Explore Scotland’s History: Things to Do at Culloden Battlefield

The Historical Significance of Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is an area of the Scottish Highlands that holds great historical significance to Scotland and its people. The site became a part of history in 1746 when it was the location of one of the most significant battles in British history, the Battle of Culloden.

The Battle of Culloden was the last battle to be fought on British soil, between the Jacobites and the Government troops. The Jacobites were members of the Highland clans who had joined together to try and overthrow the British government and restore the Stuart monarch to the throne. Unfortunately, the Jacobite forces were ultimately defeated by the government troops and the battle marked the end of the Jacobite rebellion.

The significance of the Culloden Battlefield lies in what happened there and its place in British and Scottish history. After the battle, the British government imposed heavy restrictions on the Highland clans in an effort to subdue the rebellion and break their power. The clans were stripped of their traditional weapons and clothes and the Highland clearances began, leading to the relocation of thousands of people from their ancestral homes. This period of oppression and displacement lasted for centuries and has had a lasting impact on the culture and people of Scotland.

Today, Culloden Battlefield is seen as a place of sorrow and commemoration. People from across the world visit the grounds to pay their respects and remember those who lost their lives in the Battle of Culloden. Through education and understanding, visitors to the site can gain a greater appreciation for the events that took place there and the implications they had for Scotland and its people.

Location: Culloden Battlefield, near the village of Culloden, Inverness, Scotland, UK
Transportation: It can be reached by car, train, and bus. The nearest airport is Inverness Airport, around seven miles away.
Activities: Exploring the terrain, visiting monuments and memorials (including the Clan Stone, monuments to clan leaders, fallen soldiers, and witnesses, and fragmentary remains of Leanach Cottage), visiting the onsite museum, soaking up the atmosphere
Museum: Interactive museum with historical exhibits and artifacts from the period; audio tours available
Hours: Open year-round; admission is free; guided tours available during certain times of the year
Tours: Guided and audio tours, battle re-enactments, workshops, lectures, and guided walks
Monuments and Memorials: Clava Cairn Memorial, Jacobite Monument, Mackenzie Stone, honoring the warriors and clans who fought in the Battle of Culloden in 1746

History of Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is the site of one of Scotland’s most significant battles, fought on April 16, 1746. The Battle of Culloden was the climactic confrontation between the Jacobite forces led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, also known as ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, and the government’s Hanoverian forces led by William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland. The Jacobites were attempting to restore the House of Stuart to the British throne. The battle was a decisive victory for the government forces, ending the Jacobite rising of 1745.

The Battle of Culloden was short and brutal, lasting less than an hour. The Jacobite army vastly outnumbered the government forces at 10,000 strong. However, the government had superior training, weapons and tactics, allowing them to obtain a quick victory. Over 1,500 Jacobites died in the battle, leaving many thousands dead and wounded on the battlefield. The survivors were pursued and killed in the aftermath and Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to the continent, never to return.

Afterwards, the government took steps to erase all traces of Highland culture to prevent further rebellion and the clans were forbidden to wear their traditional clothing or bear arms. It was only after the Highland Clearances that the battlefield began to attract visitors from near and far.

Getting to Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is located near the village of Culloden, Inverness in Scotland, UK. It can be reached easily by car, train and bus. The nearest airport to Culloden Battlefield is Inverness Airport, situated around seven miles away.

By Car:

Culloden Battlefield is approximately 7 miles from Inverness city centre and it can be easily accessed from the A96. For drivers from other parts of Scotland, the battlefield is accessible from the A9.

By Train:

Direct trains run to Inverness from Glasgow and Edinburgh, from which visitors can catch a local bus to the battlefield.

By Bus:

Local buses (service No. 9 and X13) run regularly from Inverness city centre to the battlefield and are a convenient way to reach the grounds.

Once you have arrived at the site, there is ample free parking close to the visitor centre.

Visiting the Grounds at Culloden Battlefield

Visiting the grounds of Culloden Battlefield is an incredibly rewarding experience. Visitors will be able to visit the actual site of the Battle of Culloden and learn about its significance in Scottish and British history. They will be able to explore the terrain, check out various monuments and memorials, visit the onsite museum, and soak up the atmosphere of the area.

The grounds are filled with a plethora of interesting and informative features. At the heart of the battlefield stands the Clan Stone, erected to commemorate the battle. Nearby are a number of monuments and memorials, including those to clan leaders, fallen soldiers, and those who witnessed the battle. Visitors can also see the fragmentary remains of Leanach Cottage, the last home of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The grounds are filled with beautifully kept gardens and shrubbery, perfect for reminiscing over the past. The area is home to numerous species of birds and other wildlife, making it a great spot for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. The nearby visitor centre also provides information about local and regional attractions.

