2022 Clan Forbes Tour

You don’t have to be a Forbes to enjoy the Clan Forbes Tour on August 22 to 27, 2022! This excursion will include some of the most popular sites in Scotland such as Craigievar Castle and Fyvie Castle – and you’ll get to meet Clan Chief Malcolm, 23rd Lord Forbes, Premier Lord of Scotland. The trip will end with the famous Lonach Highland Gathering and Games, home of the Lonach Highlanders.

The tour departs from Aberdeen to visit the Druminnor Castle, the original Castle Forbes, and meet its current owner, Clan Forbes Historian Alex Forbes. Mr. Forbes presented an overview of the major branches of the House of Forbes during the March 2021 Clan Forbes Gathering and would be available to answer your questions about Forbes history. From there, we’ll continue on to the current Castle Forbes for a tour and reception with Malcolm and Jinny, Lord and Lady Forbes.

Craigievar Castle

The next day, we’ll visit Tolquhon Castle. Now in ruins, the castle was once one of the most beautiful castles in Scotland. From there, we’ll continue to the ruins of Pitsligo Castle, home of Forbes of Pitsligo for over three centuries. This was the home of Alexander, 4th Lord Pitsligo, calvary commander for “Bonnie Prince Charlie” during the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. Then we’ll stop at beautiful Fyvie Castle, with its amazing collection of antiquities, armor and oil paintings.


The next day, we’ll stop at fairy-tale Craigievar Castle, home to the Forbes and Forbes-Sempill family from 1626 until 1963. Then we’ll press on to Speyside Cooperage, the only stand-alone makers of casks in all of the UK. Then we’ll see the barrels put to work at the Glenlivet Distillery and enjoy a whisky tasting.

Culloden Battlefield Memorial Cairn

The next day, we’ll stop in Elgin for some fine shopping at the Gordon MacPhail retail shop and visit Elgin Cathedral, one of Scotland’s most imposing medieval buildings. Then we’ll travel to the haunting Battlefield of Culloden, site of the last battle of the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. We’ll relax for afternoon tea at Culloden House, home of Duncan Forbes, 5th Lord Culloden, Lord President of the Court of Sessions, whose statue now rests in Parliament Hall in Edinburgh.


On Friday, we’ll head to Inverness, capital of the Highlands and featured in the books and TV series Outlander. You will have a private tour of the Highland Archive Centre which maintains an array of Forbes family records and documents. Then we’ll enjoy a full-on shopping day Logie Steadings and the Knockando Woollen Mill.

Lonach Highland Gathering and Games

On last day, we’ll visit Corgarff Castle, the site of the tragic murder of Mistress Margaret Campbell Forbes and her daughters by Adam Gordon as related in the ballad “Edom o’ Gordon.” Then we’ll join our clansmen and clanswomen at our own Lonach Highland Gathering and Games, the friendliest Highland Games in Scotland.


The tour guide for the entire excursion will be Jamie, Lord Sempill, the grandson of the last private owner of Craigievar Castle. The tour is operated by Thistle Dubh Travel & Concierge.


The entire six-day tour includes six nights accommodation, six breakfasts, two dinners, one lunch, one afternoon tea, Lonach Gathering picnic lunch, entrance fees, private reception at Druminnor Castle, private reception at Castle Forbes, private Glenlivet Distillery Tour & Tasting, and executive touring coach and driver for duration of the tour. The cost is £1764.00 per person double occupancy, with a £543.00 Single room occupancy supplement.


Tour participants are limited to 20. Non-refundable deposit of US$500 is required immediately upon booking. Second non-refundable payment of US$1,000 is due by December 1, 2021. Final non-refundable balance is due May 20, 2022. Each traveler is strongly suggested to purchase travel insurance. If you do not have a provider, Thistle Dubh would be happy to provide recommendations.


See detailed tour itinerary and requirements here.


Each participant is responsible for following all flight, U.K., venue, and coach public health requirements. For more information, please see “COVID-19 Recovery Phases in Scotland.”

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