Scottish Clan Tours
Researching your family tree is a voyage of discovery. Full of intrigue, exotic names and fascinating histories. It is a pastime that rewards again and again. But those who simply trace their family tree from the comfort of their own home are missing out on the real story of their heritage.
For the whole exciting picture, you need to visit the places you read about. And that means a trip to Scotland. To help you plan your trip, we've compiled a number of clan-themed touring itineraries . So if you see your clan name, just follow the trail and walk in your ancestors' footsteps.
The North East of Scotland was home for the clan Gordon, an area that, today,
is famed for its gentle beauty, renowned whisky distilleries and, in Balmoral
Castle, its royal favour. This itinerary is centred around Aberdeen, the
Granite City, where old maritime traditions meet the hi-tech wealth of the
international oil industry.
The clan Gordon was, at one time, the most powerful in the whole of the north of Scotland. The clan's chief, The Duke of Gordon, was a self-styled Cock of the North, someone who liked to flaunt his power and wealth. The Duke's most ancient title was the Gudeman of the Bog, from the Bog-of-Gight, a marshy morass in the parish of Bellie, Banffshire. This was the centre of his stronghold, home to Gordon Castle, once considered to be the most magnificent edifice in the north of Scotland.
Arrive in Aberdeen and spend a few hours exploring the distinctive grey-stoned architecture that gives the place its nickname of the Granite City. In the afternoon, a trip to the Gordon Highlanders Museum, about two miles from the city centre, will offer an insight into the famous regiment along with an unrivalled opportunity to gain access to the clan archives.
Spend a day exploring the lush beauty of Royal Deeside. Nestling amid the glorious scenery, near the picturesque town of Banchory, is the 13th century Drum Castle, one of the oldest tower houses in Scotland. Nearby Crathes Castle is one of Scotland's most beautifully preserved houses and features some truly delightful gardens. Both castles are run by The National Trust for Scotland.
It's time to visit Huntly, a former stronghold of the clan Gordon, where its Castle played a pivotal role in the history of the clan over many centuries. Fyvie Castle, just a few miles away, was once a royal stronghold and houses a fine collection of arms dating back to the 13th Century. It is claimed that each of the five towers was built by different families - the Gordons being responsible for one of them.
Take a leisurely drive up towards the coast of Banffshire, before swinging westwards towards the village of Fochabers in Morayshire to see Gordon Castle. Built by the Dukes of Gordon, the Castle you see today is largely an 18th century reconstruction but it stands on the site of several older buildings stretching back over 500 years. There is a monument to the Duke of Gordon in the town of Elgin, less than ten miles up the road.
Spend a more leisurely day by heading along to Haddo House, home, since 1682, of the Earls of Aberdeen. Haddo House is a beautiful Georgian building designed by William Adam and features fine collections of art and antiques, as well as personal portraits, plaques and memorabilia of the Gordon family who have occupied the property for more than 400 years.
Leave Aberdeen behind, but take with you memories of a
place steeped in the myths, legends and heritage of the Clan
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