Famous Scots in History

Today, we’re taking a look at some famous Scots in history with links to Inverness. During your stay with us at Ness Walk Hotel, you can learn more about these historical figures as you explore our local museums, landmarks and attractions…

King Macbeth (1005 – 1057)

Macbeth was King of Scots in the 11th century. He is, of course, the main character in the William Shakespeare play, Macbeth. In the play, Macbeth becomes Thane of Cawdor. In truth, however, Macbeth lived over a century before the first Thane of Cawdor, and over 300 years before the building of Cawdor Castle. Nevertheless, the literary link still attracts visitors to Cawdor Castle near Inverness.

Cawdor Castle near Inverness
Cawdor Castle

Andrew Moray (unknown – 1297)

Andrew Moray was one of the leaders in the First War of Scottish Independence. He fought the English alongside William Wallace at the Battle of Stirlingbridge in 1297. In the lead-up to the battle, he led the northern uprising, taking Inverness and besieging Urquhart Castle. Today you can visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness to discover more about the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Ruins of Scotland Urquhart Castle at dusk on the shore of Loch Ness
Urquhart Castle

Robert The Bruce (1274 – 1329)

Robert the Bruce became King of Scots in 1306. Like Andrew Moray and William Wallace, he also led the Scots against the English in the First War of Scottish Independence. Among his many acts here in the Highlands, he captured Urquhart Castle and burned Inverness Castle to the ground. Find out more about Robert The Bruce at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.


Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87)

Mary, Queen of Scots is one of the most famous monarchs in Scots history. She reigned in the 16th century, and visited Inverness more than once. Notably in 1562, she was denied access to Inverness Castle on the orders of the Earl of Huntly. Mary’s supporters attacked and captured the castle, in a siege that lasted for three days. The keeper of the castle was hanged for treason and others were imprisoned. The new Inverness Castle Experience opens in 2025, where you’ll be able to learn all about the castle’s turbulent history.

View of Inverness Castle in Scotland
Inverness Castle

Bonnie Prince Charlie (1720 – 88)

Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, was a challenger to the British throne and leader of the Jacobite Rising of 1745. He and the Jacobites were defeated by the British in the bloody Battle of Culloden in 1746 and he fled to the continent. Visit Culloden Battlefield near Inverness to see the battle site for yourself and learn more about what happened in the immersive visitor centre.

Memorial Cairn at the battlefield of Culloden near Inverness
Culloden Battlefield

Flora Macdonald (1722 – 90)

Flora Macdonald is famous for helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. You can find out more about her story at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and visit her statue just outside Inverness Castle. The inscription on the statue reads “The preserver of Prince Charles Edward Stuart will be mentioned in history and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour.”

Statue of Flora Macdonald outside Inverness Castle
Flora Macdonald Statue

Robert Burns (1759 – 96)

Robert Burns was a great Scots poet, who adapted Auld Lang Syne to the version which we sing on New Year’s Eve to this day. He is the national poet of Scotland. His life and works are celebrated on 25th January each year, Burns Night. Burns visited Inverness on his tour of the Highlands in 1787, stopping off at sites including Urquhart Castle, the Falls of Foyers and Culloden Battlefield, among others. He also went to supper at Kingmills House, which is now our sister hotel.

The Fall of Foyers, waterfall on the River Foyers, which feeds Loch Ness.
Falls of Foyers

James Braid (1870 – 1950)

James Braid was a professional golfer and renowned golf course architect. He won The Open five times and is a member od the World Golf Hall of Fame. He worked on over 200 golf courses in his lifetime. These include several courses near Inverness, such as Inverness Golf Club, Nairn Golf Club, Muir of Ord, Boat of Garten, Fores, Fortrose & Rosemarkie and Newtonmore.

Hole 2 at Nairn Golf Club near Inverness
Nairn Golf Club

So, book a 5-star break at Ness Walk in Inverness and start exploring the stories of these famous Scots. Our concierge service is available if you need any help booking tickets or arranging transportation during your stay.

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