Tandem Triumphans! Excursion to Culloden and Inverness
When the chance to visit another one of National Trust for Scotland’s battle sites presented itself a few weeks ago, I was eager to jump on the train to Inverness for my first trip to the Highlands and my first trip to Culloden. My managers at Bannockburn were keen for me to visit a battle site which had similarly undergone a regeneration and which similarly loomed large in Scotland’s history as well as offering exciting education programmes.
Culloden is a stunning spot. Located on a high moor east of Inverness, the scenery is a mixed landscape of mountains, heather, forest and the Moray Forth. Already, this offered a different dynamic to Bannockburn, itself located in a suburb of Stirling and well-suited to meet the leisure and education needs of the bulk of Scotland’s population in the Central Belt. Culloden’s picturesque location also presents challenges for access for school visits, but in fact schools travel from all across and Scotland and further afield to reach the site.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to the Highlands and to Culloden. The battlesite itself is extremely well presented; minimal redevelopment means it commands a certain respect, but there is a lot to see with plenty of information available through geolocating-prompted audioguides. The site is complemented by the museum centre, which gives a real sense of the history leading up to the confrontation in 1746. For a complete novice to this history and style of depicting the past, Culloden is a fantastic experience. Personally I also have also gained a great deal of insight into the new directions in heritage, in which Culloden leads the way and Bannockburn is sure to follow.