Explore Cawdor Castle on the Highland Barge Cruise

Experience Cawdor Castle and Explore MacBeth

MelkCawdor Castle is a splendid, turreted gothic castle situated amid gardens in the parish of Cawdor, around 10 miles east of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The castle was built around a 15th-century tower house, with generous additions in subsequent centuries. The castle was, originally, a property of the Clan Calder which passed to the Campbells in the 16th century. It continued to remain in Campbell ownership, and is now home to the Dowager Countess Cawdor, stepmother of Colin Campbell, 7th Earl Cawdor.

A curious feature of the castle is that it was built around a small, living holly tree, the remains of which may still be seen in the lowest level of the tower.

The castle is renowned for its stunning gardens, which include the WalledGarden which was originally planted in the 17th Century, the Flower Garden planted in 18th century and the WildGarden added in the 1960s. In addition to these gardens, the castle property includes a wood featuring numerous species of trees as well as over 100 species of lichen.

Shakespeare and Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle is best known for being immortalized in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth where the title character is made “Thane of Cawdor”. But the playwright has taken several artistic liberties and has highly fictionalized the story. The fact is that the castle itself was built many years after the life of the 11th-century King Macbeth.

Notwithstanding the fact that the real Macbeth never entered the castle – he died around 400 years before it was built – the atmospheric medieval keep and battlements are pervaded with a sense of romantic history.

Our 8 passenger scottish highlander barge will be a perfect choice for you if you want to visit Cawdor Castle. So get aboard our highland barge cruise and make a visit to the amazing and immortalized castle!

The Landscape of Scotland

Tartan plaid, Whiskey, Castle Ruins and Heather:  All on our Scottish Barge Cruise

For centuries, Scots and many thousands of young lovers, writers, painters and travelers have recognized and relished the beauty, magic, mystery and the special tranquility of the Scottish landscape which can be summed up in the word “romantic”. The romance of Scotland is endless and more you explore this country, more you fall in love with it.

Scots are famously proud of their amazing history and rich culture. The stereotypical Scot wearing a kilt with tartan patterns, playing bagpipes and eating haggis is not as widespread as visitors might hope, but if you know where to look you won’t be disappointed.

Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. It is a pattern consisting of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. Scottish kilts usually have tartan patterns. Tartan is one of the patterns known as plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder or a blanket.  Several years ago kilts came back into fashion and young men started wearing them again. They’re very popular at rugby matches, especially the international matches at Murrayfield.

If you want to indulge in the romance of Scotland, get onboard our eight passenger Scottish Highlander which has the atmosphere of a Scottish Country House with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. This Scottish barge cruise is spacious and has every comfort needed for year round cruising. She is also equipped with eight bikes and your tour guide will be happy to recommend the best routes to explore.

Cruise the length of the Great Glen on the ‘Scottish Highlander,’ through lochs and down the scenic Caledonian Canal. This is inland cruising at its finest, with ancient castles and heather-clad hillsides along the way. Pass stunning highland countryside and visit battlegrounds of the Jacobite Rebellion; then stop at Glen Nevis distillery, where you learn whiskey-making secrets and enjoy a dram or two.

The Caledonian Canal links the west of Scotland to the East, and makes it possible to navigate right through Scotland’s Great Glen, between William and Inverness Fort. It is scenically spectacular along its whole length, surrounded as it is by Scotland’s highest mountains and most beautiful scenery.

The cruise highlights are Cawdor Castle, home of Shakespere’s Macbeth, Culloden Moor, the last British based battleground in 1746, Cruise Lochs’ Ness, Oich, Lochy and the Caledonian Canal, spectacular scenery, Wildlife and Folklore. You also get the chance to visit Glencoe, treachery between the Campbell and MacDonald clans as well as to see Eilean Donan and Urquhart castles.

The tour of the Ben Nevis Whisky distillery is so exciting; you will get an insight into the secrets of the various stages of whiskey preparation and taste a wee dram or two.

The Scottish Highlander, with some variations in the stops discussed above, offers cycling and golf cruises as well.

Scottish Highlander cycling cruise

Aboard your bike barge cruise, your ride begins from Culloden to Inverness where you take views over Moray Firth. You come across General Wade’s military road on the east shore of Loch Ness, the village of Dores, Urquhart Bay and the ruins of Urquhart Castle. At Foyers, you stop to enjoy the spectacular Falls of Foyers. Fort Augustus is also on your cycling route and you enjoy watching the lovely village. On your way from Fort Augustus to Invergarry, you come across mighty Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain. You also get the chance to join part of the Great Glen Cycle Route. The cruise takes you to Gairlochy. You get a chance for more cycling along the towpath to Banavie, then back to your barge for dinner.

Scottish Highlander golf cruise– From Dochgarroch, your golf barge cruise arranges for a visit to Royal Dornoch Golf Course for a round on the Championship Golf Course. Designed by Tom Morris, Royal Dornoch is one of Scotland’s famous links courses.  Dornoch dates back to 1616 and is internationally acclaimed. Back to barge, you cruise to Fort Augustus. Nairn Golf Club- a one hour drive – is your next golf destination where you play on the Championship Golf Course. Nairn’s reputation is well founded, hosting many professional and amateur events. You also get the chance to have a round of golf at nearby Fort Augustus Golf Course; probably the only course in the world kept manicured by a herd of sheep!  Later on, you cruise to Banavie and Neptune’s Staircase of locks. You are taken to Newtonmore Golf course. Newtonmore, established 1893, is a comparatively flat, easy-walking, parkland course full of exciting and invigorating challenges.  After your round on Newtomore, you return to your barge for a farewell dinner.

We offer golf cruise vacations in Scotland, Ireland, Germany and France.