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 Robertsons are more properly called Clan Donnachaidh from the Gaelic for
the 'children of Duncan'. The Duncan in question is Duncan I, King of the Scots
and one of the tragic characters in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Illustrious ancestry
Robertson is a widespread name in Scotland today but the clan heartland lies in the beautiful countryside of Perthshire, set between Edinburgh in the south and the Grampian mountains to the north.
Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland's magnificent historic capital. Here, you'll be spoilt for things to do and places to visit. A good starting point is the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street. Here, you'll find the history of Scotland from early geological times through to the present day. If time allows, call in at the nearby Scottish Genealogical Society library in Victoria Terrace where you'll find plenty of fellow travellers and enthusiastic researchers, as well as a wealth of genealogical information and guidance. No appointment is necessary but there is a small charge for non-members.
Depart Edinburgh and head north across the spectacular Forth Road Bridge from where you'll get a great view of its equally impressive companion railway bridge. Your destination is Perth, once Scotland's capital city where generations of Scottish monarchs were crowned at Scone Palace. There is an air of elegant, confident prosperity to the city that you are sure to enjoy. For ancestral researchers there is much to enjoy, too, at the Perth and Kinross Archive, housed at the AK Bell Library. Appointments aren't usually necessary but do call ahead if you have specific questions.
Continuing north into Robertson country you'll pass through picturesque Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian town. Give in to temptation and stop here to explore or just to enjoy a warm local welcome. A little further north, passing the site of the historic battle of Killiecrankie en route, is Blair Atholl, where the white turreted Blair Castle, home of the Dukes of Atholl, nestles grandly in a spectacular landscape. Well-informed guides will help you enjoy your visit to this fairytale castle and, if you visit in May, you'll have a chance to see the annual parade of Atholl Highlanders. These proud men are the Duke of Atholl's private army, the last remaining such force in Europe.
Today you reach perhaps the single most important destination on your journey of discovery. The Clan Donnachie Museum at Bruar was the first purpose-built Clan Museum in Scotland and here you will find a wealth of information and inspiration, as well as the opportunity to talk to fellow travellers. Whether you want to follow local trails, enjoy spectacular views, visit the Dunalastair Burial Ground where some of the clan's chiefs are interred, or explore the clan museum's many resources in detail, this is a special time on your journey and you should not feel hurried. The House of Bruar offers the opportunity for retail therapy and good food in stylish surroundings.
Continue your personal exploration of the heart of Robertson country. The mix of highland and lowland landscape is captivating and the views are breathtaking. The view across Loch Tummel to Schiehallion from the so-called Queen's View is one of the most famous in Scotland. While your roots may be firmly in Robertson country, you won't be able to rival the ancient roots of the 3000 year old yew tree in the village of Fortingall, west of Aberfeldy. A visit to the churchyard and a walk through the village are highly recommended. Legend has it that Fortingall was the birthplace of Pontius Pilate!
Retracing your journey but southwards now, visit the historic town of Dunkeld, where the 17th and 18th century buildings of the centre of the village give it real character. Set amongst thickly wooded hills, Dunkeld was once the centre of Christianity in all of Scotland. Dunkeld Cathedral is mostly ruinous but attracts visitors and pilgrims from around the world to enjoy its peaceful, spiritual setting and fascinating history. Return to Edinburgh.
Before leaving Scotland, and Edinburgh, behind you might like to relax and enjoy one of the excellent bus tours of the city, visit the imposing Edinburgh Castle, explore the famous Royal Mile in the old Town or take a stroll through the elegant New Town.
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