebellion.

A Great Learning Opportunity

We are excited about the opening of this new historical trail here at Clyde Cruises. As a tour operator ourselves, we know the importance of using tourism to educate people about history. Our incredible castle cruises are an excellent example. As we cruise past one castle after another, we are able to give passengers a brief history of the structures and their inhabitants. We can tie multiple castles together in a historical thread that brings new life to what most of us learned in school.

One of those castles, Dumbarton Castle on the River Clyde, is part of the new historical trail. Other sites on the trail include Brodie Castle in Moray, Glenfinnan, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Some of the sites are those Stuart was known to have visited while others were relevant to his campaign.

Start with a Clyde Cruise

This summer would be a very good time to check out the historic trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Better yet, you might consider taking a cruise up the River Clyde prior to embarking on the trail. A cruise with Clyde Cruises can give you a very good overview of the River Clyde region as well as a number of castles important to the area’s history. Then you will be well-equipped to embark on your Jacobite journey.

VisitScotland has put together some helpful literature that lays out the entire Jacobite trail and all the sites you can visit on it. Bear in mind that the trail covers most of Scotland, so it’s not something you’re going to complete in a couple of days. A better strategy would be to hit the trail during your extended summer holidays. Perhaps start in Glasgow with a Clyde Cruise, then embark on a journey to cover as many of the 25 sites as possible.


  1. Scotsman –
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