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 heartlands of the clan Morrison lie to the west of Scotland, on the
windswept shores of the Outer Hebrides. These islands have a legendary, wild
beauty, with long stretches of golden, white sands, secluded coves and rugged
hills. The Gaelic language retains its vibrancy in these parts, with long-held
traditions of culture, language and community handed down through generation
It is thought that the clan's origins are in County Donegal in Ireland, with a branch venturing westwards to Habost on the north-east coast of Lewis. The Clan Morrison Society held its first official gathering in July 2002, centred around the old clan stronghold of Ness on the Isle of Lewis. The highlight of the event was the opening of the bridge to the ancient hill fort of Dun Eistean, the clan's ancestral home.
Arrive in Inverness, the bustling, beautiful capital of the Highlands. In the nearby villages of Kingussie and Newtonmore, you'll find two fascinating Highland Folk Museums. Here, more than 400 years of Highland life are brought to life in exhibitions which track the everyday experiences of clansman and crofter.
A stunning hour long drive, in the shadow of the Fannich mountain range, takes you to the thriving harbour town of Ullapool where you board the Caledonian Macbrayne ferry for Stornoway (Steornabhagh in Gaelic), capital of the Western Isles. The two hour sailing across The Minch offers breathtaking views to distant Skye and the mountains of Coigach and Assynt. Upon arrival at Stornoway, drive northwards to the coastal settlement of Ness, home to the Morrison clan; you'll find an interesting historical museum here too.
Travel down to Tarbert (Tairbeart), a town at the meeting point of the Isles of Lewis and Harris. Here, following two long centuries of feud and unrest, the Morrisons were defeated by the Macleods and the Macaulays. A few miles further south lies the village of Northton (Taobh Tuath). And it's here that you'll find a true treasure trove for family historians. Co Leis Thu? (Who do you belong to?) is the only genealogy centre of its type in Scotland, with records on every Western Isles family, some of which go back more than 200 years. Bill and Chris Lawson are your knowledgeable and helpful experts.
Return to Stornoway where a visit to the local Museum and Arts Centre is well worthwhile. There is also an active local historical society in the town and you might be lucky enough to join in with the music, dancing and laughter at a ceilidh! Or you may wish to slip into one of Stornoway's many hostelries to hear the distinctive Hebridean lilt of the Gaelic language.
Depart from Stornoway and travel back to Ullapool by ferry - looking out for dolphins, porpoises and seals as you go. Take the road back to Inverness and the end of your sojourn into the Clan Morrison heartlands. If you would like to undertake this trip, check out our accommodation section to make your arrangements or why not print out this itinerary and ask your travel counselor / travel agent to make the booking for you. To search over 8,000 quality assured accommodation, from bed and breakfast to castles log on to www.visitscotland.com. The information contained in this itinerary is as supplied to VisitScotland and to the best of VisitScotland's knowledge was correct at the time of publication. VisitScotland can accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions. June 2004. VisitScotland is committed to ensuring that our natural environment and built heritage, upon which tourism is so dependent, is safeguarded for future generations to enjoy.