(Video clip above shows Ben Loyal and Castle Varrich, Tongue.)

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Tongue in the far north of Scotland and drove south-east for a couple of hours to our first destination of Dunrobin Castle on the east coast. Travelling down we passed through ‘Mackay Country’ landscape on a single-track road comprising heather vegetation, peat cuttings, flocks of sheep with lambs, rivers, small lochs (lakes), gorse in flower (brilliant yellow) and even a family of geese with goslings. This took us initially to the village of Helmsdale and then on to Dunrobin Castle.

Dunrobin Castle is more of a palace than a castle, being the 19th century home of the super-rich, Duke of Sutherland. Here we toured the castle interior, gardens and witnessed an excellent falconry display.

Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland, Scotland

Formal gardens at Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Harris Hawk, part of falconry display at Dunrobin Castle

Next, we drove  a little further south to the pleasant small town of Dornoch and paid a brief  visit to the beach and golf club.

Next, we continued south. through Inverness to Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle on British soil, in 1746. It was here that the Jacobite forces under Bonnie Prince Charlie were defeated by the Hanoverians under General Cumberland resulting in massive casualties for the Highlanders.

Culloden Battlefield Site, Scotland

Next, a short distance to the prehistoric cemetery of Clava Cairns dating from around 2000 BC.

Clava Cairns, Scotland

Finally, we reached our lodgings in Inverness by around 6.00pm.

Tomorrow, we continue south, to Stirling and Edinburgh.

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