Top 10 Outlander destinations in Scotland

November 14, 2017

 

 

With season three of television series Outlander being shown on British screens at the moment I felt it was right to showcase the best places for fans to visit all throughout Scotland. 

I've devised my list of top 10 destinations, some of these places were actual filming locations for the series and others, well... they will just make you think about Outlander if you use your imagination. 

 

I wrote my university thesis on the power of Outlander and the tourism brought to Scotland because of it, so over the past year I have researched this topic in depth....(too much perhaps)

I will try my best not to write this post like a dissertation project though!

 

 

 

1. Doune Castle, Perthshire.

 

Otherwise known as Castle Leoch, this 14th century castle in Perthshire has been inundated with Outlander fans since the release of the novels, which has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. 

The Castle still maintains the Great hall (Lord's hall)  and the kitchens are well preserved where you can immerse yourself in the rich history and imagine what it was like back all those years ago to the grand banquets and feasts. 

 Photo: Mirka Bajzikova

 

Entrance to the Castle is £6.00 for  standard adult ticket, if you are a Monty Python fan then there is the opportunity to have an audio guide all about that too. 

*Please not that the Castle is closed for filming between 22nd-27th of October. 

 

Photo: Mirka Bajzikova

 

 

2. Highland Folk Museum, Kingussie.

 

This open air museum in Kingussie (Highlands) will give you an insight into what life was like in the 1700's in Scotland. You can learn about the education system, how people built their homes, how they dressed and how they made a living. The museum hosts a typical highland village with six crofts with thatched roofing, and peat smoking fires inside. 

The folk museum also has artifacts and exhibitions from other time periods right up until the 1960's. Keep an eye out for the 1940's replica school bus. 

 Photo: Alison Peter

 

I'd recommend allocating a good few hours to explore this place and the best part is that the whole place is free to enter, however please bare in mind that this place is closed for the duration of winter and opens back up again in April 2018. 

 

 Photo: Alison Peter

 

3. Hopetoun House.

 

Situated just outside of Edinburgh in South Queensferry this stately home with 6500 acres of land surrounding the Georgian built property is a sight to see.

 

Photo: Hopetoun House 

 

The connection to the television series is that it was the home of  the "Duke of Sandringham"  in season one and provided filming back drops to some of Claire and Jamie's Parisian apartment in season two.

Regardless if you are an Outlander fan or not this place is worth a visit, from the front of the property you will see the newly constructed Queensferry bridge in the distance. There are many rooms to explore which still have the original 18th Century fixtures and fittings, and there is also a highly regarded "Stables Tearoom" which has traditional afternoon tea delicacies. 

 Photo: Hopetoun House 

 

Unless you are lucky enough to be at a private event here, then you will need to pay an entrance fee of £9.85 for the house and grounds. 

 

 Photo: Hopetoun House

 

4. Blackness Castle.

 

Not too far away from Hopetoun house is the Castle ruins of Blackness Castle which sits on the Firth of Forth, and regarded as the "ship that never sailed" because of the angle and shape of the castle resting on the shore. You can climb up to the top of the towers and look out towards the bridges that cross the Forth.

In terms of Outlander connections, Blackness castle was used as a location point for Fort William, simply because the original castle no longer exists.  

Entrance to the Castle is £6.00 and opening times vary between seasons. Please note that the Castle is closed for more Outlander filming  between 21st-25th November.

 

 

 

 

5. Falkland in Fife.

 

This small town was used as a filming location as 1940's Inverness,  the town centre has the water fountain which can be seen in episode one. There you can recreate the scene where the Ghost of Jamie looked up at Mrs Baird's B&B in the square. 

Whilst you are in the town, make sure to look out for the many listed buildings and in fact the B&B is now Covenanter Hotel where you can enjoy a beverage. 

 

 Photo: Buzzfeed

 

The best way to get to to Falkland is by car, the city of Perth is a 30 minute drive away, or Edinburgh is an hour south. 

If you are driving from Edinburgh then I suggest having a stop at another small town in Fife: Cullross. 

 

 

6. Calanais Standing Stones, Lewis. 

 

Scottish standing stones are famous worldwide, not only for their mystery and history but with help from Disney's Brave and of course Outlander. I have included these stones which are situated on the west coast island of Lewis because they are very well preserved. A rough estimate has marked these stones as over 5,000 years old and if you want a deeper understanding then there is a visitor centre nearby. 

