After an afternoon arrival in the port of Invergordon we headed off on an excursion to Dunrobin Castle at 2pm. The drive took us through the Scottish Highland towns of Saltburn, Milton, Kildary and Tain all surrounded by fields of Barley which were ready for bailing. We also saw the Fields of Heather which were in full bloom. When we arrived at Dunrobin Castle we learned of its torrid history and the dislike of the people towards the Castle, Dukes and Earls of Sutherland. This was directly related to the period of time known as The Highland Clearances or forced displacement during the18th and 19th centuries.
It should be noted that Dunrobin Castle does not permit any photography inside the castle or the castle museum.
After visiting the interior of the castle, we headed into the Dunrobin Castle Gardens which seemed a complex set of shapes and angles. This certainly gave a person the ability to wonder around and enjoy the setting plus it gave great angles to snap a few photos of the castle in all its glory. At the back of the gardens we stumbled across the Dunrobin Castle Falconry with several large birds on display. We saw the Gos Hawk, Lanner Falcon and Peregrine Falcon up close with personal trainer Andy Hughes who happened to be gathering them for an afternoon feeding.
A disappointment of our tour was not scheduling it around the 11.30am or 2pm birds of prey flying demonstration given at the Falconry each day. I would recommend that you mention this to the tour guide immediately upon beginning the tour to see if arrangements can be altered.
Next we entered the Dunrobin Castle Museum which also can be found in the gardens. Again no photography allowed. What we found of most interest was several Pictish symbol stones on display. The Pics were a loose confederation of marauding Iron-Agers who lived in the period 200 to 800 AD. Also found in the museum was an interesting set of wax seal emblems of the Dukes and Earls of Sutherland. Lastly the museum offers an extensive collection of oddity taxidermy items from the head and neck of a giraffe to the foot of an elephant.
Finally, we climbed the stairs back to the castle entrance to get a few shots of the other side of the structure. This proved much more difficult as this is also the parking area for the visiting buses and cars. At 4:50pm, we departed the castle having been on the grounds for exactly two hours. On our way back we took a detour at Embo and headed towards Dornach on a single lane road. Driving along this coastal area we saw seals sunning on a sandbar and several of the Scottish highland cattle. Next we drove through the lovely town of Dornach and learned about their Graffiti Artists program which was responsible for many murals throughout the town. Finally we drove past Dalmore Distillery and Storehouses before returning to the pier and our ship.
Cruise Port: Invergordon, Scotland
Steps logged 8,679