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.
For many people, mere mention of the name Wallace conjures up images of a
woad-faced Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Whatever you think of his treatment at the
hands of Hollywood, William Wallace is undoubtedly a major figure in the
history of Scotland, inextricably linked with the quest for freedom and
This itinerary will take you to places most closely associated with the Wallace clan, including the atmospheric battleground near Stirling where William Wallace won a famous victory against the English.
Arrive in the cosmopolitan city of Glasgow, Scotland's largest urban centre and a popular destination for a short break. Glasgow's fine museums and galleries are complemented by the Mitchell Library, one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe and home of the city archives.
Drive down to the town of Elderslie near Paisley. Here, a recently discovered medieval fortress has given greater credence to the area's claim to be the birthplace of Sir William Wallace (c 1270 - 1305). A drive deep into rural Ayrshire will take you to Riccarton, a town that records show may well have been the first home of the Wallace clan, in around 1160. Certainly, the Wallace name was common throughout Renfrewshire and Ayrshire from the late 12th Century onwards.
It's time to visit a town that has played a vital role in the history of Scotland. Stirling will forever be associated with William Wallace and a visit here is a must for any member of his clan. The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 has passed into Scottish legend, thanks to the cunning and ruthlessness shown by Wallace against the English. You can visit the scene of the battle for yourself, where the imposing National Wallace Monument offers spectacular views of the area. Time should also be made for a visit to the impressive Stirling Castle, a favoured royal retreat for the Stuart dynasty and the childhood home of Mary, Queen of Scots.
A poignant counterpoint to the previous day can be experienced on a visit to the bustling town of Falkirk. It was here, in March 1298, that the English army crushed Wallace's much smaller force, with up to 10,000 Scots perishing on the field of battle. His reputation diminished, Wallace later resigned his guardianship of Scotland. If time allows, a drive down through the gentle landscape of the Scottish Borders will take you to the beautiful Dryburgh Abbey and another monument to Scotland's national hero.
Time to leave Scotland behind, with perhaps a last chance to explore the modern side of the dynamic city of Glasgow. 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.