 Photo: Rough Guides


To visit the stones themselves they are free to enter, perhaps a good time to visit would be after sunrise....too cliche?

 

 Photo: Historic Scotland

 

7. Aquhorthies Stone Circle, Aberdeenshire.

 

I've included another set of standing stones, these particular stones can be found in Aberdeenshire around 40 minutes from Aberdeen.  I felt that getting to the western isle of Lewis can be difficult and wanted to include a more accessible one. These stones are shorter in height, and rounder in shape. The beauty of this location is the rolling hills surrounding the stones, there isn't a commercial visitor centre and quite often you will be alone up there...complete silence. 

 

Outlander wasn't filmed here, but you can still have a good experience nonetheless.  If you are visiting these stones then it's also worth travelling three miles away to the Brandsbutt Stone - a Pictish era stone with incricate carvings which are said to be dated around AD600. 

 Photo: Historic Scotland

 

8.  Glencoe, Highlands

 

I've included the Glencoe region of Scotland for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the connections with Outlander are strong. Glencoe is featured in the opening credits of series 3 and in many photography promotions, and for good reason. It's Scotland's most famous Glen.

 

 

 

Opening credits:

https://youtu.be/qRf4YzkG-g4 

 

Glencoe is steeped in history, and a turbulent one at that. The massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692 provides some interesting reading. There is also a large network of paths and climbing ways around the mountain and Glen. The sheer wildness of this region is spectacular. If you're lucky enough you may even spot the elusive Red deer. I'd suggest hiring a car whilst you visit this region so you can park up and enjoy the scenic views. Glencoe is near the Highland town of Fort William and near the Glenfinnan Monument (Where the Jacobite Rising began in 1745)

 

 

 

9. Royal Mile, Edinburgh 

 

Edinburgh's Royal Mile was used in the filming of Outlander when the Jacobite rising reached the city in 1745. Claire and Jamie in season 3 can be seen hanging around the Old Town locations such as the Bakehouse Close, the Signet Library in Parliament Square and Tweeddale Court.  The Old Town Tolbooth was where Jack Randall attempted to send Claire after her capture. 

 

 

 

Off of the Royal Mile there are many cobbled closes and alleyways, you could easily make your way around them. Half way down there are street stalls which sell Celtic inspired jewellery where you can pick up "Outlander inspired rings" if you so desire.

 If you work your way down the length of the Royal Mile then you will come to the Palace of Hollyrood where "Charles Stuart" stays upon his return to Edinburgh. 

 

If you are an avid Outlander fan then I'd suggest going on a Outlander dedicated walking tour. (Link below) 

 

10. Culloden Battlefield, Highlands

 

I couldn't finish this post without mentioning the Battle of Culloden. This area near Inverness was very significant in series 2 and even more so in the books. Jamie dreams of his final fight with Randall at Culloden.  Claire also left Jamie here to fight the destined doomed battle.

In a historical context, this was the area where the final battle of the Jacobite rising in 1745 took place. Lead by Bonnie Prince Charlie and in less than an hour over 1,500 men were killed, with the majority of them being Jacobites. There is a great information centre located on the site which allows for a look at some artefacts such as weapons, clothing and currency. There is also an interactive cinema which will provide a 360 immersive view of the site. 

Entrance to this eerie place is £11 for an adult. 

 Photo: Scotsman 

 

 Photo: Culloden Visitor centre

 

I hope this has helped some Outlander fans to discover these places all around Scotland. 

Comment down below if you have visited these places. 

 

 

Kat. 

 

Useful websites

 

Highland Folk Museum

https://www.highlifehighland.com/highlandfolkmuseum/visitor-information/

 

Hopetoun House

http://hopetoun.co.uk/house-and-grounds/visit-the-house-and-grounds/

 

Calanais Standing Stones

https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/calanais-visitor-centre-p253191

 

Culloden visitor centre

https://www.nts.org.uk/Visit/Culloden/#property-footer

 

Brandsbutt Stone

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/brandsbutt-stone/

 

Edinburgh Walking tour:

https://www.mercattours.com/view-tour/edinburgh-outlander-experience

 

Private guided tours around Scotland:

https://www.marysmeanders.co.uk/outlander-tours-in-scotland/

 

 

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