The interactive museum at Culloden offers historical exhibits relating to the battle and displays artefacts from the period. There are also audio tours available for visitors to listen to as they wander around the grounds, providing additional information about the battle and the aftermath.

Culloden Battlefield is open year-round and admission is free. There are guided tours available during certain times of the year, and visitors can also explore the grounds independently. There are cafes, gift shops, and other amenities located near the site, as well as accommodations for those looking to stay overnight.

Tour Options

Visitors to Culloden Battlefield have a range of tours to choose from that will help enrich their experience. There are guided and audio tours as well as activities and events to take part in.

Audio Tours

The audio tour is an easy way to explore the battlefield and learn about the key battles and moments that took place there. It will guide visitors through the battlefield, explaining the key events and giving insight into how they shaped history. Audio tours can usually be booked online or on-site at the visitor’s centre.

Guided Tours

A guided tour allows visitors to hear about the history behind Culloden Battlefield from trained experts. They will be able to ask questions and gain a deeper understanding of the site and its significance. Guided tours usually last around 45 minutes and can be booked online or on-site at the visitor’s centre.

Activities and Events

Culloden Battlefield offers a variety of activities and interactive events to engage with. These include battle re-enactments, where visitors can learn about the tactics and weapons used during the 1746 Battle of Culloden and even try their hand at using some of the weaponry. There are also workshops, lectures, and guided walks.

Special Events

Visitors can also experience special events that are held at the battlefield throughout the year. These include commemoration services, talks from knowledgeable guest speakers, and film screenings. Visitors should check the website for upcoming events.

Memorials & Monuments at Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is home to several memorials and monuments that honour the warriors and clans who fought in the Battle of Culloden in 1746. These include the Clava Cairn Memorial, the Jacobite Monument, and the Mackenzie Stone. Each has its own story to tell and is worth exploring during a visit to Culloden Battlefield.

The Clava Cairn Memorial is one of the most iconic landmarks on the battlefield. It was erected in the 1940s by General Wade, the commander of the government forces in the battle, as a memorial to the fallen Jacobites. The monument consists of a circle of standing stones and is surrounded by small upright stones, which are said to represent the fallen warriors of the Jacobite army.

The Jacobite Monument was erected in 1881 as a memorial to the Jacobites killed at Culloden. It is a large stone obelisk that stands more than 50 feet high and is topped with a cross, symbolizing the courage and faith of the Jacobites. The monument is inscribed with the names of those who died during the Battle of Culloden, making it a powerful reminder of the loss and sacrifice suffered by the Jacobites.

The Mackenzie Stone is a memorial to the Clan Mackenzie, who were loyal to the Jacobite cause. It is an engraved stone slab and dates back to the 18th century. The inscription on the stone reads: “Erected in memory of Donald Farquar 1745 by the Chieftains of the Clan Mackenzie”. This monument serves as a reminder of the bravery of the Clan Mackenzie and the loyalty they showed to their cause.

These three memorials and monuments serve as poignant reminders of the events that took place at Culloden Battlefield. They are a powerful reminder of the courage and commitment of those who fought in the Battle of Culloden and serve as an important part of the site’s history.


If you’re looking for a bite to eat or a souvenir, Culloden Battlefield has you covered. There are several cafes, restaurants and gift shops located on the battlefield grounds. The cafes, which are located near the main visitor centre, offer light snacks and hot and cold drinks for visitors. The restaurants serve up traditional Scottish cuisine that has been popular for centuries. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir, there are plenty of shops to choose from offering items like handcrafted jewellery, local art, books, and more.

For those who are looking for even more after exploring the battlefield grounds, there are also amenities such as public toilets and car parks available at the site. All in all, Culloden Battlefield is sure to provide an enjoyable experience for all those who visit.

Things to do at Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is a site of great historical importance and emotion. There is much to see, learn and experience when visiting the grounds. The battlefield provides visitors with the opportunity to explore the history, culture and landscape of an important moment in British history.

The main attraction of the site is the interpretation centre and museum. This centre explains the story behind the Battle of Culloden and gives visitors a chance to understand the events that led up to it. All around the grounds are interpretive markers, providing information about the battle and its aftermath. It is well worth taking the time to read them and explore the site more deeply.

In addition to the interpretive centre and museum, there are many other activities available at the battlefield.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the grounds, walking along the paths and discovering memorials and monuments. There are also a variety of audio tours available, offering information about the battle from multiple perspectives.

Onsite activities include re-enactments of the battle, which are held throughout the year. These re-enactments are educational and entertaining, giving visitors a chance to see what the battle would have been like for those involved. There are also special events, such as special lectures, talks and cinema screenings, taking place regularly.

Culloden Battlefield also has a range of amenities available. There is a restaurant onsite, as well as several gift shops where visitors can purchase souvenirs. Visitors can also take a break in the gardens.

