Fort George, near Ardersier off the A96 east of Inverness, was constructed in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden. Although the Jacobites had been crushed, King George II was determined to counter any future threat. The Fort was designed to repel attacks from both land and sea but in any case the Jacobite threat became non-existent and subsequently the Fort, which took 20 years to complete, never saw action.
Fort George was designed to accommodate two full battalions of infantry (2000 men) and in excess of 80 cannon. Houses for officers, storerooms for weapons and powder, a chapel, barracks for the soldiers and numerous workshops were all built within the walls.
The Fort today is still a working army base following years as a recruitment base and training camp. The Seaforth Highlanders were based at Fort George from 1861-1964 and the Fort now hosts the Regimental Museum of the Highlanders.
The grand magazine that once held several thousand barrels of gunpowder now houses the Seafield Collection, arms and equipment from the 1700s. There are a number of barrels still on display in the magazine but rest assured they are empty - they are aren't they?
There is plenty to see and do at Fort George - you can certainly spend a full day there. There is a cafe and shop onsite but both outside and on the ramparts there are plenty of spots for a picnic when the weather is fine. You will regularly see dolphins in the Moray Firth just below the Fort. The Regimental Museum (closed for refurbishment Feb 2011) and the Chapel are extremely interesting as are the period displays in the old guard rooms and soldier's quarters.