We first heard just over a year ago that the Dun Bonnet’s cave (mentioned in the 3rd novel of the Outlander series, Voyager) was a real place where the real James Fraser, the 9th of Foyers reportedly hid out in for seven years following Culloden . We said to each other that we’d have to go visit but when we read more into it we soon realised that it wasn’t just a case of hopping in the car and heading out to Foyers . The cave is well hidden (that’s why James Fraser picked it ) and it would be a hike to get there even if you knew where to go. All we could do was hope that we’d find someone who knew where it was and was willing to take us.
Well last summer while having a coffee at Morag & Ali’s newly opened Camerons Tea Room & Farm Shop in Foyers the conversation turned to Outlander and the Dunbonnet’s cave was mentioned. Morag’s Husband Ali knew exactly where the cave was as he used to play in it as a child. Morag very kindly volunteered her husband to take us to the cave.. We would just have to wait until the bracken died down. The hike would be bad enough without having to fight our way through bracken. The months passed and before we knew it winter was upon us so we had to wait until the weather improved.
Finally April came with it’s showers but we took a risk and agreed a date 12/04/15.
We all arrived at Cameron’s Tearoom which is such a fabulous family run Tearoom with a wee shop attached. Morag bakes all the cakes which are so delicious. We couldn’t start a hike without Tea and Scones.
When we were all fed and watered off we went.
It was quite a hike to the cave. Ali told us Fraser of Foyers had killed a red coat and buried him somewhere in this field.
We walked on up hills, over and under fences , through forests and up banks . The scenery around us was amazing.
We eventually came to the front of the cave there Ali told us that this was the hole where we were going to exit from . Looking at it we all thought that there was no way we would fit through it.
But up and over the back we went and along a very small ledge, if you look you can see the sheer drop off the ledge.
Ali was wonderful to us girls, helping us down into the back entrance of the cave.
Into the cave we went. It was really narrow and rocky. Ali told us when his Dad was a boy there was another level to the cave but it had all fallen in now ( this didn’t make us nervous at all!). Into the cave we went anyway ….
When we got the the other side thinking again that there was no way we could fit through the hole in the rocks but thankfully we all managed to get through. There was a lot of laughter involved seeing heads popping out through the hole.
This is the view of the cave from a few feet away. You would never know it was there.
We all got such a buzz from actually being to the Dun Bonnet’s cave, the cave where the real James Fraser from Foyers choose to hide out for seven years after Culloden. I just can’t imagine what it was like to hide out in there.
We were all glad to be back outside. Here’s our photo of us just outside the cave.
We made our way back by sliding down banks and back to the Tea Room taking in the beautiful scenery on the way.
Back to Cameron’s Tearoom for more tea and cakes. Also to let Morag know that we brought her husband and son Andrew back safe and sound. We opted this time to have our tea outside as we as we were all so mucky( Morag tried to insist that we would be fine inside ).
We can never see this cave being part of an Outlander tour. A tour operator would never get insurance to bring tourists there. It’s not easily accessible and could be dangerous, we were just so lucky to know a friend who was willing to take time out of their busy schedule to show us. We had great time and it was a wonderful experience but I’m not sure we’d ever find the cave again. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Outlander has brought us together for all these fun days out.
Once again thank you to Cameron’s Tearoom. Please go click on their Facebook page and give them a like. If you’re in the Foyers area be sure and drop in for tea or a meal. Ali is also a Heilan Coo farmer so you can say hello the their Heilan Coos in the field at the back of the tearoom.
No trip to Foyers could be complete without a visit to the spectacular Falls of Foyers.
In July 2016 Diana Gabaldon gave a wonderful talk at Culloden in which she tells us how the story of the Dun Bonnets Cave made it’s way into the Outlander story .