Finally, there is an information point located in the main area where visitors can ask questions and find out more about the site.

All in all, there is plenty to do at Culloden Battlefield and it is a site of immense historical significance.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply looking for a great day out, the battlefield offers something for everybody.


The Culloden Battlefield museum, located at the site of the fateful Battle of Culloden, provides visitors with a unique and immersive experience. The museum boasts interactive displays that bring the historic battle to life, exploring all of the important facets of the battle, from war tactics to the key figures involved. Visitors can learn about the history of Scotland’s Jacobite uprisings and delve into the social, economic, and political circumstances that led to the conflict.

Guests can also explore a variety of topics related to the battle itself, including preparation for combat and the mobilization of forces. At the museum, visitors will find a range of artefacts and interactive experiences that tell the story of the battle and its aftermath. Additionally, the museum offers a range of activities and interactive exhibits designed to give guests an even deeper understanding of the events that took place here.


Culloden Battlefield is home to a wide variety of wildlife. You can find beautiful birds such as peregrine falcons, red kites and capercaillies among the trees in the area. Roe deer, red squirrels and badgers roam the area, while amphibians and reptiles such as common lizards and slow worms inhabit the area too.

If you’re looking to explore the wildlife at Culloden Battlefield, remember to be respectful. Ensure you stay on the paths and boardwalks and keep your distance, keeping your voice quiet so as not to disturb the wildlife. Make sure you take all your rubbish with you and keep all pets on a lead.


If you’re looking to stay overnight near Culloden Battlefield, there are plenty of options available. You can choose from campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, hotels, lodges, and even rental cottages.

The closest accommodations are located in nearby Inverness, just a few miles away from the battlefield. Inverness is a bustling town full of shops, restaurants, pubs, and outdoor activities. There are several accommodation options here, including two of the most popular options, The Kingsmills Hotel and Palladium House.

If you prefer to stay outside of the city, there are a few quiet bed and breakfasts located in the surrounding countryside such as The Orchards B&B and Broomhill Manor. They are both surrounded by scenic views and offer peaceful, homely lodging.

If you’re looking for a rustic experience, consider staying in a log cabin or a tent in one of the nearby campgrounds such as Loch Ness Shores or Aldourie Castle.

No matter where you stay, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs when it comes to accommodations near Culloden Battlefield.


Culloden Battlefield is a place of immense historical significance and the perfect destination for history buffs. Visitors can learn more about the historic battle that took place here, through audio tours, guided tours and interactive museum displays. Onsite activities include an onsite cafe, gift shop and memorials to remember those who fought in the Battle of Culloden. Wildlife in the surrounding area can also be enjoyed responsibly.

Accommodations in the area are also available, should visitors wish to stay overnight. To make the most out of their visit, visitors should research their visit beforehand, and plan out what attractions they want to make the most of. The battlefield may be small, but it has plenty of wonders for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Culloden Battlefield

  • Q: What is the historical significance of the Culloden Battlefield?
    A: Culloden Battlefield is an important site in British history as it marks the location of the 17th-century Battle of Culloden, a significant event in the Jacobite Resistance that took place in Scotland in April 1746. The battle lasted a mere hour and resulted in a crushing defeat for the Jacobite forces, ending the resistance and bringing about massive changes for many communities in the surrounding areas.
  • Q: How do I get to Culloden Battlefield?
    A: Culloden Battlefield is located approximately 8 miles east of Inverness in Scotland. There are buses that run from Inverness to Culloden Memorial Park with stops along the way, and driving is also an option.
  • Q: What can visitors expect when they visit Culloden Battlefield?
    A: When visiting Culloden Battlefield, guests can take part in a guided tour, visit the onsite memorials and monuments, see interactive museum displays, take part in audio tours, explore the surrounding wildlife, enjoy the amenities such as cafes and gift shops, and look for nearby accommodations for those who plan to stay overnight.
  • Q: What tours are available at Culloden Battlefield?
    A: At Culloden Battlefield, there is a variety of tours available including regular guided tours, audio tours, and special events throughout the year.
  • Q: What memorials and monuments can be found on the grounds?
    A: Some of the memorials and monuments found on the Culloden Battlefield grounds include the Memorial Cairn, the graves of the Clan Chiefs, and the Clan Senior Monument
  • Q: What amenities are offered on the grounds?
    A: Culloden Battlefield offers guests the chance to relax and refuel in the Cafe Oasis or browse the gift shop for souvenirs and mementoes.
  • Q: What should I do to make the most out of my experience at the battlefield?
    A: To make the most of your experience at Culloden Battlefield, we recommend you take advantage of the audio tours, experience the interactive museum displays, and explore the surrounding wildlife. Additionally, there are plenty of nearby accommodations if you would like to make a weekend of it.
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